The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Basic Country Loaf (Tartine) Take 3

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

Basic Country Loaf (Tartine) Take 3

So, this time I again dumped the entire leaven into the water (it floated nicely), but then remembered I was only supposed to use 200 grams of it, so I scooped out enough to leave 200 grams in, and followed the recipe to a "T", sort of.

First, despite what others have said, the author definitely contemplates "turning" the dough more than 4 times (i.e., every 30 minutes the first two hours), and so I turned at the end of the third hour for a total of 5 turns.

Second, I forgot the score the loaf again. This time, I realized it less than a minute after I put the bread in the oven.  So I took the pans out, removed the top and then slashed away using my chef's knife.  Not very elegant, I admit. The cuts were not deep at all and I do not know if they accomplished anything, but I was not unhappy with how the bread shaped up, and definitely not unhappy with how it tasted. 

While I have yet to hear my bread sing, this loaf sounded hollow when tapped, and the crust was crisp rather than overly chewy. It still has a chew, but it also had a light crunch.

Like bakers before me, I am flummoxed by cutting a round loaf.  I tried the herringbone cutting technique but this just yields two surfaces exposed to the air, and it is impossible to stand it up "on end" so that the cut end is not exposed to the air.  So this time around I am just slicing it normally (I stand the loaf up on edge because it is easier to cut down with the knife cutting through less bread).  Made a very tasty peanut butter sandwich with it.  I did not do an overnight rise after shaping the loaf (although the second half DID rise overnight in the fridge, it is being used for pizza tonight) and it came out with less sour flavor, but still a hint of the sour.  Overall, I am very pleased with the taste, crumb, and look.



cranbo's picture

The crumb looks beautiful, crust has a great golden color, very nice job!

For round loaves, I personally prefer a square "box" scoring pattern. David posted a nice bread scoring write up with examples here on TFL

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

But you should have seen me wielding my 10" chef's knife to score this thing.  I have to get my hands on an exacto-knife.  Maybe I won't be so hesitant if the blade is smaller.  The butcher knife just made me feel like I was going to kill the loaf...

dabrownman's picture

inside and out.  Stupendous!