Cranberry-Currant Batards and Walnut Batards Recipe


Bouchon Bakery (The Thomas Keller Library)Nuts and tart fruits are good in breads. Hazelnuts and currants is a common pairing in breakfast breads in southern France. Here the astringent cranberry and sweet currant pair nicely with the flavors of wheat and rye. Walnuts also complement rye well. They’re a great nut and they grow out here in Napa. When we add nuts to bread, we always add them raw, skin on—no blanching, no roasting—because we like the clean nut flavor to come through in the bread. Adding this kind of garnish is all about proportion, so pay attention to the amounts here, and feel free to improvise with other garnish in these proportions. It should be noted that this is the same campagne dough used for the boule.

  • Yield: 2 batards


Dough for Cranberry-Currant Batards
  • 2¾ cups + 1 tbsp (395 g) All-purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp + 2 tsp (27 g) Rye flour
  • 3 tbsp (22 g) Whole wheat flour
  • 0.12 tsp (0.4 g) Instant yeast
  • 5.1 ounces (146 g) Liquid Levain
  • 1 cup + 3 tbsp (277 g) Water, at 75°F/23.8°C
  • 2 tbsp (11 g) Fine sea salt
  • ½ cup + 1½ tbsp (70 g) Dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup + 3 tbsp (70 g) Dried currants
Dough for Walnut Batards
  • 2¾ cups + 2 tbsp (404 g) All-purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp + 2¼ (28 g) Rye flour
  • 3 tbsp (22 g) Whole wheat flour
  • 0.12 tsp (0.4 g) Instant yeast
  • 5.2 ounces (149 g) Liquid Levain
  • 1 cup + 3½ tbsp (284 g) Water, at 75°F/23.8°C
  • 2 tsp (11 g) Fine sea salt
  • 1 cup + 1 tbsp (120 g) Coarsely chopped walnuts
How to Make It
    To mix the Dough
  1. Spray a large bowl with nonstick spray. Place the flours and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook and give it a quick mix on the lowest setting to combine the flours and to distribute the yeast evenly. Make a well in the center, add the levain and water, and mix on low speed for 3 minutes. Sprinkle the salt over the top and mix on low speed for 1 minute to dissolve the salt. Continue to mix on low for 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, if making the walnut batards, toss the nuts in a fine- mesh strainer to remove any small particles and pieces.
  3. Add the cranberries and currants or walnuts to the dough and mix on low just to incorporate.
  4. Fermentation
  5. The dough is now in the 3-hour fermentation stage. Set a timer for 1 hour. Using a bowl scraper, release the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured board. Pat, stretch, and fold the dough and place it in the prepared bowl. Cover and set aside.
  6. Set the timer for 1 hour again. Repeat the pat, stretch, and fold, place the dough back in the bowl, cover, and set aside.
  7. Set the timer for 1 hour again. Repeat the pat, stretch, and fold, place the dough back in the bowl, cover, and set aside.
  8. Meanwhile, set up your baking stone and kit and preheat the oven to 460°F.
  9. To Divide, Preshape, and Shape the Dough
  10. Spread a linen cloth on a large cutting board or on the back of a sheet pan. Flour the linen.
  11. Use the bowl scraper to release the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured board. Gently pat the dough into a rectangular shape, removing any large bubbles and adding flour only as needed to keep the dough from sticking to the board. Divide the dough into two 500-gram/17.6-ounce portions.
  12. Preshape short. Let rest for 15 minutes.
  13. Shape for batards and lay the loaves on the linen. Fold or bunch the linen to create small walls on both sides of each loaf to help maintain the shape as the dough proofs.
  14. To Proof the Dough
  15. Cover with a plastic tub or a cardboard box and let proof for 2 hours, or until when the dough is delicately pressed with a finger, the impression remains.
  16. Using the linen, move the dough, one piece at a time, to the transfer peel, seam side up, and then to the oven peel, seam side down, spacing them evenly. Score the cranberiy-currant bread with the Vs of the chevron cut or the walnut bread with the 10 to 12 parallel cuts of the sausage cut.
  17. Transfer the bread to the baking stone. Immediately spray water onto the steam generator (rocks and chain). Quickly shut the oven door and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the bread feels lighter than you’d expect for its size and the internal temperature is 200° to 210°F/93.3° to 98.8°C.
  18. Let cool completely on a cooling rack.

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