The Fresh Loaf

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Tartine Country Bread - sooooo good last time, I had to make it again!

breadsong's picture

Tartine Country Bread - sooooo good last time, I had to make it again!

Hello, This is my second try making Chad Robertson's Country Bread, from his book, Tartine Bread.
I am enamored to say the least! I will be coming back to this again and again - it is SO good.

I tried baking this time on six firebricks instead of on my thinner baking stone. The baking stone was heated on the top rack to provide some more radiant heat from the top.  Here are the pictures of today's bake (each loaf proofed in a oval banneton at room temperature; loaves were not retarded).
I was happy with the oven spring and crumb! Flavor is once again quite wonderful! Regards, breadsong


dmsnyder's picture

Lovely crust and crumb. Great scoring.

I couldn't agree more. This is a delicious bread.


Postal Grunt's picture
Postal Grunt

be very happy with that loaf. I know that I've got to get a look at that book ASAP.

breadsong's picture

This book was a real find. I am delighted with the instruction in the's been so helpful in teaching me how to get the crust and crumb that I want. Thanks for writing & I'm glad you liked this loaf!  Regards, breadsong


Mebake's picture

Great Oven Spring, Breadsong!

Not to discredit from your Beautiful looking loaf or anything, but i quote a sentance from Hamelman's "BREAD": " But if the holes are large enough for a mouse to hide in one, then your shaping skills need some attention". I believe you ough to have patted your loaf after bulk fermentation and prior to preshaping. This will draw out large bubbles and facilitate shaping and fermentation.

Inspiring bake, nonetheless!

breadsong's picture

Hello, Thanks again for writing with a helpful comment. I look forward to making this bread again and employing your advice. Perhaps next time I'll try making Mr. Robertson's Whole Wheat variation of his Country Bread...and hope for results as beautiful as what you achieve with your whole wheat loaves!  Thanks from breadsong

arlo's picture

I have my first loaf of Tartine Country Bread waiting for me on the counter this morning. I am excitied to try it after all of these great posts and reviews.

Your loaf appears to maintain the quality expected from everything I have read so far!

breadsong's picture

Thanks Arlo...I hope you enjoy your bread!  Regards, breadsong

Trishinomaha's picture

I have decided that my fibrament baking stone isn't big enough and will be looking for something to do a set up similar to yours with the stone on top and something larger on the bottom. Can you tell me where you found your fire bricks and what I should look for? Beautiful bread by the way =).

breadsong's picture

Hello,  Thank you so much!

I recently attended a baguette workshop at the SFBI, where they taught us how to approximate the baking effect of their big deck ovens at home.
Here's a pic of their setup:

I was told these 'stones' were made of some sort of castable concrete.
I wanted to try and find something like these for home.

I called a local refractory company that makes and sells fire bricks and was happy to find they sold fire bricks they called 'splits', 9x4.5x1.5 inches, that weigh just under 4 pounds apiece.  Six fit my oven rack nicely and provide good air circulation around all sides.  The company advised they could cut bricks to help me achieve a better 'fit' for my oven, but I didn't need to do this. I figured 24 pounds of weight shouldn't be a problem for my oven rack and supports - no different than a typical turkey! 

The company representative said the fire bricks are made from clay, sand and a bit of cement and are what they sell to those wanting to construct a wood-fired oven.

Six bricks only cost $9 - far less expensive than a baking stone at retail!  :^)

Regards, breadsong


ArcherKN's picture

     I really don't think firebrick is even what you need.  The entire purpose of the brick is to create thermal mass (in other words first absorb and then radiate energy), so density matters!  Firebrick, which is designed to insulate against extreme temperatures, is full of air and even less dense than your pizza stone.  It will still ad a little more thermal mass, but the only time in which you need firebrick is if you are actually building a brick oven (to insulate the outside from the flame).  So you really should save your money, because the most common house brick should actually out perform the firebrick in this use.

     My own personal opinion is that you should take an 18" concrete patio block (a clean one of coarse), and make the best pizza stone ever! 

breadsong's picture

Hi ArcherKN,
Thank you - I didn't know about the density of firebrick.
These firebricks didn't cost that much, though, and seem to be working OK...but if I ever have to replace them,
I'll think about what you've recommended.
I should try a shorter preheat though - the firebricks should heat through more quickly, if they are of less density? I've been preheating my oven for a full hour for most bakes, all this time!
Thanks again,
:^) breadsong

trailrunner's picture

Gorgeous crust and crumb . This book is everywhere lately. How long can a person resist ? Caroline

breadsong's picture

Hello Caroline, There are so many yummy-looking things in this book and so much to look forward to! Thanks for your kind words - Regards, breadsong

Davefs's picture

Awesome! I just ordered the book the other day,can't wait to try it!Your setup got me to thinking,I have one of those cheapo pizza baking stones in addition to the nice one i got from King arthur.I think I'll try what you did with a nice long preheat.Hopefully mine will look half as nice as yours!

breadsong's picture

Hello, My instructor at SFBI was explaining how their deck ovens radiate heat from top and bottom so I hope you get a good result too, and that you enjoy your new book!  Thanks from breadsong

wally's picture

...and lovely to watch its oven spring!


breadsong's picture

Hi Larry, Thanks - glad you liked the oven spring! I was thrilled! from breadsong

durajisique's picture


Can someone write the whole recipe for this bread, or link? Thanks


Rječnik -


breadsong's picture

Hello, by doing this search you may find a post with some more information on formula/method. In the book, the instructions and method are detailed and cover many pages - it's worth seeking out the book (in my humble opinion).
Regards, breadsong

saltandserenity's picture

It seems Tartine Bread and Chad Robertson's name is popping up everywhere.  I don't think I can hold off any longer.  Your loaf has pushed me over the edge.  I'm off to get a copy of his latest book!

breadsong's picture

Hello, The Country Bread is so good - I've just taken my last loaf out of the freezer so must plan to make more soon. I hope you enjoy the book. I found the writing and instruction to be just wonderful.  Regards, breadsong

Jo_Jo_'s picture

Wow, that is a nice loaf of bread.  I like your firebricks too, maybe someday I will have such a nice setup.  All these bread pictures are making me hungry.....


breadsong's picture

Hello Joanne, thanks for writing; the firebricks have worked out really well and they were surprisingly inexpensive.  Regards, breadsong