First attempt at Chad Robertson's technique from tartine bread


Today i attempted the technique from Chads book. The results were great. Excellent cell structure in the crumb and it was moist and the crust was chewy, if i was to be critical it would be the underside of the loaf was darker than the rest, i assume this was caused by the dough actually sitting on the bottom of the pan, no different to sitting on the hearth of a woodfired oven though. 

I chose not to bake it as long, i didnt want to go as dark a crust as Chad tends to do and is famous for.

My next attempt is to bake around 10. Loaves in an Alan Scott oven that a built for a friend a few years ago, hopefully i can replicate the same results in the wood oven as i can in the cast iron pot technique. I think its all aout the steam.  I will keep you all informed. 

Question. Can a loaf have to many air pockets?


SlackerJohn 2013 March 31

Hi Gamby

Yes, you can have too big holes, IMHO at least!

Taken to its logical limit, you will have crust, with nothing inside.  How could you possibly spread that with butter?

My wife, a very sensible lady, objects to paying good money for bread that is largely air!

Cheers John

gongoozler 2013 April 1

I have tried Chad Robertson's method with reasonable success but found the whole process an awful fiddle, the dough very difficult to handle and the taste no better than my normal method (although the holes were bigger) What's wrong with old fashioned kneading?

I am still waiting for someone to explain to me why big and variegated holes are so much better than the finer more even crumb that was considered good breadmaking 50 years ago. Funnily enough my own wife made an almost identical comment to SlackerJohn's.

Each to his own I guess


gamby 2013 April 1

Hi Gongoozler,

Thanks for your reply, as therapeutic as i find kneading, im not complaining about the autolyse and zero kneading (other than a few turns throughout the bulk fermentaion process).

I may be wrong but i couldnt imagine 50 -100 years ago when the baker made bread for the village that they kneaded 100- 200kg of dough everyday, that would be back breaking day in day out, i know that they put the dough into big timber troughs and turned the dough, but i could be wrong.

I guess the air holes create a lighter less dense bread, im far from an expert and im sure there are some lovely denser breads out there with a beautiful ight moist crumb.

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