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The Wood-Fired Blog

Some Over-Hydrated (But Good Tasting) Whole Wheat Oat Bread

May 31, 2012

I took a second attempt at the “shoot from the hip” whole wheat oatmeal loaves, and learned a couple of useful lessons—or more accurately, I re-enforced a couple of lessons that I should already know. For example, in order to make my baking as accurate as I would like it to be, I need to be consistent in weighing my ingredients, and I need to learn how to manage some... Read More

More on Baguettes and Hydration

May 30, 2012

Following up on my previous posting on why 80% hydration is just too high for a straight yeast baguette (and my plan on trying different hydration and dough preparation methods), today I ventured off and made a couple of simple baguettes with 70% hydration. My plan was really simple. I made a straight-forward, room temperature dough: 500 grams of TJs AP flour 350 grams of water 5 grams of yeast... Read More

Peppers Roasted Over Wood

May 30, 2012

Mark Bitman of the NY Times is one of my favorite writers on any topic, and I have enjoyed seeing his transition from being a pure food columnist as “The Minimalist”, to being a columnist in the editorial department writing about our food supply and food policy. At the same time, he is still doing great stuff with recipes. Here is a link to today’s How to To Everything column: Great... Read More

Water and Dough Structure

May 29, 2012

I have been experimenting with baguettes recently, including different approaches to fermentation time, better folding techniques, improved methods for loaf shaping, scoring, placement in the oven and steam. Now I am going to start trying to hone in on the optimal hydration for my flour of choice and my oven—Trader Joe’s All Purpose Wheat flour and a Presto pizza oven. As a general rule, wetter (higher hydration) doughs produce bread... Read More

Paella is Becoming Popular This Spring

May 28, 2012

A second article on Paella in the NY Times in one week. It makes me happy. Paella is really picnic food, ideal for a casual gathering. The idea is to hang out, slowly preparing the ingredients and then lazily sipping a drink or two while the rice cooks. And if there are friends who want to help, all the better. Especially when it comes to fava beans. They require a... Read More

Whole Wheat Oatmeal Bread

May 28, 2012

600 grams whole wheat 200 white whole wheat 200 AP flour 600 grams (60)% water 10 grams (1%) yeast 20 grams (2%) salt 40 grams olive oil 30 grams honey 2 cup old fashion oats (3-5 minute cooking) 2 cup boiling water Pinch of salt Please forgive my slightly funky recipe format, where I mix baker’s percentages and grams with cups—but the bread came out really well, so I will... Read More

Proper Scoring of a Baguette

May 28, 2012

From Ciril Hitz, via YouTube. I learned a lot from this excellent video — including the scoring angle (within a railroad track down the center of the baguette) and that the scoring cuts should overlap by 1/3, or the baguette will bulge out where it is scored, and stay narrow where it is not scored. httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3QdzHuhJ-ls Read More

Craigslist, Profit Compression and Pizza Ovens

May 27, 2012

I’ve been thinking about the NY Times Douthat column on Facebook and commerce, and there is one thing I want to add to my posting (Physical Goods in a Virtual Era). In his column, Douthat notes that Facebook is no General Motors, and that despite their $100B market capitalization, they don’t actually employ very many people 9 (a tiny fraction of GM’s payroll in it’s heyday). In fact, even Apple,... Read More

Salt, Pane Toscano and Pisa

May 27, 2012

I think we all know that salt is an important component of hearth bread, but if you are like me, you have never really known exactly why. On a personal level, I have eaten a great deal of Pane Toscano, the regional bread of Tuscany that is famous, for among other things, for not using salt. The bread is dense and dry, and it does not have a developed crumb—haha,... Read More

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