The Fresh Loaf

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Today's Loaves - First Batards

JamieOF's picture

Today's Loaves - First Batards

First, I have to say (again) thanks for how much knowledge I've gained from the fine folks here, I appreciate it so much. Both for responses to my queries and for any info previously posted.

So, today I was determined to make my first batards. Last night, before bed, I fed the starter and made a 300 gm levain with what I took off, and left it on the stove all night to work it's magic. This morning I put it together using a basic 1:2:3 but adjusted the water to give me a 65% hydration. They were proofed on a cotton tea towel with a tight weave since I don't have anything oval shaped that's close to the size. Everything is either too big or too small. Also, they were baked on a stone with no cover, and steam provided for 10 minutes by 8 or 10 ice cubs in a preheated CI frying pan.

To say I'm thrilled with the results would be the understatement of the year. Obviously my forming "touch" needs some work, but hey, it's only been ~ 5 weeks since I started my first starter "pet". I also think I need to have more patience with a longer proof, but in this case I wanted it out of the oven and cooled in time for supper.


You'll excuse the washed out colours of the crumb. For this hydration, I'm good with the result, both visually and texture.

What's with the cracks? Is this a bad thing? Is it related to underproofing or something?

Again, thank you to all who have provided comments, assistance when requested and criticisms where needed.


Eudoxus's picture

I think they look fantastic! Really nice oven spring.



Eudoxus's picture

It's a special moment when it all finally comes together. I reached a point where I was baking exclusively with starter several times a week, and nothing beats that first great success. I'm excited for you!

dabrownman's picture

was baked perfectly.  Boldly baked and bear perfectly round in section - that loaf wanted to pull itself off of that stone.  They don't get better than this and with a low hydration too.  I would think this was a pretty good example of SFSD in a batard!  Well done indeed

Happy with your baking you should be - as Yoda Says.

hreik's picture

I think you've conquered the steepest part of the learning curve.  Well done.

jimbtv's picture

I'd sure be happy with those loaves if I baked them!

Can you tell me the approximate weight of each batard before they went into the oven?

JamieOF's picture

....were just under 900 gms a piece. Total dough weight was 1755 gms.


leslieruf's picture

lovely looking crust and crumb.  there will be no stopping you now, the obsession is only just starting!  happy baking Jamie

Edit: did you hear it singing as it started to crack and cool down?  I just love it when it happens :)


alfanso's picture

Lovely loaves and great oven spring.  The bloom and ear on the left loaf is really great.  As far as crumb, nothing wrong here.  Big open crumb is fun, but in the scheme of things is overrated.

Congratulations, alan

Maverick's picture

Those look great.

drogon's picture

That's where the bread let it's song out ... Didn't you hear it singing a few moments after it came out the oven? ie. the cracking sounds... Basically the crust is shrinking a little as the moisture stops coming out of the middle of the loaf. It's generally a good thing!

Looks good - keep baking!


JamieOF's picture

Thank you folks for all the wonderful comments.

I have to say this dough was a pleasure to work with and I did see significant rise in bulk and proofing. I think I got the starter right at the height of it's activity.


breadboy025's picture

I myself have been using sourdough (home made starter) for a bit under 3.5 years and I struggle like crazy.  I go through periods of time trying to use it a lot and other times where starter sits in fridge unfed.  Right now is one of those periods where I am baking, and I am totally totally jealous of the way yours look!  Whatever you did worked and I hope it tastes as great as it photographed!!


Congrats on these results.  DId you put any other additives in dough other than flour, starter, salt, water?

JamieOF's picture

Did you put any other additives in dough other than flour, starter, salt, water?

No I didn't, just the basic 4 ingredients. I did use 33 gms of vital guten, but I consider that flour, maybe you or some don't.

And thank you for the compliment.




kendalm's picture

Great job inside and out. Batards are so fun especially since they love to burst open with so much confidence. All that interior volume just itching to explode open. Crumb looks fantastic !