Breads come in a variety of shapes; they may be round, rectangular, long, braided or even twisted.
Sometimes, breads are also classified based on how they are shaped.
Batard and boule are two commonly made breads with distinctive shapes.
Both breads are French breads that are often made from wheat, they could also be made from a variety of other grains.
Batard bread and boule are shaped using different shaping techniques and they are also scored differently.
A batard bread is an oblong bread that is very much like a baguette but shorter while a boule is a round shaped bread.
In this post, we discuss batard bread and boule as well as the differences between them.
What is a batard bread?
A batard is a French bread with an oblong shape; the ends of this bread are slightly tapered while the middle is wider.
It is also known as a torpedo loaf because of its shape.
A batard has a similar structure as a baguette; a slender and elongated bread that is the most popular French bread, but compared to a baguette, a batard bread is shorter with a length of about 12 inches, it is also a bit wider than a baguette.
Batard bread could be made from wheat as well as other types of grains. It is crusty on its surface, but are crumby in the interior.
This golden brown loaf of bread is used as a sandwich bread and in other recipes.
What is a boule?
Boule is a French word that means ball.
A boule is also term that is used to describe French breads with a round shape.
Before baguettes, boules were the most common breads in France.
Similarly shaped bread could be known as other names in other places.
Boule could be made from variety of grains. It is sometimes made from wheat flour but other types of flour could be used.
This bread could also be leavened with yeast or sourdough, and it could be made into different sizes.
The boule is also a rustic loaf of bread that has a crusty exterior and a soft interior.
How these breads are shaped
Before the bread dough is put in the oven, it is molded in a various shapes.
The baker uses several techniques to fold the bread dough into the desired shape, these techniques also ensure the bread retains its shape in the oven.
A batard bread has an oblong shape, it is shaped in such a way that it is more tapered at its ends but wider in the middle.
There are many techniques used to shape bread dough into a batard bread.
The dough could be pressed and stretched into a flat square shape, and then the corners of the dough is folded into the center,
This folding forms a seam which is closed tightly and turned to face the tray following which the bread dough is rolled properly into a batard bread.
The boule is a simple bread shape to make.
It is formed by bringing the edges of the bread dough toward the center until a rough spherical shape is formed
The seam formed from pushing the edges together is also closed tightly.
The bread is placed with seam facing directly on the tray, and by moving the hand in a circular motion around the dough, the bread dough is molded until it assumes its proper shape.
Scoring batard and boule
Scoring involves making small cuts on the surface of the bread dough before baking.
After the bread is shaped, it could be scored before it is put in an oven.
This process does not only serve an aesthetic purpose, it also permit bread expansion during oven spring.
Scoring bread also makes the bread to have a more crusty exterior
The scoring is also done differently for different breads; one of the things that is considered is the shape of the bread.
Batard breads are scored the same way as a baguette; they are often scored with a single vertical cut on the surface of the bread or a number of small cuts drawn diagonally on the bread.
Boule could be scored in many different ways with different patterns or intersecting lines which allow the bread to expand in the oven.
Shaping is not only done for aesthetic reasons, shaping helps gluten to develop in the bread, shaping also help bread to form a tight skin.
The proper shaping technique is also important, it is done in such a way that the bread maintains its form during baking.