The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

My First Tartine

BXMurphy's picture

My First Tartine

I'm pretty excited to share my first Tartine Country Bread.

It's not perfect but I think I'm getting there...

 I'm not quite sure this is over-proofed even though it's on the flat side and there is a fair bit of crust separating from the crumb. I actually thought I could get more proof time out of this but my wife wanted me to get to sleep.

I got an even distribution of like-sized gas pockets except for that one over-sized hole. Even way down at the bottom of the loaf! This sort of crumb is exactly what I prefer. It is great for sandwiches, toasting, and sopping up the juices and sauces from dinner. It is perfect for dipping into an herbed olive oil or served with a salad.

This was proofed in a loaf pan and baked in a Dutch oven to 99°C (211°F). You can see some burning, especially on the bottom. The was proofed in the pan under a towel to be faithful to the recipe. I had some drying on top that I think gave the flyaway crust.

The crust is thin and crispy while the crumb is not as chewy as I have come to expect from a sourdough. In fact this is my FIRST sourdough bread that I didn't mind biting into! I am very happy about that! Very!

I think this is due to the higher hydration: 85%. I never thought I could go that high. I was very surprised about how well this handled. Either I'm getting better or... using bread flour instead of all-purpose flour is making all the difference. I didn't get annoyed by dough sticking to my hands and fingers. The dough largely held together as a cohesive mass.

I was also pleased to have been able to employ bakers' percentages for the first time. It is not that difficult and I recommend it. I scaled the original recipe down to a small, 500g dough using these percentages. Beautiful!

The flavor is just "bread." Nothing fancy at the first half slice. As I was chewing, I began to realize why experienced bakers want to use different flours and use add-ins.

This dough is a perfect 2nd level beginner recipe and perfect for a family standard loaf. There is much to play with including refrigeration, time and temperature recording, and practice with high hydration doughs. For the next few months, it will be my go-to recipe to keep bread on hand while I experiment with other flours on the side.

I will go even further... if I can get results like this, I would actually get a "real" bread knife instead of the one I'm using now: The sorry excuse for a knife that comes from a department store gift set that you would get at Christmas.

Thank your for being here as I'm learning so much from you.