April 2007 attempt at capturing wild yeast . July 2007 bread failure . July 2007 2nd attempt to capture wild yeast . July 2007 bread success! . July 2007 another success! . August 2007 sourdough rye . January 2008 malted wildbread . June 2012 wild yeast capture . June 2012 Wild Bread (Tartine) . travelling with sourdough starter . hand-kneading slack dough

Wild Bread: Tartine Style

June 2012

Bread made with recently captured wild yeast, following a recipe in Tartine Bread by Chad Robertson

wild yeast bread © ejm June 2012

Here's how it started. The morning before the bread was baked after mixing the starter using recently captured wild yeast, in the early evening it was time to mix it with flour and water to make bread. The dough was beautiful and silky. It smelled wonderful! I left it to rise while we had dinner, imagining that I would be shaping it late that night and baking it early the next morning. The dough had hardly budged by 23:00. It was quite cool in the kitchen by then so we put a plate on the bowl and left it to its own devices overnight.

wild yeast bread © ejm June 2012

Early the next morning, the dough had barely doubled. But it HAD doubled. And it stank. Really stank. Putrid stink. Horrible cheese stink. As I pulled the dough out of the bowl, the stink disipated and switched to smelling not unpleasantly sour. I shaped it anyway. I covered the loaves with a tea towel and left them to rise, imagining that it would take 3 or 4 hours, as per Robertson's instructions. Ha. Finally at 13:15, it was ready to go in the oven. (Did I mention that it smelled even sourer?)

wild yeast bread © ejm June 2012wild yeast bread © ejm June 2012

Just before baking, I slashed each loaf and sprayed them liberally with water. I slipped them onto the hot stone in the oven and baked them until the internal temperature was 100C. I was surprised they got so much oven spring. And I was quite pleased with the slashes. In fact, the bread looks good, doesn't it? A little flat maybe, but pretty good.

wild yeast bread © ejm June 2012

It looks pretty good inside too. But it smells sour!! It tastes sour!!! Maybe one has to live in California to make sweet tasting Tartine Bread....

wild yeast bread © ejm June 2012

Barbecue to the rescue! We decided to slice the overly sour bread and use it as trenches.

wild yeast bread © ejm June 2012

Just before slicing the bread, this pork butt was butterflied, covered in dry rub and barbecued.

grilled pork © ejm June 2012

We also barbecue wokked lots of vegetables: onions, chard, bokchoy, eggplant, peppers, mushrooms. We drizzled the bread with olive oil and lay the barbecued vegetables overtop.

wild yeast bread © ejm June 2012

All the time that the bread and vegetables were on the grill, the pork butt was resting - on a rack so that most of the juices stay inside the meat and hardly any go onto the board when slicing it.

grilled pork © ejm June 2012grilled pork © ejm June 2012
grilled pork © ejm June 2012

Finally, we added the sliced meat and fresh herbs from the garden (thyme, summer savory and chives). While this was not nearly as elegant as the eggplant and charred pepper bruschetta on page 204 of Tartine Bread, I'm pleased to say that our dinner was spectacular. Really spectacular. The sourness of the bread turned out to complement the vegetables.

wild yeast bread © ejm June 2012

July 2012: I decided to try again. This time, I followed the instructions to the letter.... Phooey!!! Here it is just out of the oven and it smells sour! Not quite as sour as the first one, but almost.

wild yeast bread © ejm July 2012

blog from OUR kitchen: 1st Attempt at Tartine Bread: Looks good, doesn't it? ~ Got overly sour bread? BBQ to the rescue! ~ rack that roast! ~ a second attempt at Tartine Bread

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