Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

Tartine 

The spot has been open only since 2002, yet this baking bible seems long awaited

Comments
By Elisabeth M. Prueitt and Chad Robertson

Chronicle (August) ($35)

Every so often an eatery opens that becomes not only a touchstone for its neighborhood, but also a symbol of its city. San Francisco's Tartine Bakery is just such a place. This modest Mission District cafe is something of a church for its faithful, who line up for the sacraments: breakfast pastries baked fresh throughout the day, superb tarts freighted with seasonal fruit, delicate cakes topped with fresh flowers. The spot has been open only since 2002, yet this baking bible seems long awaited: A cult needs its creed. Alice Waters, high priestess of her own culinary chapel, contributes a graceful foreword; France Ruffenach offers lush photographs (often featuring tattooed bakers). The oversized tome contains recipes for tarts, pies, cakes, fruit desserts, cookies, pastries, confections, cream desserts, and savories meant to be enjoyed, as the authors have it, "with a glass of wine." (The dead-simple instructions for gougeres — irresistible cheesy puffs that are a relatively pricey specialty at Tartine's sister restaurant — will reimburse you for the cost of the book if you follow them twice.) The carefully plotted book (each recipe includes three types of measurement: American volume, imperial ounces, and metric millimeters) starts out with something of a dare, however, on croissants, which require two days' work. But persevere: Many recipes will move you right into the kitchen, such as those for double chocolate cookies and the infinitely adaptable clafoutis. I was happy to see my favorite banana coconut cream chocolate-lined tart, but where is Tartine's famous orange zest-scented morning bun? Perhaps I'll find it in Volume 2. Meredith Brody

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Slideshows

  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"