Tartine Country Bread

My second attempt of baking sourdough country bread in the Lodge cast-iron combo cooker, with the recipe and instructions from Chad Robertson 'Tartine Bread'. The sweetness and the complex rich flavor of the loaf is amazing, almost addictive. Hard to believe that it was simply made of flour, water and salt. Definitely the best bread I have ever baked.

Below is a Tartine Country Rye Bread, another recipe from the same book. The 17% Rye flour gives the loaf a wonderful rich aroma with a subtle nuance of rye flavor, which is somehow similar to the flavor of quality roasted coffee beans. It tasted fantastic with the different depth that the rye flour added than whole wheat (which gives a rather flatter impression in taste).

After learning some basic sourdough baking technique from Tartine Bread book, I tried to bake Light Rye Bread (New York Deli Rye) with Jeffrey Hamelman's recipe from his book Bread.

The baking technique of Hamelman is more authentic and traditional, and the bread turned out to be a fantastic New York Deli Rye. Instead of using a cast-iron combo cooker, I used a pizza stone with oven steam and it worked great. The crust was crisp and crunchy, and the crumb was soft and light with a sweet complex aroma of rye flour. The sourness of the bread was very mild and subtle (the use of instant yeast besides sourdough wild yeast kept the sourness milder) but nicely recognizable. It tastes so good that I don't want to put anything on it. I will try some other variations of sourdough rye breads with Hamelman's recipes.

(more photos of my attempt of baking sourdough bread)