Olive oil, a slice of bread, and a frying pan. That’s all you need… Well, that isn’t exactly bread and butter, but one could argue that this savory toast is an even more delicious and versatile combination.
Up to this point, we’ve explored several different methods by which the home baker can make yeasted and sourdough breads using flour, water, salt, and yeast. While making your own bread is an incredibly fun and rewarding activity, eating it is just as good. In fact, the concept in this post doesn’t require any mixing, folding, or fermenting – all you need are some basic cooking skills and a loaf of bread.
Feeling like you’re in the groove with this stuff so far? Don’t get too comfortable.
Up to this point, I’ve been making levain breads using Ken Forkish’s method. His book, Flour Water Salt Yeast, makes levain breads approachable for the bread baking novice, and after several months, I not only felt that I’d learned how to make artisan bread, but that I could actually make good bread. I have by no means mastered Ken’s method, but the desire to expand one’s horizons is a natural one.
Chad Robertson, renowned baker and owner of Tartine Bakery & Café in San Francisco’s Mission district, describes his own process in his first book, Tartine Bread. It was time to tackle the Tartine method, one that could be considered ‘notorious’ in the home baker world given that many elements of the process are substantially different, and consequently, quite challenging. The Tartine loaf is considered the holy grail of bread by many, and if you’ve ever made the pilgrimage to corner of 18th and Guerrero, you’ll understand why. In fact, one of my favorite blogs, Tartine Bread Experiment (now Girl Meets Rye) was originally devoted to it. Continue reading