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The Russian baton “Nareznoy” is incredibly fluffy, aromatic and so delicious. Whether for breakfast with a hearty spread, for dessert on its own or with jam, for lunch with soup or as a sandwich for in between – you can enjoy the oval white bread very versatile. In addition, it is vegan and easy to make with just a few ingredients. You can find a detailed baton recipe with exact quantities and step-by-step instructions here at the very bottom.
What is baton?
Baton is a Russian white bread that was most common in the Soviet Union and is still very popular in Russia. It has an elongated oval shape and several incisions on the surface. The bread has a fluffy, fine-pored crumb on the inside and a very thin crispy crust on the outside. The Baton dough is made with pre-dough and consists of flour, yeast, water or milk, sugar, salt and necessarily margarine or alternatively butter. The amount of yeast is small, which means that the pre-dough and also the dough need a longer time to rise.
Different varieties of baton
There are many different varieties of baton. The classic variety is probably the baton “Nareznoy”, which translated from Russian means something like “cut”. You can also find the recipe for this white bread here below. Other varieties include baton “Lyubitelskiy” and baton “Molotschnyy”. The baton “Lyubitelskiy” contains more sugar than the baton “Nareznoy” and is therefore more suitable for dessert, as an alternative to a sweet roll. The baton “Molochnyy”, as its name, which translates as “milk baton”, suggests, is made with milk.
Dough with little yeast and long resting time
The yeast dough for Russian baton contains little yeast and therefore needs a longer time to rise in a warm place. It is made with pre-dough, which must rest for about 2.5 hours. Then the dough itself needs about 1.5 hours and then the bread about 1 hour to rise. But the long wait is definitely worth it. Because you will be rewarded at the end with a heavenly fluffy and aromatic white bread. It is precisely these long resting times that give baton its typical taste and aroma.
Russian oval white bread vegan
According to the classic recipe, the dough for the baton “Nareznoy” is made with margarine. It is best to use vegan organic margarine, to make your baton vegan. Alternatively, you can of course replace margarine with butter if you don’t necessarily want to make a vegan white bread.
Difference from baguette
While Russian baton and French baguette look somewhat similar, they have their differences at the same time in terms of taste, texture, appearance, and preparation method. Baton dough, unlike baguette dough, is made with butter or margarine. Also, the dough for the Russian white bread must contain sugar and rise in a warm place. While the yeast dough for baton must be kneaded properly, the baguette dough must be folded only gently. In terms of consistency, Russian baton is fine-pored, while French baguette is coarse-pored. Both breads have a crispy top layer, although the crust of the baguette is slightly thicker and crispier. On the other hand, the baton’s crust is thinner and more tender.
How to serve and store baton “Nareznoy”?
Russian baton “Nareznoy” can be served very versatile. It tastes both sweet and savory delicious. For example, you can serve the white bread for breakfast with spicy or sweet spreads, including butter, hummus, homemade nutella. Sandwiches made from it taste delicious and are perfect to take away. You can also serve the white bread with soups. It goes perfectly with Russian borscht in particular. But it is also ideal for dessert, for example with jam and a cup of tea. It even tastes delicious on its own with coffee or tea. By the way, Soviet children loved the white bread with jam and a glass of milk. Instead of cow’s milk, you can try it just as well with plant milk, for example, homemade almond milk, coconut milk or soy milk.
Store the baton in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It stays fresh for quite a long time and tastes just as delicious in the next few days as it does after baking. You can enjoy it for about 5 days.
This baton is
- very fluffy,
- with thin crispy crust,
- not sweet unlike some other baton varieties,
- perfect with sweet and savory spreads, with soups, for sandwiches.
The Russian white bread
- is made of yeast dough with pre-dough and little yeast, which needs enough time to rise,
- is easy to make from a few common ingredients,
- stays fresh for a long time,
- can be served in many ways.
Recipe for baton “Nareznoy”
The exact quantities and step-by-step instructions, according to which you can make the Russian baton “Nareznoy” yourself, you can find here below in the box recipe.
For the recipe you need only flour, fresh yeast, lukewarm water, vegan margarine, sugar and salt.
How to make baton “Nareznoy”: this is how it works
- For the pre-dough, dissolve fresh yeast in lukewarm water, add some flour and knead into a mushy and very sticky dough. Let the pre-dough rise in a warm place for 2.5 hours.
- For the dough, dissolve sugar and salt in lukewarm water and add to the pre-dough. Add the remaining flour and knead into a firm dough. Knead margarine into the dough and knead the dough for about 10 minutes. Then let the dough rise for 1 hour, knead briefly and let rise for another 30 minutes.
- Form two batons from the dough and let rise for 1 hour. Then brush with lukewarm water, make several diagonal cuts and bake at 190 °C for about 25 minutes, placing a hint-proof container with a small amount of water on the bottom of the oven. Done!
How to make Russian baton: with these tips and tricks you will succeed
- Water for both the pre-dough and the dough must be lukewarm. It must not be cold or hot.
- Margarine for the dough must be at room temperature. Therefore, take it out of the refrigerator beforehand and leave it at room temperature for a while.
- The pre-dough must be very sticky and mushy. The amount of water specified in the recipe may vary. If your pre-dough is too firm or dry, add some more lukewarm water. If it is too liquid, add some more flour.
- The dough without margarine must be firm, but not dry and not mushy. Again, the amount of water given in the recipe may vary. If your dough is too firm or dry, add some more lukewarm water. If it is too mushy, add some more flour. After kneading the margarine into the dough, it will soften.
- It is important to knead the yeast dough thoroughly, about 10 minutes.
- Be sure to leave enough time for both the pre-dough and the dough to rise so that the bread ends up fluffy and flavorful.
- Brush the white bread with lukewarm, not cold, water before baking to prevent it from collapsing.
- The Russian white bread only needs to be baked with steam for the first few minutes and then in a dry oven. Therefore, do not put too much water in the heat-resistant container on the bottom of the oven. A small cup is enough for this. The water must be hot.
Did you make the baton “Nareznoy” yourself according to this recipe? I’m looking forward to your result, your star rating and your comment on the recipe below, how you succeeded and tasted the Russian oval white bread.
Fancy more delicious vegan bread and roll recipes? Also try:
- How to make kebab bread – vegan recipe for Turkish pita bread
- How to make hamburger buns: vegan burger buns recipe
for the pre-dough
- approx. 150 ml water (lukewarm)
- 230 g flour
- 5 g fresh yeast
for the dough
- approx. 100 ml water (lukewarm)
- 270 g flour
- 18 g vegan margarine (room warm)
- 20 g sugar
- 8 g salt
- water for coating (lukewarm)
Preparation of the pre-dough
- Put lukewarm water in a large mixing bowl and dissolve fresh yeast in it.
- Add flour and knead into a very sticky, mushy dough. (If your pre-dough is too firm, add some more lukewarm water. Follow my tips and tricks for this here at the top of the post). Cover the pre-dough with a towel and let it rise in a warm place for 2.5 hours.
Preparation of the dough
- Dissolve sugar and salt in lukewarm water, add it to the pre-dough and mix until homogeneous.
- Add flour and knead it into a firm dough. (If your dough is too dry, add a small amount of lukewarm water. Again, note my tips and tricks at the top of the post).
- Knead softened margarine into the dough. Then knead the dough for about 10 minutes, cover it with a towel and let it rise in a warm place for 1 hour. Then knead it briefly and let it rise for another 30 minutes.
- Divide the dough into two equal pieces, shape each piece into a ball, and let the two dough balls rest on the work surface for 15 minutes.
- First roll out one ball of dough into a long, oval patty and roll the patty up from the short side into a short roll. Tightly close the "seam" at the roll, shape the two ends slightly pointed and place the baton on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper with the "seam" facing down. Shape the second ball of dough into a baton in the same way and place it on the baking sheet next to the first baton, leaving enough space between them. Cover the batons with baking paper and then with towel and let them rise in a warm place for 1 hour.
- Brush the two batons with lukewarm water and cut them diagonally about five times each (each cut about 1 cm deep).
- Place a heat-resistant container on the bottom of the oven and preheat the oven to 190 °C top and bottom heat. Put the baking tray with the batons in the oven, pour a small cup of hot water into the container on the bottom of the oven and immediately close the oven door. Bake the batons for about 25 minutes.
- Cover the hot batons on the baking tray with a dry towel immediately after taking them out of the oven and let them cool down a bit.
- Water for both the pre-dough and the dough must be lukewarm (not cold and not hot).
- The margarine for the dough must be room warm.
- The pre-dough must be very sticky and mushy. The amount of water specified may vary. If the pre-dough is too firm or dry, add some more lukewarm water. If it is too liquid, add some more flour.
- The dough without margarine must be firm, but not dry and not mushy. Again, the amount of water indicated may vary. If the dough is too firm or dry, add a little more lukewarm water. If it is too mushy, add some more flour. After kneading the margarine into the dough, it will become softer.
- The Russian white bread must be baked with steam only in the first minutes and then in a dry oven. Therefore, do not put too much water in the heat-resistant container on the bottom of the oven. A small cup is enough for this. The water must be hot.
- Note the detailed tips and tricks for making the baton "Nareznoy" above in the article.