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Tartine Country Bread Recipe, tweaking bulk fermentation

HLozada's picture

Tartine Country Bread Recipe, tweaking bulk fermentation

Hello everyone!  

I love this website!  It's a real treat if you are a home baker and want to grow in your skills.  

I've been using Chad Robertson's Country Loaf Recipe from the Tartine Bread book with great results.   The loaves are wonderful, with a great aroma and a wild open crumb.  Very nice.  In the book, Robertson talks about how you can tweak the Bulk Fermentation and Final Rise times to suit your schedule.  I'd love to be able to let the bulk fermentation happen slowly during the day while I'm at work, but I can't if I have to be there to babysit the dough and turn it every half hour as he says in the book.

That's my problem.  What is your experience with the 'turn' process?  Have you tweaked it?  Can you get away with turning the dough every hour or just letting it ferment and not turning it at all? 

I would REALLY appreciate the feedback.  Thank you so much!

Jaydot's picture


In the book, Robertson also describes the experiences of his test bakers and one of them, Dave, changed the schedule around. He does a relatively short bulk fermentation in the evening, followed by final rise overnight.
I started using that schedule too, and it works beautifully for me.

I don't think that solves your problem, but it does show that there are lots of ways to tweak the schedule! Have fun experimenting!

knormie's picture

Like you, I'm a big fan of the country loaf recipe.  I've made it every weekend this year.  Sometimes I do as you suggest and let it bulk overnight without turning.  It's a great way to get the loaves out earlier in the day.  I'm not sophisticated enough to notice any difference between 0-6 turn results.  I turn only if convenient to my schedule  My experience has shown that ample rising time (bulk and final) is the most important variable.

Bread Head's picture
Bread Head

Have you ever figured out how to do the overnight bulk fermentation?  

I would like to try it but not sure if it changes the final loaf??    and what to do in the morning (the next step)