Day #198 in Antarctica ·

Tartine's Country Bread flickr
Perhaps the ultimate sourdough bread: two weeks in the making, using only flour, water, and salt.

One of the unexpected benefits of life on station is fresh bread: with no local supermarket or bakery, we bake all of our own bread on station.

Long winter nights give ample opportunity for folk on nightwatch to try out their baking skills in the small hours, so that at breakfast it’s not uncommon to find freshly baked goods on the table.1

Starting two weeks ago, I had an attempt at Tartine’s Country Bread – a San Francisco soughdough loaf that’s been getting impressive reviews. Using only flour, water, and salt, it’s arguably the tastiest bread in the world.

A quick process it is not: in total, it takes about a fortnight to prepare, with the first one and a half weeks devoted to establishing a sourdough starter culture. However, as evidenced by its half-life of <5 minutes when put out on the table, the results are worth the effort.

I used NYT’s recipe, but the Tartine Bakery has also published it as a 35-page recipe book.

  1. This past week has been pretty exceptional with Chris, our chef, on nightwatch: we’ve been treated to fresh doughnuts, danish pastries, and croissants. It’s a tough life in the Antarctic…