The Fresh Loaf

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My First Tartine Country Bread Attempt

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Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

My First Tartine Country Bread Attempt

 

This was my first attempt at the Tartine Country Loaf.  Saw this bread for the first time on TFL and YouTube about a month ago and have been itching ever since.  I have been to SF once before, but did not know about Tartine, nor was I the avid home bread baker that I've become since.

I was happy with all of the turn out, except for a couple iffy points.

1. When I turned the proofed dough onto the baking surface, it spread out ALOT. 

2. Due to the amount of spreading out, it had filled the edges of the pie sheet I use completely, resulting in a slightly mishaped loaf on the bottom inch high.  It took the shape of the pan.

3. I didn't get as much rise as I have seen some people get.

Here are some photos:

 

 

I am on way down to grocery store to slice.  I will update with the crumb.

John

 

isand66's picture
isand66

One reason why your loaf is not the shape you desire is the way you scored the dough.  By scoring horizontal like you did you forced the dough to spread out.  Overall your first attempt looks pretty good.  There are some good tutorials on this site about scoring bread which you may find helpful.

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Isand66 I agree with you partly.  As I placed the bread in the oven I looked at it and slapped my head.  I was planning to do the X shaped score in the middle, but completely forgot.

The dough spread out completely as soon as I upended it (carefully) into the pan.  Even before I scored it.

Any thoughts on why?  Over proofed perhaps? I did leave it at about 78 degrees for 4 and half hours.  Recipe calls for 3 - 4 hours.

 

isand66's picture
isand66

It could be either your hydration is a bit too high which creates more of a slack dough closer to a ciabatta or you may need to do some additional stretch and folds to build up the gluten development a bit more.

Franko's picture
Franko

Hi John,

That's a fine looking loaf for your first go at it, with a very appealing  crust colour. The volume, despite the spreading you mention is good as well. Baking the Tartine in a Dutch Oven helps a lot for both crust colour and oven spring and what Chad Robertson recommends using in his book "Tartine Bread", so if you have one that you can use for the next bake give it a try. The DO stores enough heat to approximate the same kind of baking characteristics of a professional deck oven, really helping this bread come to it's full potential. This is very good start and looking forward to seeing your next bake of this bread.

Best Wishes,

Franko   

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Thanks Frank!  I actually use an enclosed steaming method that replicates a dutch oven environment.  Here is a link to my previous forum topic, showing my system:  http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/30020/my-steaming-method

 

 

Franko's picture
Franko

Hi John,

The steam your system retains is important, but the heat that's stored by the thick steel of a Dutch Oven is just as, if not more important.  The lighter gauge steel of your present set up isn't likely to store heat as well, nor will it heat as evenly as that of a DO. Just something to consider trying at some point in the future.

All the best,

Franko 

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Ahh.  Thanks for that info Franko.  I always wondered how the retained heat of my set up compared to a DO.  I will have to pick up a few DO in different sizes soon.  Is X-mas coming soon dammit?

 

 

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Ok.  Crumb revealed and sandwiches eaten.  First off, I haven't had a sandwich THAT good in ages.  Oh My God.

Here are some photos and my conserns below:

End pieces had nice open crumbs.  Larger holes, as I expected from photos I have seen of this bread from others.

Middle pieces had denser crumb with less larger holes.  Is this a problem or incorrect? 

 

Overall, made a nice tasty loaf but the crumb I suspect could be a bit more consistent.  Any comments as to why this had happened?  As I mentioned before, when I had upended the proofed dough onto the baking pan surface, it had spread out and the top of the dough was horizontal flat and levelled.  Is this a sign of why the middle was less open holey?

John

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

pretty nice Tartine bread.  As you make it more often and figure it out you will get your open holes.  Have you watched Chad's video on his instructions on this bread ?  I think it is on YouTube.  Very interesting to see him work the dough to his satisfaction and his using a cold DO slashing it and then going into a hot oven.

Nice baking.

 

 

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Thanks a lot dabrownman!  This loaf made me quite nervous as I have never baked one with such procedures.  I saw a video on Youtube where he talks about home bakers trying the recipe (it had some shots of him and his business partner surfing).  Is thisthe one?  If not, I want to see it!  I don't recall him going into much detail about the process.

John

 

 

 

 

gmabaking's picture
gmabaking

The flattening out would seem to be the reason for the lack of big holes, or maybe better said what caused the flattening out is the reason. I tried the dutch oven method both cold and hot and was very impressed at the difference it made. I'm going to keep trying, I think this is one of those breads that are easy to learn but take forever to perfect. This morning's bread was toasted in a frying pan then topped with home grown tomatoes ripened on the vine....summer just doesn't get any better than that!

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Thanks for the feedback gmabaking.  Any thoughts as to why the flattening happened?  I seem to think it's because I proofed it too long at 4 1/2 hours.  Maybe also a bit too wet?  I wish I took a photo of the dough just before it went into the oven.  It was jiggly, and leveled out on top, flat.

gmabaking's picture
gmabaking

My kitchen is around 70 degrees so total time from mixing to baking is longer than 4 1/2 hours. After two hours of folding every 30 minutes, the dough finally starts to expand, then I more gently fold two or three more times as it slowly builds to the 30% - 50% rise, which is at least two hours. According to Robertson I think he said it can take 7 hours in a cool room. Once it gets going though it seems to be pretty fast. In the proofing baskets however it seems to soften more than other doughs. It probably stays there less than two hours.

The first time I made it I think I was folding much more than stretching. The dough was jiggly (just before it started collapsing as I put it into the hot Dutch Oven) The second time I stretched it more and it was not jiggly. It was also holding the shape of the ridges much earlier. I think the first time I was too cautious about using enough bench flour to shape the rounds. In between the two bakes, I found a combo cooker so maybe lowering the dough into a skillet was less of a shock than into the hot dutch oven. I baked one loaf in the cold dutch oven started in a cold oven. Couldn't see hardly any difference and it was certainly easier loading into the cold pan.

The taste is so great, I know I'll have lots of practice and it sounds like you will too. After seeing your beautiful Vermont Sourdough, I started searching for a tall roaster like yours. Hadn't found one before I bought the Tartine book so ended up buying the combo cooker from Amazon for around $30.

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

GMABAKING, wow thank you for the comment on my Vermont Sourdough.  I still can't believe that avid bakers here, as yourself, use such flattering words to describe my first ever attempt at a sourdough.  I really did expect more criticism than praises, thinking many things could have been improved.

I think your combo cooker will basically do the same thing my steaming system does.  Hope it works out for you.

Please do post some photos of your attempts at the Tartine loaf.  I need more inspiration to try it again.  To be honest with you, as much as I loved eating Tartine yesterday, I don't know if I will be too eager to make a re-attempt soon.  I saw an Oakland Sourdough post on here yesterday when I was looking up Tartine, and that recipe seems nice and easy, with a very nice looking sourdough loaf.  It doesn't do the overnight levain step, so maybe the flavour won't be quite the same.  I think I might have jumped into the Tartine a tad bit too soon.  I need to conquer some easier sourdoughs first.

John

gmabaking's picture
gmabaking

John, you will find so many different ways of making bread as well as different recipes from around the world on this site. When one catches your eye, that may be just the one to make that day/week.

Until a couple of years ago when I asked to be one of the test bakers for "Inside the Jewish Bakery" (ITJB), I read far more than I baked. I made Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, then Healthy Artisan etc. I had just started making (and loving)  Brother Juniper's Struan bread when the book testing began. So many recipes that I would never have thought to make but as it turned out, they came with long forgotten memories of childhood trips to Detroit Jewish Bakeries with my mother and grandmother.

Several months ago, there was a recommendation here on TFL that a new baker  find a recipe they like and then keep making it, getting to know how the dough feels and responds at each stage. One of the recommended breads was Nancy Silverton's Country White from her Breads from the La Brea Bakery. I had a library copy of the book on my coffee table. Had thumbed through, found a million pages of instruction, and said something worthy of my age and education like "ya right, I'm going to make that bread"-- To make a long story a little shorter, I revisited the book, found that the instruction was detailed only for that first recipe and served for the method for the rest of the book. I learned a lot following that loaf of bread week after week as it got better and better.

After seeing so many pictures of the Tartine bread I finally just had to give it a try. My second loaves are only about 4-5 inches tall in the very middle but I expect them to grow taller as I learn to watch the dough instead of the clock as admonished here. For now, there is the shaggy, holey texture and that great taste. I sent pictures to my sister and she posted them under "Barb's Bread". Diane is the only one of the three gma's that understands posting pictures plus she is the best writer so Helen and I defer to her and her many talents.

The next challenge for ITJB will soon be starting. I think you might like trying new and different recipes. If you don't have the book, I'd also encourage you to consider finding it.

Good luck with your search, looking forward to seeing pictures of those results. Happy Baking!

Barbra

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Barbra.  That is some great advice.  I am excited for the future, which I know will hold many new adventures with a variety of different breads.  I will add that book to my list for sure.  I have a good supply of cook books, but have yet to own one bread book.

I know exactly what you mean about watching the dough and less the time.  I suspect that will come more natural to me after more experience.

John

ejm's picture
ejm

Wow, it looks great! I'm curious though. Is it sour tasting?

-Elizabeth, in Toronto

(My attempts at wild yeast baking have failed miserably here in Toronto - no matter what I did with feeding schedules, the loaves were exceedingly sour. The only times that my wild yeast bread worked were when I brought my wild yeast with me on a holiday to the west coast.)

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Elizabeth.

Thanks!  Funny you ask about the sour tasting.  On the 1st and 2nd day, it had barely a detectable sourness.  On the 3rd day (today) I had it with my lunch and I could actually detect the sour more prominently.  Mind you, I only proofed the dough at room temp for just over 4 hours.  If it was retarded in the fridge over night, it would be much more sour.  From what I hear, the original Tartine Country Loaf is not supposed to be too sour at all, mostly sweet and slightly tangy.

Too bad to hear about your troubles with starter.  Perhaps it's due to the god awful humidity you guys get?

John

ejm's picture
ejm

The fact that the Tartine Country Loaf is not supposed to be sour at all is why I thought I'd try again with wild yeast. It was a disaster. I may have proofed the bread for too long but I was so disheartened (and flour is so expensive now) that the moment we tasted insanely sour bread yet again, I immediately murdered the starter.

I have no idea what causes the unbelievable sourness in our kitchen (whenever we make yoghurt using our own yoghurt as a starter, it's horribly sour as well) but it's interesting to hear that even your bread gains sourness over the days, John.

-Elizabeth

sordid details here: 1st Attempt at Tartine Bread: Looks good, doesn’t it? (http://etherwork.net/blog/?p=1520)

perrigaux's picture
perrigaux

Your experience was exactly the same as mine.....I have checked and re checked.....the hydration is 77.27 %. He has miscalculated.

too high. Pity as he spent 87 pages on one loaf !!! :))

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

I dont know if his recipe is incorrect, as others have posted successful attempts.  So unless they adjusted the hydration, I think I just did not develop enough structure in the folding.  I will however, be trying a BIT less hydration next time.

John

 

gmabaking's picture
gmabaking

I don't make any claim to knowing enough to give advice but I can speak to my experiences. Had one no oven spring event and four or five times where I've been very pleased with the results. Even the no oven spring time, the taste was so good we enjoyed it anyway.

I've tried a couple of different things with this great tasting bread. The first and second time, the dough seemed really wet, so on the second try, I didn't add the additional water with the salt. Other times it has worked fine using that additional water. I know King Arthur website cautions about needing more or less liquid according to the time of year but I don't know how to adjust for that ahead of time. The last few bakes I have paid more attention to the stretching part of the stretch and fold and it seems to have helped. Once I needed the extra time after the rest on the counter because it flattened out so much. Another stretch and fold and it perked right up though. Also have started tring to be more accurate with the water temperature itself.
I do think that I'm on the right track and will keep on trying- someday I might even have bread that looks as good as it tastes.