The Fresh Loaf

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Sourdough Batards with Rosemary and Cream Cheese

a_warming_trend's picture

Sourdough Batards with Rosemary and Cream Cheese

Hello, Fresh Loafers! I haven't posted a formula in awhile, and I think that this one for 76% hydration batards with rosemary and cream cheese is nice and reliable. 

550 g all-purpose or bread flour (substitute in 70 g whole wheat if you're going for country-style)
410 g cool water
100 g 100% hydration active white starter
12 g salt
6 g non-diastatic malt powder (sub brown sugar or honey if necessary)
1/4 tsp black pepper
1-2 tablespoons of fresh, very finely chopped rosemary (I used 1.5)
40 g cream cheese
40 g pate fermentee (optional)

1) Feed your starter/mix your levain such that you have 100 g of active starter by the time you want to mix your final dough.
2) Mix flour and water in a food safe container with a lid, and autolyse for 1-10 hours (I like a very long autolyse when I'm able to plan for it; it often works out that I allow my starter to ferment while autolysis is happening!)
3) Add starter, rosemary, cream cheese, pepper, salt, malt, and pate fermentee to the flour + water mixture. Pinch and squeeze until combined, and then stretch or slap-and-fold for 3-4 minutes.
4) Stretch-and-fold every 30 minutes for 2 hours.
5) Allow the dough to rest at room temperature until increased about 20% in size, between 30 minutes and 2 hours, then transfer the container to the refrigerator.
6) Retard in a refrigerator no warmer than 45 degrees F for 8-24 hours (the longer you retard, the more open your crumb will ultimately be, and the tangier the loaf; I was only able to retard for 8 for the batards below).
7) Remove the container from the refrigerator. Sprinkle flour over the top of the dough and spread over the top, then gently loosen the dough from the sides of the container, allowing flour to fall around the dough. Flip it onto a work surface so that the floured side forms the bottom of the loaves.
8) Carefully cut into two equal pieces. Gently pull each piece into a long oval.
9) Allow to rest for 5-10 minutes. (I am not big on pre-shaping, so these ovals are quite loosely formed.)
10) Shape into batards using whatever method you are most comfortable with. One day soon, I will share pictures of my method of batard shaping -- it's the one I'm most consistently successful with as a novice home baker!
11) Allow the loaves to proof in a couche seam-side up for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until increased roughly 40-50% in size. Watch carefully at this stage!
12) Optional: Transfer the couche to the freezer for 10 minutes. This step is not absolutely necessary, but I find that the "freezer trick" helps with both oven-spring and ease of scoring.
13) Score and bake the loaves at 475 degrees F for 15 minutes with steam, then 20-25 minutes without steam. For small batards such as these, I love to bake on the stone, with a turkey roaster lid creating the steam. For some reason, the crust I achieve this way is thinner and crispier than the crust I achieve using a dutch oven.

Rosemary is a slightly divisive herb, but I find that those who like it really, really like it. This bread is great as a side for a hearty meal, eaten straight with olive oil, or, my personal favorite: A smear of apricot jam.


And some bonus photos of loaves created since the last time I posted: 



dabrownman's picture

Beautiful inside and out and that rosemary must really perfume them.too.  

Well done and Happy baking 


Floydm's picture

Wow, those are fantastic.  May I feature this on the homepage for a bit?

a_warming_trend's picture

Thanks, Dab...they were indeed aromatic! I'm baking more this weekend, I think. 

Floyd, I'd be honored!

Edo Bread's picture
Edo Bread

is the word - they really look great!

alfanso's picture

batard envy.  Nice husky crust and open gelatinous crumb.   I'm considering driving a tractor through the holes in the crumb!


Isand66's picture

These look awesome!  Great job and just a perfect crumb and crust.


nmygarden's picture

What could I say that hasn't already been said? Nothing, except to chime in with more admiration and congratulations! Everything looks fabulous! Thank you so much for sharing them with us!


MichaelH's picture

You just keep raising the bar for the rest of us. Thanks for sharing/

Dave's picture

The crumb looks so creamy! My mouth is totally watering. Love the cream cheese idea. That shall be a part of my next loaf. Thanks so much for sharing. Beautiful baking you are doing!!!


ibor's picture

Congratulations, the bread looks awsome.

Just so we all speak the same language please expand on your Pâte Fermentée. did it originate in a sourdough dough or a yeast dough?

best regards

CAphyl's picture

That has got to taste good.  Love the crumb.  I will have to put this on the list for sure.  Thanks so much for sharing!  Best,  Phyllis

PY's picture

looks so fantastic I can taste it out of my laptop!

Yumika's picture

a great sourdough bread can be made without resorting to high gluten flour. I am totally hooked :-)

I must confess I decided to bake the recipe into a single loaf and using grated Dutch Gouda cheese instead of cream cheese. The rosemary lends a fantastic aroma and taste to this bread. Thank you very much for this.sourdough bread

Yumika's picture

to make batards, but they did not come out like those by a_warming_trend! As I only have a round pizza stone I baked on a parchment lined baking sheet. Using the same parchment used as an improvised couche. The taste is like in my previous effort: delicious :-

a_warming_trend's picture

For not replying sooner. Great breads, Yumika! So glad you've found the formula useful. 

DanAyo's picture

Yumika; I prefer this crumb to large holes. My breads often have large holes in the top of the slice. I need gloves to keep the mayo of my hands. :<)  I'm wondering if I need to score the bread deeper? Would that help?

My breads of look like a_warming_trend image.   See

fotomat1's picture

Baked 2 one with steam...the other covered.... identical crumb...crust a bit different but awesome recipe..Thanks  

Yumika's picture

to apologize :-) The formula is not just useful, it is fantastic! I'll be baking again soon and add in whole wheat flour.

Yumika's picture

Did you bake 2 full recipes or 2 half recipe batards? How do you create steam? I myself use an oven with a steam function. The maker calls it hybrid baking.

fotomat1's picture

recipe batards. Steam created with a spray bottle sprayed 4-5x during the first 12 minutes of bake. Steam on left.

MJ Sourdough's picture
MJ Sourdough

This questions is a bit late. I wanted to ask you about step number 6 in your method.

You state:

6) Retard in a refrigerator no warmer than 45 degrees F for 8-24 hours (the longer you retard, the more open your crumb will ultimately be, and the tangier the loaf; I was only able to retard for 8 for the batards below).


is it true, the longer you retard the more open the crumb? I retard for 8-10 hrs and get a good open crumb, but not a open as yours. Have you compared long fridges retardations VS short fridge retardations?


MJ Sourdough

CAphyl's picture

It was just wonderful, so moist and flavorful.  I did not have the pate fermentee, but maybe that's why my crumb wasn't as open as yours....

Maverick's picture

I just saw this and might have to try it. I have never put cream cheese in my sourdough. I have added rosemary but without the black pepper. This sounds great.

Angledangle's picture

On the addition of all ingredients and slap and stretch, I had a seriously loose dough. Is that the norm? Even after 4 minutes I would have expected some tightening up but it felt even more loose. Just decided to scrape what I could off of me and move to stretch and fold phase. Should I be concerned? 

EllaInKitchen's picture

rosemary and cheese, sounds like an interesting combination. Can't wait to try :-)

I always find my score is 'gone' after the baking...maybe i will try the freeze tricks. Thanks for sharing 

mcmartz's picture

Your breads are just amazing. May I ask your starter recipe ?, tried many but not very good results so far


All best


Ogi the Yogi's picture
Ogi the Yogi

pate fermentee? 

Ogi the Yogi's picture
Ogi the Yogi

what brand and type? I really wanna try and get those big holes! 

kendalm's picture


chelseamosher's picture

Just to confirm ... after removing from the fridge, you shape with the dough still at fridge temp after resting for 5 min.? Thank you, this recipe looks fantastic!



Oceanblue's picture

I will absolutely try your receipt.

Homestyle Alchemy's picture
Homestyle Alchemy

Wow! I feel like I can taste the bread from the screen! Beautiful loaf! 

theoriginalmirj's picture

Hi all,


I am new to this site, and am very happy to have found it. I have found that the COVID 19 mandatory isolation has found me feeding (sic) my muse more than before. My muse being cooking, and now on to baking. I have been making sourdough from recipes scrounged off the internet, but after having found this forum, I am excited to spread my wings a bit.  I am working through the middle stages of this recipe and hope that it turns out well. Will keep you posted!

theoriginalmirj's picture

Hi all,

So, I did not have a couche that would accommodate a batard, so I accommplished a boule instead. Not the most perfect shape, but hey! I suppose if it tastes good, does that matter!

Pretty happy with how they turned out!  Here is the exterior and the cross section.  
katyajini's picture

So,theoriginal, how did the bread taste to you?

Leendert's picture

Nice to work with this recipe. Totally different character of dough than what I am used to. I was wondering, why not let the dough come to room temperature before shaping (between step 7 and 8) and why proofing so shortly? First time I made the bread according to your plan, but I the dough was still soooo cold when I put in the oven. And i thad hardly grown in over an hour...