The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


tfranko29's picture

starting a second Country Bread, but first a question

February 5, 2012 - 7:42am -- tfranko29

Hi Gang,

I recently made the Tartine Country Bread and it was very fun to make and eat.  I'd like to do it again, but I need a little help.  In step 4 of my recipe, Chad says, "Save your leftover leaven; it is now the beginning of a new starter.  To keep it alive to make future loaves, continue to feed it as described in step 2."  Can I feed it once then start another loaf tomorrow?  or does he want me to feed it until it predicably rises and falls, perhaps another 15 days?

tfranko29's picture

my first tartine french country loaf!! UNBELIEVABLE!! the ultimate B.L.T.'s and homemade potato chips...

January 28, 2012 - 4:17pm -- tfranko29

hi gang,

i'm so excited. my first french country loaf turned out fantastically! it was alot of work, but turned out to be a labor of absolute love! we made B.L.T.'s with tomatoes and lettuce from out florida winter garden. if you have time my wife has a blog with all the steps for making the bread and great pics of  THE ULTIMATE B.L.T.'s...


Onceuponamac's picture


I had an odd experience yesterday making the dough for Tartine Country Bread.. I normally us KA AP flour - because I think it yields a softer textured crumb - I had found that using KA bread flour was easier to work with - but once I got more comfortable with slap and fold, etc. - working with all purpose was fine.  I had some bread flour left over that I wanted to use - so I used it and 10% wheat flour with the standard recipe yesterday.  I do the initial mix in a spiral mixer.  What was odd, was that during the initial mix, the doug came together unusually quickly - in less than 3 minutes of mixing I had a very cohesive ball.  A let it autolyse for about 25 minutes and then added the salt (Black Diamond Kosher) and 50g more water to bring the dough to 75% hydration.. Usually when I add the water and the salt, the dough comes apart and then comes back together... this time - the dough stayed in a cohesive mass (one chunk broke off - but stayed as a separate piece (still using spiral mixer)).  I added 50 more grams of water (now 80% hydration) - but the dough didn't really come apart. To avoid over kneading, I turned off after 4 minutes and put it into a large plastic tub that I always use for the bulk ferment.  The dough already felt developed at this point in terms of elasticity - also strange.  I then ended up having to go to an unexpected appointment after the first turn (30 minutes into the bulk ferment).  Because I was going to be gone for several hours, I put the dough in the refrigerator to retard the bulk ferment.  I was gone for about 3.5 hours - when I returned, I completed the 2nd turn.  Again, the dough already seemed to have very high elasticity and the texture was like a fully proofed dough.  At any rate, i did two more turns and then did the initial shaping about 5 hours later.  During the initial shaping, the dough had high elasticity and essentially maintained it's shape as a ball (never had that happen before).  30 minutes later I did the final shape and again put the dough back in the refrigerator and then slashed and baked it about 7.5 hours later.  here is the result. It's been quite dry in Northern California where I bake - I'm not sure if that's why the flour absorbed so much flour so quickly - but the bread turned out surprisingly well given all the timing errors through the bulk ferment and the final proofing.  The crumb texture is also remarkably tender for using bread flour.. I'm a bit confused about why it had such significant oven spring.



suzyr's picture

Tartine Country Bread

Here is my bread that I have just finished. This was a small loaf but I am very happy with the crust and crumb. 

BurntMyFingers's picture

I've been cooking Chad Robertson's Basic Country Bread for awhile with great success. Last week I was in San Francisco and decided to get a loaf of the real thing for comparison. This is not an experience for the faint of heart: you have to order 72 hours in advance, and it is literally impossible to find parking in the neighborhood at 5 pm which is the appointed time to pick up your loaf.

But, I persisted. And was surprised to discover the loaf currently offered out of the bakery is quite different than the recipe in the book--with a darker and moister crumb, and distinctively more sour.

I brought the loaf back to New York with me and after a bit of fiddling think I'm pretty close--actually as close as I'm going to get considering the differences in flours between East and West Coast. (I used KAF)

Here are the two loaves with Chad's on the right (what remained of a huge miche):

And here's a close up of the crumb (again, mine is on the left, theirs on the right)

I like the variation better and will be making it from now on. Here are the differences:

800 grams bread flour and 200 grams whole wheat flour (vs 900/100 in the recipe)

80% hydration (vs 75% in the recipe)

retarded 14 hours in refrig at 39 degrees F to increase sourness (and match the sourness of the loaf I purchased at the bakery).

Frosty's picture

Tartine Rye Bake

November 20, 2011 - 5:26pm -- Frosty

Hello everyone,

I thought I would share my 2nd Tartine sourdough bake.  This time I used 10% dark rye flour.  If you are familiar with the technique, I followed the process using a cast iron combo cooker.

In my two bakes, I've been very impressed and happy with the steaming effect you get.  My crumb show it very blurry, so I'll have to take another tomorrow.

I appreciate any comments and thanks for looking.


PiPs's picture

How to cheer up sad, sick children?

Chocolate chips!

We have a case of glandular fever in our house at the moment making for a worrying week. Several trips to doctors, blood tests and we finally seem to have a boy with a smile and energy again.

This bake was in fact planned for a 40th birthday party in a park today, but the party was cancelled due to the increasing number of storms we have been having. We had another storm this morning, similar to last Saturday.

I had decided to play with the Tartine bread formula using my freshly milled rye starter and finishing a bag of bakers flour I had in the back of the cupboard. (Much to the delight of my partner) I mixed on a Friday night and baked Saturday morning….fresh bread to take to a party. Oh well…now we have fresh bread for lunch instead.

After the bread came out of the oven this morning and with the day free it seemed like the perfect opportunity to put through a batch of banana and choc chip wholemeal muffins. Perfect comfort food for a sick kid.

The muffins are loosely based on a Gordon Ramsay recipe for blueberry wholemeal muffins and while they are delicious with blueberries I used choc chips for kid appeal. I also substituted yoghurt and milk instead of buttermilk.

The muffins melt in your mouth when still warm from the oven leaving little smiling faces covered in chocolate. Not surprisingly it doesn’t look like they will last long.


Rye Starter Tartine loaf
Total dough weight: 2kgs
Hydration: 77%
Prefermented Flour: 10%
DDT: 26-27°C

Freshly milled rye starter @ 100% Hydration: 200g
Bakers Flour: 800g
Freshly milled wholewheat: 200g
Water: 750g
Salt: 23g

Dissolve starter in 700g of the water, then mix with flours. Autolyse for 30 mins.

Add salt and final 50g of water. Fold through the dough.

Bulk ferment three hours with four stretch and folds 30 mins apart in the first two hours.

The dough was racing, so after a 20 mins bench rest I shaped it and placed in the fridge for an overnight rise.

Final proof was roughly eight hours in the fridge.

 It was baked straight from the fridge with steam on stone for 10 mins at 250°C then a further 35 mins at 200°C.


After a few months of wholewheat , sifted wholewheat breads and last weeks grain bread these breads are such a treat, so soft they are hard to cut. The humid air has now softened the crust, but it was thin and brittle when freshly baked. What appeals to me most about this bread is the bran flecks contrasting with the translucent crumb. The flavour seemed a happy balance between tang and lightness … it dissolves in the mouth … but …

… it was too close to overproofing for my liking and the oven steaming is still not as consistent as a dutch oven.

Lunch ended up being a generous slice topped with avocado, lemon and cracked pepper…

… as another afternoon storm rolls in across Brisbane.


Kidder's picture

first attempt at Tartine

October 1, 2011 - 7:15am -- Kidder

Hello all, I've been a long time fan of this site and been baking bread off and on for the last few years. I finally got my hands on a reliable sourdough starter so I decided to try Chad Robertson's Tartine bread. Both loaves turned out really well and they taste amazing. Very nice crust and crumb. I used a standard Lodge pan combined with the base of a Lodge chicken fryer, since I already had both. I'd like to get the combo cooker eventually but I'm not complaining with the setup that I used.

ph_kosel's picture

On July 2, 2011, I drove from Sacramento down to the San Francisco Bay area and (among other things) visited two rather famous bakeries, Acme Bread Company and Tartine Bakery.

Acme's store in Berkeley was first stop.  It was a very small place and there was a line of customers out the door.  I snapped a couple photos of their sign and the profusion of breads visible through the window.  When I got inside I was a bit flummoxed and felt I had to decide what to buy quickly so as not to hold up the line.  I hastily chose loaves of whole wheat walnut sourdough, olive bread, and braided challah covered with sesame seeds.

^Acme's sign

^Acme's Window

^Loaves from Acme ( top to bottom: Olive, Challah, and Whole Wheat Walnut Sourdough)

^Acme Olive loaf crumb

^Acme Challah crumb

^Acme Whole Wheat Walnut Sourdough crumb


After leaving Berkeley my wife and I drove across  the Bay to Tartine Bakery in San Francisco.  Acme was busy, but Tartine was a total zoo, line out the door no place to park for blocks around, and us arriving too early to buy the bread that only goes on sale at 5PM.  We found a place a couple miles away where we could actually park and get some coffee and wait until Tartine was ready to sell bread, but it wasn't easy.  We went back to Tartine at the appointed hour and my wife circled the block while I braved the line and finally scored three loaves of their country bread and a cookbook.  By the time we left my wife was having panic-like shivering fits from the crowded city, narrow streets, and outrageous traffic.  Tartine was not a convenient place to shop and San Francisco is not a nice place to visit in a car, especially on a holiday weekend.  The bread from Tartine was nice but I never ever want to go there again - way too stressful for me!  Once I worked in San Francisco years ago, but these days I'm too old and gimpy to ride the bus and hike up and down hills in a town not designed for people in cars.

I was too dazed by the mob scene at Tartine to snap photos of the place.  The Tartine loaves I bought looked exactly like the photos on the website and the cover of  the "Tartine Bread" cookbook.

Here's a crumb shot:

^Tartine Crumb shot.

It was all great bread.  I gave some to friends and ate at least half a loaf of everything I bought over the next few days (my wife, being on a perpetual low-carb diet, was not competing with me).  The olive bread was great for snacking on while on the road.  The Challah was soft and nice.  The Tartine bread was great although I never want to face that mob scene again.  The Whole Wheat Walnut Sourdough from Acme was really great, so good I had a whack at trying to duplicate it, but that's a story for another day.




ronnie g's picture
ronnie g

My hubby can't get enough of these babies.  If I ask him 'What bread should I make?' his reply is ALWAYS 'Baguettes!'  I just use Chad Robertson's baguette recipe, but substitute 150g organic wholemeal stoneground flour for part of the all purpose flour in the final mix and add 65g extra water.


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