Tartine Country Loaf
I live in San Francisco and have attempted to bake Tartine's infamous Country Bread at least ten times now with wonderful results in flavor. Though I have never tasted Tartine's bread, my brother, whom frequents Tartine very often says that the flavor is near identical to what can be bought from Tartine. However, I feel that there is still much to be desired in regards to oven spring and slashing. The first few times I've made this bread, I've followed Robertson's instructions to a T when bulk fermenting at 78-82 degrees for 3 hours with S&F every half hour for a total of 6 S&Fs. Then, I discovered on the forums that many people are reporting the bulk ferment times are much too generous and should be reduced to 2.5 hours max. With both methods, I complete my final rise overnight in the refrigerator and bake directly from fridge. Following the 3 hour method, I find that I get a little better oven spring but still not exactly what is desired. With 2.5, oven spring tends to be a little less. I doubt that retarding in the fridge overnight would cause it to overproof. Also, when slashing, I can never really get a real great grigne like the one that appears in the book. I've slashed almost parallel to the loaf and have tried neither too deep nor too shallow and always dip my blade into water to prevent drag. Are there any suggestions or comments to both? I've seen that many of you have had amazing results with this book.
Anyway, I don't have pictures of all my loaves but the one that I have access to at this moment <I'm at work ;)> is a picture of the one that turned out the best. I'll try to repost with one that resulted a little flatter.