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Garlic Batard Bread Recipe (Easy French Loaf)

Our Garlic Batard Bread recipe makes an artisanal bread that looks like it came from a bakery but is just as easy to make at home. This French-style loaf of bread has a crunchy crust and a tender center with a smooth garlic flavor.

Top down view of two loaves of bread shaped into Batards - Hostess At Heart

Our Easy French Batard Bread is a light crispy artisan bread that can take on the heartiest bowl or soup or elevate your charcuterie board. The mild garlic flavor makes it a delicious match for a plate of pasta. Let us show you how easy it is to create your own batard loaf.

Note: You need to start this bread the day before you want to eat it so it’s helpful to read through all of the instructions before you start.

What is Batard Bread?

Originally, French bakers shaped their bread into a baguette or boule (round) shape. In the 19th century, a baker came up with a loaf shape. It was referred to as a Bâtard, pronounced Ba taar and means “Bastard”.

Is a Batard a Baguette? 

While both are French Breads, A batard is like a baguette but has a rounder middle and tapered ends like a torpedo.

Front-view of a loaf of a Garlic Batard sitting on a wooding cutting board. A blue napkin sits in the background.

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Batard Bread Ingredients

Bread Flour. I used European-Style Artisan Bread Flour Bread flour has a higher protein content than all-purpose flour which creates an airy chewy texture to batard bread. You can substitute 1:1 with all-purpose flour. The texture may change but it will still be good.

Instant yeast. Check the expiration date and that the yeast is labeled as instant or rapid-rise yeast. Expired yeast may not rise properly and unlike active dry yeast, it doesn’t need to be activated in warm liquids. 

Water. Filtered water is what we recommend for areas that are highly treated or chlorinated. It’s been said that such treatment can have an effect on the yeast but I haven’t experienced this personally.

Garlic. One fresh bulb.

How to make Batard Bread

Step 1: Make a Poolish

The night before you bake the bread, you will make a poolish by combining flour, water, and a pinch of yeast. 

What is a Poolish? A poolish is a “preferment” somewhat like a sourdough starter except that it’s made with commercial yeast, not wild yeast. It’s often used in French bread to improve flavor and texture. Like sourdough, the poolish needs time to ferment at room temperature. We recommend 16 hours. As you can see, our poolish was very active before we proceeded.

Step 2: Roast the Garlic Bulb

Cut the top off of the garlic and set it in a piece of aluminum foil. Drizzle it with olive oil and wrap it completely in the foil. Set it on a pie plate or baking sheet and bake. Let it cool enough to handle it.

Step 3: Make the bread dough

This isn’t hard but it may look complicated because of the steps. Just take them on one at a time and your Garlic Batard Bread will be a success.

A mixing bowl filled with flour, water and minced garlic. Hostess At Heart

On the day of baking, add the water flour and chopped roasted garlic to the poolish and stir until combined. Rest for 20 minutes.

Salt and yeast added to a poolish mixture in a mixing bowl - Hostess At Heart

Add the salt and yeast. Knead the dough for 5 to 7 minutes or until smooth.

Kneaded bread dough in a large bowl - Hostess At Heart

Place the dough into a lightly oiled large bowl and cover it with plastic wrap or a tea towel.

A large bowl filled with proofed dough - Hostess At Heart

Place the dough in a warm place for 90 minutes. Every 30 minutes fold the four sides of the dough into the middle and turn the dough over each time. This will help strengthen the dough for shaping.

Two pieces of bread shaped into rustic ovals - Hostess At Heart

Remove the dough from the bowl and separate it into two roughly shaped oval pieces using a bench scraper or sharp knife. Cover the dough with a clean kitchen towel. Let the dough rest for 15 to 20 minutes.

Step 4: How do you Shape a Batard?

The final shape of the Batard looks somewhat like a baguette with tapered ends or like a torpedo. As you can see in our video, first we shape it in an oblong shape. 

  1. For the final shaping, we turned our dough out onto a lightly floured surface and shaped it into a rough rectangle. 
  2. Taking hold of the upper corners, bring them to the center leaving the top at a point (like you would when making a paper airplane).
  3. Fold the point to the center and then roll it into a log creating surface tension and tapering the ends to a point to imitate a torpedo loaf.

Place the shaped dough on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Cover the dough for the final proof, approximately 2 hours or not quite double. It’s important to note that the dough not be over-proofed because it will lose its oval shape.

Step 5: Prepare and Bake

Two loaves of Batard Bread that have been scored before baking
  • This bread must be baked in a hot oven so I suggest giving it plenty of time to preheat. We also baked our batard on a baking stone instead of the baking sheet and placed it in the oven while the oven was preheating. 
  • Score the top of the dough 2 to 4 times diagonally with a sharp knife or razor blade. 
  • We found it easier to just slide the batard loaves onto the hot baking stone using the parchment paper. Alternatively, you can bake the bread on a baking sheet.
  • Spritz the loaves of bread with a mist of warm water which will give you that crispy artisanal crust.

Step 6: Cool

Once your delicious bread is golden brown and reaches a temperature of 190F, turn the oven off, crack the oven door open (I use a wooden spoon), and let the bread cool. 

One thing that I’ve never quite gotten is bread with that crunchy crusty exterior. That is until this Garlic Batard. Misting the bread before it’s baked and cooling it the way we did in step 6 gave us exactly the crust we desired.

Top-down view of a loaf of a Garlic Batard sitting on a wooding cutting board next to cut slices slathered with butter. A blue napkin sits to the side and a basket of bread sits in the background.

What is the best way to eat batard bread?

Any way that you eat a traditional baguette is perfect for bread batard. A slather of butter or cream cheese with your favorite bowl of soup or plate of pasta would be our choice. The French generally eat this delicious bread unadorned.

French Batard Bread F.A.Qs

What is the best way to store Garlic Batard Bread?

This bread is best eaten the day you make it. However, Leftovers can be stored at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Can you freeze this homemade bread?

Yes, you can freeze Batard French Bread. This Batard Bread Recipe makes two small loaves. We eat the first one the day we make it and freeze the second loaf. Wrap it in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil for up to 3 months.

How do you reheat homemade Batard bread?

Batard bread can be reheated for 5 to 10 minutes in a preheated 350° F oven.

Two slices of Garlic Batard bread sitting in front of the loaf over a wooden cutting board.

Hostess Tips

  • Roast the garlic and mince it before adding it. That way the flavor is consistent throughout the loaf.
  • Bake by temperature. We use an instant-read thermometer and bake our bread to an internal temperature of 190 to 195. Tapping the bread or gauging its doneness by color isn’t consistent.
  • We all start somewhere, right? The first time I made French Batard Bread loaves I didn’t create enough surface tension when I shaped the batard dough so my ends lost their points, and I slashed my bread incorrectly, but it’s always easier to get right the second time around right? Regardless, it tastes delicious! So, don’t be afraid to try.
A baguette of bread sitting on a wooden cutting board. A knife and blue napkin sit next to the board.

I hope you enjoyed this delicious recipe as much as we do. Drop me a comment below, and don’t forget to give it a star rating. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. Your comments and ratings help others decide if this recipe is for them too.

Two loaves of Garlic Batard Bread sitting on a wooden backdrop. One of the loaves is sliced. Hostess At Heart

Garlic Batard Bread Recipe

Author: Hostess At Heart
Garlic Batard Bread recipe makes an artisanal bread that looks like it came from a bakery but is just as easy to make at home. This French-style loaf of bread has a crunchy crust and a tender center with a smooth garlic flavor.
5 from 15 votes
Prep Time 4 hours 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Make Poolish the night before 1 day
Total Time 1 day 4 hours 45 minutes
Course Bread
Cuisine Bread
Keyword: Artisan Bread, Batard, Garlic Batard, Homemade bread
Servings: 16


Poolish – Make the night before.




  • In a medium-sized bowl, combine the poolish ingredients. Mix until combined. Cover and let sit at room temperature for 12 to 16 hours or until large bubbles and holes emerge.

Roasted Garlic

  • Slice the top 1/4 off the bulb of garlic and drizzle with olive oil. Wrap completely in aluminum foil. Put into a 425 °F oven for 35 minutes. Allow the garlic to cool to touch. Squeeze from the bottom to remove garlic into a dish. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks or 3 months in the freezer.


  • Add the water to the poolish and mix to combine. Add the flour and garlic. Mix to combine. The dough will feel tough and look craggy. Cover and let rest for 20 minutes. This allows the gluten to start developing and will make kneading easier. Add yeast and salt. Knead the dough until it’s fairly smooth, 5 to 7 minutes. It still will not feel elastic but will be smooth.
  • Place the dough into a lightly greased bowl, flipping once to oil both sides. Cover and allow it to rise at room temperature, 1 1/2 hours. To allow the gluten to develop and distribute the yeast’s food, turn the dough every 30 minutes during rising time; gently fold all four sides into the middle and turn the dough over each time.
  • On a lightly greased work surface, divide the dough in half. Shape each half into a rough log, cover and let them rest for 15 to 20 minutes. This allows the gluten to relax. Shape the logs into 12-inch batards.
  • Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover with lightly greased plastic wrap and allow to rise at room temperature about 2 hours. They should rise about three-quarters of the way to doubled. Don't over-rise or they will lose their shape.
  • Set oven rack to middle position. The oven should be preheated to 425 °F, making sure you give it plenty of time to preheat. This bread needs to go into a hot oven. I also preheated a baking stone instead of baking my bread on the baking sheet and slid it onto the stone using the parchment paper.
  • Hold a sharp knife or razor at a 10 to 20-degree angle and make 3 to 4 slashes vertically down the length of the bread, each running about 1/3 the length of the bread. Spray the loaves with warm water.
  • Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until the bread registers 190 °F. Turn the oven off and crack the door open about 4 to 6 inches, and allow the bread to cool in the oven. This will help the crunchy crust to develop.
  • Bread should be eaten the same day it is baked. These loaves will go stale. Day old bread can be reheated for 5 to 10 minutes in a preheated 350 °F oven.


The poolish is made the day before and adds to the development of flavor. The garlic can be baked in advance as well. Recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour European-Style Hearth Bread.


Serving: 2gCalories: 85kcalCarbohydrates: 17gProtein: 3gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 183mgPotassium: 26mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gCalcium: 3mgIron: 1mg

Nutritional Disclaimer

This recipe was calculated using the exact brands and measurements I used to make this recipe. If you are following a strict diet please note changing anything will cause the nutritional info to change. My calculations are intended as a guide only.

Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was!

This garlic batard recipe was previously shared on 4/12/16. We’ve updated it with process shots to help our readers but no changes were made to the recipe.

We participated in a bread-baking challenge group. The theme was “garlic” and hosted by Karen with Karen’s Kitchen Stories. I’d seen the European-Style Hearth Bread recipe on the King Arthur website and knew I could adapt it by infusing it with roasted garlic and shaping it into a batard would be amazing. I wasn’t wrong and hope you’ll give it a try.

Did you enjoy this recipe? Don’t forget to pin it for later and follow me on Pinterest for more delicious recipes like this one!

Top down view of two loaves of French Bread. One has two slices cut into it.

Take a look at these Bread Baker recipes!

#BreadBakers is a group of bread-loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.

If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to [email protected].

You know how much I love baking bread right? I loved making this one and here are a couple of other recipes I really enjoyed making with the Bread Bakers group.

Previous Bread Challenge Recipes

5 from 15 votes
Recipe Rating


Monday 22nd of April 2024

Wow, what an uplifting and inspiring website! The positivity radiates from every page, filling me with hope and motivation. Thank you for creating such a wonderful space to brighten people's days and remind us all to focus on the good. Keep up the fantastic work.

Julie Menghini

Monday 22nd of April 2024

Sapna, you're definitely a breath of positivity to me too! Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving such a loving comment.

Velveeta Chili Mac and Cheese - Bowl Me Over

Wednesday 13th of October 2021

[…] hands (and you will because this meal is so quick and easy to make!) Make a loaf of this wonderful garlic bread recipe. Oooh the aroma coming from the oven while it's […]

Caprese Empanadas - Cheesy Mozzarella and Tomato Hand Pies

Friday 19th of July 2019

[…] can knead dough better than any one I know! Check out her Almost No-Knead Bread, Garlic Batard, Cuban Medianoche, and this Caramelized Onion Gouda […]


Wednesday 16th of January 2019

I have been working on making sourdough bread with my own starter for the last few months. I am loving the ease of this recipe. and the crumb on this loaf looks incredible!!

Julie Menghini

Saturday 19th of January 2019

It really is easy Angela! I loved seeing your recent bread. It was just gorgeous!


Wednesday 9th of January 2019

Hey friend I wanted to swing back by and say I made this yesterday and it's DELICIOUS! The whole house smelled amazing - FIVE STARS!!!

Julie Menghini

Thursday 10th of January 2019

Thank you, Deb! I'm sure they try and bottle that smell! I'd buy it.

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