The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Tartine bread- kneaded mechanically?

lls's picture

Tartine bread- kneaded mechanically?

Hi everyone,


I am new to this forum,  but have been lurking here for a while, reading all your posts and admiring all the pictures!

I am wondering something. I made the tartine country bread which turned out to be the best and lightest sourdough bread I ever made, with a beautiful creamy crumb and a thin, crisp crust. However, I found the process very involved and I was wondering whether there is any kind of way to make it a bit easier. For instance, instead of all the stretch and folds, would it be possible to just machine knead the dough gently to develop the gluten?

I think I remember reading that Chad Robertson said that he made the dough slack because he didn't have the funds to buy kneading equipment and thus had to turn the dough by hand, but if would have had the funds, would the dough have been machine kneaded?

Would love to hear from those who tried different gluten development methods, thanks!

Bob S.'s picture
Bob S.

Never made Tartine bread, but after reading a description of it online at

it seems apparent that the gluten for this bread is developed through fermentation, not mechanically. The multiple foldings help to develop the proper crumb. Dough that is mechanically developed in a mixer tends to have a finer crumb with small holes.