The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Tartine country loaf..again

jofl's picture

Tartine country loaf..again

Need some advice here, 

im used to making good loafs using leavens and different starters from scratch. My problem is with regards to texture.

i cannot get the large bubbles and open texture in my loafs as shown in the Tartine bread book. I am not using the Dutch oven as part of the process - I don't have one, but I am loading my fan oven with steam before putting the bread in.  Is this the cause? 

Im getting good bread with excellent crust but with a tight texture.  I have never come across the Dutch oven process before so guessing what it's impact may have on the finished loaf.

please advise

golgi70's picture

do u by chance have pictures?  

Are you baking on a stone or just a pan? 

im guessing you are missing the oven spring due to lack of a hearth. more info/pics and we will have a good answer



dabrownman's picture

are steaming.  Use mega steam with 2 of Sylvia's steaming kitchen towels in pans and a 12" cast iron skillet fullof lava rocks both 1/2 full of water and steaming like crazy whern the bread hits the stone.  No stone - use thick steel or ci skillet.  Make sure your oven is reding the temperature correctly with an oven thermometer.

jofl's picture

Well I don't use a stone, just a thin metal sheet which is not heated when I place the bread on it. 

I will try a thicker heated surface and send photos later


jofl's picture

Thanks guys -using a more solid base for conducting heat i got an instant response

see pic below


wont let me upload a pic


Julie McLeod's picture
Julie McLeod

dabrownman - I'm curious to know why you recommend a thick steel or cast iron skillet but not a baking stone.

pongze's picture

Pretty sure dabrownman meant that if you don't have a stone, to use the other materials as a substitute.

Julie McLeod's picture
Julie McLeod

Thanks.  I see now.  :)

holds99's picture

Below is a link to a video from Chad Robertson's Master Class.  The video was made on one of his trips to Germany.  This video shows the process Mr. Robertson uses to make Tartine bread.  Basically it's high hydration and numerous gentle turns of the dough during bulk fermentation (which takes approximately 3 hours), coupled with a rest after dividing the dough and gentle handling during final shaping.

Hope this helps,