The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Help with (Tartine) Basic Country Loaf schedule...

Bread Head's picture
Bread Head

Help with (Tartine) Basic Country Loaf schedule...

I would like to figure out a way that does not involve refrigerating the dough......... allows me to sleep and not keep my house at 80 degrees.

Any suggestions??

jak123's picture

sure, try a 12-24 hour bulk ferment....make sure you have active starter, and use much less than the recipe calls for, slowing down the overall rise... Calculate the starter as a percentage of the flour....then start with half that amount. Make sure to mke up for the water and flour that you are not including in teh starter back into teh recipe. I do a bulk ferment at room temp with pizza dough often and you really need very little yeast. Good luck, report back your results.

Bread Head's picture
Bread Head

So specifically with the Tartine Basic Country Loaf..... I am supposed to be folding every 1/2 hour for the firs two hours of the bulk fermentation and then about every hour after that.  So my first schedule with a 12 hour bulk fermentation overnight will not work because I will not be able to fold it during the night.  My tentative schedule was.........

These times were best guesses, because My house is at 69 degrees, not the 80-85 of his bakeshop...

7:30 AM---starter with flour and water -- Leaven

8:00 PM --  Add the rest of the flour/water -- start Bulk fermentation

8:30 PM -- first Fold

9:00 PM -- Second Fold

9:30 PM -- Third Fold

10:00 PM Fourth fold

sleep ---  *** Here is the problem, can I just let this rest without folding during the night??????

7:00 AM -- Shape -- Bench rest

7:30 AM -- Final Fold

11:30 AM -- Bake Bread

This schedule got interupted because I did not know you have to spoon out the leaven for the 'Float' test or it will never float.  I was pinching off a piece and it never floated.  So I let it overferment until the morning, when it was still not floating.  I searched the next morning as to why this might be and read that you have to be careful not to degas it or it will not float.  Now I had sour dough, so I dumped 1/2, fed it with fresh flour/water and waited 2 hours, gingerly spooned out a bit and it floated.  At this point my schedule was really messed up, so my final rest -- (after the final fold) had to be done in the refrigerator because it was really late and I didn't want to be baking bread at 3:00 in the morning.  But what I did notice was how the dough changed as I folded it around every hour and was actually glad that I did the bulk rise during the day so I folded it often.  Which got me to thinking I need to rework my schedule, but don't want to refrigerate it again.  


So what schedule are others using???




jeffbellamy's picture

I want to get up in the morning and put together my dough for Basic Country Bread and then deal with it when I come home. I don't want to spend more than an our hour so mix ingredients, autolyse, add salt, retard and off to work.

When I come home from work I'll have time to warm dough, take whatever steps necessary and shape loaves. /then retard for the night.

Bake next morning while I'm mixing up new dough.

This way I can take fresh baked bread to work.


jak123's picture

after your fourth fold, go to bed, wake up in the morning and degas and point was that the yeast are less active in the refrig and if you want to do a room temp bulk ferment, fine, just cut back on the starter quite a bit. Your dough will develop gluten without being folded every hour....

here's my schedule:

6am - Mix up a batch of 70% hydration dough with 30% total starter 

every 1/2 hour to hour i give it a stretch (this is no science, do it more often or less often) until about 9am-11am, depending on how much rise i get(depends on temp of the kitchen, but i'm looking for a good doubling of the dough).

When dough has doubled, i flour the counter, give the dough one stretch and fold, let sit for 10 minutes. I then divide into 750g pieces and preshape them. After 10 minutes or so of being preshaped, i shape and put them in floured bannatons. I cover each bannaton with plastic bag and into the refrig they go.

next morning(or anytime after the next morning for the next 1-5 days, yes the dough is good after 5 days!) i preheat the oven and cast iron pan to 500 degrees. Once i hit 500, i take the dough out and place in the cast iron pan and cover and bake, turn the oven down to 420 degrees, covered for 30 minutes and oncovered for an additional 20-25 minutes.

I get excellent results.

Bread Head's picture
Bread Head

I thought that you could only keep the dough in the fridge for up to 12 hours or it will get a sour??

CelesteU's picture

After 3 or 4 stretch & folds, you can certainly refrigerate it during the bulk rising period.  Here's one version of the schedule:

  1. mix leaven in the AM, go to work all day
  2. about 11 hrs later, use the leaven to mix the dough
  3. do three or four stretch & folds, depending on when I go to bed; put it in the fridge overnight.
  4. divide dough & shape the next AM; allow at least 4 hours for the shaped rise.  although last week, i let the shaped rise go for 6-7 hours, then baked, with no ill effects.  it is slightly easier to shape this dough cold from the fridge.

Sometimes, I get an earlier start and get the dough shaped before I put it in the fridge overnight.  This results in a slightly thicker, beautifully blistered crust on the baked loaves.  I take the cold shaped loaf out of the fridge during the preheating, so it sits at room temp for about 30-45 minutes, max.

I always do the stretch & folds at ambient room temp, around 65 to 75 degrees.  When I do a room temp shaped rise, it's also at room temp.  I haven't had any problems with overly sour bread, and it always has great oven spring.