The Fresh Loaf

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Tartine Fail - No aeration, no oven spring.

Ballard_Sour's picture

Tartine Fail - No aeration, no oven spring.

Let the levian raise over night, looked good in the morning. Dissolved it in water and added it to flour in a mixer.  Felt like I was getting gas in the folding then 4 flat loaves, that are also a little tacky.  What gives?

windycityloafster's picture

There's a lot of different factors at play here. Your starter could be past its peak, you could have overworked your dough, your oven lacks steam (baking vessel/steam matters a lot), your oven temp is innacurate, your loaves were overfermented, etc. Start a bake journal and try and narrow down your variables. Use an instant read thermometer to check the temperature of your dough as it ferments- the warmer your dough the faster the fermentation. Mix by hand to avoid overworking your dough. Put your starter in a container with gradations so you can keep track of how long it takes to peak, where and when it peaks, and what it looks like when its ready to use. There's so many things that can go right or wrong- I have been baking for about 6 months now and I still make huge mistakes all the time. Just keep at it and try to take notes every bake you have! Also, check out fullproofbaking or joyridecoffee on youtube, I feel like they give a really comprehensive and approachable overview of making great bread at home. Whatever you do don't give up and best of luck!

Ballard_Sour's picture

That's a lot to chew on,  pun intended.  thanks for taking the time to explain.  I got a new starter from a local bakery called Sea Wolf.  Going to try some bakes with that to see if there's a difference. 

WatertownNewbie's picture

First, welcome to TFL.  Many have experienced what you described and showed in your photo, and all are here to help you.

Your bread has a good crust and a fairly uniform distribution of holes.  I agree with the first poster that there are many factors that come into play in making bread.  You might not be too far away from the loaf you are hoping to achieve.

For me, photos help a great deal, because then I have a sense of what something should look like.  Here is a link to a blog post of mine about the Tartine bread.  Perhaps it can help you figure out what happened during your recent bake.

Happy baking (and stay safe).


Ballard_Sour's picture

I'll check it out,  thanks Ted


idaveindy's picture


You'll need to provide more info if you're looking for specific advice.

Which Tartine book (there are three) and which formula are you doing?

What brand and types of flour are you using?   What substitutions or alterations did you make, if any?

Knowing what country you are in (and climate) often helps to diagnose too.


As a starting guess, it looks like your dough was just a little bit over fermented or over proofed.

Flatness can also be a result of the dough being too wet, or failure to get a tight enough gluten skin during the final shaping procedure.

Different brands and types of flour, and differing storage/climate conditions, require adjustments to the amount of water. 

Ballard_Sour's picture

Good stuff.   This is the Tartine version I was going for.

I have usually done a version of this where I do the levian for 6 hours in the morning then add it to the premixed flour that has been autolysing for 4 hours. The difference is that the above has the levian sitting overnight and then its dissolved into water and mixed into the flour with no real autolyse.  The other difference is using the mixer.  I like having the levian sit overnight because the flavor is stronger but I don't get the oven spring when I dissolve it in water.  Curious why.  I live in Seattle.  I use a bread flour from Sea Wolf bakery.  As far as technique,  it's pretty much the same as the link.   Thanks in advance. 

Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

This is a version by weekend bakery. The tweaked it a bit and produces very good results. With wholegrain slightly higher and the hydration a tad lower it's easier to handle. The levain build is not in excess and the starter inoculation for the times given seems to be more spot on for activity and flavour. What's more it walks you through the whole process. 

Paul T's picture
Paul T

I had the same results several months ago but since getting good advice on here I have yet to make that same error again.   Here’s some food for thought. The main reason this occurred for me was too long of a bulk fermentation. Consider shortening the time it ferments. Read the chapter on bulk fermentation in Tartine’s book. Not an expert by any means in Tartine methods. I use Forkish methods mainly. But here’s the deal. Bulk fermentation speed depends on water temperature ( use the lowest you can do reduce speed of fermentation ) final mix temps, type of flour you are using and room temps. Forkish recommends 12-15 hours with one recipe. I have pulled the majority of mine at 12. Hope that helps. 

 I suspect when you tried to shape that it was difficult? I remember that when I tried to shape over fermented dough it just wouldn’t hold a tight ball. No surface tension at all so when I went to bake it literally collapsed in the Dutch oven. 
NotBadBread's picture

The Sourdough Journey is really amazing, particularly if you are trying to bake Tartine's BCB. The guy who runs the channel (Tom Cucuzza) goes into super detailed discussion of all aspects of how he makes that bread. His demonstration of what properly proofed dough looks like after bulk ferment is particularly helpful.


Briancoat's picture

in the past I’ve found over fermentation at some stage in the process to be the biggest culprit.

Recently I measured dough volume at 3 stages to get an idea of what happens when.

unrisen dough ...  v = 1.0 

Dough after 2h bulk ferment, shaping and overnight fridge rise  .... v = 1.7

Dough after 25 mins in iron pot at 220 deg C    .... v= 1.7 x 1.7 = 2.9

Yes that’s right, before going in the oven, the dough has not doubled in size, just +70% and it rises just as much again in the oven.

I was surprised!

Learning for me. Do not over ferment or over-prove.