Sourdough Bread – Tabatier.

Tabatier-A Pretty Loaf

Baked the big T – Tabatier bread, and this time was no disappointment, the loaf was good. Using wild yeast sourdough starter which I caught and cultivate myself, and using the method of country loaf sourdough bread baking, based on Tartine.  Leaven was prepared well so the ingredients for the dough.

I do love baking this bread, as I love the shape and it looks pretty, or even rustic and dark.

The Process of Baking the sourdough bread, Tabatier.

Freshly Baked Tabatiere – Cooling on a Tray

The Leaven

I prepared the leaven 8-9 hours before.

7.30 am

40 ml sourdough starter

50ml water

50g plain flour

The leaven was tested at 4.50 pm, and it was ready.

Started mixing the ingredients at 5.00 pm and autolyse for about one hour

Bulk Fermentation started at 6.05pm

Kneading/pulling within 30 minutes, four times.

The Ingredients for the dough

500 g good quality plain flour

260 ml water

140 g leaven

10 g salt

Raye flour for dusting

After autolyse added the salt and mix thoroughly, and followed by the bulk fermentation.

The Bulk Fermentation is very important to be done correctly and accurately.

The first rising of the dough is called the bulk fermentation or the bulk rise, This is when the strength, flavour, and structure of the dough are set.  (Based on the Tartine Bread Book)

The look of the dough at the first half hour of bulk fermentation, it’s soft and relaxed

The first half hour of bulk fermentation

It takes about 2 or 3 hours,  pulling/kneading at every 30 minutes. After the bulk fermentation, followed by a bench rest.

The last hour-two hours bulk fermentation

From the bench rest, divide the dough for the first shaping, very gently action has to take place here and let the dough rest for twenty-two minutes before the final shaping.

The first shaping, making two loaves of  Tabatier, this dough is risen beautifully, showing the pocket bubble, ready for the shaping.

Covering the two balls with bowls to rest for 25minutes before final shaping

The look of the dough after resting for 22 minutes

they ‘re larger as they spread a little, and become slightly flat.

Turn the balls, so the seams are on top.

Bring the edges to the centre and press them down gently.

Turn the dough over again and roll on the work surface,

pressing gently to for smooth, even-shaped balls. Dust with Rye flour.

The final shaping, to make a good looking Tabatier

Dust lightly with rye flour,

then bring the flap back over the top of the dough.

Use a rolling pin to flatten

and roll a third of dough out and away,

creating a flap, around  15 cm

The final shaping, the shape of Tabatier

Place the loaves on a well-floured cloth, flaps underneath.

Cover with the damp cloth to proof for 3-4 hours and bake in a hot oven for 52-55minutes.  Or retard proving in the refrigerator, and bake in the next morning.

My plan was baking the bread on the following day, I placed the dough in the fridge and covered them with plastic bags.


Using two small La Creuset Pot

Early in the morning, place two pots with the lids in the oven, and put on the very high temperature at 225 degrees C.  It took almost one hour to reach it.  Organised one dough at the time.

Ten minutes before baking I took one dough from the fridge, transfer to a lined pizza peel with baking paper, the right side on top, and the seam down.  The dough had to be scored before putting in the oven, to help them fully expand in the oven.  And I did the other one just the same.

My mittens were ready, wearing these mittens, I took the hot pots out of the oven, and I opened the lid of the pot, and put my dough on and covered the pot with the lid immediately, I did the same with other one too.  I put them back in the oven very carefully to bake for 22 minutes fu

After the twenty-two minutes was over, I opened the oven, took both the lids from the pots and I saw beautiful light golden loaves with oven spring.  I was so pleased and proud, the baking was looking very good.  I put the lid away and close the oven, continue baking without the lids for 30 minutes.  I wanted to have golden, dark brown loaves and that was exactly what I got.

The loaves had to cool down, and they sat on a cooling tray, in three or four hours can be cut to taste.  I held and lifted the loaf, and it’s so light, all the water was cooked away, and I believe I had baked two good loaves of bread.  At last!

Beautiful looking Tabatier-Bread

A sliced of the Tabatier Bread looks amazingly good.

The best crumb so far I had

To Cut the Loaf.  The Time of Truth.  Cutting freshly baked bread is a very emotional, exciting and precious time.  

I was so ready to cut, and I found out all the beauties that I wished to have.

When I cut it, the crust sang the song of bread, Beautiful. The crumb was soft, fluffy and the crust was crusty and chewy.

The exterior colour of the loaf was dramatically rustic dark brown as you can see from the pictures above.

The baking was successful, two beautiful loaves of bread  Tabatier. The flavour with a touch of sourness was delighted me just the way I like it. Beautiful crispy crust and not too hard, that’s excellent,  the fluffy interior – with beautiful open crumb, all that made me so happy.   I did it!

I am so proud to tell you that my baking sourdough has improved,  By far I have to learn more to get even better.

Pictures of The Crumb

Until the Next Post



Happy Chinese New Year.

Tomorrow is a special time for Chinese people,  it is a New Year.
The Year of  The Dog, it is, and  They celebrate it with traditions and style.  Happy New Year!
We have a large Chinese community here in Australia, and  I am sure they will have a big celebration and parties with beautiful food, and a grand feast.

On that note, I cooked one of the Chinese cooking for my family. It is steamed buns, but I give a little twist, instead of the traditional small buns I cooked a large bun that is cut into wedges to serve.

Beautiful Bun.

The Big Bun

The bun we love for breakfast is steamed buns, it was a large size

bun, a bundle of goodies.  The filling was so delicious and the bread bun was puffed up beautifully.


The Leaven

Flour, leaven and water

Mix the 155g leaven, with a cup of water to the dry ingredients-420g plain flour, a teaspoon yeast, 5gsalt and 5gsugar together, gather to make a rough ball. Knead it for 7 minutes until becomes soft.  Rub the softball with a little oil and place in a container and let it proof for two hours.

The Dough for the Bun

After Two Hours

Punch the dough down, knead lightly. put in a bowl and keep refrigerated.  When you are ready to use the dough take it out and continue cooking.

The filling:  braised pork, egg and lettuce and sweet thick sauce.

When the dough is ready, start to prepare the filling.  Poach four eggs, shred the iceberg lettuce, and get the braised pork which is done a day before.

You could make small round steamed buns which is very traditional, but today I will make one a large bun to share with the family for our breakfast.

The Pork, and Filling the bun.

Roll the dough into a large thin and round.  As a large as a dinner plate.

Put the round dough on a tray/plate lined with baking paper.  Put the filling on it, first scatter the shredded lettuce, followed by placing the pork, and put the eggs on top.  Spoon the sauce over the filling and bring the edge of the dough to the centre to enclose the filling.

Place the large bun at a room temperature to proof for one hour before steaming.

Let the buns rest at room temperature for one hour before steaming


Steam the bun with a steamer, I use what I got, but if you have a bamboo steamer is good.  Cook over high heat to steam for 25 minutes.

Serving the bun, cut into wedges and dress it in hot sauce or soya sauce.

Thanking the Chinese people who share delicious and amazing food to us all.  I do cook their dishes and my family loves them.  The bun in a part of the famous Yam Ca, and it is one of my favourites.


Until Next Post


Bread, Bread, Sourdough Bread!!!

Baked for Daily Bread.

How proud have I been, for baking sourdough bread from scratch? Now I am tired as all the baking are not always has been successful. Bake the perfect loaf I thought, the dough made from flour, water, homemade sourdough starter, and salt. So simple, the preparation is fun and can be addictive. The baking is the challenge, dealing with a hot pot in a hot oven and the whole process taking two hours to bake a loaf, from the heating the stove, the pot with the lids takes one hour.  Taking out the hot pot from the oven and loading the dough is always make nervy.
Pulling out the loaf from the oven is so good but with mixed feeling, is it good, light, is the scoring spat well during baking and having open crumb?
Cutting and Tasting: this is an exciting time,  does it cut well, is the crumb soft and airy, is the crust crisps, does it sing.?  Every baking is not the same, the loaf, the crust, the crumb are different, but the similarity is there.
I have been baking sourdough bread for a while now, but since 2017 I have become very serious about it, I learnt a lot more, and still need lots of improvement.  I went through a bad day with the terrible baking result,  a very dense and dark bread, and of course, it ended up in the rubbish bin.  Or too dark, to dry and the crumb to tight and so forth.  But I kept on going, I am thirst to succeed, I wanted to have the perfect loaf.  I have learnt from mistakes, and indeed my latest baking was better but still not the best.  That was an encouragement to me.
These pictures of the fresh loaves look so beautiful, as what sourdough bread should be.   Not all of them were good, either too hard, and not having good texture.  My hope is to create the loaf with a light- crisp crust and not hard but chewy.  If only I could get a loaf of sourdough bread of the Tartine Bread in San Francisco I would be blessed to compare.  No Chance!!!

Bread Baking in 2017

Other bread I baked was this brioche using the sourdough starter, I am not sure that I like it very much, indeed we ate it, I found the texter of my brioche was not bad but it was not fluffy enough.

More Bread

Bread and Bread

All the bread baking were based on two recipes: one using liquid sourdough starter based on Eric Kaysar’s recipe and his technique (brioche, turmeric bread, tabatiere, muslin bread and courone)
The other one was using a pure wild yeast sourdough starter and I followed the recipe from the Tartine Bread, and the Perfect Loaf.

The Journey Continue, Keep on Learning and Baking, that’s my mission.


Bread and Bread, 2018

B    The best baked was two loaves of  Batard; one plain and the other one with nuts and fruits.


Second Baked -Plain Batard.
One of bad baking day, the bread was burnt and dense.

Following recipes well, learning from the mistakes and listening to experts that’s what I have to do.

My plan to be a monthly baker and just see!
It would be great if I could have freshly baked bread daily.  It is impossible for me.


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