The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Questions regarding Tartine

lionofdharma's picture

Questions regarding Tartine

I have successfuly baked Tartine Bread 4 times (8 total loaves) and very much enjoy this bread.   But, my inquiring mind has questions on the specifics of the technique.  

1) I love that Chad Robertson only uses grams for the recipe, except for the starter in the levain.  How many grams are in a TB of the starter in the book?  It makes it hard to scale this recipe up without knowing how much starter to use.

2) How many turns does the dough require during the bulk fermentation?  I inturpret 4 turns, but I have seen on the this site some people giving the dough 6 turns.

3) Retardation - when is the proper time to put the shaped loaves in the refidgerator?  Is it directly after shaping (skipping the 2nd rise) or after the 3 hour 2nd rise?

4)  Oven Spring.  The first picture below is from a bake I did where the loaf seemed to explode.  I think I might have put too much tension on the loaf during shaping.  Is this plausible?5)


Thank you for all your advice.  This site is wonderful.






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yy's picture

In response to question 1, I don't think he specificies a specific hydration for his starter... he just says to stir it up into a thick paste, so the weight of a tablespoon would vary depending on the individual baker's interpretation of "thick paste." I would just scale up according to volume (16 tablespoons = 1 cup/ 8 tablespoons = 1/2 cup etc. . .). The recipe is pretty forgiving in my experience, so your bread probably won't suffer due to minor deviations.

dvuong's picture

Wow Lionofdhrama!  Those are some beautiful loaves!  I would not say your loaf exploaded at all. You just achieved wonderful oven spring!  I wish I could get my loaves to open up as much as yours.  How long are you allowing your loaves to final proof?

2) I interpreted as 6 folds... The first fold being at 30 minutes after it starts bulk fermentation, which I see as time = 0 minutes. 

3) I would retard in the fridge after shaping.  I think if you retarded after the three hours, your loaves would be overproofed when ready to bake.

longhorn's picture

Hi Todd! 

You are clearly making progress. The second batch looks near perfect. The first one appears to be pretty severely underproofed but... it is dramatic!

To some extent the answer to most of your questions are personal. There are so many variables that singular answers are tricky. I think you are really close with whatever you did the latter batch.

A tablespoon of starter will be very close to 14 grams, call it 15 for simplicity. I mix fairly aggressively before beginning the first (no salt) fermentation. I typically do four to six folds at first depending on the feel of the dough, and finish with four gentle folds at the end.

I don't retard but I would retard immediately after forming for I perceive a tendency to overproof. You don't seem to be as vulnerable to that as most.

The first loaf looks like underproofing not overtension which I don't believe can happen with this wet dough.

Good Luck!