Wednesday, January 1, 2014

he's so lovely

so, this is my third or fourth attempt at the first post. i wasn't sure how to begin. then it dawned on me, right, that all of you may want to know that i finally met Chad. as you can imagine, i felt like a thirteen year old meeting, i don't know, who's the most popular rock star these days? i'm too old to know.

and oh. he's so lovely.



as is his crew, who were hard at work when I arrived - Lori, swiftly and deftly shaping a forest of impressively hydrated loaves, Crystal ushering perfectly fermented mounds of dough into the maw of an enormous oven that hissed and steamed like some dark beast. with grace, these women worked, and seriousness. tartine bread is serious, one can be sure of that.

touring the tiny kitchen was like arriving at mecca. dewy and powerfully perfumed, one had the sense of being lacquered with something living, something sensational. i secretly hoped that i could later scrape some of the microbes from my coat sleeves and stir them into my starter. and the starter. a fawn-colored mere simmering in a bucket on a high shelf. when Chad thrust it under my nose, i knew exactly what that bread was going to taste like. the bread. that bread. when Chad gave me a loaf the size of one of the wheels on my '91 honda civic, its bark rugged and swarthy as roasted cocoa beans and festooned with shavings of goldish oat, i had forgotten what tartine bread was, i had forgotten the indescribable essence encapsulated in those holy loaves. though i was quickly reminded when i yanked off chunks and devoured handfuls as i later drove over the bay bridge. imagine: the crust, smoky, dark, chocolate, like some mayan aphrodisiac. and the crumb. oh, the crumb. a glossy, nacreous alveolation that begins with a bit of tang, moves into honey, and finishes long with vernal flora. if you think i'm being irrationally musical, you won't when i tell you that a tartine line begins at 8:30 a.m., and by 9:00 a.m. when they open their doors, the queue has extended up the block, and threatens to wrap itself round the next street over. and it's like this every day. Crystal cannot shove those loaves into her ovens fast enough.

and so this is tartine.


tartine's oat porridge bread




the thing about tartine is that despite its world-famous reputation, it remains humble. our guru was there with his crew - the two Jackie Browns of bread baking doing their thing, and then there were Nick and Richard alchemizing, fermenting. he was wearing a blue knit cap and ample beard, sleeves rolled up and plunged deeply in his work. there was not a lick of pretension about him, despite that together with his wife Elizabeth he owns two thriving restaurants, never mind the three books they've authored, all of which are a hefty force in the world of food writing. and still he took time out to meet an adherent crazy enough to take on two of his books.

which brings me to this really important bit. as soon as i got my copy of three, i immediately knew that i had the green light to get myself a komo mill. i had been wanting one since i began this whole affair, but my bread pursuit was still inchoate, and i could not justify it until i really understood what i was doing. the first few pages of three told me that i couldn't really move through the book without one. so i got a classic. much bigger and far more powerful than i could ever have imagined (plenty of power for what we are doing, you do not need the XL, trust me). i also got a sieve setup with 4 removable screens in 4 mesh sizes to sift the flour and control the amount of bran. as you can see, i already have the mill which i used today for the first time to mill dark rye berries to feed my starter, and all i can say is, damn. i am about to make some serious bread.



i will photograph the other toys when they arrive. but you have the links now so you can get yourself prepared for this part of the journey in the next week or two. i also have tons of information about sourcing whole grains which i will share in the next post. i have some things in the works that will be of interest to you all. i want to say, don't be dismayed by the prospect of sourcing grains. i have narrowed down a nice little list and will include links as well so you don't have to flounder about trying to figure out where to go. and of course, as we move through this part of the journey i will continue to include the source of the grains in a given bread. all of them are available online, which means that you can get them wherever you are in the world.

so lets get started. if we can make bread half as ambrosial as Chad's, then 2014 is going to be one hell of a sweet ride.

to the staff of life!





38 comments:

  1. I completely understand. Swoon.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wonderful post! I too have started my journey through Tartine 3. A question perhaps you might already have some insight into...in this book Robertson describes the baking process now as baking for 30 minutes with the dutch oven cover on (20 at 500F, 10 at 450F) and then 20-25 minutes with the cover off. This is an extra 10 minutes than described in the previous book, and at least with the loaf I made yesterday left something a bit drier than usual. Is this longer bake time due to the increased whole grains, and should it be giving me this drier loaf? I'd appreciate any help you might be able to offer, and am very excited that your blog is back up and running!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wonderful post! I too have started my baking journey through the new Tartine book. Perhaps you can provide some insight to a question I have about it. In this book Robertson notes that you should bake for 30 minutes with the lid of your dutch oven on (20 at 500F and 10 at 450F) and then 20-25 with the lid off. This is 10 minutes more than in the previous book (and at a hotter temp) and in my first loaf gave notably drier results. Do you know the reasoning for this change, and should it be yielding this sort of result? Thanks for any help you could provide, glad to see your blog is back up and running!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. my suggestion is that if it does not work for you, then keep doing what you were doing, or play with the times and temps to arrive at your desired result. if your loaf was dry, back off time and temp, or one or the other. everyone's oven is different (mine is WAY off. so, what i thought was 475 was really 450 all this time). he is working with an entirely different set of variables. use the book as a guideline rather than a bible. that way, you create the most optimum conditions for YOUR bread. i always say this with his book (with any cookbook, really). use it as a suggestion, a guidepost, rather than law. the thing about cooking (yes, even baking) is that you should harness the variables in your environment to arrive at a desired result. you will see the first formulae on the blog in the next couple of weeks. i have an oven thermometer now, so i will be able to more accurately tell you guys what temp i'm baking at.

      hope this helps! (thanks for the compliment :)

      Delete
    2. btw. employ your senses, i can always tell if my oven is running hot or if the crust is baking too quickly. i keep close to the kitchen when i'm baking, and it definitely gives off an aroma of baking too quickly when my temps are too high. it smells a little scorched/acrid, when it should smell yeasty/caramel-like. happy baking! let me know how things go for you!

      Delete
    3. Thank you, I appreciate it! I do think it's about time I invested in an oven thermometer to better know what's really going on in there.

      Delete
    4. I will keep your questions in mind when I begin the experiment. Can you tell me which loaf of bread you had problems with so that I can mark it in my book? That would be great. I will say this, however, those times/temps are not off mark. If you remember, all of my bakes were preheat 550 (which was probably accurate on my oven -- I've noticed higher temps are truer on my oven than lower), then turn down to 475 lidded for 30, then unlidded for usually 30, sometimes 20 or 25. And as you can see, I never ended up with a dry crust. Did you follow the formula precisely? It would also help to know exactly what you did. Sometimes it's a matter of the smallest thing that can send our loaves to chaos. Fill me in, let me know which bread it was, and let's take it from there. Using his formula as a guideline, and adapting to your environment ought to be really easy to figure out how to tweak it so it doesn't happen again. (Also, what brand of flour or are you grinding your own grains? What hydration etc...)

      Delete
  4. I thought of you as I was waiting in line at Tartine on the morning of December 27th. I flown home to CA to visit my family for Xmas, and yep, Tartine was the ONLY place I wanted to visit. I was naive as I got there during lunch hour, and the line was impossible; It moved in inches, in half an hour increment...I couldn't wait any longer as my niece and nephew were hungry. I came back at 4:20 p.m. and by the time I got to speak to one of the staff, which was about 5:20 p.m., all the breads were sold out. I was heart broken. On Christmas' Eve, one of my sisters was attempted and she couldn't get the breads either. Two days later, I came, for the third time, stood in line at 3 p.m. and the cashier told me I needed to wait and wouldn't accept my payment for the breads. I waited again, allowing others to pass in front of me. At 4:10 p.m., I heard one of the staff said outloud: "Breads for Dave" twice and there was no "Dave". I immediately stood back in line. I got the banana cream tart, for my family to try and 3 loaves of breads. I was the happiest girl in town! The first day when I Was standing in line, I saw Chad crossed the street and oh...he was looking so "sexy"! : ))) Anyway, I wish I had the book with me to ask him for an autograph then.
    The breads were incredible and I won't say anything more than just that. I knew then, I needed to learn, and to work harder. I was intoxicated with the bread, its texture, its aroma, flavor, and the incredible appearance. I could not stop touching, feeling, starring at the bread!

    So you know, my starter hasn't been working too well. I'll email you my routine and pictures soon, but didn't want to occupy your time, right at this moment. I desperately need help because I truly have no idea what I have done wrong, or what I have not done.... My starter hasn't appeared with any bubble, not even tiny ones. It simply stops being alive!

    I am so glad you got to see Chad and tour his bakery!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am too. As you can imagine, for me it was a really special experience.

      Amping up my starter to two a day feeds as we speak. The first loaf is coming soon!

      France

      Delete
  5. Yes! So glad you are back. Looking forward to your posts and loaves immensely!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too Korena. Check back. First breads out of the oven soon!

      France

      Delete
  6. So excited you're going to tackle #3! So far, I've made three porridge breads (tough to incorporate into the dough and way-way-way more wet/sticky to handle), the sesame wheat and the chocolate rye cookies. I'm excited to follow along with you in real-time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had better roll up my sleeves then! LOL. The porridge bread is one of the things I am jazzed about. This is the bread pictured in this post. I've got some exciting things to share. I'm working out the rest of the details and bread posts are coming very soon!

      Delete
    2. I'm a long-time bread baker, tho newer to sourdough, especially Chad's no-knead way. When at the second fold and I'm incorporating the porridge, I lift the ball up and keep folding/ rolling the bottom of the ball in on itself (it helps with wet or floured hands sometimes, depending on how the dough feels). The top is doing the typical stretching - and I'll do this till the top of the dough wants to start cracking open. I find this incorporates the porridge pretty much. Then with the dough back in the bowl, carry on with the 2-4 more folds every 1/2 hour. It's not squashing out the air as kneading would do. And so far so good - successful bread.

      Delete
    3. Interesting. I will keep this in mind when I get to the porridge bread. Although, I doubt my technique will end up being as glamorous as yours. :)

      Delete
  7. Great post. Amazing pictures. I still think that book #3 was more of a publisher "push" rather than Mr. Chad pure impulse to share the world with his talent.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw. Thank you for your kind words. But I must say, having just met Chad, and seeing his exuberance about the new book and the introduction to whole grains (and whole grain milling), I can set your mind at ease. He is so overjoyed with the new book, and he is really pleased to share his knowledge. He is especially interested in having the formulae in this book be accessible. He would love for everyone to know that sourcing whole grains is not difficult at all, and that it should be no hindrance to making really fantastic whole grain bread. I think that that's what the book is about. Whole grain bread baking has always been such mystery to people, and I think that he does a great job of removing that question: 'can I do this?'

      He really is so humble. As humble as you would imagine him to be. When I met him, I distinctly felt that he believes his mission in life is to bring bread to the people, to bring it BACK to the people. And I think he's doing this because he loves to make bread, and he loves to share bread :)

      I can't wait to share more posts with you! Meet me back at the page in about a week!

      Delete
  8. I've been grinding grains for years! but making the typical American yeast breads with heavy kneading. From another blogger I decided sourdough, as a "predigested" flour - thus I could go the unbleached route. But buying flour after not for many years is very hard - and besides, I had so much whole grain varieties stored. So this book is totally exciting to me! I'd rather not use yeast - only leavening. The other blogger talked of sifting whole grains to eliminate the bran. My grind is so fine, my sifter does not hold back anything. I went to the sifter site you linked. Have you started working with home ground flours and sifting yet? I'm wondering which sift number of screen you find most useful. And too, what grind. I have the wood grinder now, and still grinding pretty fine. And then too, how to tell what's 70% or 85% - how to tell? With store bought, the 50/50 is easy, but not with home ground! I've read the book and underlined and made the 10% rye twice - I have good success with the Tartine method, but think my air pockets could be bigger (could be bran cutting them). So sifter# choice and grain grind choice?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have not received the screens yet. I just ordered them. I will always give detailed info about what I do - sifting method, grind number etc. as I move through the book. Thank you for this info about the grind fineness. It has given me some ideas for making high-extraction flour. I will relay them with the first loaf, since it calls for some. My first loaves will come out toward the end of this week.

      France

      Delete
    2. Also, to open up the crumb you may increase hydration, make sure you do a long enough final ferment, and of course, loaves with a decent amount of grain will cut the gluten strands, thus tightening the crumb a bit. Chad's ratios, I think, provide enough white flour to ensure an open crumb. Alas, lets see what we come to when the first loaves start coming out of the oven ;)

      Delete
    3. France, my husband, a geologist, had soil sifters with numbers from 80 down to 40, so I decided from looking at them, my screen is a 20. And with my fine grind, it sifts the bran from the grain nicely. I did just do the Wheat bread from totally fresh ground white winter wheat, no red, sifting only the 500g for the high extraction. I don't like the bread. I think I'd like some unbleached added. Thinking I might try 250 g unbleached, and still sift some bran (or all the bran?) from the rest of the fresh ground wheat.

      Delete
    4. Hi Karey. In my next post I am going to be introducing my new set of sifters. Stay tuned. But yeah, your husbands soil sifters would totally work!

      And how uncanny. Later this week I will be doing a surprise post that you will be interested in. I will do it Saturday night, so be sure to check in on Sunday. It might shed some light and addresses the sifting and flour. My loaf came out splendidly, I think you will be pleased with the info. See you Sunday!

      Delete
  9. Mon ami!!!! You don't know me, but we're friends; fellow bread-heads.. You've been a mentor and a cheerleader and I'm thrilled to see you back. Quite envious that you met Chad Robertson (a looker, ennit!) I cannot wait - I'm so stinkin' excited for your next post. Stephanie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Always happy to hear from fellow bread-heads!
      A mentor? Hardly! A peer, I will gladly accept that ;)
      Making a levain for the first loaves as we speak. See you soon!
      (I'm excited too!)

      Delete
  10. Let's talk autolyse when you get to baking some of his new recipes. Besides the major education in grains and and different methods associated with them, one of the things I found most interesting was the long autolyse he's doing for some of these breads. 4 hours in a warm environment! I read and re-read his "new" master recipe and I couldn't find anything that would hint at me to wait till the autolyse is done before adding the leavain, so I added it in the initial mix when making the 20% Rye and let it sit at 80 for 4 hours to see what would happen.

    It's retarding at the moment but the dough felt very unfamiliar. It didn't have the integrity it used to have and was breaking during my turns. It's felt billowy and nice at the end but smelled a little sour, which I expected since it rose so much in the autolyse.

    Also worth noting, he doesn't talk about doing a final bench shape after the final folds anymore. Just the folds, flip, let the seam set and into the basket. Cleaner gluten strand organization? I'm still pondering that one.

    Excited to bake through this book with you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I did notice that as well. Wondered about the extended autolyse with the levain added, vs. autolyse flour and water for an extended period then adding the levain when the autolyse was done. Thank you for pointing this out again. I have a few questions to work with already and I have not even started making bread yet! (See the sifting issue in the comment above. I have an idea for this that I will share in my first post).

      I will have some answers for you about the autolyse with/without levain :)

      Check back soon. I am starting the first loaves this week!

      France

      Delete
    2. After baking it off this morning, I could tell it was definitely over proofed. The rip resulted in a really red color and the resulting flavor was definitely on the sour side.

      Thinking a colder and shorter autolyse next time.

      Thanks for putting together a list of local millers for us. It'll be helpful in the future.

      Delete
  11. You really are an extremely talented chef. You've helped me immensely with my own little Tartine experiment. Glad you're back.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. you are so sweet. thank you! i would love to see your breads!

      Delete
  12. Thanks for the posts! I have been making Tartine bread for the past two years and enjoy every aspect of it - in fact, I think I almost enjoy the rhythm of the process more than the eating of the bread. I've been wanting to make a pilgrimage out to see Chad, as well (I'm on the east coast). Here's my blog, if you are interested, which has a bunch on this bread but also on many other fermenting activities I enjoy: davidianhill.com. Very excited about the third book - I had no idea - going to buy it right now.

    ReplyDelete
  13. After reading this, I was really excited about making the oat porridge bread, but struggled on the first two attempts, first one under developed, the second one over fermented. On my third attempt, it came out pretty good, but I thought the crumb structure would be different than what I got. Since you have been lucky to try and cut the bread, would you be nice enough to tell me if this is close? It would be greatly appreciated!
    http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/36747/oat-porridge-bread-tartine-no-3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey there. So, I am moving through the book in linear motion. Next loaf is wheat-rye. I promised that I would not skip ahead. But the posts will be regular, at least 1 - 2 per week, so check back soon. I'll get there!

      Delete
    2. I'm sorry, what I meant was, would you be willing to look at the crumb structure from my post on The Fresh Loaf, and compare it with the Tartine Loaf you received on your visit. I have never done a porridge breads before, and was curious if I was close. I couldn't resist skipping, I've already made the Salted Chocolate Rye cookies, and they are wonderful.

      Delete
  14. The oat porridge bread recipe contains almonds and almond oil, but I don't see any almonds in the pictures of the oat porridge loaf that you posted above. Did they just omit the almonds and almond oil from your batch? Have you made the oat porridge loaf? If so, did you include the almonds and almond oil?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. this loaf of bread pictured is from the bakery. Chad gave it to me that day, so, maybe they do different variations in the bakery? not sure.

      i have not gotten to porridge loaves yet. i am on my way! soon!

      Delete
  15. How do you keep track of your process? So many small changes, all of the time. Do you use a spreadsheet? Or, as I hope, if you write notes, would you mind sharing the general format? I will be following your lead closely, but I struggle to keep good notes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My blog is my spreadsheet. :)

      I must admit, I have a really horrible record keeping system. I'm too antsy for that. With every loaf of bread I jot down quickly what I'm doing - all percentages, time, temps, but in a really gruesome and sloppy way. If it doesn't yield what I want it to, I go back to that sheet and see where I need to make changes straight away, then along with research - I read quite a bit about bread/flour/baking and I consult with my good friend Joe, a professional baker in Manhattan who has been indispensable to my baking path. He has been a mentor to me, he seems to have all of the answers, and he's always available, which is nice. We talk bread a lot because our interest in it is on par - I make changes. The good thing is that I'm not so blind in any of this anymore, so I don't generally make really crazy mistakes with my work to begin with, and I only need to make small changes. I have a really odd capacity for remembering things as well, and when something 'works', it gets put in the blog, and if not the blog, then my memory.

      I'm sorry that I can't give you a concrete way of tracking your progress. But I find that the blog helps immensely. You might try one yourself! We could use another experimenter in the bread world!

      xo

      Delete

Translate

Share it

Follow My Other Blogs Too!

Popular Posts

Follow by Email

Search This Blog

Loading...

get a hold of me at

tartine-bread-experiment[at]live[dot]com

Followers

Except where noted otherwise, all content within the blog posts on this site, http://tartine-bread.blogspot.com/, are the sole intellectual property of Francis-Olive Hampton and protected under United States copyright laws: Copyright protection is available for all unpublished works regardless the nationality or domicile of the author. Copyright protection subsists from the time the work is created in fixed form. The copyright in the work of authorship immediately becomes the property of the author who created the work. Only the author or those deriving their rights through the author can rightfully claim copyright.

No part of any blog post shall be duplicated or manipulated for private use without prior consent.