Cooking

Flour Power

A new book from Tartine's master baker
Tartine San Francisco Chad Robertson Bread
Photos: Aubrie Pick

What do you do after you've written the great bread book?

This was the challenge facing Chad Robertson, co-owner of San Francisco's beloved Bar Tartine and Tartine Bakery, whose crusty, airy country loaves are some of the nation's best.

"With the last book, I was telling the story of what I had been doing," Robertson says, speaking to us in front of the ovens at the Bar Tartine sandwich shop. "There was no more to tell," the rangy, surfer-handsome baker admits. "So I wanted to find some new stories."

The book | Baker Chad Robertson
In search of new tales to tell about bread, Robertson hit the road--Denmark, Sweden, Germany, France. Inspired by what he saw there, he started playing around with heirloom wheats, sprouted rye berries and whole grains. Robertson and his baking crew have been madly experimenting ever since, applying his slow-rising, naturally leavened style to flours you may never have heard of.

The result is Tartine Book No. 3 ($40) which will be published tomorrow and features recipes with names like "Sprouted Quinoa-Kamut" and "Brown Rice Porridge Bread."

"Some of the breads sound really out there," Robertson jokes. "But they don't taste like it."

Chad Robertson's salted chocolate-rye cookies
The recipes do take practice to learn and time to make--not to mention a source for ancient grains like emmer, spelt or purple barley. (Roberston recommends Whole Foods or Anson Mills' online store.)

While you're waiting for your sourdough starter to bubble, have a look at the Robertson's whole-grain pastries.

He shared his recipe for his salted chocolate-rye cookies (see the recipe), already a Tartine customer favorite.

Densely chocolaty, with crackly tops, there ain't no hippie in these cookies.

Tartine Bakery 600 Guerrero St. San Francisco Ca 94110 415-487-2600

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