The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Today's batard with an added twist.

Skibum's picture

Today's batard with an added twist.

The only twist was to add a scant 1/4 tsp of instant yeast after I added the salt to the top of the dough.  Ken Forkish recommends using a little commercial yeast for increased volume and a more open crumb.  Check on both points!

This bake used 300 grams total bread flour @ 75% hydration, about 20% 100% levain, 11/4 tsp coarse salt and 1/4 IY. This made some very tasty bread and is part of my loaf a day plan. I have good friends who were flooded out of their home in Exshaw last June.  After 3 weeks living in the local school, sleeping on cots, they were loaned a large travel trailer and are now in a local hotel -- not the best summer. . . Anyhow Marg said her son devoured the French style loaves and loved them. I always bake more than I can eat and frequently give bread to my neighbours, but for the next while, I will make sure Marg and her family have fresh bread every day, if I can manage it. Here is today's crumb:

I had a real skibum moment he other day. One could also call it a 'senior' moment . . . My plan was to bake 2 batards side by side, one using a levain fed 1:1:1 and the other with a 1:4:4 feed.  My object was to see if there was any difference in the flavour profile of the 2 breads.  So immediately the 1:4:4 mix felt different -- very slack with  little structure. Well it finally dawned on me that I had used all of the water in the second mix, forgetting to back out the h2o in the levain, so my slack dough was 85% instead of 75%.  Good practice folding in bowl with wet hand aka KF. I had a good laugh at myself when I finally realized.  For a bit I was thinking, wow it is incredible that a starter can make such a profound difference -- DOUGH!  There was no difference in  the flavour profile of either bread.

Here are yesterday's batard and boule:

Batard crumb

Boule Crumb -- should have done it as a ciabatta, next oops mistake!


Today's experiment involved mixing the same batch as above @ 77% hydration, bulk on the counter, which after 21/2 hours was at least 21/2 x in volume, the most volume I have ever seen from 300 grams total flour.  This has been shaped and will proof until morning in the fridge.  It is my first time trying this and it will be interesting to see the result.

Happy baking folks!



dabrownman's picture

are baking for Marg and her family. Very noble and virtuous for an old senior skibum:-)  Well done,  The bread isnpt too shabby either.  Marg may bot be living high on the hog but she is eating some fine bread that is pretty high up there.

Just perfect in every way.

Happy baking

trailrunner's picture

Crumb looks great. You are doing good work....I am sure Marg et al appreciate it ! c

SylviaH's picture


I'm sure your bakes are very much appreciated.   

Well, I've certainly had plenty of those senior moments.  I did something the other day while adding or was that not adding the water...I can't remember.


SpoonandSparrow's picture

Very, very nice to make sure they have fresh bread on hand, they wont forget that. I enjoy your posts, I am working through Ken Forkish book as well, and having lots of fun with it. 


Skibum's picture

It is nice to have fresh bread every day and nicer to have a cause to bake for!

Best regards and happy baking!  Brian

pmccool's picture

Beautifully executed breads, inside and out.


Skibum's picture

Thanks for your kind words!  Brian

bakingbadly's picture

Nice bake! Your loaves seems to be improving with each passing post, so keep it up.