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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Whole Wheat Tartine Bread

Whole Wheat Tartine Bread

This is my first attempt at making the 'official' whole wheat Tartine Bread -- which isn't 100% whole wheat.  It does contain some all purpose dough.

But in fact, I've made a change to the official recipe.  I asked myself the question: "What is the difference between using starter and using leaven that is made from starter, if after using the leaven, part of it becomes the starter anyway?"

So for this bread, I did not build some leaven, I just used the starter.

The answer is: Yes, it works, but you will end up with a slightly more sour bread, and your crumb won't be as nice.  The difference is in TIMING.  A starter is not fresh enough to pass the float test.  It does contain yeast, but it is worn out.  Leaven is fresher, floatable.  It is ready to do the heavy lifting.

There.  Now I know.  Live and learn.

I didn't have my usual whole wheat flour for this bread, but had to make do with some stone-ground whole wheat flour from a bulk food store.  It is a much finer milled product than the flour I generally use from Arva Flour Mills.  But Arva was temporarily sold out of Whole Wheat Flour.  I'll have to make another trip.
The Tartine Whole Wheat Bread has a higher hydration than their Country Bread
This dough saw quite a nice rise, and may be a bit overproofed, so that when it hit the hot pots, it deflated.  I didn't see how I could score them, they became so wrinkled in the pot, so I just let them bake as-is.  They came out malformed.
overproofed dough, risen higher than the basket
As usual, I don't have the proper tools to make the real Tartine Bread: I don't have the right baskets, I don't have the right dutch oven.  So inevitably my bread is going to look substantially different.

Notes to Myself
  • Get yourself a real cast iron dutch oven to make Tartine Bread.  It is impossible to put these high hydration doughs into casserole dishes without deflating them; and scoring them in high-sided dishes is similarly difficult.
  • Get some decent, real cane banetons to make bread in.  I have been thinking about this for a long time -- time to get the finger out.
  • Elaborate some leaven about 8 hours (e.g. over night) before you are going to bake bread.  Don't use sourdough discard, it is too unpredictable in its hydration and in its effectiveness.

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