If you’re a fan of sourdough bread, you may have come across the term “batard” in recipes or at bakeries. But what exactly is a batard, and how does it differ from other sourdough bread shapes?

A batard is a type of sourdough bread that is similar in shape to a baguette, but slightly shorter and thicker. It typically has a rounded or slightly tapered shape, with a rustic, artisanal look. The term “batard” comes from the French word for bastard, which refers to the fact that this bread is not a traditional baguette, but rather a variation or adaptation.

To make a batard, sourdough dough is shaped into an oval or oblong shape, then allowed to proof (or rise) before baking. The resulting bread has a slightly denser crumb than a baguette, with a chewy texture and tangy flavor that is characteristic of sourdough.

One advantage of baking a batard over a baguette is that it is slightly easier to shape, since the dough doesn’t need to be stretched quite as thin. This can make it a good choice for novice bakers who are still working on their bread shaping skills.

Another advantage of batards is that they are versatile and can be used in a variety of ways. They are great for sandwiches, toasting, or simply enjoyed with butter and jam. And because they have a slightly shorter shape than baguettes, they can be a good option for smaller households or those who don’t want to commit to a full-sized loaf.

If you’re a fan of sourdough bread and want to try your hand at making a batard, there are plenty of recipes and tutorials available online. With a little practice, you’ll be shaping beautiful batards in no time, and enjoying the delicious flavor and texture of this classic sourdough bread shape.