The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Aug 11: 55% WG Durum "Bats"

IceDemeter's picture

Aug 11: 55% WG Durum "Bats"

While I was putting together our "treats" (rolls for the man and rye for me), I still wanted to bake some day-to-day sandwich bread that we both would enjoy.  I hadn't done any high-percentage whole durum for a while, so I put together a dough with 55% durum on the Thursday, and it ended up in the fridge to ferment overnight.

Well, of course I got on here that evening, and had yet another stunning example from Kendalm of wonderful and tempting and oh-so-intimidating baguettes.  I know my (lack of) skill level well enough to realize that I am nowhere near capable of shaping a proper baguette, but started thinking that the dough in the fridge might be a good one to try shaping in a shorter, fatter version.  The hydration level was pretty low, and the dough wasn't sticky and was quite extensible thanks to the durum, so I decided to give it a go...














Fresh Milled Durum


















Wheat Germ






Oat Bran












Fresh Milled Durum






Diastatic Rye Malt












All Purpose Flour


















Total Dough Weight












Total Flour






Total Water (Hydration)






 Levain: Build up 80% hydration levain ending up with 288g total (160g durum and 128g water). Allow to peak, then refrigerate until ready to use. Used up the left-overs from two or three weeks ago, so pulled from the fridge to come up to room temp when mixed the autolyse.

Toasties: Toast 13g each of raw wheat germ and raw oat bran in open pan until darkened and aromatic. Allow to cool to room temp or refrigerate until ready to use. Used up left-overs from a couple of weeks ago, so pulled from the fridge to come up to room temp just before mixing the autolyse.

Autolyse: Mix together 300g of AP, 180g of durum, 26g of toasties, and 5g of diastatic white rye malt with 319g of water in to a shaggy mass. Cover and let rest for up to 2 hours. Mixed at 11:20 a.m.

Dough Mix: Add the salt and levain to the autolyse, and mix in completely using pinch and fold method. Cover and let rest for 20 minutes. Levain in at 1:00 p.m.

First Knead: Knead dough until it feels smooth and cohesive (pausing if gluten starts pulling), then cover and let rest for 20-30 minutes. Did 200 turns from 1:20-1:30 p.m. Dough felt really good, so transferred to bulk ferment container.

Stretch and fold: Do in bowl every 30 minutes for first two hours of bulk ferment, then refrigerate for balance of fermentation. SF done at 2:00, 2:30, 3:00, and 3:30 and the dough went in to the fridge.

Pre-shape, shape, and bake: Pull dough out of fridge and make sure fully fermented. If not, then allow to come to room temp in the container and finish fermenting. If ready, then remove dough from container, divide, and pre-shape in to rough logs. Cover with damp cloth and allow to rest for 60 minutes. Dough had more than doubled when pulled out at 9:00 a.m., so divided in to 2 x 563g and put one back in fridge and pre-shaped and covered the other. Changed mind 10 minutes later, so pulled out other piece and pre-shaped and covered it as well. Allowed to rest until 10:00 a.m., then used very lightly floured board and hands to shape both pieces in to long baguette-like shapes. Placed on parchment lined sheet pan and covered with damp cloth to proof.

Pre-heat oven with baking stone or steel or large sheet pan and large roaster cover to 475 deg F (250 deg C), and prep for steam.  Pre-steam with 1/2 cup boiling water before loading loaves.

Cover oven window with towel, remove roaster cover from sheet pan, transfer loaves on parchment paper to heated sheet, cover with roaster, add 1 cup of boiling water to steam pan, and bake for 18 minutes.  Remove steam pan and roaster cover, rotate loaves, drop temp to 450 deg F (230 deg C) and bake for another 12-15 minutes to an internal temp of 200 deg F (93.3 deg C).

Turn oven off, open door, and let loaves rest inside for another 5 to 10 minutes.  Cool completely on rack before slicing.

These seemed fully proofed by about 11:15, so were scored and in to the oven by 11:20.  Internal temp after 18 + 15 minutes was 202 deg F (94.4 deg C)

The final loaves are quite heavy (not surprisingly, with lots of whole wheat and low hydration) and are approximately 14-1/2” long x 2-1/2” high x 3-1/2” across (37 cm x 6 cm x 9 cm). 

This was my first try at this type of shape, and I was a bit nervous about whether I had gotten enough tautness for a solid shape and score, but it turned out okay:

I was still shooting for more of a tight crumb suitable for some teeny-tiny sandwiches, and was really happy with how it came out:

They basically make half-sized sandwiches (which is great, since I usually cut sandwiches in half anyways), and both the husband and I loved the flavour of this.  We usually wait 24 hours before slicing in to a sourdough, but this one was sliced and we were half-way through one of the bats (what else would you call them?  They're not a baguette, they're not a batard --- but they DO look like a potential weapon!) within a few hours of them coming out of the oven.

All in all, another fun and happy bake.

Hope you all keep baking happy, too!



kendalm's picture

This type of home milling and use of different flours like Duram kind of intimidates me - we really intimidates me. I'm very one dimensional and rely on my specific flour just for the predictability and of course I like the flavor of French grown and milled but of course the back of your head is always wondering things like what if I got a home mil and tried some other flours - at that point I'm sure I would be coming back to awesome posts like this. Thanks for the details and great tempting photos !!!

IceDemeter's picture

It is funny how we all have our own comfort zones and preferences, and yet still end up being tempted by the enthusiasm of others posting on here!

I doubt that any major alterations to your favourite baguettes or caneles would seem like an improvement, but I bet you (and your kids) would have some fun in trying some of the more rustic and hearty style of bakes, too.  There is a lot to be said for the freedom of randomly mixing flours and add-ins, then adding water until it feels "right", and then choosing a leaven or mix of leavens (fresh or dry yeast, biga / poolish, yeast water, sourdough) to suit your schedule and the flavour you are hankering for...  The end result may not look as polished and artistic as your usual gorgeous creations, but they will taste incredible since they were created to suit your own personal wants and mood.

I'm looking forward to seeing some fun and funky bakes out of your kitchen in the near future!