By Tanner Latham
Photos courtesy Tartine Bakery and Tartine Bread (Chronicle Books, 2010) / Photos by Eric Wolfinger
San Francisco’s Tartine Bakery attracts people from all across the globe while maintaining the loyalty of those from right around the corner.
Tartine Bakery has every right to be pretentious. It stands as one of the most famous and iconic bakeries in the country, always shortlisted among top culinary destinations in San Francisco. Up to 1,200 people a day make pilgrimages to The Mission neighborhood to join a queue that spills from the 800-square-foot retail area and hems the building’s edge.
Its owners, married couple Elisabeth (Liz) Prueitt and Chad Robertson, complement each other as pastry chef and baker, respectively, building an unbelievably efficient and successful business that perfectly plays to the best of each one’s strengths. Many rate Chad’s recipe for Country Sourdough Bread—with its tangy, chewy, moist interior shielded by a hardy, blistered crust—as the epitome of the form. Liz’s plate-sized frangipane croissants—their dark brown exteriors flaking away to reveal a buttery layered pocket for almond cream—often sell out in a matter of hours.