Friday, April 8, 2011

More Adventures in Tartine Breasd

Tartine Bread [1] employs the idea of "young starter," which under this circumstance means taking about 1 tabelspoon mature sourdough starter [2] and mixing it in with 100g bread flour and 100g whole wheat flour and then let it sit until it passes the "float test" [3]. Oddly, I ended up with almost twice the 200g of starter that I needed for the Tartine loaves so Servia and I decided to make a half-batch of the Whole-Wheat version of the Tartine Country bread and then to save the rest for something else.
Tartine Starter
Two loaves are in the refrigerator plus the whole wheat loaf. It's going to be lovely to see them in the morning. The whole wheat dough is made basically the same to the Country Bread. I did a half loaf, so it does not require begin split in half in step 7.

To make the levain:
  • 1 tablespoon mature starter
  • 50g all-purpose flour
  • 50g whole-wheat flour
Mix together until incorporated. Then let proof under plastic wrap overnight. In the morning, it should pass the float test.

To make the final dough the next day:
  • 100g levain
  • 400g water (75 degrees F)
  • 350g whole wheat flour
  • 150g all-purpose flour
  • 10g salt
Mix the levain into the water (leaving about 20g water out). Then mix the two flours into it until incorporated. Let rest, covered with plastic wrap, for 40-60 minutes depending up on the temperature of the room.

Next, mix in the salt into the dough, bit by bit, pinching the dough over it, and incorporating the rest of the water bit by bit, until all of the salt and water are incorporated. Then follow the instructions from Step 5 onward.

Results tomorrow.
  1. Another step-by-step recipe for Tartine bread can be found on Martha Stuart's site if you haven't gotten around to buying the book.
  2. Mature sourdough starter means starter that has been established and is able to double every 4-10 hours with adequate feeding. For most starters, this seems to take just about a week. I made my original starters using this method from Bread Cetera. It took a little longer for mine to reach maturity. My oldest starters are now just over a year old.
  3. The float test involves taking a spooful of dough and ascertaining whether it floats in a little bit of water. If it sinks, it's not ready. If it floats, it's ready. It should smell sweet like overripe fruit.

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