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Tartine Bread Hardcover – September 29, 2010

302 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Chad Robertson (co-owner, with his wife, Elisabeth Prueitt, of San Francisco's Tartine, Bar Tartine) brings his master Tartine Bread technique to those who may not have the chance to try the famed Bay Area loaves hot out of the oven. This "baker's guidebook" is divided into four parts: Basic Country Bread; Semolina and Whole-Wheat Breads; Baguettes and Enriched Breads; and Day-Old Bread. Robertson's basic recipe is explained in depth with numbered steps, and consists of making a natural leaven and baking in a cast-iron cooker. The author's passionate tone and tales of baking apprenticeships, along with top-notch step-by-step photos, elevate the title from mere manual to enjoyable read. The later sections include variations on the basic recipe; bread-to-use recipes for sandwiches; bruschetta; and salads and entrees made with croutons and breadcrumbs. The sophisticated and clean design, exceptional photos, and padded cover give the book a luxurious feel. (Nov.)
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


"...the most beautiful bread book yet published..." -- The New York Times

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Product Details

  • 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 (302 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,271 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Pastry chef Elisabeth Prueitt and her husband, renowned baker Chad Robertson, are the co-owners of Tartine Bakery and Bar Tartine in San Francisco. They both trained at the Culinary Institute of America in New York. Elisabeth and Chad traveled, trained, and cooked in France and upon their return, opened Bay Village Bakery in Point Reyes Station, California. Using a wood fired brick oven, they baked bread and created rustic, elegant pastries using many of the techniques they had learned abroad. Chad's bread garnered the attention of Alain Ducasse, who wrote about the couple in his book, Harvesting Excellence. After 6 years of baking in the countryside, they relocated to San Francisco to open Tartine Bakery in 2002. Elisabeth was named Pastry Chef of the Year in San Francisco Magazine. Tartine Bakery is continually rated in the Zagat Survey as Best Bakery and Best Breakfast in San Francisco. Elisabeth and Chad were nominated for James Beard Award for Outstanding Pastry Chefs in 2006 and 2007, and won the award in 2008. Their first book, 'Tartine', published by Chronicle Books, was chosen by Corby Kummer of the Atlantic Monthly in the New York Times list of selected top ten cookbooks of 2006. It was also nominated for a James Beard award for the photography of France Ruffenach. Tartine Bread, Chad's second book, published by Chronicle Books, was released in Fall 2010.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

618 of 647 people found the following review helpful By Cookbook Gal VINE VOICE on September 28, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Some background: I am an advanced home baker with a couple years of professional baking under my belt, many years ago, so that is the perspective from which I write this review.

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.
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99 of 105 people found the following review helpful By jhow on October 20, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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.
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101 of 111 people found the following review helpful By Andrew N Benson on September 28, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I live in San Francisco, an avid home baker, and Tartine and I go way back. When they first opened their shop on 18th and Guerrero, I lived a half-block away, and would sneak over for a croissant, morning bun, or some bread pudding early in the morning. Since those days, Tartine (along with the other shops on 18th St.) has become a big attraction for food tourists visiting the Mission, but continues to have a strong and devoted local following. These guys believe in what they are doing, and the quality of their breads and pastries far surpasses anyone in SF. You haven't really experienced bread until you've popped in at 5pm to grab a steaming country loaf and squatted on a stoop outside to tear into it. I can never get more than 10 yards away from the shop before pinching off a bit to taste. When my wife bought me a copy of this book, I was ecstatic. Here is a story of a man who is dedicated to bread, telling you how he arrived at his perfect loaf, and then how you might make your own perfect loaf. Rather than providing exhaustive formulas, you are required to smell, touch, look at your dough, and adjust for variations. Living in SF, where the weather will change in an instant, you have to be able to improvise as a baker, and this book shows you how to do that. If you don't have time in your life to become a devoted bread lover, cultivating a natural yeast culture, this book might not be for you, but maybe it would change your mind. The bread really is that good.
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147 of 169 people found the following review helpful By emmsf on January 2, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love Tartine, the bakery. Who doesn't?! And I can see why so many other reviewers love this book. Chad Robertson's passion for bread is obvious. If you're looking for inspirationj and a pleasant read, this book is for you. But if you are looking for thoughtful recipes for beautiful breads - if your goal is to produce great bread at home - I am afraid this book falls short. The book's format, and the author's style, make it very imprecise and harder to follow. For example, there are dozens and dozens of photos, but none have captions or numbers, and it's often difficult to know which pictures illustrate which steps. Don't get me wrong, the photos are attractive, but they're not helpful if you are hoping to see and repeat his techniques. Recipes are presented in a chatty style that may be pleasant to read, but which tend to be cumbersome and imprecise if your goal is to actually produce good bread yourself. (That's particularly true of the 24-page recipe for basic country bread, and while it was interesting to read, it's not practical as a precise, useful recipe.) Also, there seem to be more recipes for things to make with bread, and fewer actual recipes for the breads themselves. And there are typos. I know this chef is an amazing bread baker, and I eat his spectacular bread whenever I can, but his skills are in the kitchen, and not necessarily in writing books.

UPDATE 12/31/12: It seems a few other reviewers misunderstand my initial review, one going so far as to call my perspective "hogwash". Let me be clear - I've made the Tartine Country White Bread successfully. And I've had the pleasure of eating the "real thing" at Tartine and Bar Tartine many, many times. I've met Chad Robertson, and he's a nice guy. And passionate. And talented.
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