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



2 thoughts on “Sourdough Bread – Tabatier.

  1. Susi, you have perfected this ancient breadmaking!
    looks yummy it would be lovely with poached eggs or a country soup or an unthickened country stew with lots of veges wouldn’t it?

    1. Indeed, Mary. Love thick and earthy hot soup to be served with this bread, and also poached eggs. Thank you for your kind words. Susi.

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