The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Tartine Country Loaf Magic

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

Tartine Country Loaf Magic

Lately, when making the Chad Robertson Basic Country Loaf, rather than "save" the remaining 200 grams of levain (recall, baked with it all for my first loaf, by accident.  The bread came out nice but I think it was a bit too chewy), I have been making another 2 loaves worth of dough.  This results in a surplus bread.   So I have been making Pizzas:

I basically take the dough and shape it then bake it either in a cast iron griddle (in the stove) or cast iron pizza pan, depending on how big the dough gets. Bake is at 500 degrees for 5-10 minutes, until they get browned on the bottom. I actually take the griddle out and add some olive oil to the bottom to get the crust to brown better.

After they cool, I wrap the doughs in plastic wrap and slip into the freezer. To bake the pie I top it with some home made sauce and some mozzarella and I place the finished pie back on the cast iron and place it on the top shelf under the broiler set to high for 5 minutes.  At 4-5 minutes I take it out, put some basil on top and than broil for another minute.


Honestly, I think I enjoy eating the pizza  more than the bread, but I enjoy baking the bread more than the pizza.  Go figure.  Probably because I only make peanut butter sandwiches, grilled cheese, and toast with the bread.

That said, look how gorgeous last night's loafs came out:


You're probably wondering, how the heck did I get the sandwich loaf to look so amazing.  I used the lodge cast iron bread pan.  Two of them.  And I made my own combo cooker.  I let the dough (half the country dough recipe) rise in the pan for 4-5 hours and then baked it after preheating the top. Just slipped it in the oven and put the other pan on top and let it sit for 18 minutes and then baked uncovered for 18 minutes. All at 450.

To get the ears on the round loaf, I put the first dough in the cold dutch oven pan and I used kitchen shears to cut the square.  But I was careful to lay the shares horizontally along the dough rather than perpendicular to the dough.  That way the cut went across the top of the dough and not too far through it.

The sandwich loaf is in the freezer, one of the rounds is in the freezer, the two pizzas are in the freezer and one of the rounds is going to my parents house to thank them for raising me. :)




dabrownman's picture

bread in the freezer baking like this - just like me,  I finally had to cut back to 1 loaf a week :-)  The loaves and pizza look great especially the blistered crust on those scissored 'rustic' loaves.  Well done!

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

I worry about running out of bread because I am not home every weekend To bake it and I tend to like to bring a loaf to give away when I visit family!

isand66's picture

Nice looking loaves.

Thats a nice idea for the pizza.  I have a grilled pizza recipe I use where I do a similar procedure.  I grill the dough and then make the final pizza later.


CeciC's picture

Love your pizza idea!! Your Loafs are fantastic!!

Julie McLeod's picture
Julie McLeod

Wow, what fantastic rise on those boules!  I love the idea to pre-bake and freeze the pizza crust.  And, using the two Lodge cast iron bread pans as a dutch oven is a clever way to bake the sandwich loaf.  Thanks for sharing this!

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

These were My best loaves. I don't know which were autolyzed overnight and which for the 50 minutes, but they all rose nicely/had great oven spring. 

The overnight autolyzed dough was very firm in the morning and it was not super easy to combine the levain because it was all so stif. BUT, because it wasn't at all sticky, it was still less hassle than adding it after the shorter autolysis. 

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Looks like it was a Tartine inspired weekend around here.  I just baked up a few myself.  Yours turned out great!  Magical ;)


David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

This morning I sliced up the sandwich loaf to make toast for breakfast and peanut butter sandwiches for lunch.  It is delicious, as always.  The bread is a bit denser than normal, but that is to be expected since the loaf is the same weight as the larger round loaf.  

I am able to slice the bread much thinner using the sandwich sized loaf, so even though it is denser I think I wind up eating the same amount of bread.

Here it is from the top:

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And here it is from the side (there are two slices here)

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