The French batard is a larger loaf of bread. Much larger than a baguette. Many people think of the batard when they think of a traditional French bread. It should have a hollow sound after it’s baked and a brown and crispy crust. We we’re going to use the bread machine dough cycle to start this recipe and then top it with glazes and various other toppings like sesame seeds and poppy seeds. You can skip that step if you like, but the seeds make the loaf seem special.
Add ingredients to bread machine pan in order listed in recipe. Select dough cycle.
When cycle is complete, remove dough from machine to a lightly floured surface. Roll dough into a 15×10-inch rectangle.
Beginning at long end, roll up tightly as for jelly roll. Pinch seams and ends to seal. Taper ends by gently rolling back and forth. Place loaf, seam side down on a greased baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal. Lightly brush loaf with oil.
Cover with a towel or cloth and let rise until almost double in size, 20 to 25 minutes. With a sharp knife, make 3 or 4 diagonal cuts about 1/4-inch-deep across the top of loaf.
Lightly beat egg white and 1 tablespoon water and brush some of egg white mixture over top of loaf.
Bake at 375 F. (190 C), for 20 minutes.
If you like, brush again with remaining egg white mixture and sprinkle with sesame seeds and/or poppy seeds. Bake 5 to 10 minutes more or until browned. Bread should sound hollow when tapped.