Week 36: Rustic Bâtard

FRANCE: The bastard son of a baguette, named so because it’s shape was not round like a boule. “Rustic” because it’s got some whole wheat mixed in.

  • 1/2 cup water (100°F)
  • 1/2 tsp instant yeast
  • 150 g bread flour
  • 30 g whole wheat flour

STEP 1: Make poolish*

  1. Measure yeast and flours in a large mixing bowl
  2. Add water and wisk to combine
  3. Scrape sides with a rubber spatula so bowl is relatively clean
  4. Cover and let rest for 2~3 hours. (You can do this the night before, and let it ferment in the fridge. Bring to room temperature before starting Step 2.)

STEP 2: Make dough

  • 1/2 cup warm water at 110°F
  • 1/2 tsp yeast
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 150 g bread flour
  • 50 g whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  1. Mix the yeast, sugar, flour and salt in a separate mixing bowl.
  2. Add mixed dry ingredients to the poolish and stir with the handle of a wooden spoon, or a rubber spatula to combine, scraping the sides to fully incorporate all of the flour into the dough.
  3. “Knead” the dough in the bowl, using a dough scraper, for 10 minutes. (See image below)

STEP 3: Proof dough

  1. Cover and let rise in a warm space (preheat the microwave EMPTY for 30 seconds) for 60 minutes
  2. Keeping dough in the bowl, knead with the “stretch and fold” method: With wet fingertips, grab the top side of dough, lift high to stretch, then fold over to the other side. Turn bowl a quarter and repeat 3 more times. Do this set of 4 stretches, 4 times (16 stretches in all).
  3. Cover and let rise 90 minutes

STEP 4: Shape loaves

  1. Gently turn dough out onto a very lightly dusted countertop
  2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees
  3. Create a tight surface on the bottom by folding the sides over, so that it rises up and not out. Follow the method in the ” How to Stop Your Dough From Spreading Out ” video here.
  4. Turn over, shape into a football, tucking in the sides along the way.
  5. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, create a steamy oven by putting 1 cup hot water in an oven proof container on the bottom rack. You only want one cup, because you don’t want to steam for the entire length of baking time.

STEP 5: Bake!

  1. Lightly dust the top of the loaf with flour
  2. Score, then quickly place in the oven. Be careful because when you open the door, you might get a rush of steam!
  3. Turn oven down to 425 and bake for 25 ~ 30 minutes.

*Poolish: a French pre-ferment that has a high ratio of water to flour. The advantage of adding a poolish to the dough is that it greatly improves the flavor and texture of the dough.


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