The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Trying to get that Tartine Bread photo!

craigw9292's picture

Trying to get that Tartine Bread photo!

Hello, thanks to help here and reviewing many forum posts I'm finally getting consistent bread and just by chance the one from this morning looks kinda like the tartine bread book :)

I was lucky when I started artisan bread that I ignored the "you should weigh" your flour and instead I just scooped up cups :D it was lucky because the lower hydration (too much flour!) gave me an easier dough to learn with and then I had edible food ;)

After a few months and at xmas my wife gave me the Tartine book and I thought lets weigh things, get it consistent etc. I failed a ton, the higher hydration just wouldn't keep shape. I got over the issue of it sticking and could handle it, just not keep a shape. I then put my own recipe together with my own times for the flours I use and now I can reliably make these. The hydration is ~70% either as Batards which are great for sandwiches or the Boules. If I'm making Boules I can get the 75% Hydration and keep shape.

Modern Jess's picture
Modern Jess

That loaf looks great! I struggled with the higher hydration dough as well -- I'm currently using 70% in most of my loaves, and am pretty happy there. Once I learned how to tighten up the dough through the turns that the Tartine book teaches, it really wasn't a big deal.

Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

When you can get a crust and crumb like that, why would you want to use any higher hydration anyway? Bread is a food as well as an art, and the 'good food' part should come first!

craigw9292's picture

Yup that is really good advice - I wish someone had told me not to exceed 70% when I started, I still get elastic and good tasting bread, outside of that what else do you want. This by the way makes insanely good pizza dough! for deep pan cast-iron pizzas :)

Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

... and I just had dinner! No fair. :)

Danni3ll3's picture

That looks delicious!

username9's picture

Craig,  Your pizza looks awesome.  Do you mind sharing the recipe?  Thanks

craigw9292's picture

It's a bit rough but it works :)

I started by having a full head of garlic roasting at 450F for 45 minutes, touch of oil and wrapped in foil. While that is going I start working on my dough.

I used my regular bread recipe for the dough, I worked it until it was ready for shaping, cooled it a little to stop it billowing on me. I then took approx 1/3 (250g-350g) of dough and started to work it out over the bottom of a 10" cast iron skillet. How much you use really depends how deep you want the pizza. I let it rest for a few minutes and was able to get it to the edge of the skillet and then work all the extra dough to the edge to thicken the crust.

Melt some butter with minced garlic and brush it heavily over the edges of your crust. You want it running under the dough at the edge.

Remove the garlic cloves once roasted, mash up and spread over the pizza base. Use up any remaining butter as well if you want.

Add your pizza sauce, for my kids I use a roasted tomato sauce, for the one you see I used a Roasted Garlic Alfredo sauce.

I cover with a little mixed shredded cheese (Pizza Mix is good or Mexican Mix).

I then cut up meats. For this one I used Old World Sopressata, Milano Salami and Genoa Salami and some crushed crispy bacon.

Cover with more cheese :D

Baked at 450F for at least 15 minutes again depending on amount of dough used. Let it cool for 2 minutes and then remove from the skillet and cool further.

Tip - I started with a cold skillet, you cannot work with one that is hot. If you're making multiple pizzas used multiple skillets :) I cook everything in cast iron so I have 5 available! ;) This is one was to use wet dough, my hydration was at 65% but at 75% it will probably stretch more easily.


leslieruf's picture

well done with your bakes and I agree about the hydration. Still working on my shaping especially boules but you have got it!


username9's picture

Thanks so much Craig for taking the time to write it up!!!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

is supposed to be "running under the dough at the edge,"  My chair fell backwards into garlic heaven.  BOOM    I will not recover... 

Gotta make me some!   Thanks Craig.  :)

Your loaves look fantastic and I agree with other comments, if you can make great loaves at 70% why bother going higher.  Great Looking crumb!

Ru007's picture

If you've found your happy place with hydration, why change it. Unless, you're wanting to widen your bread making skill set. In which case, go for it!! We're all cheering you on :)

I tend to stick to 70 - 73% region (depending on the mix of flour). I like handling dough at this hydration level.

You loaves look stunning by the way. 

Well done!

craigw9292's picture

Thank you! - so I guess that really is my next question, does anything change with this bread and higher hydration? if not then no point gaining that skill. I do make ciabatta which is 100% hydration, that's nice but I would never expect that to hold a shape! :) 

vivienf's picture

That loaf would look right at home on a bread book cover. Beautiful! And I'll have a slice of that pizza too, please!

dabrownman's picture

That pizza is pretty killer too!  Pizza just won the favorite food contest in America for the umpteenth time running!  No wonders here for why.  We love pizza.  Well done!  You can up the hydration some right off if you retard the dough and bake it cold out of the fridge or with just a hint of counter warm up. 

Happy baking !

dough dog's picture
dough dog

If I ever manage to pull off a loaf that looks that good I will cast the formula in bronze and never stray from it again.