Friday, March 16, 2012

More from Tartine

I continue to bake from my Tartine cookbook. It's been weeks since I made regular sandwich bread; I'm just not interested in anything but my sourdough loaves.

Mostly I bake four weekdays, and one of those bakings is for my neighbor, in exchange for her fresh eggs. The routine, which seemed so complicated at first, is second nature now, and easy to fit into the day.


The leaven raises the night before, and then I don't mess with it until I'm up for the day and done with my run. Then I mix the bread (two minutes), and give it its first rest while I clean up and dress. Since we're generally home in the mornings, it's no trouble to give it the bulk rise with its "turns" every half hour or so until lunch time.

After lunch I divide and shape it, and give it the bench rise all afternoon. I bake it when I start preparing dinner.

And I'm ready to do some branching out. Today I added three cups of hickory nuts (from my dear and ancient neighbor Havis) to make some gorgeous loaves. And, simultaneously, baked four loaves of brioche from dough I had started yesterday. A milestone--brioche takes both a leaven and a poolish (such a crazy word).


I'm not sure if I can sustain the artisanry once the summer heats sets into my kitchen. Rising in the fridge, yes. Oven turned on to 500, no. So I'm baking while I can.

9 comments:

Rebecca said...

Oh! I must tell you that, yet again, Dear Pleasant View has improved my life exponentially. Ever since we left a metropolitan area with gorgeous bread, I have mourned the loss of our weekly artisan loaves. I read many books on the subject and each one seemed more like a physics textbook than a cookbook. Then along came your first post on Tartine bread. Because I always do what you say ;) I bought the book. I am now baking gorgeous sourdough loaves 3 times a week. Thank you!

Angela said...

Those breads look delicious! I am wanting to try making sourdough. What kind of container do you keep it in in the fridge?

Chuck Berwick said...

Anna, how important is the scale for the tartine bread? I don't have a scale and have tried to borrow one from my baker friends and they don't have one either. Sally

Anna said...

Sally, I would definitely buy the scale if you want to do this. The book doesn't even give volume measurements, and it's so easy to do with a scale. I got mine from King Arthur for about $20.

Angela, I don't refrigerate anything, generally. Just this once with the brioche dough, and I did that in a plastic bucket. The starter lives on the counter in a little glass cup--there's only about 1/3 cup of it.

Lisa said...

I've been thinking a lot about sourdough lately. Hmmm

Lisateresa

BerryMorins Bits & Tips said...

I've got to get a copy of that book. We love artisan breads. And it would be so fun to make them ourselves!

Margo said...

I was thinking it sounds like you're a baker. . . but then I realized that people used to do such (to our modern minds) complicated things at home all the time. It's nice to hear how it fits so easily into your routine. I make sourdough bread but mine is very crude compared to yours! However, we love the flavor and texture, so I'm not tempted by the labor-intensive sourdoughs.

Cinny said...

I would love for you to post your sourdough recipe, Anna! Where I live, it is impossible to anything that doesn't come in a packaged, precut loaf (a la, Sunbeam, etc.), let alone something like Sourdough.

There is a recipe that I very much want to try that requires Sourdough, but I'm a little daunted by all the sourdough recipes online.

Anna said...

Cinny, I couldn't do any better than to urge you to get Tartine from your library (or purchase it). The book takes pages and pages to describe *how* to build your starter--it's VERY simple once you get it going but I couldn't paraphrase it in a paragraph. Then just do it!

Once you have your starter, it's also very simple to bake the bread. But again, Tartine explains why and how, in a very lengthy way. I actually went through and underlined the real "instructions" within all the information. And it works so well! Today's bread is rising as I speak . . . .

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