The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Tartine recipe time line problem

mauiman's picture

Tartine recipe time line problem


I recently purchased the book "Tartine Bread" and I'm wondering if anyone has a solution to an inherent time line problem with their basic bread recipe.  If I prepare the leaven, as they suggest overnight, then the next morning, I'll mix the dough.  If I start mixing the dough the next morning around 8:00 am then I'll be done with the bulk fermentation (first rise) around 1:00 pm.  If I now however, want to retard the proofing stage (second rise) in the refrigerator for "up to 12 hours" as they suggest to "develop more complex flavors" then I won't be ready to start my baking until 1:00 in the morning.  This is a problem.  It seems that I either need to extend the time a let the leaven ferment before I mix the dough or extend the time I let the dough (second rise) proof in the fridge before I start baking.   If I do either of these two options will I end up overproofing? Can anyone suggest a solution?  


yy's picture

Another option is to prepare the leaven in the morning instead of the night before so you can mix the dough the same evening and leave it to retard overnight. You could be ready to bake it the next day.

cookease's picture

The only thing you have to worry about with regular yeast at this point is 'falling'...when it collapses because it has expanded too far...NOTHING you can do to resurrect it....HOWEVER, I don't believe yeast products will 'fall' while in refridgeration...and using a sour dough starter etc seems to make 'falling' much less likely...I leave my dough in the fridge (or outside on the porch in the winter) until I am ready to work it. Remember, the longer a yeast product 'rises' the more flavor it develops! Hope this helps

Broetchen's picture


I have been baking with the Tartine Book for quite awhile now and have made and continue to make several of Chad Robertsons recipe from the book (his baguette recipe is amazing), so this advice comes from experience.


I work quite a lot and therefore rarely have time to take a whole day to "just" bake. Because of that I have come to use the practice of retarding the dough for pretty much every bake. When Robertson says 12 hours you should really just view that as a guide line. For convinience and flavor I have left his doughs in the fridge for several days and always had the same great results with slight differences in flavor (the acidity gets stronger the longer you keep it)


What I do is, I make the dough, go through bulk fermentation (folding etc.) and then throw all of it in the fridge. Sometimes I already seperate it into 3 or four equal parts. Then I leave it in there for as long as I like baking parts of the dough at different times. Once I decide to bake, I take out part of the dough and I shape the dough right out of the fridge. The final proofing time depends completely on how much you want it to rise before baking but once shaped I usually give the dough an hour to two hours at 70 to 75 degrees.


But then I pop it into the oven and follow his baking instructions and enjoy the bread. I have never had any issues with this method and actually believe that your flavor is better if you leave it in the fridge for a little bit longer.


Hope that helps!