Apr 28, 2020

Tartine Basic Country Bread

Tartine Country Bread is pretty much the holy grail of sourdough bread, ever since Chad Robertson released his book, Tartine Bread. It has been an inspiration for artisan bread bakers who work hard to make gorgeous loaves with an amazing flavor. 


Tartine Country Bread is pretty much the holy grail of sourdough bread. It has been an inspiration for artisan bread bakers who work hard to make gorgeous loaves with an amazing flavor.




The original recipe for the Tartine Country Bread can be found in the book, Tartine Bread by Chad Robertson, published in 2010. I bought this book, but then was so intimidated by the fact that the recipe and instructions were over 40 pages long. As a bread baking friend describes it, it's "epic."


Tartine Country Bread is pretty much the holy grail of sourdough bread. It has been an inspiration for artisan bread bakers who work hard to make gorgeous loaves with an amazing flavor.




For many bread baking enthusiasts, tackling this recipe is kind of a rite of passage.

Just look at that crust!

Tartine Country Bread is pretty much the holy grail of sourdough bread. It has been an inspiration for artisan bread bakers who work hard to make gorgeous loaves with an amazing flavor.





When this bread comes out of the oven, the crust crackles and sings.

This bread has just the right amount of sourdough flavor. The crust is super crunchy, and the interior is soft and airy. It's really hard to wait for the loaves to cool before breaking into them, but it's essential to let the loaves continue to complete the baking process once they have been removed from the oven.

I first tried this bread in 2013, but with spelt for this post. The book also has the most amazing olive oil brioche recipe I have ever tried. The book also has wonderful recipes for pizzas, baguettes, focaccia, as well as recipes for using day old bread and extra starter.


How to control the "sourness" in sourdough bread. 



For a mild sourdough flavor, let the shaped loaf rise at room temperature, and bake after two to three hours. For a more acidic flavor, let the loaf rise overnight in the refrigerator before baking.

In general, if you want more tang in your bread, you can also use a levain (starter) that contains more whole wheat or rye. You can also add a bit of rye to your final dough.


Tartine Country Bread is pretty much the holy grail of sourdough bread. It has been an inspiration for artisan bread bakers who work hard to make gorgeous loaves with an amazing flavor.






Tartine Basic Country Bread Recipe


Tartine Basic Country Bread Recipe
Yield: 32 servings (2 large loaves)
Author:
Tartine Bread has been an inspiration for artisan bread bakers who work hard to make beautiful sourdough loaves with amazing flavor.

Ingredients:

For the Starter (Levain)
  • 1 tablespoon active 100 percent hydration starter
  • 200 grams warm water
  • 100 grams all purpose flour
  • 100 grams whole wheat flour
For the Final Dough
  • 200 grams of the starter
  • 700 grams warm water
  • 900 grams of bread flour
  • 100 grams whole wheat flour
  • 20 grams salt
  • 50/50 mixture of whole wheat and rice flour for dusting

Instructions:

  1. The night before you mix the dough, prepare your levain (starter) by mixing the starter, water, and flours. Cover with plastic wrap, and let sit overnight.
  2. To make the final dough, in a large bowl, add 200 grams of the starter, 650 grams of the warm water, and the flours. Mix by hand until incorporated, cover, and let rest in a warm spot in your kitchen for about 30 to 40 minutes.
  3. Sprinkle the salt over the dough and sprinkle with the rest of the water. Mix by hand, pinching the dough to dissolve the salt, and stretching and folding the dough over itself. Cover and let it rest in a warm spot for 30 minutes.
  4. Let rise for 3 hours, stretching and folding with a wet hand every 30 minutes, until the dough is buoyant and aerated.
  5. Using a dough scraper, gently coax the dough out of the bowl onto an unfloured work surface. Lightly flour the top of the dough, and divide it in half with a bench scraper. With the bench scraper, flip the dough pieces so that the floured side is on the bottom.
  6. Shape the dough pieces into boules by gently folding the dough over itself from all "sides." Flip the shaped dough over so that the seam side is on the counter. Using a bench scraper, draw the loaf toward you, and then away from you, to tighten up the top of the dough. Cover each piece with a towel and let rest for 10 minutes. In the meantime, dust two bannetons or towel lined bowls with a 50-50 mixture of wheat and rice flour.
  7. After the 10 minutes, flip the dough over, and reshape the loaf one more time. Flip the loaf back over, seam side down, and place the bench scraper under the shaped loaf. Push it around from all four sides against the work surface to create tension and tighten up the loaf. Place the shaped dough into the banneton, seam side up. Pinch the seam a few times to make sure it stays closed. Cover with oiled plastic wrap.
  8. You can either let the loaves rise at room temperature for 2 to 4 hours, until puffy, and then bake. Alternatively, you can place the shaped loaves in the refrigerator for up to 12 hours for a more sour flavor.
  9. About 30 minutes before baking, place a Dutch oven in the oven and preheat it to 500 degrees F. Remove your loaf from the refrigerator.
  10. When ready to bake, pull the Dutch oven out of your oven and, using this method, transfer the loaf to the hot pan and score it with your favorite scoring pattern. Carefully return the hot lid to the pan, and place it in the oven, and immediately reduce the oven temperature to 450 degrees F.
  11. Bake for 30 minutes, remove the lid, and bake for 15 to 20 minutes more, until the interior of the loaf reaches about 205 degrees F, and the crust is a deep brown. Cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.
  12. Repeat with the second loaf.
Calories
151.88
Fat (grams)
0.71
Sat. Fat (grams)
0.12
Carbs (grams)
31.12
Fiber (grams)
1.59
Net carbs
29.52
Sugar (grams)
0.13
Protein (grams)
4.88
Sodium (milligrams)
244.11
Cholesterol (grams)
0.00
sourdough, bread, Tartine
Bread
French, American

Did you make this recipe?
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Created using The Recipes Generator


I first posted this in 2017 but have recently updated it with a printable recipe card.

71 comments:

  1. I am not worthy...

    you outdid yourself in this one, Karen....

    I am not worthy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much! I got an ear, sort of!

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  2. Really, very delicious! Thanks!

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  3. YOu;ve got Tartine ears, macaron feet...

    you ROCK!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Got all of the essential body parts covered!

      Delete
  4. Love the Tartaine bread, and look at those crumbs Karen and must have an amazing flavor too, great work and can't wait to try this recipe 😎

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  5. That is gorgeous! I love how the slashes flared out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much. I always have issues with slashing, so I was pretty proud of these "ears."

      Delete
  6. I am just wondering if I am doing something wrong. My bread turns out great and has a great open crumb but it spreads out so much when I turn it over to bake. Am I not shaping or tightening it enough?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Kimmy. I think it could be a combination of either overproofing or not shaping a tight enough "skin." I would also try the overnight proof in the refrigerator if you didn't, as that seems to hold its shape better as well. I've also seen where some bakers tie a parchment collar around the bread so that it doesn't spread. When in doubt, proof just a little less time.

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    2. I had the same experience with the dough spreading after it came out of the banneton after following the recipe to the T. I turned the proofed dough out onto a sheet of parchment paper, then slashed it, then used the parchment to lift it and place it in the heated dutch oven. Next time I make it, I will line the banneton with a sheet of parchment first, then place the dough in the lined bannetone and simply lift it right out of the banneton after proofing and into the dutch oven.

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  7. Looks great. As a new baker, what is the recipe / instructions for the starter used in this recipe?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would start with this recipe: https://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/sourdough-starter-recipe

      Then I would maintain it using these instructions: https://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/feeding-and-maintaining-your-sourdough-starter-recipe I use the the instructions for keeping it in the refrigerator.

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  8. morning, I'm a fairly new baker to sourdough, following your steps (do did I overlook it), when does the Levain go in? Tartine Basic Country Bread Recipe
    Ingredients
    For the Starter:
    1 tablespoon active 100 percent hydration starter
    200 grams warm water
    100 grams all purpose flour
    100 grams whole wheat flour
    For the Final Dough:
    200 grams of the starter
    700 grams warm water
    900 grams of bread flour
    100 grams whole wheat flour
    20 grams salt
    50/50 mixture of whole wheat and rice flour for dusting
    Instructions
    The night before you mix the dough, prepare your levain by mixing the starter, water, and flours. Cover with plastic wrap, and let sit overnight.
    To make the final dough, in a large bowl, add 200 grams of the starter, 650 grams of the warm water, and the flours. Mix by hand until incorporated, cover, and let rest in a warm spot in your kitchen for about 30 to 40 minutes.
    Sprinkle the salt over the dough and sprinkle with the rest of the water. Mix by hand, pinching the dough to dissolve the salt, and stretching and folding the dough over itself. Cover and let it rest in a warm spot for 30 minutes.
    Let rise for 3 hours, stretching and folding with a wet hand every 30 minutes, until the dough is buoyant and aerated.
    Using a dough scraper, gently coax the dough out of the bowl onto an unfloured work surface. Lightly flour the top of the dough, and divide it in half with a bench scraper. With the bench scraper, flip the dough pieces so that the floured side is on the bottom.
    Shape the dough pieces into boules by gently folding the dough over itself from all "sides." Flip the shaped dough over so that the seam side is on the counter. Using a bench scraper, draw the loaf toward you, and then away from you, to tighten up the top of the dough. Cover each piece with a towel and let rest for 10 minutes. In the meantime, dust two bannetons or towel lined bowls with a 50-50 mixture of wheat and rice flour.
    After the 10 minutes, flip the dough over, and reshape the loaf one more time. Flip the loaf back over, seam side down, and place the bench scraper under the shaped loaf. Push it around from all four sides against the work surface to create tension and tighten up the loaf. Place the shaped dough into the banneton, seam side up. Pinch the seam a few times to make sure it stays closed. Cover with oiled plastic wrap.
    You can either let the loaves rise at room temperature for 2 to 4 hours, until puffy, and then bake. Alternatively, you can place the shaped loaves in the refrigerator for up to 12 hours for a more sour flavor.
    About 30 minutes before baking, place a Dutch oven in the oven and preheat it to 500 degrees F. Remove your loaf from the refrigerator.
    When ready to bake, pull the Dutch oven out of your oven and, using this method, transfer the loaf to the hot pan. Carefully return the hot lid to the pan, and place it in the oven, and immediately reduce the oven temperature to 450 degrees F.
    Bake for 30 minutes, remove the lid, and bake for 15 to 20 minutes more, until the interior of the loaf reaches about 205 degrees F, and the crust is a deep brown. Cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.
    Repeat with the second loaf.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, the levain is the starter. I used the names interchangeably, which probably caused confusion. I sometimes take for granted that everyone is as big of a bread geek as I am.

      Delete
  9. Hi! I'm very new to baking bread and I'm super excited to try this recipe. I am a little confused about the "active 100% hydration starter", is that another word for active dry yeast?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Adeline. No, it's not. It's a sourdough starter that has been recently fed and is now bubbly.

      Delete
  10. Do you have a complete recipe on how to make the starter from scratch?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There is one here: https://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/sourdough-starter-recipe

      Delete
  11. Karen, I have been making this bread for years and I refer to your version since it is on one easy to read page. But recently all my loaves have been burning on the bottom. I have placed the pot as high in the oven as I can, adjusted the temperature down a bit. Opened the pot earlier (like 15 mins vice 20) to cook the top sooner and today I even took your advice and transferred the loaves to a sheet pan but got the same results. Any advice? (About the only things I haven't done is raise the temperature and/or keep the lid on the pot longer but both of those seem would result in a darker bottom). Thanks in advance.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh dear. Your oven must be cycling on more than it used to. How frustrating! Here are some things you could try: a) place a sheet pan or baking stone on a lower rung under the post and see if it might diffuse the heat coming up from the heating element. b) if that doesn't work, use a baking stone instead and invert a large metal bowl or roasting lid over the loaf to capture the steam. I've done that and it works pretty nicely. Let me know if you try either one of these!

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    2. We had the same problem until we put a small wire trivet on the base of the cast iron pot under the bread. We just slide the bread on its parchment paper onto it and stick on the lid. The trivet raises the bread off the floor of the pot by maybe 1/2”, and problem solved! Great post and beautiful bread Karen!!

      Delete
    3. Thank you!! What a great idea too. I'm definitely trying it!

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  12. I do believe that the recipe calls for 700g + 50g water for a total of 75% hydration.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hello if I want to half the recipe should the levain measurements so be Halved. Or should I onky have the dough recipe

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I might make all of the levain as written, but then only use 100 grams in the final dough. Or you could halve the ingredients in the levain except the tablespoon of starter. I'd be nervous about using less.

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  14. Hi, can you please yell me how to achieve a very mild sour taste?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Make a stiff levain, and proof and bake the same day.

      Delete
  15. Hi Karen,

    1) would you mind sharing your Tartine bread itinerary: like what time do you start and what time do u bake?
    2) in step 4, let the dough rise for 3 hours, stretch and gold with a wet hand for every 30 minutes until the dough is aerated. In this process, how many minutes does it take usually?
    3) About the starter, do I simply follow what you listed in the recipe to make fresh starter every single time without keeping part of it for another bake?

    Thanks

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  16. Great recipe! Thank you so much for making it available. My loaves have all turned out wonderfully. One question though is how does one go about adding herbs, garlic and such?

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  17. One question - if I leave the dough in the fridge for 12 hours to get more sourness, do I need to let the dough warm up before baking?
    Another question - Is the first step what others would call "feeding the starter"?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi! Bring it back to room temperature before baking. For your second question, yes. Except if I'm just normally feeding my starter, I use just white flour.

      Delete
  18. Oh my lord, you are the King, Queen and Emperor of bread baking! I bow to your expertise!

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  19. What an amazing loaf of bread, Karen (as always!!) I could seriously just eat this whole loaf for any meal (or snack) any day!

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  20. Mmmm...drooling over here! The most perfect, perfect, perfect bread EVER!!!

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  21. I could probably eat this entire loaf. It looks just about perfect!

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  22. I have been baking bread a lot these days, and my family would love this recipe going to try it soon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's perfect for being stuck at home.

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  23. I love the color of the crust and how crunchy it looks. I can almost smell the fresh bread now.

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  24. Thank you for this recipe. I've just started trying to bake with a sourdough starter and this was the first recipe I've followed with successful results!

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  25. It was perfect the first time. I learn so much from you as well! Keep it up great post.

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  26. Hi Karen-great looking bread and hopefully it will save me lots of trips to the baker's to purchase artisan sourdough bread.I have two questions;
    1.Why cant you simply just use 200g of your active starter and incorporate that into everything else-then leave in the fridge o/nite,rather than making a levian in order to produce 200g of starter?It seems a waste to only remove 1 tblsp of active starter from the jar half full of starter?
    2.When my active starter has nearly doubled in size in the jar do I stir it down and then remove what's needed or do I scoop out the required amount while its still bubbling away in the jar?
    Ron

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 1. If your starter is half white flour and half whole wheat flour, you could definitely do that. My starter is all white flour with an occasional sprinkling of WW or rye.
      2. You can do it either way. Stirring won't hurt your starter's ability to leaven the bread.
      Thanks for the questions!

      Delete
  27. Can anyone tell me about how much in cups is 200 g of the starter/levain? I dont have a scale and sadly cant get one for a while. I know its not accurate but its what Ive got atm. Thanks

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  28. My bread came out delicious, thank you. But I have a question. As above, I dont have a scale so I kind of guess at the measurements. Not the best I know but... This is my second try at sourdough (1st with this recipe). Both times everything seemed good until the end. Both times after proofing, when it was time to move to the pan the loaf just goes totally flat and I think all is lost. However both times it seemed to come out ok (not perfect, obviously). But Im wondering if I am proofing too long (followed the instructions here and put in fridge overnight) or maybe I need more flour? The dough was pretty wet this time and when I tried to shape it it didnt hold together in a ball at all much so I ended up just dumping in a bowl. I dont understand enough to know what I need to change. Anyone have any hints? Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would not add more flour. You might want to make sure that the outside "skin" of your shaped loaf is tight. Pinch the seam tightly before the second proof. You might also want to slightly underproof it. Also, check out the San Francisco Baking Institute's YouTube video on shaping wet dough.

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  29. Can you use all white ( bread and AP) or white and rye? or That’s what I have on

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    Replies
    1. Thank you. I plan to make this in the next few days. Love loaves that crackle out of the oven.

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  30. Hi Karen! I’ve been loving this recipe and you broke it down so well, thank you!
    Just one question - while my loaves are getting a bit of color on them, they are far paler than yours. Do you have any idea what’s causing that? Would it be best to take them out of the Dutch oven for the last 15 min?

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    Replies
    1. I do that. I typically transfer them to a baking sheet. You might want to check your oven temp too.

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    2. Hi Karen, I’m in the process of making this recipe and was wondering if you use the remaining levain for anything? I know she only used 200 g and I hate throwing anything away LOL. Can it be used in a discard recipe? Thanks

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    3. It absolutely can, or even kept to feed later.

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  31. This is my favorite sourdough recipe! First, anything that I can do if I ran out of parchment paper? My other question is, if I put in the refrigerator after night should I still make the leavin the night before?

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  32. Thanks for this post. It’s a big help by simplifying the book recipe.

    When you say warm water, what temp are you shooting for along with what you think your avg kitchen temperature is? Finding it hard to determine what temp water to use when my kitchen is about 68f and the book is all about 78-80f.

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    Replies
    1. I usually use water that is about 90 to 95 degrees. My kitchen is pretty cool too. If I need a warm spot, I heat coffee cups of water in the microwave and then place the dough in there.

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