The Fresh Loaf

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Fit tartine bread into 8-5 job......and with little time in the morning.

mihaicph's picture

Fit tartine bread into 8-5 job......and with little time in the morning.


I have made Tartine bread few times with different results and i would like to try again since my starter is almost 29days old but i have problems fitting it into my job so i need some help to plan. I work from 8 - 5pm so i have only 30min in the morning so i need a way to make the Tartine bread in my schedule without lowering the quality if possible.

Afaik i need 7-8h starter - 20min for kneed (machine) - 1h rest (autolyse) - 4h bulk fermentation (whith 30min turns) - 20 min to shape - 30min rest on table - final shaping and rest 4h - bake 40 min (20 with lid and 20 without)

Can i change the above in such way so i can fit it in my schedule ? I was thinking if i could make it in such way that i could bake the bread around 5-7 pm, that would fit my schedule perfect so maybe i need to put it in the schedule or use colder/warmer water ???


dabrownman's picture

refrigerate after bulk ferment and or shaping and then bake it off after you allow it to finish bulk proofing or warm up, shape and proof.  This won't happen right as you get home but refrigeration is one way to help you baking fit your schedule.  My shaped loaf today, after a 12 hour refrigeration, has been warming up on a heating pad this morning since 6 AM and now it is 8:15 AM and still has another hour of final proofing to go before I preheat the oven to bake  So you can figure on a 4 1/2 hour time after removing from the fridge to bake in most instances.

Some recipes final proof in the fridge just fine and can be baked off right out of the fridge but I've never done a liquid levain Tartine by the book and don't know how it would fare.   It might possibly work with a longer fridge proof  to be ready to bake right out of the oven when you got home.  I have done cold oven cold DO Tartine and I has works out well.  Even though the DO went into a cold oven, you just start timing the lid on steam of 20 minutes once your oven beeps that is up to baking temperature. 

Hope this helps

Our Crumb's picture
Our Crumb

Fitting SD baking into a workingperson's schedule is a challenge.  Ying Shi's (txfarmer) 36 hour timelines, besides making fabulous breads, accomodate the workday rhythm well and were probably conceived for that purpose (although I'm not certain about that).  I've been working on just this thing, 36h versions of a few bakes I've enjoyed lately.  I would not recommend trying to stretch Robertson's process around a 9-5 job if you are a relative novice.  It's a tough process for novices to begin with (I can personally vouch for this, from months of frustration last year).  If you're starting out with Tartine Bread as your entre into artisanal SD baking, I recommend doing it slavishly by the book, on unobstructed weekend days, until you know what to look for at each stage.  It is not, imho, a process that adapts well to running blind (which is what you're doing, as a novice, when you shove something in the fridge overnight) without some experience.

I've been working on 36h/Workingman's Bread versions of some Ken Forkish processes and hope to post something when I'm more confident in their robustness.  fwiw, his Field Blend process adapts fairly easily, with an 18h fridge retard of shaped and brotformed loaves.

Happy Baking!


Barbara Krauss's picture
Barbara Krauss

I too have a full-time job, so I don't even try to bake bread during the week. I refresh my starter on Friday night, mix the dough on Saturday, refrigerate overnight, and bake on Sunday morning.  My "go to" bread is Tartine, and this is what works best for me.


mihaicph's picture

I know that i can do it in the weekends but i was hoping to find a solutoin for during the week :)

Our Crumb's picture
Our Crumb

OK, here's the kind of 36h timeline/process I've been experimenting with, as it might apply to a Robertsonian bake:

Day 1
  AM: Final levain build.  Incubate not too warm, all day.
  PM: Mix dough (use 90-95˚F water), autolyse, add salt & levain (if you haven't added it already: Robertson's autolyse contains it -- 100% hyd levain permits it).  Mix (french fold).  Stretch & fold 4-6 times, keeping warm (80-90˚F -- I set fermentation bucket in sink of hot water = handy for wetting hands for folds).  Before bed, leave fermentation bucket at ?˚F = the pivotal variable of the process.  Maybe start with 65˚F to be ~safe, if you can find a 65˚F place, lest you risk waking to an overfermented soup in the AM.

Day 2
  AM: (may have to rise early).  Dough should be 2x-3x in volume.  Bench rest it (while you shower? :-), shape, brotform/banneton, bag it and refrigerate (= retard) all day.
  PM: Warm up (= room temp proof) for an hour or two (optional).  Bake.

I have no idea how a 100% hydration starter affects this process (I've been following Ken Forkish's 80% practice for the past month).  I do know that avoiding overfermentation from overnighted bulk is a challenge -- I've faced morning dough-soups more often than I'd have preferred.  Forkish calls for ~12% of total flour in the levain.  Robertson about 9% by my recollection of a calculation long ago.  I've been planning to try reducing that 12% to 6-9% to see if that significantly reduces chance of over-fermented bulk, but haven't gotten there yet.  You might try reducing Robertson's 9% by a few points, or just go with it the first time.  That percentage and overnight temp are key.

One good reason to be trying this with Robertson's process is that his is geared toward a more lactic/sweeter loaf.  So the inevitable souring from the all-day fridge retard on Day 2 might have a less pronounced effect.

Let us know how it goes if you go this route!  Good luck!


baybakin's picture

I must work my bread schedule around my 8-4 work day as well.  Here's how mine works (assuming starter was in fridge):

Day 1:
AM: Pull starter from fridge, discard most (or save for crackers), feed in jar
PM: Before bed make final levain (Usually crackers made in afternoon with previous discard)

Day 2:
AM (Pre-shower): Mix bread, set to autolysis
AM (Post-shower): Add in salt/levain, kneed.  French fold a few times during morning routine
AM (Walking out the door): Place dough in covered bowl. fridge.
---Gap here can be up to 3 days---
PM (Just getting home): Pull dough from fridge, pull into disk (warms up faster, more air contact)
PM (Before dinner): Fold a few times, making sure gluten is developed. Pre-shape.
PM (Just after dinner): Finish shaping dough, place in proofing vessel (cloche or in dutch oven for me)
PM (Sometime before bed): Bake in oven, set out to cool on rack. go to bed.

This works out awesome for me as well, because I'm not tempted to dig into the bread when it's still hot, and gets plenty of time to get to room temp.  Another version mixes the Levain before going to work, then mixing final dough when I get home, to bake the next day.

mihaicph's picture

So what would happen if i did following :

Day 1 :
7:00 AM - Make levain
5:00 PM - Levain passes the float test so mix the dough
5:30 PM - Autolyse
6:30 PM - Bulk fermentation with folds each 30 min.
10:30 PM - Bench rest 30 min, shape
11:00 PM - Put in the fridge

Day 2 :
5:00 PM - Start oven
6:00 PM - Bake

Would this work ? I mean does anything happen to the dough staying that much in the fridge, it's going to stay 19h. What about rest, should i rest it when i take it out of the fridge or can i bake it right away ?



dabrownman's picture

you can bake it right out of the fridge and I have done so but, in your case, the bread would be warming up for an hour as the oven heated.  I personally like to take the shaped dough out of the fridge and put it on a heating pad set to low with the pad covered in a couple layers of kitchen towels to regulate the heat to 80 F and let it finish proofing as necessary.   This is usually about 3 hours for 12 hour retard and one and a half  hours for 24 hour retard.  But, it depends on your particular situation; SD levain and  bread you are making.  I have gone up to 40 hours on a retard without a problem if the formula allowed - so 19 h is not a problem.

Don't forget that you cna let it proof on the counter for 90 minutes after shaping and before refrigerating in order to cut down the time after 5 PM  it tales to finish proofing too.    I think that is the way I would go it I wanted bread as early in the evening as possible.  

With a little experimentation ypu will finad what works best for you.

Our Crumb's picture
Our Crumb

Mihai - Your proposed process can certainly work and is in fact a variation I was thinking about as soon as I posted my overnight-bulk-fermentation suggestion above.  Overnight bulk is a dance closer to the cliff's edge than I prefer to recommend, in retrospect.  Once your dough falls over the cliff (read: over-ferments) there's no recovery except to use part of it as levain for a new bake (been there, done that).  Better to be more conservative in the bulk stage and reserve the final proof to make up for any fermentation deficit.  In this I agree with and defer to the gentleman from the Grand Canyon State -- can't argue with that kind of experience.  What dab says: don't count on the your fridge to complete fermentation.  Find a warm spot to let your loaves prove at least while the oven is heating up if not starting that an hour or more before you start up the oven.  Your timeline has the bread coming out at 7:00pm or so.  That's too late to have it for dinner (except in Spain maybe) and earlier than necessary unless you are a really early-to-bed type.

And I can't help but point out that baybakin knows her stuff and if that works for her and the lovely loaves she's posted here, it's worth trying as well.  Makes for a busy Day 2 morning though.

Good luck and keep us posted!


dabrownman's picture

It might help you with your schedule.

Midweek Sourdough