Sunday, April 3, 2011

Real Tartine Bread

Tartine bread
This was my second attempt at Tartine bread and it was a success (with on caveat I will get to). The taste is amazing. The crumb is moist and creamy and the proteins really gelitanize so that the wheat bran from the little bit of whole wheat in the recipe shine through. I tried to demonstrate this but I don't think I captured it well:

An old friend visited this last week from out of town. She left yesterday, which meant she didn't get to try my wonderful bread (just the moderately successful ones I baked a few days ago) and take a loaf home to her family. Next time.

So I did not think these loaves were going to turn out well at all. The whole process of "young starter," "turns" went well but the shaping was mediocre at best. I set them to rest in my little banneton and my flour-coverd-dishtowl-lined loaf pan and hoped for the best. I got up this morning later than I inteded and began to preheat the oven. Servia helped me reconfigured to make room for my overturned broth pot. I put the stone onto the lowest shelf and heated the broth pot on top of it, and took out the banneton.

After the stone and pot had finished heating, I overturned the banneton onto my peel, heart the faint plop of the bread onto the board and tried to remove the banneton. Unfortunately, I had not put enough flour and the liner stuck hard to the dough. It took over ten minutes to peel the dough from the liner and by this time the dough had spread and ruined the surface tension. The same thing happened with my improvised banneton. Needless to say, the shapes of the loaves were distorted and the scoring was problematic and did not bloom into "ears." I bought some rice flour to line the banneton, so maybe next time. I was a little crabby, but Servia encouraged me not to give up hope.

She was right: the bread had a lovely open crumb and it tasted fantastsic. I mean really stunning. It had that nutty sourdough flavor and a richly caramelized crunchy crust. The crumb is moist and flavorful. Simply incredible. I recommend Tartine Bread to everyone. If you want to try the recipe, Bread Experience put together a great explanation here [1].

Loaf 1:
The Crumb.

Crust (with obvious issues)
 Loaf 2:
The crumb

Crust (with obvious issues)

The bread was so good I ended up having only bread for lunch-- just plain. My family had more bread at dinner and Servius' friend who came over to help me with my computer called it "superior" which made me very happy.

I know I put this picture up previously, but I like the sentiment it evokes. (And yes...I wrote this in a rush and omitted the "e" in "tastes").

  1. One way in which I disagree with the Bread Experience version of the recipe is leaving the bread out of the refrigerator before you put it in the oven. Maybe it's just me, but every time I leave a bread which has gone through its final proofing (rather that bulk fermentation) in the oven, my bread becomes disastrously stuck to my banneton (or maybe I just have more-than-normal trouble with my banneton-- any advice appreciated). I left the bread out only for the 20 minutes it took to heat up the oven and it turned out very well, so that would be my suggestion.

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