Sunday, November 25, 2012


Although the Tartine country loaf is a very nice bread, the only problem with it is that it requires the baker to be at home the whole day. The three hour bulk fermentation with stretch and folds every 30 minute and the final proof of 2-3 hours leaves you stranded at home.

To overcome this little problem especially for those who have to go out and make a living, I came up with a work-around so that I can still bake something similar when I get home from work.

This bread uses a ripe starter as flavoring agent but uses commercial yeast to boost leavening. Nothing original about this as many people do that(and get flamed by sourdough purists). In the morning before work, I feed the starter with 100g of flour and water. This will yield 200g of ripe starter when I return from work. I usually feed my culture with whole-wheat flour. This will form the 10% whole-wheat component called for in the Tartine recipe.

The main dough is just 900g of type 55 flour. As the starter is100% hydration, the amount of water to be added is 650g. This makes it a 75% hydration bread. The formula calls for 2 teaspoons of dry instant yeast and 3 teaspoons of sea salt. Oil is optional but recently I am starting to favor adding some oil into the dough. This helps to mitigate crust deterioration in the tropics where I live. Without the oil, the crunchy crust deteriorates into elephant hide. With the oil, the toughness is reduced. Of course all these problems can be eliminated with a bit of refreshing in the oven before consumption.

With the aid of the commercial yeast, the bulk fermentation is just 2 hours. The final proof is 1 hour. In this way, the bread can be completed in the evening when I am at home. The baking is done in a dutch oven for best results. The result is very similar to the Tartine country bread.

No comments: