I have been making my own bread for sometime now.  No, I am not the type that always has a fresh loaf coming out of the oven, but I want to be.  I have yet to find the perfect loaf and after a few weeks of testing recipes, I usually move on to another project.  To me the perfect loaf of bread has a dark brown crust that is so crunchy it almost tears up the roof of your mouth (odd that I would want this to happen, but I do! Oh, I do!) and has a delicate, yet chewy, inside full of large air bubbles.  Over the years different recipes have failed me on one or both of these counts, but I won’t give up; especially now that I have the great fortune of owning this cookbook from the Tartine Bakery in San Fransisco.  I have admired their first cookbook Tartine, but was patiently waiting for this one.  I mean, look at that bread!  I took one glance at this book and knew this was bread  “the one”.  I must eat this bread!

This popular bakery sells out of this stuff in one hour on most days.  One hour!  Unfortunately, since all my travel eggs are in one big Italian basket right now, I will have to forgo a trip to San Fransisco until approximately 2012.  Alas, I must learn to make this on my own.  So, after suffering through the dreaded Amazon pre-order waiting period,  I finally have this book in my hands.  When it arrived, I ripped open the packaging and turned right to the section discussing the famous Tartine bread and lo and behold the instructions are a whopping sixty pages!!  This may scare some of you, but have no fear, I will do all the work for you.  Due to having to make a starter, it could be a good week or two until a batch of these babies are finally cooling in my kitchen, so needless to say, this requires numerous posts.

Tonight, I took the first steps to my dream loaf by creating the recommended flour mixture – 5 lbs of flour, equal parts whole wheat and bread flours.  This will feed my starter for then next few weeks.

Next, I make a paste of water and flour (approximately a hand full of flour added to a bowl of water – at this point, measurements don’t need to be too precise).

Now we wait.  Our next check-in with our starter will be in 2-3 days.