The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Help with baking gear ideas for making batards

ifs201's picture
ifs201

Help with baking gear ideas for making batards

Hi all,

I have only made boules, but I want to start making batards instead because I like the more evenly sized slices. I am loath to purchase much more baking equipment as I already have 3 round cast iron dutch ovens in a NYC apartment.

In terms of what I have the might work for a batard, I unfortunately don't have anything with a lid. In the cast iron department I already have the Lodge reversible griddle and a huge cast iron Le Creuset roasting pan. I do not own a pizza stone, but thought maybe I could use the Lodge griddle like a pizza stone? Can I get away with just buying some lava rocks or should I bite the bullet and buy another dutch oven? 

Thanks!

Ilene 

 

BaniJP's picture
BaniJP

I make great boules all the time (if I may say so myself) and I don't even own a pizza stone, cast iron pot or similar. 

What I wanna say is save your money, you should be fine with your griddle. Preheat it with the oven and put your bread on it. For steam in the beginning of the bake just pour half a glass of water on the bottom of the oven and close the door immediately.

What might be worth investing (if you don't have them already) are proofing baskets, however. But they don't cost a lot (maybe 10-15$)

ifs201's picture
ifs201

Thanks! Worth a try. I have one proofing basket and will get some more for a batard shape. It's less of a money issue and more that I feel acquiring unnecessary objects can increase my feeling of chaos. 

BaniJP's picture
BaniJP

I have learned that making one big loaf instead of many small ones is much less of a hassle since you need less equipment and you are not running the risk of overproofing anything.

Of course its a different story if you make many small boules for some friends, but then you can just bake them straight on a tray.

Maverick's picture
Maverick

I use my round cast iron combo cooker for my batards. As long as they aren't longer than the dutch oven, you can just use the ones you have. If you can fashion some kind of couche from a well flowered smooth towel or table cloth or something, then you don't even need baskets. I do own both an oval coiled basket and a linen couche from San Francisco Baking Institute and really like them. I have to check which size basket I have, but it is the perfect size for the combo cooker.

ifs201's picture
ifs201

Good idea. I'll measure the diameter of my DO. Thanks!

ifs201's picture
ifs201

I ended up proofing in bread tins I have and baking in my regular round dutch ovens and it worked! Thanks so much for the idea!