All grains contain peptides that mimic morphine or endogenous opioid substances. This is where I deal with my latest loaf craving. Get your bread-based exorphin fix here.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mysteries of the Tartine Pan Integrale

Tartine Style Pan Integrale

Chad Robertson's Tartine Bread calls it the holy grail.  It does not give the recipe -- but then, it is far simpler than any recipe in the Tartine Bread book.  Fewer ingredients, fewer steps.  Too simple to speak of, perhaps.  But Robertson hints that it is worth it.

It is a 100% whole wheat bread, with 100% whole wheat wild yeast starter, the only other ingredients being water and salt.  Method is all.

This is my go-to bread.  I make it when I need a touchstone, when I'm trying something new and want to compare it or when I've had enough of making different kind of breads, with unfamiliar ingredients, and want something simpler, something pure, something I know and feel comfortable with.

This bread is comfortable shoes.

I made this one in the midst of experimenting with my sandwich loaves.  And I believe this loaf tastes better than those sandwich loaves.  I gave one of these breads away, but this loaf disappeared faster than the sandwich loaves did, in our household.  This is the bread you would reach for first.  Even if it did sag a bit when it hit the dutch oven, and didn't see the same amount of rise that the sandwich loaf did.

I was surprised (again, always) by the way the holes in the crumb of this pan integrale developed such large irregular holes -- because the sandwich loaf that I made right beside it did not, and both had the same amount of turns, the same amount of time fermenting, the same amount of time proofing.  The only thing different is the hydration, of the starter and the final dough.

But that, obviously, makes all the difference.

A good bread.  Truly 'worth it.'

Notes to Myself
  • Why do you suppose there are more large, irregular holes in this bread than in the sandwich loaf?  Supposedly, if they both had the same turns, the gluten network would be the same, wouldn't it?  Why then would the yeast leave such big blobs of carbon dioxide behind in this dough, and not the sandwich loaf?  And the sandwich loaf saw a more dramatic rise than this one, despite the large irregular holes in this one.  So it is not the carbon dioxide alone that raises the bread.  There are mysteries here.


  1. Hi, Cellarguy:

    You seem to be a bread enthusiast. Probably you've heard of or already frequented "". If not, check it out. There's a lot of useful information for bread bakers.

  2. Huh. "seem to be a bread enthusiast". Since you've elected to remain anonymous, I will take the liberty of naming you "Sherlock". What was your first clue that I'm a bread enthusiast, Sherlock?

    I do read 'the Fresh Loaf blogs' fairly regularly, although there is often so much posted there that the amount of info I have to wade through is daunting. I use a newsreader to get through most of it. As you can see, there is a link in my sidebar to it, and many other 'bread enthusiast' blogs and sites too. This newsreader bundle is even available to others to use, although I doubt that anyone but me will ever do so. I haven't read much of The Fresh Loaf lately, because I blinked and got behind, and now there are hundreds of posts to read through. 'A lot of useful information for bread bakers' is right -- but there is also a lot of useless info too. Just like my blogs, only more so.

    I admit to having learned a lot from various authors and members of the Fresh Loaf. But I will never be a member myself. I have little to add to what they say there, and I would not necessarily trust without reservation any advice I could garner there. There is always a quick answer from the experts, but some of the answers are not satisfying and some are just plain wrong or will be proved wrong one day (I believe). Sometimes I like to live with the mysteries, and don't want a quick answer. I prefer to make my own trials and mistakes -- *some* of which I even learn from.

    Furthermore, anything I would write there will earn money for the owner of The Fresh Loaf Blogs, who gains revenue from the advertisements on his site. Such ads may be the oil that runs the current Internet wheels, but I don't care for it. I have not and will never monetize my site (not that it would make me any money, let's face it, I have few enough readers, even among my own family. It bores lesser bread-fed mortals, but to boost my readership I would have to heavily edit what I write). I am doing this purely because of my own interest, as a hobby, to deal with the stress of my job, and to share what I've learned, gratis. It is what it is.

    And also, Sherlock, there is another reason why I would not join the Fresh Loaf: I would almost certainly quickly offend others on the site before very long -- perhaps even without intending to. I'm sort of a lone wolf in the bread world. I don't play nice with others for long. I'm human. I get cranky. I have read enough of The Fresh Loaf over the years to see others get banned from that site for not playing nice, and voicing their own opinions. This is a form of censorship, and I don't agree with that either. But again, that's the way the world of the Internet (all media, actually) works. Just because I don't like the way the info in that site gets out doesn't mean that I don't like the info that gets out. My position is not too complicated, I hope. It is also why I'm not a Facebook member, and I haven't joined many other social networking type sites. I've never submitted anything to YeastSpotting, and never will...

    1. ...I admit that in the beginning of my bread-blogging I was using some all purpose flour and yeast, but over the time I've spent trying different methods and recipes I've begun to settle on whole grains and wild yeast (aka sourdough) and (these days) Tartine-like methods. Yet I find that most authors in the bread world will not insist upon whole grains for long, and that has been my interest from the first. It takes a lot of insistence on the part of a baker or hobbyist to stick only to whole grains when he or she finds most bakers say "you can't make a decent loaf without removing some of the bran" or something similar. Frankly, that's BS. But that's where the Fresh Loaf bloggers are at, mostly. I don't belong there.

      Thanks for the tip though. Others who stumble upon my site in their quest for bread recipes will likely have found The Fresh Loaf first, but if not, I agree they should check it out. Just remember you do not have to believe everything the experts there say. For example, you can check out my reply to a negative review that one of their experts gave of the Tartine Bread book, in this old post of mine: -- Since I'm not a member of The Fresh Loaf, few people are even going to see my reply to that negative review. I don't care though, I don't owe Chad Robertson anything other than the money I spent for the text, and my gratitude for his having written a fine book. His bread speaks for itself.

      And I will continue to speak for myself too, and not for floydm who started The Fresh Loaf and collects royalties off of everything everyone else writes.