The Fresh Loaf

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Tartine Country Loaf Crust Too Hard???

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eelisebakes's picture
eelisebakes

Tartine Country Loaf Crust Too Hard???

I've made the tartine country loaf twice. The flavor was great it was moist inside. The only problem the crust was not what I expected. It was not crisp but was tough and even hard to chew. I followed  the recipe exactly with the final rise of 8hrs. Please help thanks

wildman's picture
wildman

 

This is the way Chad's country bread and most of the Tartine Bread is supposed to come out. The Tartine Bread recipes are very much like the rustic style breads I found all over France outside of big cities. I get up to San Francisco regularly and Tartine has been selling the same style bread for several years now. This is exactly how the Chad's loaves come out here at my home too, dark and delicious. 

If you are baking your bread in an enamaled cast iron French oven per the book and don't like the charateristic crisp deeply carmelized crust don't take off the lid as soon. Just leave the lid on five to ten minutes longer and you will get a much less browned exterior loaf. You can also preheat the French oven per the book to 500F but as soon as you remove the French oven drop the oven to temperture dial to 425F. Load the French oven with your loaf, score or not then bake covered for the usual 20 minutes. After 25 minutes oven time remove the lid and finish baking out the loaf removing it promtly once the internal temp hits 205F. This will give you a fully baked loaf with a lighter finished crust. You really need to use a good oven thermometer and digital instant read for the internal temperature reading. 

Hope this helps!

 

 

eelisebakes's picture
eelisebakes

Thank you for your reply. I like the dark crust, but should it be hard to cut and hard to chew? Trying to fix that problem. Thanks

 

 

gmabaking's picture
gmabaking

chewy and hard to cut--then you find that inside,  the taste is so great that it is like finding a diamond in the rough (or tough, perhaps is the right word there) Since the crust is so thin, I find it much more chewy than tough though.

One of the Tartine videos shows Chad sitting on the step tearing a piece of bread and you can see the stretchiness of the crust. The hard to cut part I addressed by getting out the electric knife. Kind of distracts from the rustic theme but it slices through that thin (but chewy) crust without collapsing or tearing the insides. I cut the round boule in half and then put the cut side down and slice it.  You don't have the full width for sandwiches but sandwiches are usually cut in half when serving anyway. If you cut slices more uniform than I do, no one would ever notice the two halves are from four different parts of the bread. Mine, not so much. Haven't heard a single complaint however.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

what a great idea.

wildman's picture
wildman

 

Yes! This is the way these loaves are supposed to be! If you read my post and try it you will get a slightly less crispy hard crust but you will be missing a huge part of the pleasant flavor of this type of bread, the caramelized crust!  

HTH!

 

wildman's picture
wildman

 

Oh, I had another thought. You could try adding some diastatic malt powder to get more browning with less baking heat. I add it to increase the rise with high whole wheat breads and for 100% wildyeast leavin and as a by product of all that extra yeast activity it also makes a nice brown crust with less baking time. You might get some of the same thing by adding some sugar but I see no good reason to add sugar to this type of bread.

HTH!

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

take the lid off, I take the bread out of the DO too and finish baking on the stone.  I also turn the oven don to 425 F when the lid comes off.  For my oven I found that this gives me a slightly lighter crumb that is less thick with less chew. 

gmabaking's picture
gmabaking

Tried taking bread out of DO and finishing on the stone--great, with no "too dark" bottom crust. It was a very long process today. The leaven was cold this morning, after 6 hours, felt about the temperature of the outdoors ( 33 degrees). By the time sister's baking day biscuits were baked,  the kitchen was warmer and the leaven was nice and active. With the late start it was 10 AM before the beginning of the bulk fermentation. When an unexpected trip to town loomed, the dough went right along with me so I didn't have an hour between stretch and folds. While I waited in the car,  I could attend to the dough.

The cooler kitchen made it take a little over 6 hours to get to the 20-30 % rise. But there was a marked benefit in how well the dough stood up on the counter top for the resting before shaping. At a little less than two hours the final proof seemed just about right so I baked both loaves in DO's that didn't feel quite hot enough. They turned out quite nice. I'll send pictures to my sister so she can post. Need lots and lots of work on slashing and placing them so that I don't get them out of shape but am overall  pleased with the results. It is so great to be able to get answers to questions here and to try to follow other's efforts. Thank you all again.

Barbra 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

Very nice baking the Tatine way!