The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

The Tartine Bread Book - a review

Sam Fromartz's picture
Sam Fromartz

The Tartine Bread Book - a review

I've posted a brief review of the Tartine Bread book here at I've really enjoyed baking with it, and wanted to show off my results of his whole wheat loaf, which is actually 70% whole wheat. Here's a picture. (I also didn't post the entire piece because I've had problems posting on the Fresh Loaf blog). 

Tartine whole wheat


Floydm's picture

Nice looking loaf.

LindyD's picture

Thanks, Sam. 

dmsnyder's picture


ehanner's picture

Great looking bread of course Sam.

I have had the book for a couple weeks and was intrigued by the management of the SD culture to produce a less that sour loaf. Having not had the pleasure of tasting an authentic Tartine loaf, I'll have to speculate that it is a sweet tasting WW mix. I guess I'll have to find the  time to try this process.


Sam Fromartz's picture
Sam Fromartz

I think the culture management was a product of the environment. IE, both Point Reyes and SF have relatively cool temperatures, so my guess is that he came up with this method to deal with that. I wonder if he began using whole wheat to activate his starter in a relatively cool climate. 

Of course, my climate in Washington DC is nothing like those regions, so it has been tough to manage these temperatures and I've only approximated them. I've come up with different starters for my region that work well, which leads to the point: all bread is local.

amazonium's picture

Having had less than stellar results with sourdoughs in the past I bought the book and decided to try his methods. I have my first batch of dough doing its bulk fermentation as I type this. My dough looks rather wetter than his in the pictures in the book but then I am using my starter that I have had going for a few months so my hydration level will be different. I wasn't willing to start a new batch of starter from scratch- I am just impatient that way! I like the idea that he uses the starter at the 'sweet mild' stage and the bread won't have that characteristic tang- I don't necessarily want the tang- I just love the texture and keeping qualities of sourdough bread. Also, baking in cast iron is nothing new to me but I think I will use my clay pot baker that I made myself since it can handle a heftier loaf. Having just read the opening chapters of the book I can't give a full review of his book but so far I would say that if I was a beginning baker I would be a little lost with his directions. I can fill in the blanks since I have a nodding acquaintance with yeast and flour- okay, make that an OBSESSION with yeast and flour! So, we shall see what the evening's loaves look like. More to come....