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Tartine Bread Hardcover – September 29, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
What this book is: a compilation of recipes from Tartine Bakery. There are only a few bread recipes, and then a collection of dishes made with those breads.
What it is not: a comprehensive bread baking book, or a book for beginners.
There really are only a few bread recipes in this book. The author goes into lengthy detail about his breads, his philosophy, and how to make them. For those of you who are familiar with Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking's treatise on how to make an omelet (it's about 20 pages long), that is what you will find here, just a lot fewer recipes. Why? Because Tartine specializes in making a few breads and pastries, and this book is about their bakery.
If you are looking for a comprehensive baking book of artisan breads, try Jeffrey Hamelman's "Bread." If you want easy, tasty recipes for most home bakers, take a look at the King Arthur Flour baking books, or Beth Hensperger's excellent "Bread Bible."
So, if you are not into creating and nursing sourdough starters, or you have no interest in reading through 20 pages of instructions to teach you how to make an artisan loaf of Tartine bread, this is not the book for you. There are plenty of other wonderful books on the market for that.
I would recommend this book for intermediate or advanced home bakers, or for professionals who are really looking to expand their bread baking repertoire.
The book does have some of the most detailed photos on folding and shaping loaves that I've seen, but the "artsy" quality of those photos is really irritating - I don't want to see special shadowing, I just want a clear picture of a technique.
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
We have not gotten past the first recipe (and pizza dough yum!), and have had great success each time. Read morePublished 6 days ago by RK
Amazing recipes, great pictures. Really like the story and science behind baking, it's an education, not just a list of steps to follow.Published 7 days ago by Amazon Customer
What can I say - invest a small amount of time reading a highly informative, interesting book, and then concocting your own sourdough mother. Read morePublished 7 days ago by danikl manainwski
What can I say - invest a small amount of time reading a highly informative, interesting book, and then concocting your own sourdough mother. Read morePublished 8 days ago by sean brmmley
An inspiring read with great techniques and recipes.
Have since visited this bakery in SF and it lives up to the reputation.
So, I actually borrowed this book from friend who insisted I try their base bread recipe. It is not for the novice bakers. Read morePublished 18 days ago by Mardi
I liked the photography and it can make a nice coffee table book. I was a bit annoyed with the recipes and I do understand the mathematics of the baker isn't comparable to the... Read morePublished 28 days ago by Asrai
Fantastic book for anyone wanting to learn to make truly nutritious, delicious bread. The directions come to life with the photographs. Highly recommended.Published 28 days ago by Diane Parrington