Would you recommend Tartine Bread or Tartine No. 3?

I'm familiar with bread baking and with sourdoughs, but I've not seen either cookbook. I've heard a lot of buzz about #3 but am not sure whether or not I should start with the original or if 3 can stand on its own.

  • Posted by: Meghan
  • June 24, 2015


Joan February 26, 2019
I own both. Tartine Bread changed the way I make sourdough (not that I had been making it that long...), and all the recipes are delicious, though you have to figure out some of the editing errors. I just started with Tartine Book No. 3, and while the recipes are pretty exciting, it’s taking me a while to get around the difficult design of the book. The text font is a large, bold, horsey sans serif, making it weirdly difficult for me to read. The middle sections detailing his travels are set so you have to rotate the book to read them—annoying enough! But worse, the photos in those sections are NOT rotated.

The bread concepts in No. 3 are difficult enough without the designer’s setting up more hurdles, especially after you’ve paid $40 for the book.

Another hurdle in both books is that recipes keep referring back to processes described pages before, so you have to keep flipping back and forth. I fixed it in the first book by sticky-noting page numbers out of the side of the book to make the flipping easier. And now I’ve made the breads so often that I rarely have to refer to the basic procedures.

Just be aware that both these books are heavy on philosophy and bread love and beautiful photography, and light on accurate instruction and ease of use.
boulangere June 24, 2015
Definitely start with Tartine. I received a gift-boxed set of Tartine Bread and Tartine Pastry. Tartine Bread has changed my life. I've found the pastry book underwhelming. Some of the recipes simply do not work.

Peter Reinhart was my Breads chef instructor in culinary school, and I did recipe testing for The Bread Baker's Apprentice. I didn't think it was possible for a bread book to re-educate me. But Chad Robertson's Tartine Bread did. The recipe and instructions for his basic country bread consume approximately the first 70 pages of the book. Read every single one. And follow the instructions to the letter. His Tartine 3 was not well reviewed. I've not seen or used it, but the consensus among reviewers was that it it is predicated upon processes, such as prolonged fermentation of whole grains, that home bakers simply will likely not have the patience to follow. But Tartine Breads is a true gem.
PieceOfLayerCake June 24, 2015
I have to admit, the fact that Tartine underwhelmed you cut me deeply haha. I use SO many of the recipes so often as solid basics. Chiffon cake, brownies, pie crust, quiche, lemon cream, shortbread, friands, pots de crème . I pretty much taught myself croissants from that book and now I make them for a living (another method, but Tartine is responsible for my foray). It wasn't as groundbreaking as Tartine Bread, but it's still worthy of just a touch of praise....
dinner A. June 24, 2015
They are both wonderful! I would start with Tartine Bread, which has more extensive instructions on the basic method, although I think the instructions in No. 3 are decent. It won't be just plain levain bread either -- I really like the whole wheat, polenta, and raisin semolina bread variations in Tartine Bread as well. I've really enjoyed making bread from No. 3 (the brown rice porridge bread and oat hazelnut bread are particular standouts), but some of the doughs are harder to work with. If you are as hooked on Tartine Bread as I was, you'll also pick up Tartine No. 3 eventually!
PieceOfLayerCake June 24, 2015
YES!!!! YES YES YES!!!!! Yes on the entire collection. Tartine (the pastry edition), changed my life....and Tartine Bread is revolutionary to the world of home baking. Read it like a novel, you will not be disappointed.
Pam P. June 24, 2015
I don't own #3 but have used the Tartine Bread book for several years now. It is totally worth it for the 10-odd page illustrated recipe of the basic sourdough loaf. I have made it many many times and the recipe (plus the beautiful photos of how the dough looks at every stage) really helped me get a feel for making sourdough. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
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