The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Circular Batard

jgmathis23's picture
jgmathis23

Circular Batard

Here's something probably a thousand people on this site have figured out before me, but just in case someone hasn't thought of this yet:

The problem: A 12 inch diameter dutch oven.  Handles boules quite nicely.  Still, you don't always want the boule shape.  The maximum size for a batard would be 12 inches of course.  Unless you don't mind a circular batard, which allows you (pi X diameter)  or 3.14 X 12 inches = 37.7 inches for your batard length, or at least external circumference.  Now that's a substantial batard.

I kept it simple and used 1,000 gm of KA bread flour, 68% hydration, 2.2% salt, and 0.08% (0.8 gm) instant yeast with overnight bulk fermentation.  This follows Ken Forkish's formula for "weeknight white bread" on page 91 of "Flour, Water, Salt, Yeast".  I divided the dough in two, formed two normal batards, then kind of bent them together, making sure the outside diameter stayed at about 11 inches, to insure an easy drop into the super hot dutch oven.  

I painted a little extra virgin olive oil on the top to try and prevent "skin" formation while the thing proofed for 90 minutes uncovered.  Baked at 475 degrees with lid on for 25 minutes and then 380 degrees with lid off for 30 minutes.

Here are the results:

 

 

Won't know how the crumb looks until friends come over for dinner tonight.  I took care to bake until bottom was at the verge of having a few dark brown to black areas in order to make sure the crumb wasn't too doughy.  I have a good feeling about it though.  My friends will eat anything, especially if an adequate supply of lager and Malbec is at hand.  My wife made a very nice beef borguignon (spelling?) for the main event.

 

Best to all,

 

Jim

Comments

isand66's picture
isand66

What you've made is actually called a crown shaped bread I believe.

It looks very nice by the way.  If you want to get the hole in the middle to be more open, you can do what I do and place a small cup or glass bowl upside down in the middle while the dough is rising after shaping of course.  I usually spray it heavily with cooking spray so it doesn't stick.  When you are ready to bake, remove the bowl from the middle and slash your bread and bake.  I don't use a dutch oven to bake my breads as I prefer to do them free standing on my bakers stone.  I keep 1 stone on top of the oven and one on the second lowest shelf.  I keep a heavy duty sheet pan on the lowest shelf which I pour 1 cup of water in as soon as I put the bread in the oven.  This creates the perfect amount of steam for my liking and I always get a nice dark crust and good rise in the oven.

One thought just came to mind...you should have made a nice heart for Valentines day.  That would have fit perfectly in your cooker :).

 

jgmathis23's picture
jgmathis23

I really like the upside down bowl idea, I'll give that a try next time.  

I hear different opinions on making steam in standard home ovens.  Some people say it causes problems with the electrical system, but most people say as you do that they use the "water pan" system without problems.

BTW, the crumb turned out pretty well on this loaf as well, although the holes might actually be a little too big, especially for sandwich use.

 

Best,

Jim

isand66's picture
isand66

That's a nice holy bread!  Just use extra napkins so your filling doesn't land on your lap :).