Sunday, June 2, 2013

to the staff of life!



i can't believe that i'm actually saying goodbye. it's not forever, i mean, i will leave this blog up for posterity, but i will no longer be contributing new posts. every fine experiment must come to an end, you know. think of this blog as a book. i refer to it as often as you when i've forgotten a detail, and even chad's book has a final page, as does proust's 'in search of lost time', and we all know how long that book is. in fact, i think that he actually died with a pen in his hand (i'm talking proust here) so, if he was immortal, perhaps 'in search of lost time' would still be in the process of being penned: and furthermore!

parmesan & lucques olive: the farewell boule

in keeping with my nature in never lingering over a farewell, i give you my final post. thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for joining me on this road. thank you for all of the comments and emails about how my blog has helped you overcome your bread fears. this is why i began the blog to begin with, and so, i have accomplished my goal.

i want to thank susan at wild yeast blog who helped me on my bread path from the start, and who gave me a place to share my discovery with you. if not for susan, there would be no tartine bread experiment, because i would never have gotten a starter off the ground (for reals). i also wanted to thank all of the people who have installed my blog on their blog lists, i can't tell you what an honor that is.


they say that 'you are only as good as your last _____', and i am happy to say that not a single person has ever written to me to tell me that their starter or bread did not turn out when using this blog. in fact, every comment has detailed the contrary. we have overcome some mysteries together, we've worked some things out, we have held one another's hand. you, dear reader, have educated me along the way. et, voila! by now i think that we are all chad-worthy bakers.



so this is the moment when the tartine bread experiment is no longer an experiment, but an homage to chad robertson who has opened up the sexy world of bread to people like you and me who never thought making something so divine in our very own kitchens was remotely possible. thank you chad (even though you don't know who the hell i am), and THANK YOU ALL!

francis-olive
ADIEU!

the final formula:

LEVAIN DAY:

the night before you plan to make the dough, make your levain:

50g 100% hydration whole rye starter
100g to your health sprouted spelt flour
100g cold filtered h2o

mix this all up to a paste, and ferment overnight. mine fermented for 8 hours.















DOUGH DAY

all of the levain
360g cold filtered h2o
555g KA bread flour
147g lucques olives*
120g parmigiano-reggiano cheese, chopped into bits
26g good fruity olive oil
11g salt

*the olives weighed 219g before i pitted them. the weight above is the pitted weight.

dissolve the levain in the h2o. mix the flour in until you reach a shaggy mass. autolyse this for one hour.



shaggy mass.

after 1-hour autolyse

after the autolyse, squish the salt and olive oil into the dough with your fingers. now begins the 4-hour bulk fermentation, the first 2 hours of which you will perform a series of turns every half hour; this is done at room temp. during the first turn, fold in the cheese and olives. try to keep the cheese and olives encased in the dough while you are doing your turns.







after the first 2 hours with turns, pop in the fridge for the final 2 hours. after the bulk fermentation, turn the dough out onto a rice-floured work surface, gather it up into a loose round, and rest for 15 minutes. after the 15-minute bench rest, work the dough into a tight boule.








pop the dough into a bowl that has been lined with a rice flour-dusted linen, cover with a dampened square of cheesecloth, and cover with a bowl or a plate. pop in the fridge for 18 hours.




BAKE DAY

an hour before you plan to bake, pop your combo cooker into the oven (your stone should be in there. always, right?) and preheat to 550. when the oven is good and hot, pull the dough out of the fridge.



unearth the dough and score it DEEPLY; slide it into the oven and pop the lid on. turn the heat down to 475 and steam for 30 minutes.









after the 30 minute steam, remove the lid. turn the oven down to 450 for 15 minutes, then down to 425 and bake till golden, maybe another 15 minutes. watch it. the cheese will burn if its baked too long.







verdict: the crust turned out brittle and light, the crumb uber tender and open, and of course, i don't have to tell you how good it is. the 18 hour final fermentation, and the addition of cheese and olive oil make this boule as decadent as it looks. this is the perfect denouement to a wonderful journey.

THE CURTAIN CALL



TO THE STAFF OF LIFE!

38 comments:

  1. I have been following your blog for quite some time now - a lot of your experiments with Chad's loaves came as I just started working with Tartine Bread myself. Your work on the blog and in bread baking has been almost as inspiring as Chad's wonderful original loaves and recipes... I am sad to see that you won't be continuing to post, but hopefully you will be continuing to bake.

    Mark

    http://mewoolgathering.tumblr.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, always baking. Always... Many more breads come out of my kitchen than what I post. There is never a day that we are without bread in this house. That would be sacrilege! Mark, it is up to you to keep the bread posts going. Now I will be following you. :)

      Francis-Olive

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  2. I'm sorry to see you go. Your breads are wonderful and I've been trying some of them for a while now. The Arrogant Bastard is my favorite. I will miss your photography and formulas!

    Diana

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    Replies
    1. You are a brave gal, that bread is as ferocious as it looks. I love it too! Lovely with pickled things and cheese, and I make it often. Thank you for writing!

      Francis-Olive

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  3. and I have just found you... and now.... oh dear... ends always make me cry...

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    Replies
    1. Lynne, I like to think of the Tartine Bread Experiment blog as a book. I refer to it often, thus, I am keeping it in tact as I feel it invaluable to us all. Of course, I am always here if you get stuck with something. Send me an email if you ever need.

      Francis-Olive

      Delete
  4. I'm too late! I'd just discovered baking bread this winter, when I couldn't work for a long period of sickness..
    I was very impressed by your postings especially the lovely photos!
    Thank you very much. I ordered Chads book and now I have to translate everything in my language.
    I will work me trough all your recipes...
    Have a good time Francis-Olive, you made me happy!
    Susanne

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    Replies
    1. Susanne, it's never too late ;)

      happy baking!

      Delete
  5. Thank you, Francis-Olive, for your stories, for your beautiful photographs, for your humor, for sharing your quest for the perfect loaf, and most of all for your passion for the mysterious and delightful process that produces these beautiful loaves of bread.
    Les

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    Replies
    1. Les! i like to consider my blog a collective - we all desired the same thing, and so that desire has produced this achievement. i could not have done it without the people who came to the page, just like me, looking for inspiration, just like me. it was my pleasure and honor to be part of everyone's bread path. with solidarity, we all achieved this. and to think, an free online book of breads that we can master before truly diving into that expansive world. there is so much more to learn - croissants, laminated doughs, working with different grains. tartine bread experiment was one that i think was accomplished to get our feet wet, and i think that we are wading quite happily and freely, as it were, and all of us ready to move to higher ground with our new bread wings! to the staff of life!

      francis-olive

      Delete
  6. mon ami - adieu..... c'est tous on moi francais!!! your blog gave me the tools & courage to bake a bread yesterday that may have been the best i've done. my heart breaks that i came late to your blog and wonderful writing. my heart soars knowing that you are a brave soul on to other things. a lesson for me on life along with lessons on bread. bon voyage. a bien to (i have no clue how to spell that....)
    Stephanie

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    Replies
    1. Stephanie, what kind words, and what impressive ken you have, to understand that my adieu means a closing one precious door to open another. c'est tres vrai. it was a difficult decision. alors, quel que fois, nous devons faire des choix difficiles.

      courage à vous aussi en toutes choses!

      a bientôt.

      francis-olive

      Delete
  7. You have been an inspiration and will continue to be. I too will refer to this blog often. There is so much to learn. Thank you for your generous heart, for not being content with sharing a bit, but everything you know and going the extra mile to make sure your reader understands. I asked about something once and you answered and then posted another answer to expound on it and still after that referred me and all your other readers to an older post (about starters). All the very best to you, Francis-Olive!
    Gretchen

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Gretchen. I had so much fun on this journey!

      Francis-Olive

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  8. Nooo! I just started to follow your blog!

    Technical question. Do you put your bread in the oven while still cold?

    As I do not have a combo cooker (yet!), how would it affect the bake time / temperature.

    Thanks for sharing your experiments!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sebastien. Oh, yes, yes. It's funny, I don't think I ever once really elucidated that all of my breads are baked right out of the fridge. As soon as the oven is preheated properly, I pull the dough out, unearth, score, bake. I never bring my dough up to room temp. There is no need.

      Hope this helps!

      Francis-Olive

      Delete
    2. Sebastian, the blog will remain in place, so it should be just as useful, and if you get stuck with anything, feel free to write to me and I will see if I can help you work it out.

      Francis-Olive

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    3. Thanks to your instruction, I have made one of the best bread as of yet! Cheese Onion and Hot Peppers! It's already finished, so time to start a new one! Merci!

      Delete
  9. I seconf Mark on his remark that your blog was a wonderful complement for Chad's book. To me' your recipes are better than Chad's. The 18-24 hour fermentation in the fridge is just perfrect to accomodate my schedule. And you also taught me how to control the moisture to get the right texture, and also your wonderful scoring techniques. I will miss you so much. Bon Voyage!!

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    Replies
    1. MTK, you are very kind to write. I am glad that I could help you on your path. I wish you many, many successful loaves of bread to share with family and friends!

      Francis-Olive

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  10. Francis-Olive, Francis-Olive, Francis-Olive.....
    my inspiration is gone my spirit down - it is like Leonardo without Mona Lisa....
    My bread will not smile anymore, the crust not crackling and singing - may be the last one sang loud to thank you....
    I am missing words - i wished i could convince you to go for another 1000 breads...
    Let me really thank you for the moments i had with every of your wonderful posts.
    I still can remember, when i explored your blog the first time - i couldn't believe what i have seen there - i just bought Chads wonderful book and with your blog i have realized how to work with this book...
    I need a brea(d)k to recover.

    Wish you all the best!
    Bernd

    bernd's bakery

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  11. I hear he's in Europe doing research for a new book. I think this would be an excellent opportunity for a new blog. Thank you for taking the time to do this blog. Your not on twitter?

    ReplyDelete
  12. I hear Chad is in Europe doing research for a new book, an excellent opportunity for a new blog I think. Thanks for taking the time to put together this blog. Are you on twitter?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Blair. I am on twitter @frankieolives

      an ambitious new blog... perhaps this could be your turn at a tartine blog ;) (let me know if you do!)

      francis-olive

      Delete
  13. No, thank YOU! Your blog has been a joy to read, and I will definitely miss it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Mary! You are too sweet.

      :)

      Francis-Olive

      Delete
  14. But there's a 3rd Tartine book about to come out...!

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    Replies
    1. tomato! i know. chad is a MACHINE! i wish i could say so much about bread. it's only a matter of time before he is planting a wheat field on top of the tartine building and grinding his own flour.

      alas, he will do a better job than i with all that. but i think we should all pitch a plea to him to do a tartine blog. a REAL tartine blog. wouldn't that be spiffy?

      Delete
  15. Thank your for such a gorgeous gorgeous blog. I have the book... I've had it for quite a while... but your blog has inspired me to go for it. I know what you mean about Susan Tenney. Amazing woman and supporter of bakers. She has been (without her knowing it) a great resource and traffic driver to my blog. I LOVE baking bread. It is my therapy. Thank you for your contribution to the bread baking community.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Karen. Thank you for your kind words. It's funny, before I started baking bread, I bit my fingernails with the thought of the whole endeavor. And as I started on the Tartine journey, learning all about bread, flour, the basics of bread, I started shedding the fear. And then, well, you can see what blossomed. I got to that therapeutic place, just as you have. I think that we must subconsciously know of its healing power. It's our ancestral food, all cultures, in some form or another. It's an 'essential' food, and as human beings, no matter how technologically advanced we are, we are all still essential beings. Our true requirements never change: love, food, shelter, water. That's really all we need. These few things are the fountainhead of our existence. Bread is representative of food -- and love, you know, as it extends to sharing. How many contemplative moments have we all had with our dough?

      Chad appears to be such an introspective young man. When you regard him, you understand that he's probably a man of few words, a man on some path of enlightenment. I don't know if you have even been to Tartine in San Francisco, but it really is one of the city's 'meccas'. People are drawn to it, it has all of the elements essential to man: food, water, shelter, and yes love. The staff there exude a sense of community and love for one another and what they do. I think, for me, the book was not about the formulae, but about recognizing that intuitive place within that gets lost within the cacophony of life: ambitions, desires, expectations. I've had differing opinions about what bread book is best for the novice, I say Tartine is best for those of us who are seeking more than bread. It's a book for those who are ready to achieve a greater sense of self-trust and awareness. It's evident that this was Chad's focus when he started down that path. It is such a private journey, and I think that he must have risen to a level of immense freedom in his own personal life when he decided to share it. One only guards a thing that one fears he will lose.

      I think that my contribution to the bread community is small. I think the biggest aspect of it was a revelation of a woman who faced some fears, who dove a little deeper, who capitulated to that atavistic call, the one that speaks through every generation, no matter the philosophy of the born man/woman. For me it was not a loaf of bread, it was my way of saying: if I can face my fears, so can you. And so together, I think we all in some ways forged ahead together. Maybe because we knew we had one another, in some odd corner of the world.

      I still get excited when it's time to make another loaf of bread. I have a levain on the counter as we speak.

      Francis-Olive

      Delete
  16. An insightful and eloquently written blog. I enjoyed every minute reading AND baking. I will miss the excitement of seeing a new post. Good Luck Miss.

    Tom (UK)

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  17. Thank you so much for all of your effort in introducing us with your beautiful bread. I wish you all the best, and a good luck.
    X,
    Dewi

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Dewi. You have been such an inspiration!

      xo

      Francis-Olive

      Delete
  18. Francis,
    Thanks for the many posts throughout the years. I found myself binge-reading through all of them a while back. They really lead me in the right direction with tweaking my recipes and finding what works for me (and my location).

    I was wondering if you had a minute or two to look over my steps? I'd really appreciate any feedback you might have -- it's always good to get some experienced bakers to provide feedback!

    My latest post is on my new blog:
    www.foodtravelthought.com

    Thanks, I really appreciate it! Sad to see this site coming to an end. Who knows though, maybe you'll find you want to post again in the future :)
    Maurizio

    ReplyDelete

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