Tuesday, August 21, 2012


i am officially humbled. i just checked the traffic to the tartine bread experiment, and it seems that since i began this project, 65,000 viewers have visited my blog. sixty-five thousand! think. if i had you all over for dinner, i would have to haul out the folding chairs from the attic.

sprouted white winter wheat boule with sprouted whole grains

thank you for popping by now and again to see what's going on. it's amazing to me that this thing that started as a personal curiosity would end up being a curiosity to so many of you too (i actually started this blog because i was so irritated to find that after i moved to l.a. from the bay area that there really is no good bread here, well, tavern's larder, sure, but they're a million miles away, and a million dollars for a loaf).

sprouted rye boule with sprouted whole grains

i know that many of you are bloggers just the same, and i want to let you know that i frequent your blogs too. you help me to stay inspired with the bread that you bake (and if anyone is doing frangiapane anything out there, you have my heart, lock, stock and barrel).


barbara at my italian smorgasbord, sara at three clever sisters, mc at mc-farine, susan at wild yeast are just a few to name. every week i have a look-see to catch up on what everyone's doing, and i bookmark the pages to some day bake all the beautiful bread that i see over yonder. one of these days i'm actually going to open one of my million bread books so that i can become a better baker.


listen up.

so this week i sprouted my own rye and white winter wheat berries for my bread. dammit, i sprouted my own grains! and boy did the loaves come out swell! well, i will say this. the interior grains were tender as all get-out, grains on the outside of the bread were a tad chewy the day of the bake, but the next day they were fine.


while i was on this sprouting roll, i also decided to try my hand at a batch of rejuvelac, a fermented drink that's sort of like kombucha, but you ferment grains instead of using a skoby culture, and there's no sugar in the equation, which is why i stopped making my own kombucha. i will let you know if it turns out to be gross.

white winter wheat

i've really got nothing to report. my brain is fried from this heat wave. it's been 90+ degrees every day for two weeks and i'm feeling every degree of it, so i apologize now that i have nothing to say. i can barely move let alone conjure up interesting tidbits.

can you believe i actually turned the oven on in this heat wave? damn. that's some serious dedication.

sprouted white winter wheat and rye boules with sprouted whole grains


two days before i planned to bake, i sprouted 100g each of white winter wheat and rye grains (separately) like this: in a mason jar (see the picture above), i soaked them for 24 hours first. the next day i rinsed them well, drained them, then covered the opening of the jar with a piece of cheesecloth secured with a rubber band. every 8 hours i rinsed and drained them like this for two days. by the end of the second day they had sprouted little white tails about 1/8 inch long. i popped this in the fridge until 2 hours before my levain was ready, then i simmered the grains for an hour until they started to burst (if you don't cook the grains long enough, you will end up with tough grains on the crust of the bread). drain, set aside to cool.

 sprouted rye
sprouted white winter wheat

on bake day i made my levains. for the rye levain i dissolved 30g of sprouted rye starter with 50g of water then mixed in 50g of sprouted rye flour. the same weights for the white winter wheat levain, except i used my sprouted white winter wheat starter and sprouted white winter wheat flour. you, however, can use whatever you please. my levains fermented for 7 hours.


130g sprouted white winter wheat levain
332g h2o
100g sprouted white winter wheat flour
400g KA all purpose flour
all of the cooked, sprouted white winter wheat grains
12g salt


130g sprouted rye levain
325g h2o
100g sprouted rye flour
400g KA bread flour
all of the cooked, sprouted rye grains
12g salt

mix the flours and water for both doughs, cover, autolyse for an hour. after an hour, squish the salt into the dough, then fold in the grains



perform a series of turns every half hour for the first two hours at room temp. then pop in the fridge and finish the last 2 hours of the bulk ferment. covered, of course.

fermented dough

after the dough has adequately fermented, turn it out onto a rice-floured work surface, form into a loose round and let it rest for 30 minutes.

after the bench, generously dust a linen with rice flour and line a bowl with it. form the boules, then pop into the linen-lined bowls. pop in the fridge and proof overnight, covered. mine proofed for 12 or 13 hours.


an hour before you plan to bake, preheat the oven to 550 fitted with your stone and two cast iron combos. unmold your dough by first placing a sheet of parchment over the dough bowl, then inverting the dough/parchment onto a peel. peel off the linen, score, and pop into the shallow end of the combo, parchment and all.

cover with the deep end of the combo and turn the oven down to 475 and let the loaves steam for 30 minutes.

steamed loaves

after 30 minutes, remove the lid to the combos (use an oven mitt to avoid a nasty steam burn!), turn the oven down to 450 and bake till chestnut. about 30-40 minutes more, rotating the pans at least once so they bake evenly, or the backsides will burn.

cool on a rack, and be patient. your boules should rest for at least an hour and a half to two hours before you cut into them.


to the staff of life!

(p.s., this post is shared with susan at wild yeast blog, ya dig?)


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