Tartine Sourdough Country Bread

By Master Chef, Chad Robertson

Adapted by Brian Lagerstrom of Weeds & Sardines

Tartine is a world-class bakery started by Chad Robertson in San Francisco where people line up around the corner everyday.

See Paul Hollywood's City Bakes at 8:40

While this seems like a long 3 day process, there is really minimal effort.  Giving the dough time to rise and develop flavor should not be rushed. Once you master this, try the Tartine Baguette

The Night Before, Prepare the Leaven:


25g sourdough starter from the mother

100g All Purpose flour

100g water (room temp)


Mix by hand, cover, let rise at least 2 hrs. and refrigerate overnight

Next Day, Prepare the Dough:


700g 95 degree water (plus 50g when salt is added)

200g ripe starter (10-12 hours old - it should float or make new starter you will waste a lot of time and energy otherwise)

900g  Bread flour 

100g Whole Wheat flour 

20g salt 



Make a slurry of 700g warm water and leaven. Add Flour and mix by hand (or stand mixer 5 min. at slow speed)

Rest 30 min.


Add salt and 50g of warm water. Incorporate with your fingers or the handle of a spoon.

Mix slow 2 min. then Medium 2 min.

Bulk Rise:

Transfer to a plastic container (optionally coat with olive oil). Cover, let rise 30 min. (optionally in a proofing box)

With wet hands, Stretch and fold one edge of the dough, rotate the container and repeat 3 more times until full circle.

Cover and place in proofing box for another 30 min.

Repeat folding, at the end lift the entire dough out in mass and tuck it under itself so there is a tight top. 

Cover and let rise 3 - 4 hours.


Scrape the sides as you turn out onto lightly floured surface. Cut in half. Shape into rounds by tucking the loaf under itself in a circular motion (takes practice)

Cover with a tea towel and bench rest for 20 min. Lightly dust Banneton (or bowl) with rice flour.

Envelope fold the loaf, then pinch and roll (see Weeds & Sardines video linked above at 5:40) or a variety of styles shown here.

Final Rise:

Transfer bottom side up into Banneton, and cover. let rise 90 min. Refrigerate overnight for improved flavor.

Baking Day!

One hour prior to baking, preheat the oven to 500°  either with a Dutch oven inside or set up as shown on the right with baking stones on the top rack, and two steam trays on the lower rack. One tray has lava stones and the other rolled up tea towels soaked in water.

The Dutch oven method (or an oven bag) is recommended for beginners to ensure that crunchy crust.

At least 30 min before baking.  Remove one the baskets from the refrigerator to allow it to reach room temperature.

Dutch oven method:

Prepare a parchment to line the bottom and create two handles to lower the loaf into the pan as shown below:

Gently flip loaf out of basket onto the parchment.  Lower into the Dutch oven and cut with a lame (and/or scissors) to allow the loaf to expand in a preferred design.

Cover with a lid. 

Reduce heat to 485°  

Bake 20 min. 

Remove lid.

Reduce heat to 465° 

Bake 18 min until dark brown. Transfer to a cooling rack.

Let Dutch oven cool 30 min, increase heat to 500° again, Repeat for second loaf.

Steam oven method:

Gently flip the loaf out onto a parchment lined oven peel, and cut with a lame (and/or scissors) to allow the loaf to expand in a preferred design.

Reduce heat to 485°  Quickly transfer the loaf onto the stone to minimize the escape of steam and add 2 c. water to the lava rocks close the door to minimize the escape of steam.

Bake 18 min.

Reduce heat to 46Remove the steam tray with the tea towels.

Bake 18 min until dark brown. Transfer to a cooling rack.

Repeat for second loaf (reheat oven to 500 for 30 min)


Though tempting, you MUST let the bread cool at least 1 hour.  Cutting into it before then will change the texture.