Tartine Basic Country Bread (2024)

Tartine Country Bread is pretty much the holy grail of sourdough bread, ever since Chad Robertson released his book, Tartine Bread. It has been an inspiration for artisan bread bakers who work hard to make gorgeous loaves with an amazing flavor.

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The original recipe for the Tartine Country Bread can be found in the book, Tartine Bread by Chad Robertson, published in 2010. I bought this book, but then was so intimidated by the fact that the recipe and instructions were over 40 pages long. As a bread baking frienddescribes it, it's "epic."

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For many bread baking enthusiasts, tackling this recipe is kind of a rite of passage.

Just look at that crust!

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When this bread comes out of the oven, the crust crackles and sings.

This bread has just the right amount of sourdough flavor. The crust is super crunchy, and the interior is soft and airy. It's really hard to wait for the loaves to cool before breaking into them, but it's essential to let the loaves continue to complete the baking process once they have been removed from the oven.

I first tried this bread in 2013, but with spelt for this post. The book also has the most amazing olive oil brioche recipe I have ever tried. The book also has wonderful recipes for pizzas, baguettes, focaccia, as well as recipes for using day old bread and extra starter.

How to control the "sourness" in sourdough bread.

For a mild sourdough flavor, let the shaped loaf rise at room temperature, and bake after two to three hours. For a more acidic flavor, let the loaf rise overnight in the refrigerator before baking.

In general, if you want more tang in your bread, you can also use a levain (starter) that contains more whole wheat or rye. You can also add a bit of rye to your final dough.

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Tartine Basic Country Bread Recipe

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Yield: 32 servings (2 large loaves)

Author: Karen Kerr

Tartine Bread has been an inspiration for artisan bread bakers who work hard to make beautiful sourdough loaves with amazing flavor.


For the Starter (Levain)

  • 1 tablespoon active 100 percent hydration starter
  • 200 grams warm water
  • 100 grams all purpose flour
  • 100 grams whole wheat flour

For the Final Dough

  • 200 grams of the starter
  • 700 grams warm water
  • 900 grams of bread flour
  • 100 grams whole wheat flour
  • 20 grams salt
  • 50/50 mixture of whole wheat and rice flour for dusting


  1. The night before you mix the dough, prepare your levain (starter) by mixing the starter, water, and flours. Cover with plastic wrap, and let sit overnight.
  2. To make the final dough, in a large bowl, add 200 grams of the starter, 650 grams of the warm water, and the flours. Mix by hand until incorporated, cover, and let rest in a warm spot in your kitchen for about 30 to 40 minutes.
  3. Sprinkle the salt over the dough and sprinkle with the rest of the water. Mix by hand, pinching the dough to dissolve the salt, and stretching and folding the dough over itself. Cover and let it rest in a warm spot for 30 minutes.
  4. Let rise for 3 hours, stretching and folding with a wet hand every 30 minutes, until the dough is buoyant and aerated.
  5. Using a dough scraper, gently coax the dough out of the bowl onto an unfloured work surface. Lightly flour the top of the dough, and divide it in half with a bench scraper. With the bench scraper, flip the dough pieces so that the floured side is on the bottom.
  6. Shape the dough pieces into boules by gently folding the dough over itself from all "sides." Flip the shaped dough over so that the seam side is on the counter. Using a bench scraper, draw the loaf toward you, and then away from you, to tighten up the top of the dough. Cover each piece with a towel and let rest for 10 minutes. In the meantime, dust two bannetons or towel lined bowls with a 50-50 mixture of wheat and rice flour.
  7. After the 10 minutes, flip the dough over, and reshape the loaf one more time. Flip the loaf back over, seam side down, and place the bench scraper under the shaped loaf. Push it around from all four sides against the work surface to create tension and tighten up the loaf. Place the shaped dough into the banneton, seam side up. Pinch the seam a few times to make sure it stays closed. Cover with oiled plastic wrap.
  8. You can either let the loaves rise at room temperature for 2 to 4 hours, until puffy, and then bake. Alternatively, you can place the shaped loaves in the refrigerator for up to 12 hours for a more sour flavor.
  9. About 30 minutes before baking, place a Dutch oven in the oven and preheat it to 500 degrees F. Remove your loaf from the refrigerator.
  10. When ready to bake, pull the Dutch oven out of your oven and, using this method, transfer the loaf to the hot pan and score it with your favorite scoring pattern. Carefully return the hot lid to the pan, and place it in the oven, and immediately reduce the oven temperature to 450 degrees F.
  11. Bake for 30 minutes, remove the lid, and bake for 15 to 20 minutes more, until the interior of the loaf reaches about 205 degrees F, and the crust is a deep brown. Cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.
  12. Repeat with the second loaf.


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Karen's Kitchen Stories

sourdough, bread, Tartine


French, American

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Created using The Recipes Generator

I first posted this in 2017 but have recently updated it with a printable recipe card.

Tartine Basic Country Bread (2024)
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