Tartine Manufactory


Tartine Bakery is one of the best bakeries in San Francisco and for years has operated out of a small, crowded store in the Mission.  Now they have opened a much larger, beautiful new space called Tartine Manufactory about 12 blocks east from the original Tartine.  Manufactory combines a bakery, restaurant, coffee shop, and a soon-to-open ice cream counter.  Compared to the original Tartine, Manufactory has expanded breakfast and lunch options, as well as different pastries and breads.  Tartine bread really is special.  Bread at the old Tartine was available once a day after 430 PM, and now at Tartine Manufactory it is baked three times per day.  When I went on a Friday morning, they told me the first bread availability was 1030 AM, and chef-owner Chad Robertson himself was manning the enormous oven, a centerpiece of the new space.  Tartine Manufactory is in a building that also has a Blue Bottle Coffee and also houses the Heath Ceramics factory and store.  The Heath Ceramics store showcases some of beautiful (and expensive) dinnerware, tile and curated home goods.  This is a really amazing space and a definite new SF culinary landmark.

Link to Tartine Manufactory here.

Bakery Review: The Mill (San Francisco, CA)


The Mill toast with apricot jam

The Mill toast with apricot jam

As usual, I am many months late following up on trends, but I finally tried the toast at The Mill in San Francisco.  The Mill is Josey Baker’s bakery where he sells his signature breads and baked goods in a joint venture with Four Barrel Coffee.  They make exceptional bread, using whole grain flour that they grind in-house and naturally leaven with wild yeast.  Their bread is served at some of San Francisco’s best restaurants, like State Bird Provisions and Frances.  The toast became famous among various food sites last year as “$4 Toast” or “Hipster Toast” (see write-up in Bon Appetit for example.)

The toast is made from thick slices of one of Josey Baker’s breads, like the country loaf.  It is spread with a generous amount of salted butter and and various toppings, like their own apricot jam and version of nutella.  I thought it was excellent, satisfying comfort food with elevated artisanal ingredients, justifying the hype and the notoriety.  I also sampled their seeded country loaf, which had a great crust, soft interior, and complex, slightly tangy, nutty flavor.  Their chocolate chip cookie was excellent as well, made with 100% stone ground whole grain flour and a generous amount of high-quality chocolate.  The Josey Baker Bread Cookbook is definitely on my list to get.

The Mill has an open, warm interior filled with light from the skylights above.  There is a long communal table as well as smaller tables and a parklet outside.  There is an open kitchen area where the tattooed baristas, bakers, and cooks work, making the toast along with homemade nutella or jam.  The Mill is located in a great neighborhood along the Divisadero corridor in San Francisco, with neighbors including Bi-rite grocery, Bar Crudo, and 4505 Burgers and BBQ.

The Mill, 736 Divisadero, San Francisco, CA

Link to The Mill website here.

Link to Josey Baker Bread Cookbook here.

The Mill on Urbanspoon

Restaurant Review: Bar Tartine (San Francisco, CA)


Bar Tartine is the sister restaurant of Tartine Bakery, located on Valencia in the Mission, San Francisco.  The restaurant features a modern American menu using locally sourced ingredients and the famous Tartine bread.

The fresh-baked bread from Tartine Bakery is really exceptional and a highlight.  The bread has a firm, crackling crust, and soft, slightly sour and complex interior.

The Smoked Potatoes, roasted and alderwood smoked small potatoes with black garlic vinaigrette and ramp aioli, is one of the best dishes I have had in the Bay Area.  The smokiness, crisp texture from roasting, cream from the aioli, and acidity from the vinaigrette are really a winning combination.  I used up the rest of the bread to sop up all of the sauce.

The rest of the menu is very adventurous and original, mostly focused on fresh, seasonal vegetables.  I liked the Farmer’s Cheese dumpling, served in a delicious mushroom broth.  The desserts are unique as well, on the border of sweet and savory.  Definitely recommended.

Link to my post on making Tartine Bread here.  Amazon link to Tartine Bread cookbook here.

Link to Bar Tartine website here.

Cookbook Review: Tartine Bread


DSC07557Tartine Bakery in San Francisco is well-known for their rustic country bread as well as cakes, morning buns, and other baked goods.  Chef Emily Pruett released the Tartine Bakery cookbook, which has great recipes for brown butter shortbread lemon bars,  croissants, and tea cakes.  Chef Chad Robertson released the Tartine Bread cookbook two years ago, and it had been sitting on my shelf because the recipe for bread, at 37 pages, was quite intimidating.  But actually most of these pages are filled with step-by-step photos and explanations and adjustments of a bread recipe that, as I finally found out recently, is not that much more difficult than Jim Lahey’s super-easy No-Knead Bread recipe.

Unlike No-Knead Bread, Robertson’s recipe requires a yeast starter.  This can be started at home from wild yeast present in your kitchen, in a method explained in the book.  Or one can obtain starter from a local bakery.  I went to the Oakland Eat Real Festival earlier this year and obtained a starter from Sour Flour and have been feeding it in anticipation of finally using it to bake bread.  The starter should be fed every day, but it is pretty forgiving.  For example, it can be fed less often if stored in the refrigerator.  On the night before bread baking, a leaven made with starter, flour, and water is set up to aerate overnight.  The leaven is then mixed with additional flour and water, followed by a rest period of 25 to 40 minutes, and then a bulk fermentation of 3 to 4 hours.  During the bulk fermentation, the dough is turned every half hour.  The dough is then shaped into a round and then undergoes a bench rest for 20 to 30 minutes.  The dough then undergoes a final shaping and rise for 3 to 4 hours.  I had difficulty scoring the bread, so I used Ken Forkish’s method where he puts the bread in the baking vessel seam side up (this will make sense once you bake the bread).  Like with No-Knead Bread, the bread is baked in a Dutch oven to trap steam from the dough itself during the initial twenty minutes of baking.  The last twenty minutes of baking is performed with the lid removed, allowing for the development of a crackling crust.  This is a full-day project, but most of the time is non-active time.  The Tartine Bread recipe produces outstanding bread.  The bread emerges from the oven and fills the kitchen with a delicious aroma and the crackling sounds of the “music of bread.”  There is a crunchy crust and spongy, flavorful interior that makes the day well worthwhile.

The book has variations on the bread recipes, such as olive bread, and also recipes for baguettes, pizza dough, and brioche.  And there is a great section of recipes for using the bread in salads, soups, and sandwiches.  I tried the meatball sandwich recipe, with a very garlicky pesto, pillowy soft meatballs, a simple tomato sauce (add some salt to taste) and provolone that combined for a great Italian sandwich.

My favorite recipe from the book is the French Toast, the most amazing recipe for French Toast I have ever tried.  A thick slice of country bread is soaked in a custard of eggs, milk, vanilla, sugar, salt, and lemon peel.  The lemon peel I think is really the key flavor note that elevates this recipe.  The bread is cooked on a skillet until the bottom forms a seal.  Then more custard is added and the entire skillet is transferred to the oven for the additional custard to set.  The result is a beautifully caramelized crust and soft, delicious custard.  There is also an recipe for Maple-Glazed Bacon – I didn’t realize how easy it was – just cook some bacon, then coat with maple syrup and bake along with the French Toast.  Highly recommended.

Link to Tartine French Toast recipe here.

Link to Tartine Bread cookbook here.

No-knead bread tutorial


I have been a fan of Jim Lahey’s No-Knead Bread for a while now and have streamlined the recipe a bit.  It requires, as the name suggests, no kneading, or frankly much work at all.  The method takes about 24 hours total, but the active time is only a few minutes.  So, with a little planning you get fresh bread with a crackling crust right out of your home oven.  I like to mix the ingredients Saturday afternoon/evening, let the dough rise until the next day and then bake on Sunday for lunch or dinner.  You need a covered baking vessel like a dutch oven that is safe to 450 degrees F.  The bread first bakes in the covered vessel, which traps steam that is important for the crust to develop.  Then it bakes a little longer uncovered and develops a magnificent crust and soft interior.  Enjoy!

Ingredients

3 cups bread flour

1 1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp instant yeast

1.5 cups water

Method

Stir all dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl, then add water.  Mix until the dough comes together.

Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 12-18 hours (overnight).  The dough is ready when little bubbles appear at the surface.

Wet hands and fold dough over a couple of times.  Let rise again for 1-2 hours in a bowl covered with plastic wrap.

During the second rise, pre-heat oven to 450 degrees F, and preheat a covered baking vessel in the oven.

Place the dough in the hot baking vessel, close the lid, and bake for 30 minutes.  Then remove the lid and bake another 15 minutes or so until golden brown.

Set the bread on a wire rack to cool.

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: