Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Tassajara Bread #CooktheBooks

This rustic loaf of bread is made using the Tassajara method made famous by Edward Brown in 1969. The recipe is easy, concise and delicious explaining it's popularity for over 50 years.

Tassajara Bread

I learned of this recipe while reading "Hippie Food: How Back-to-the-Landers, Longhairs, and Revolutionaries Changed the Way We Eat" by Jonathon Kaufman.

Hippie Food Book Cover

This is the novel chosen by Deb of Kahakai Kitchen as our April/May selection for Cook the Books.  You still have plenty of time to read this interesting book and join us.  You can learn how by reading the invitation post  and following the guidelines.

I thought it was quite coincidental that this book was chosen to be read during this time in our history.  The book is all about the Hippie Movement of the 60's and 70's when they were flocking to communes and trying to live off the land with what they had on hand and with very little money.

Tassajara Bread

It seems that people sheltering in place and staying home are spending a lot of time in the kitchen and one of the things they are making is homemade bread.  This is evident by the fact that finding flour at the grocers is becoming more and more difficult.  

Tassajara Bread

One of the things that "Hippie Food" brought to us was the awareness of the natural goodness and health benefits of whole grains.  Tassajara Bread starts with whole wheat flour.  There are recipes that also add in additional seeds and grains but I did not add anything to my version that I started with a bag of white whole wheat flour that I had in my pantry.

Tassajara Bread

I found a recipe for Tassajara Bread from the NY Times that I adapted to make this loaf.  I did not have any powdered milk which would have made the bread have a more tender, softer crumb and I chose not to add milk to the recipe so this loaf is very toothsome and hearty.

Tassajara Bread pin

I halved the recipe to only make 1 loaf.  I also used my stand mixer for the stirring and kneading.  I omitted on of the rising times and forgot to put on the egg wash before baking.  The loaf still browned up beautifully.

It's interesting to me that the "Hippie" mantras are still being repeated and are so important to us here and now.  Eat Organic.  Eat Local when possible.  Support your local farmers and small businesses. Eat whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables.  Avoid processed foods and seek out natural alternatives.  Eat and farm sustainably.  Go back to basics and eat as our forefathers did.

All great messages and interesting to see how it all began by the generation raised on processed,  convenience foods. 

#bread, #yeastbreads, #wholegrains, #rustic, #easy,
Yield: 16 servings

White Whole Wheat Tassajera Bread

White Whole Wheat Tassajera Bread

This rustic loaf of bread is made using the Tassajara method made famous by Edward Brown in 1969. The recipe is easy, concise and delicious explaining it's popularity for over 50 years.
Prep time: 3 hourCook time: 1 hourTotal time: 4 H


  • 2 1/4 t, dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 c. lukewarm water (85-105*)
  • 2 T. honey
  • 3 1/2 -4 c. white whole wheat flour
  • 2 t. salt
  • 2 T. +1 t. butter, melted and cooled


How to cook White Whole Wheat Tassajera Bread

  1. In large bowl of stand mixer, fitted with paddle attachment, dissolve the yeast in the water and stir in the honey.  Stir in 2 c. of the flour until well incorporated and combined.  Cover with a towel and let rest for 45 minutes.
  2. Add the salt and butter along with an additional 1 1/2 c. flour.  Change to the dough hook and knead until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl, adding up to another 1/2 c. of flour if needed.  Continue to knead until the dough forms a smooth, ball.  Cover and let rise for about an hour, until doubled in size.
  3. Punch down the dough and form into a round loaf.  Place onto a silicone mat or piece of parchment paper.  Cover with a towel and let rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
  4. Place onto a baking sheet or a heated baking stone and bake in a preheated 350* oven for 55-60 minutes, until golden brown.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool. 


Recipe adapted from one found at the NY Times.
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Created using The Recipes Generator


  1. Ahhh, if I can ever find whole wheat bread again, I will be making this! I'm only about a third of the way through the book. Have a lot of ideas floating around. Stay well and safe, Wendy! (BTW, just watched Biggest Little Farm. I loved it!)

    1. So glad you liked the movie, anxious to see how this and the book your reading inspires you.

  2. Embarrassingly enough, Tassajara is a stone's throw from where I am and I have never been! But I have had the bread and it is amazing. I'll give yours a try that we can be hippies together and swap bread recipes.

  3. Great post Wendy! I am glad you enjoyed the book. I have several Tassajara cookbooks that I enjoy and may have to pull out for additional inspiration. ;-)

  4. Great choice of recipe, Wendy! And indeed, we end up reading this book during a time when eating local is more important than ever. I have been to Tassajara: it is a beautiful place and the food there is great, an experience, I'd say. I remember bringing back a loaf of bread, a parting gift.

    1. Thanks Simona, perhaps I will visit there on my next trip to CA.

  5. Unfortunately, that book was one I traded in a year or so ago, since getting rather stuck on my sourdough bread. I do remember trying some of their recipes with success, and would love to visit one day.

    1. There are several of the recipes from the book on line Claudia, that's where I found this one.

  6. I really enjoy whole wheat bread for its nutritional value and lack of "processing" that regular white bread has. This looks really tasty! Also I totally agree with the comment that eating local is eating besty

    1. Thanks, it is hard to eat local all the time, especially in Michigan during the winter months, but I always try.

  7. I used to have the cookbook that I got from (guess who) a hippie couple. There were what seemed like dozens of variations, and they all turned out so great. I wish I had been able to buy the book. Love the look of your bread!

    1. Thank you....we all need a hippie couple in our lives. I love ours.

  8. Yes, I am a hippie. And yes, I have been making Tassajara bread for 40 years. Before that we made yeastless macrobiotic bread. We were uncorrigible! And so young...

    1. I was born in the hippie era as well and I still see throwbacks to my youth every now and then. Thanks for stopping by Janet.


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