The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Tartine bread recipe starter's picture

Tartine bread recipe starter

I have a white flour starter for about 14 days already, can i convert it to tartine starter recipe by mixing 50% white bread flour and 50% whole wheat for few days and convert or I need to do it from scratch? Is it because different flour composition attract different yeast or taste? I am a bread amateur and I hate to waste, in the past , my starter is small, 1 tablespoon flour and about one and one tablespoon water, recently my starter is two tablespoon flour and one and half tablespoon water, next feeding two tablespoon flour and one tablespoon starter, sometimes when i ran out of starter, i use one teaspoon starter and two tablespoons flour, is the water composition important in starter?  So the question is I started the starter using white flour, so the yeast all is white flour yeast, so will it work if i shift to tartine bread recipe flour?

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

You can use your starter in the Tartine bread recipes.

You can also feed it 50/50 as well.

If you feed any starter a few times with a new composition it'll essentially become a new starter relatively quickly, especially if you are discarding some of the old and adding some new.'s picture

I thought the reason for flour composition and different flours is the different type of yeast, because already the white flour starter is already 14 days, so I thought the new composition cannot bring out the new yeast in the new composition as the existing starter yeast will overwhelm the composition of the new starter.'s picture

Hmm......... David Esq, taste wise, there won't be any difference if I start from scratch with the original tartine bread recipe starter?

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

And that is to bake a loaf with your existing starter (whether on a new feeding regimen or not) and one with a "new" starter made from 50/50 white and whole wheat flour, an compare the outcomes.

But, I have made some excellent Tartine breads with the "same" starter that I variously feed white and white whole wheat flour, usually a mixture of both.  Most people don't seem to create a new starter from scratch unless they are "rye purists" and event hose seem to be very few and far between.  Both Hammelman and Reinhardt seem to be of the view that you can convert any white starter to either rye or whole wheat (and presumably 50/50 white/whole wheat) over the course of a few feedings and you will have no undesirable results.

However, that is not to say the breads will be exactly the same.  Still, I don't think you will wind up with terribly different starters if you change over from one feed to another.'s picture

I am a totally noob and newbie to bread baking but many people say I bake one of the best chocolate cake around, baking chocolate cake is my specialty but not bread, but if you like to bake chocolate cake and I am around at the forum, feel free to ask me. Thanks again for your advise, at the moment, changing the starter feeding will do for now, may start from scratch in the future, for now this will suffice, I read on internet and forum, is there any difference in taste for bread make with young or old starter or maybe the taste is too subtle to tell?

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

I have been baking the Tartine Country Loaf for only a few months. Chad Robertson recommends a "ripe" (longer period since last fed) starter being used to create the levain, and to use the levain while it is "young".

For my own starter, I usually use it right out of the fridge, last having been fed anywhere from 2-7 days prior.  When I add the Tbsp to the 200 grams flour/200 grams water, it usually takes a minimum of 12 hours before it looks ready to me.  My favorite loaves have been from levain that is closer to 18 hours old, and sometimes 2 days old (in which case, I put the levain in the fridge after 12-18 hours and use considerably warmer water (like 90 degrees) to mix up the dough.

Click on my name and you can see a number of my blog entries regarding how I bake this loaf.

And, you should definitely do an entry on the chocolate cake. Everybody loves an awesome chocolate cake!

dabrownman's picture

If I am baking a white bread, I feed it white flour,  If WW I fed it whole wheat,  if multigrain I feed it a multigrain mix.  I figure it is just too stupid to know the difference and the bread doesn't seem to care much either.    All of the turn out pretty good and they get eaten up by people people don't complain much either - or they are asked to leave and not come back until they learn some manners:-)

I say if the starter, levain and bread don't mind or even care than I couldn't care less either!

Happy baking's picture

The recipe is here, but I modify it to the best or closest to the best

,Original recipe calls for 350 grams sugar, I lower it to 250 grams sugar and change it to muscovado sugar, 2 tablespoons coffee is my second alteration, Also the chocolate for the icing I increase it to 50% more chocolate so the icing will be firmer and not easy to melt. I tried 1:1 for icing and decide it is better to get have 50% more chocolate in it. I also modified this recipe to single layer cake, no icing in the middle, the main key to make it nice to eat is sugar and also the coffee, too little coffee and you can't taste the difference, 2 tablespoon is about right, many people use 2 teaspoon for this recipe, I use 2 tablespoon. the ingredients you see here is for 1 portion, Double portion is about right, double everything here except the icing, the icing should be enough even if the cake is twice as big as it has no layer in the middle.


Tips for making a better chocolate cake

1. Always use muscovado sugar, it gives it such a special caramel

2. Always add coffee powder, preferably fresh coffee powder, but instant coffee powder will do

3. Use wholemilk and never low fat milk when you make cake, wholemilk is healthier than low fatmilk, will explain that in another post.

4. Use the freshiest egg possibly, omega eggs is even better.

5. Use dark chocolate for icing or perhaps use hershey or van houten baking chocolate.


Also this recipe makes too little egg, best is double everything in this recipe, icing does not need to double if you do single layer icing. I prefer single layer icing, easier to make and cheaper, I calculated the cost, the most expensive part to make a chocolate cake is from the icing and not the cake, from the country i am from, ingredients for the icing is the most expensive.


Once you done all this, I can almost assure you the cake will be one of the best ever if not the best.


Here is my modification for the ingredients

For the chocolate icing's picture

I only changed the ingredients of the cake, instruction how to make it is at the website.'s picture

It is unrefined sugar, not brown sugar mind you, but I guess brown sugar would be closer than white sugar but that is still not Muscovado, most brown sugar is white sugar added back the mollases, muscovado use some process where the moisture is evaporated and leaves what is behind and a good brand is billington muscovado sugar, they have the brown one and dark brown one, I can't tell exactly which is better because at one time I was using unbleached flour and another time I was using bleached flour and different recipe, but for unbleached flour I recommend gold medal as some other brands, if you use their bleached flour, the chocolate you put inside and other ingredients would coagulate and be concentrated in certain parts of the cake.