The last time I visited Paris, I was amazed and amused to see so many people carrying loaves of bread as they walked in the streets. I quickly learned that, in France, buying fresh bread is a daily morning ritual, as routine as that first cup of coffee. Clearly, the people must have their bread!
My personal sourdough boule journey began with a few failed attempts, teaching me patience and a deeper appreciation of bread-making. But I was determined to master the method by taking a deep dive into the process. I asked my culinary colleagues about their bread-baking experiences, but most had just dabbled; nothing too hard-core. Too much of a commitment, they all said.
A few months later, in a photo shoot at Fine Cooking Magazine (when I was Food Editor and Test Kitchen Director), a casual conversation with food stylist Suzanne Lenzer led to just the recipe I was looking for. Suzanne told me about an article she wrote for the New York Times in 2014 entitled Tartine’s Country Bread: Be Patient, Perfection Is Near. In it, she streamlined Chad Robertson’s classic boule recipe from his book Tartine Bread and explained things in a way that removed most of the fear, making readers believe that we, too, could produce perfect, crusty sourdough boules in our kitchens!
The video below has some techniques I learned from going through the process a few times. Let me know what you think in the comments below!
While you’re on my YouTube channel, you’ll find recipes and techniques which are not on my Instagram or TikTok video feeds.
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Same video on Instagram (if you prefer)…