Basic Method

This method follows the Tartine Bread method developed by Chad Robertson.  It uses an immature starter and produces a loaf with tang, not overtly sour character.  It is crusty, chewy, and perfect for sandwiches or french toast (although it may not last that long.)  Everything here is done by weight, so you’ll definitely want to invest in a kitchen scale if you don’t have one already.  This is a great project for brew day (if you have your brewing techniques down so you can think about bread) as they both take 4-5 hours.2014-03-23 11.30.45

Things you’ll need:

  • leaven
  • whole wheat flour
  • all purpose flour
  • bread flour
  • salt
  • water

Feeding your starter:

First off, you need leaven.  Leaven is simply another word for starter.  Leaven is the key to your bread.  The best and easiest way is to find someone with established leaven and get some of theirs.  I’m more than happy to share the wonderful leaven I use.


Secondly, you’ll need to fill a tub with a 50-50 blend of whole wheat flour and all purpose flour.  This will be the food your starter will eat.  I keep a 6-quart tub full of this blend for feeding.IMG_0954

  1. Discard all but 1-2 tbsp of your starter
  2. Add 200g of the 50-50 mix of flours and 200g water
  3. Mix

Making Dough:

This is for 77.5% hydration dough.  I find it to be workable and produce the best bread and pizza.  For bagels, the same recipe applies, but lower the water level by 5-10% depending on how you like your bagels.

The night before:

Feed your starter as mentioned above.  Have it in a container where it can double or triple in size.  Leave out at room temp if you are going to bake in the AM.


Next day:

Check to make sure your starter has been active.  You can try floating it in water, I simply look for bubbles and growth.


[EASY NOTE: You can mix the following by hand, or it fits perfectly in a kitchenaid (unless you’re doing a double/triple/etc batch)  Use the paddle attachment to blend everything together.]


  1. Find a large bowl.  Mix 200g leaven (starter) with 725g of 70degF water.   Put the rest of your leaven in the fridge for next time.
  2. Add 1000g bread flour and mix with hands, mixer, or spoon.  Dough will be soft and rough. and will pull away from edges of the bowl.  IMG_0974
  3. Rest 30 minutesIMG_0983
  4. Mix 15-20g salt in 50g of warm water, add to dough and incorporate.  I make fists and squish it all together with my hands.  Dough will be tacky and soft.IMG_0995
  5. Over the next 3-4 hours at 72 deg dough will bulk ferment.  If you are making bread in the evening, put the dough in a cool place overnight.  One thing that will help dough with structure is to turn it every 30 min for the first 2 hours.  I store mine in a plastic tub, they are airtight and work well.
  6. If you are going to bake this day, you’ll need to shape.  If not, then put dough in the fridge until you are ready to shape and bake.  I find that 1-2 days in the fridge does wonders for crumb structure (the holes inside the bread)2013-06-24 10.27.13





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