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Tartine Bread Hardcover – September 29, 2010
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100 Books for a Lifetime of Eating & Drinking
If you want to make an authentic tagine, bake mouth-watering cakes, or vicariously experience the life of a chef, you’ll find the book for it on this list.
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From the Publisher
The Definitive Baking Guide
From San Francisco's legendary Tartine Bakery.
The Tartine Way
The bread at San Francisco's legendary Tartine Bakery sells out within an hour almost every day. At 5 P.M., these rugged, magnificent loaves are drawn from the oven. The first cut yields steam and room-filling aroma, exposing an open and tender interior underneath the burnished, substantial crust. This distinctive bread was developed by renowned baker Chad Robertson over a decade of working with one of the finest artisan bakers in the United States and France, followed by another decade baking solo in a small wood-fired oven on the coast of Northern California. The following for this singular bread far exceeds the bakery's limited daily production.
Only a handful of bakers have apprenticed to learn the techniques Chad has developed.
Now it's your turn to make this bread with your own hands. Clear instructions and hundreds of step-by-step photos put you by Chad's side as he shows you how to make exceptional and elemental bread using just flour, water, and salt.
Chad then explains how it all works and shows how variations from this master recipe lead to wonderfully diverse breads. Soon you will be able to create your own unique and personal loaf. Also included are more than 30 sweet and savory recipes using the day-old bread to make sandwiches, classic soups, puddings, delicious baked French toast, and an addictive Kale Caesar.
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.)
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"...the most beautiful bread book yet published..." -- The New York Times
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Top Customer Reviews
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. If this book does nothing more than teach you to bake the "Basic Country Bread," it will be well worth the price.
I am unsure about the propriety of criticizing a review written by another Amazon user, but I cannot resist taking E. Hanner to task for his November 10, 2010 misleading critique, "Tartine -- choose another book." Hanner finds fault in Robertson's explanation of baker's percentages, saying: "Robertson ... attempts to de-mystify bakers math so you learn to `think like a baker.' Then his representation of the recipe or formula is in my opinion very non standard and confusing." In fact, Robertson's explanation of the baker's percentage is entirely correct. (See, Harold McGee, "On Food and Cooking" (New York: Scribner, 2004), p. 527 and Michael Ruhlman, "Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking" (New York: Scribner, 2009), p. 5.) Hanner seems unhappy that the components in a baker's percentage add up to more 100%. That, however, is why it's called a "baker's percentage" and not a "mathematician's percentage." Hanner also seems to misunderstand that the flour in the leaven is included in the percentage of leaven rather than the percentage of dough flour.
Finally, Hanner expresses concern for our safety, complaining that "[t]he concept of baking in a cast iron combo cooker is in my opinion, an accident waiting to happen." Even the most humble home cook handles hot pans regularly. We're not children, for crying out loud.
Hanner claims that his critique is not mean spirited, but it's hard to believe anything else. Robertson has written a wonderful book that succeeds (where other bread books have failed) in providing a detailed, illustrated path to better bread building.
What do you need that you may not already have? 3 Items.
1. A 3-qt cast iron casserole or combo cooker https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0009JKG9M/ref=sr_ph_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1482380697&sr=sr-1&keywords=Cast+iron+combo+cooker. I used my old LeCreset casserole.
2. A couple of bannetons https://www.amazon.com/Banneton-Bread-Proofing-Basket-Beautiful/dp/B01E52S2UI/ref=sr_1_5?s=kitchen&ie=UTF8&qid=1482380774&sr=1-5&keywords=bannetons.
3. And rice flour. (I am assuming you have whole wheat flour and bread flour or can buy them at your local grocery.)
I followed the instructions for the basic loaf and was amazed at the results. Thick crust, tender crumb, lots of irregular holes and big ears. The author explains that if you want big ears, you must do nearly horizontal slashes.
Here are my results:
The photo's are of double the recipe just hot out of the oven. I used Kamut, spelt, Rye & wheat flour.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The recipes are extensive and detailed and the inclusion of...Read more