Another Tartine Country Loaf
I'm relatively new to bread baking, but not to cooking in general and have been baking bread for about 6 months. Until recently, I have used recipes at the KAF website (using commercial yeast) with great results. A few months ago, I read an article about the country loaf at Tartine. Seven dollars for a loaf of bread sounded really steep to me especially since I have had to buy bread since I started baking my own. But since their other desserts were excellent I decided to call in and reserve half of a loaf for $4 to see what the big deal was. Needless to say, this bread was in a league of its own. I did some searching on the internet and saw that a book was coming out later in September and proceeded to preorder it.
Two weeks ago, I followed the steps in the book to make my own starter and it seemed like it was ready so I attempted to make my country loaf.
As you can tell, I ended up with two bricks. A fellow TFL member diagnosed that my starter was not mature enough to provide the needed lift. I continued to feed my starter and realized that I was previously using too much water. Another mistake I made was that I did not stir the leavin to disperse it before adding the rest of the ingredients when making my dough.
This past week, my starter was rising more and seemed ready to be used. I made the leavin in the morning before work and made the dough that evening. I did the bulk fermentation overnight for about 10 hours at 64 degrees with a few S&F in the beginning. The next morning, I divided and shaped the dough and retarded the final rise in the refrigerator. I baked the bread in the evening and the result was much better!
I guess the main things I learned are to follow directions closely and do not give up!