Hot Bread Kitchen's Rustic Batard is the base recipe for several other breads in the book so I thought it would be a good one to try. And, it was recommended for ribollita, a soup I was planning to make from A Girl and Her Greens for Cookbook Countdown.
This two day (or more) bread was pretty straightforward but did require lots of time for fermentation. It started with a preferment, pâte fermentée, a simple mixture of bread flour, yeast, water and salt. After an overnight rest, it was kneaded with extra bread flour, a small amount of whole wheat flour and more water, yeast and salt. I chose to bake the bread the same day but the process can be extended another day by refrigerating the dough before shaping.
With a crisp crust, chewy crumb, and good flavour, it was everything I expected from a country loaf. And, it was a great addition to April Bloomfield's Summery Ribollita. I'm looking forward to trying the variations of this recipe, especially the Cracked Pepper and Cheddar Batard...doesn't that sound good?
I'm linking this post to Cookbook Countdown hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily's Cooking (Makan2) Foray.