The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Question about Tartine Baguette Recipe

grumpyslug's picture
grumpyslug

Question about Tartine Baguette Recipe

Hello everyone, I have a question about the spelt and toasted corn-flour baguettes recipe in the Tartine 3 book. I just got this book (and don't have any of their other books), and wanted to make the baguette recipe. It requires incorporating an overnight poolish and same-day poolish (250 g each) and yeast (2 g). In addition to that, it seems to indicate adding in 500 g (50% bakers weight) leaven. This strikes me as a ton of leaven (which is how he usually refers to starter as) to add in general, but especially considering the yeast and poolish already added. This is also confusing because the total poolish and leaven weights are the same (500 g), so I thought maybe he was referring to the poolish when he says "leaven" in the recipe list. This seems to be contradicted by the directions as he say "to mix baguette dough, put the water and leaven into a large mixing bowl. Add the overnight and the same-day poolish and the yeast and stir to disperse." This indicates to me that he is say add the yeast, same-day poolish, overnight poolish, AND starter.  No other recipe in the book uses yeast, so I can't compare to see. Anyone have thoughts on this? It seems like an insane amount of leavening agents, but maybe I'm wrong.

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

My reading is that the leaven is in addition to the poolishes.  The text supports that in   several places: page 58 paragraph 2, page 60 paragraph 3, and page 61 paragraph 1.

Also, if you add up all the water weights and flour weights, you get 1050 / 1610, which works out to 65% hydration.  If the additional 250 flour + 250 water was  not there, it would be too dry at 59%.

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Counter point: total dough weight: 2690 g, which would make 5 loaves of 538 g, not 400 g as he says later.

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Hope this helps.

grumpyslug's picture
grumpyslug

Thanks for your input. Went ahead and made it with the leaven (starter) in addition as you read, as that appears to be what he is saying. Maybe I'll next try it without the starter and see how it turns out.  Regardless, either way, his loaf weight of 400g isn't right... need some proof readers over there!

As an aside, I imagine this book isn't made for beginners, but I feel like these sort of vague directions are what can make getting into sourdough baking (and general bread baking) so difficult. I spent so much time trying to figure out what people were doing to end up with great loafs, but had such a hard time finding good guidance at first. A lot comes out of experimentation and "feeling" the dough and process, but I can't believe there isn't a better way to anticipate all the questions that people will have starting down the sourdough road!

 

Thanks so much!

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

Robertson is a master at his craft.  Yet people who follow the big name bread authors will generally admit that Peter Reinhart is the better teacher/instructor.

Reinhart's Artisan Breads Every Day, The Bread Baker's Apprentice, and Whole Grain Breads, are all worthy to own.  

If you see Reinhart's older book, Crust and Crumb on sale for under $10, get that one too.

Amazon third-party sellers are all out of low-cost used copies of the popular bread cookbooks.  So keep your eye peeled at used bookstores, like Half Priced Books, and library sales.

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I try to keep up on the sales for Kindle editions, so bookmark my post at: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/66005/free-or-discounted-kindle-bread-books-2