Would like to share my newbie sourdough (Tartine) success...
I posted this in another thread but I thought I'd share my success here since there seems to be a lot of questions about getting a new starter going. I'm new to sourdough as well but I've had great success so far with my starter. I followed Chad Robertson's starter recipe, which is shared here in Martha Stewart Living. I didn't see many bubbles or doubling after three to four days, so, being an instant gratification type, I augmented CR's approach by adding six crushed grapes and about half a teaspoon of white vinegar (per the advice of someone here). I also changed over to spring water instead of tap. Within three days I had a doubling, bubbling mass of starter. When I attempted to remove the grapes, I couldn't even find them. They'd been devoured. That was two weeks ago.
I have now made three batches of Tartine bread with absolutely amazing results. I'm baking them in a covered cast iron dutch oven. My breads look every bit as good (to me at least) as the pictures I've seen of the Tartine Country Loaf and the flavor and texture is wonderful. When I brought a loaf to my mother on Sunday she said I should open a bakery. :lol:
I've attached a couple of pictures of what's left of the last loaf. It's a little less than 1/4 of the whole one. It's getting eaten so fast by my family that I didn't have time to take a photo of the loaf right out of the oven. At least here you can see what's left of the loaf's lovely ear, the crust and crumb. This particular loaf was baked on Friday of last week and it's still delicious to eat out of hand. Next time I will be sure to take a picture of the bread before cutting.