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?

eula's picture

Help, I added too much leaven. How do I fix?

January 31, 2012 - 8:59am -- eula

Hello! This is my first time making sourdough and I'm making Tartine's country loaf. I received a lively starter just a few days ago and I made the leaven last night. This morning, it was doubled in size and passed the float test. In my just gotten out of bed state, I forgot the step where I'm supposed to measure out 200g of leaven and used the entire thing! The leaven was made with 1 Tbsp starter, 200g water, and 200g 50/50 white and whole wheat flour mix. The dough is now almost done autolysing.

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. 

christoph's picture

Tartine Bread: gluten development

December 24, 2011 - 11:17am -- christoph

Good day, all. 

Like many others before me, I am making my first attempts at Tartine's country loaf. My current hurdle: proper gluten development and out of it building adequate surface tension.  I feel that I am following the directions correctly, but when the time comes for the initial shaping before the bench rest, the dough is very sticky (not tacky) and glossy with hydration. My sense is that the gluten has not developed properly. 

As things stand, I have a healthy and predictible starter that's over 30 days old. Here are the other particulars of my process: 

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).


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