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Tartine Bread

For the home or professional bread-maker, this is the book of the season. It comes from a man many consider to be the best bread baker in the United States: Chad Robertson, co-owner of Tartine Bakery in San Francisco, a city that knows its bread. To Chad, bread is the foundation of a meal, the center of daily life, and each loaf tells the story of the baker who shaped it. He developed his unique bread over two decades of apprenticeship with the finest artisan bakers in France and the United States, as well as experimentation in his own ovens. Readers will be astonished at how elemental it is. A hundred photographs from years of testing, teaching, and recipe development provide step-by-step inspiration, while additional recipes provide inspiration for using up every delicious morsel.

Hardcover: 304 pages

Publisher: Chronicle Books (September 29, 2010)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0811870413

ISBN-13: 978-0811870412

Product Dimensions: 9 x 1.5 x 10.5 inches

Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)

Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (368 customer reviews)

Best Sellers Rank: #4,751 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #7 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Baking > Bread #22 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Celebrities & TV Shows

I started baking bread using a bread maker a few years ago and decided to revisit bread baking again earlier this year. The recipes I have been made thus far have used commercial yeast and have turned out fairly well. Since I started baking my own bread again, I have not needed to buy a loaf of bread at the store.Initially when I read about Tartine's country loaf, I was reluctant to pay $7 for a loaf of bread. However, my curiosity got the best of me and I decided to call in and reserve half a loaf for $4. After trying the bread, I could see what all the fuss was about. It was the best bread I have ever tasted (granted that I have never been to Europe). After searching online, I discovered that Chad Roberston, one of the owner of Tartine, was going to release a Tartine Bread book later in the year. I proceeded to pre order the book.After receiving the book, I made my own starter following the directions and attempted to use it about a week later. Unfortunately, the first try did not turn out so well because my starter was not mature enough. I continued to feed it the next week and tried making the bread again. This time it came out a lot better. I probably made the basic country loaf about 5 times now and my results are becoming more consistent as I learn how to balance time and temperature. As another reviewer mentioned, there is a lot of flexibility when making this bread. I mix my leaven in the morning, mix the dough that evening, let it rise overnight, divide and shape the next morning, do the final rise under refrigeration, and bake when I get home from work on the second day. This seems to work well with my schedule.I would recommend this book for the bread baker that is looking to take their bread to the next level.

Being essentially lazy, I seldom write an review. It feels a lot like homework, and nobody likes homework, right? Still, I occasionally discover a book or a product that so exceeds my expectations that I feel a duty to share my good fortune with my fellow consumers. Chad Robertson's "Tartine Bread" is one of those discoveries.Robertson's book contains an important ingredient that other bread books lack: detail. For example, in her book "The Italian Baker," Carol Field provides recipes for dozens of Italian breads. I have enjoyed the book, but each recipe is more of a rough guide than a detailed road map. She uses instructions such as "Make a big round shape of it [the dough] by just folding and tucking the edges under a bit." She tries to describe the state of dough development using words like "velvety" and "moist." The book contains a few line drawings but no photographs. By contrast, Robertson's book contains detailed instructions together with hundreds of photographs leaving no doubt what the developing dough should look like at each stage of the process.The photographs and Robertson's autobiographical tale make "Tartine Bread" a joy to read. Most important, the bread I've produced following Robertson's instructions has been wonderful: a cracklin' crispy crust, soft chewy crumb, faint aromas of hazelnut and chocolate (I have no idea why), and beautiful colors ranging from creamy white to almost black. I have shared this bread with just two friends so far. Both have now placed orders for the book and for the dutch oven combo that Robertson recommends.I have seen some concern that this book contains too few recipes. My advice: don't worry about it.

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