Tartine Bakery is in a little unmarked building in the mission district. It's cute and all of the tables inside were taken. There were delicious chocolate cakes in the display case and you could smell it from an entire block away. I was really excited to be there at exactly 5pm to get the bread and I thought there would be a line out the door and only a few varieties of bread available like they say in the book.
|Bannetons waiting for bread.|
|You can barely see the country loaves rising on the shelf behind the glass.|
However, the bread did not look as it does in the book. The country loaf was great, but it was a tiny bit over-proofed (the crumb did not look like the gorgeous one in the book-- it was a little bit more honeycomb and thin although there were still plenty of irregular holes). However, one fantastic thing about this bread compared to mine did have one massive advantage. I usually use a national brand flour like Gold's or King Arthur. The local flour that they use at Tartine does have a lovely flavor-- especially when toasted-- that has a richer taste.
The spelt was fantastic although (1) it didn't taste much like spelt flour and (2) the crust was a little thin and the ears didn't bloom very nicely (see below).
|Tartine bread: Country (left), spelt (right)|
While I was there, I did get a glimpse of the famous Chad. he was dressed like a hipster and hanging out directly outside the bakery. He seemed very nice and a little twitchy. He obviously wasn't in the bakery that day, just dropping by. But it was nice to see him. I sneaked a bad photo on my phone.
Although I leveled a bit of criticism against it, the bread was great. Also, as Eric says in the video below, a bit of the mood of the baker goes into the loaves each day. Maybe the bakers were just having a bit of a frenetic day.