I finally made bread with great success! After my failed attempt at making a sourdough starter, I wanted to really learn how to make bread. I was searching for a good cookbook to teach me and decided on Tartine Bread. When I got the book and read the steps to make the starter and bread I was a little intimidated by it. That probably explains why it has taken me 8 months to try it. It is a pretty involved process so I am glad I waited until I had time to focus on it.
You start by making the starter. The cookbook doesn’t give timing for this step, you just have to watch your starter and learn. I used mine after 12 days. After that you make the leaven the night before you plan to bake. The next morning it should be ready to use. The way you test it is to drop a spoonful into a bowl of water and it will float when if it is ready. I can’t tell you how relieved I was when I saw mine float! The leftover leaven is now your starter for future loaves.
I should note that all the measurements in this cookbook are in grams so a digital scale is necessary. After mixing all the ingredients, the dough rests for 3-4 hours in a bowl. In this first rest you have to knead every 30 minutes. It’s a very needy dough. (No pun intended!) All kneading is done in the bowl which is nice. You shape it, let it rest some more, shape again and rest.
You bake in a preheated dutch oven with the lid on to keep the steam in for the first half and then remove the lid for the second half. The hardest part was removing the dough from the bowl into the dutch oven. The dough stuck to the dish towels, more flour next time. I also had a hard time scoring it.
This turned out amazing! Look at those air bubbles. I am shocked and impressed that this came out of my kitchen. It tastes like really good, professionally baked bread. I see a lot of bread in my future! If you are serious about making great bread, get yourself a Tartine Bread cookbook!
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