The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Tartine for Two: Not Quite Following the Formula

GSnyde's picture

Tartine for Two: Not Quite Following the Formula

Back from vacation, I needed to bake some sourdough.  Tartine’s Basic Country Bread has become my favorite.   Its crumb is my ideal texture for a hearth bread--just the right amount of chew, and airy and moist.  But, as I’ve noted before, large loaves just aren’t practical for our everyday use.   Last time I baked a batch, it was one large loaf and two small ones.  This time I made four half-kilo loaves, two batards and two boules.


I mostly followed the Tartine BCB formula, using Central Milling white and whole wheat flours.  But I departed from gospel in the following ways:

·      I only made as much levain as one recipe requires

·      I did the stretch-and-folds when convenient, five of them at intervals of between 30 and 45 minutes over a 3 ½ hour bulk ferment

·      I divided the dough into four loaves of about 490 grams each

·      I baked the loaves with steam on a baking stone, in two batches an hour apart, having proofed the second two loaves in the cool basement.

My hope was that these departures would not affect the result, and I was very pleased.  The crackly crust, the tender crumb and the subtly-sour complex flavor are as good as the one kilo loaves baked in a Dutch Oven, and we can have loaves of a usable size in the freezer.



To prove the point, we ate most of one not-quite-fully-cooled loaf for dinner, with a medley of melted cheese for the main course, and with a mix of peanut butter and passion fruit-jalapeno jam for dessert.

It’s great to be back and baking in my own kitchen!



Syd's picture

Looks lovely, Glenn.  Nothing like a basic sourdough to get you back into baking again after a rest.  Just what I need to do, too.  Have had no time to bake over the past three weeks but  am hoiping this weekend will be different.  :)

Looks like the loaf benefitted from the extra S&F's judging from the height and roundness of the boule.  Gave the dough extra strength.



GSnyde's picture

The dough was very well-developed when it was divided.  I think I overproofed a bit, but no serious damage.

Good luck getting some sourdough baked.


breadsong's picture

Hello Glenn,
Those are cute little loaves.
The sliced loaf looks like it's almost as tall as it is wide; nice oven-spring!
(The bread looks like a great foundation for your fancy PB&J  :^)  )
from breadsong

GSnyde's picture

Cute, yes!

Tall, yes!

Tasty with jalapeno jelly, yes!