Tartine Bakery Country Loaf … Sourdough (sigh)

You know me, and giving up.

I don’t.

I’ve  tried several ‘traditional’ sourdough recipes, since I decided to make my own sourdough starter in the summer of 2015, and met with nothing but failure. I blamed the starter, but then I had problems with the new one too … probably a case of using the starter before it was ready.

I’ve learned through the process, sacrificing a lot of flour (all purpose and bread) to the bakery gods. Until I finally got this baby. (SO so proud.)

I think this latest bake is pretty good. I used a recipe I found online, complete with step by step pictures of each stage. My pre-bake loaf was a bit slacker than the one in the picture. As you know, I don’t have a digital scale, just an old fashioned one that’s not very accurate so I’m sure my bread and flour amounts are off. Still, I was able to produce a decent loaf. Good colour, decent rise and I think the crumb is comparable to pictures I’ve seen online. So, I fed my starter (it’s over 2 weeks old now) and tossed it in the fridge to wait until I get inspired to bake with it again.

NOTE: Better pictures of the crumb have been posted from my second attempt. (12/11/2016)

I gots an ear on my loaf even with my crappy serrated knife to make the slashes

I MAY bake next weekend, I may not. I wish I could afford to buy a new scale. I should really invest in a lame or, the next best thing, a package of straight razor blades (10 for $16) but they’re luxuries at my current financial state. So, I’ll have to muddle along the best I can.

No bench scraper but my offset spatula works for shaping the bread into a boule.

Pineapple juice (canned NOT fresh) and whole wheat starter, after 2 weeks of feeding


11 thoughts on “Tartine Bakery Country Loaf … Sourdough (sigh)

    1. ETA: Thank you for the lovely comment. I’m at a bit of a low point RL-wise right now and was seeing things from a glass half empty viewpoint. I’m going to try to be thankful for what I HAVE and not what I don’t have. Really TRY.

      Definitely a case of scale, instant read thermometer, banneton, Pullman loaf pan etc envy in my case. The bread bakers on the sourdough FB group I belong to seem to have all of the toys. They grind their own flours with various exotic grains too.

      I bought bread flour for the first time less than a month ago … It’s a bit depressing to be honest.

      1. Well, there does seem to be kind of a “street cred” for cooking and it’s easy to get caught up in it especially as you’re doing what you’re doing and striving for a certain result. The end result is that I think most people wouldn’t be able to tell the difference from hand ground flour or regular , even if it were hand ground in an isolated village by a dozen chanting virgins…and you know me, I don’t spend a lot of $ on special equipment or ingredients. I do troll the second hand shop near me, though…and I saw a Pullman loaf pan there last week but didn’t buy it…figures, huh?

        I mean really, your loaf is gorgeous and enviable on its own! 🙂 Chin up girl! 🙂 And of course, I like to think what our great grandparents had, which was probably very little, and they all knew how to cook and probably very well. 🙂 I think a lot of bread making is just doing it so often you know the “feel.” Just like pie crusts, which still cause me anxiety, lol!!

      2. Pies … My mom didn’t do a lot of baking. I can’t remember her ever making a pie in my life. She DID make a couple of different cakes … a walnut filled sponge cake based torte and a kind of coffee cake with shredded apple. I had no experience with pies as a result.

        My first pie was a big fail. I tried to make a pork tourtiere and the crust was so hard that I ended up throwing away the whole pie. Then my BFF from grade school gave me a no-fail recipe and I got enough confidence that I can make a decent pie crust with most recipes. I’ve used 3 or 4 over the years. All good.

  1. Wow! This is one of the best looking homemade breads I’ve ever seen. The crust looks perfect and the interior moist and lots of irregular holes…. (Homemade breads look usually too thick inside). And all this without precise scales!

    1. Thank you. I haven’t been as creative since I started my blog as I was in the old days when I posted to my LiveJournal.

      I like cooking a variety of different cuisines and everything from drinks and candy to roasts.

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