The Wood-Fired Blog

Kitchen Sink Bread

It was one of those moments where you have lots of odds and ends of things lying around — so I made them into bread. It’s quite a list, but it came out nicely. Here goes:

300 grams whole wheat flour
600 grams white whole wheat flour
100 grams AP flour
30 grams honey
30 grams olive oil
30 grams molasses
10 grams yeast
20 grams salt
50 grams flax seeds
50 grams pine nuts
100 grams oat bran
80 grams durum semolina flour
750 grams water

It’s nutty and crunchy, and the AP flour and the honey/oil/molasses give it a nice lift. It’s a whole grain bread, but it isn’t heavy. Overnight fermentation and mid-day baking in a small yet-to-be-named pizza oven. It’s fun working out the idiosyncrasies of a new oven.

Embers Wood Fired Pizza Hits the Road

We received a really nice note from the guys at Embers Wood Fired Pizza in Steamboat Springs CO — and I wanted to share it with you.

Hi,

My name is Adam Mackey. I purchased an oven from you (casa2g100) about 5
months ago, mounted it on a trailer, and have started a mobile wood fired
oven catering company, “Embers Wood Fired Pizza” in Steamboat Springs, CO.
I am curious as to how I can be listed on your portable wood fired oven
directory.

Also wanted to say that the oven is amazing, and we have had an extremely
good experience so far at our local farmer’s market, with many, many happy
customers, so wanted to say thanks for the great customer service and the
amazing product.

Sincerely,

Adam Mackey
Owner/Chef, Embers Wood Fired Pizza

Isn’t that great? :-)

We’ll be adding them to the FB Via Portable Wood-Fired Catering directory, and we want to wish them the best of luck!

 

Steaks and Broccoli

Hey, it’s summer. I need to be sharing more photos of some of the fun stuff I’ve been doing in my ovens. Yes, I have yet another prototype for a potential new oven, and it’s been a lot of fun getting to know a new oven. It’s too early to say anything about the oven itself, but I’m getting quite a little collection here!

One funny side note. We live close to the Pacific, and summer is our bad time of year. It’s hot inland, which draws in the coastal fog — so we sit in a fog bank for much of July and August, with highs in the high 50s to low 60s. It’s pretty funky.

Still, I get out and make bread often and we still do a lot of grilling. Tonight? Steaks and broccoli on a Tuscan grill. You can’t beat the flavor and smoke from real wood coals. I parboiled the broccoli, and then put it on the grill with an olive oil dressing to concentrate the flavors.

 

The Damp Towel Trick

Follow a tip from a reader, I covered my dough for overnight proofing in the refrigerator — and it worked really well. Thanks.

I don’t really like using plastic wrap (it just seems wasteful to use a manufactured product once and throw it away), so I used a damp linen towel. It kept the surface of my dough from developing a dry skin and because it was damp, it didn’t stick to the dough.

This one looks like a keeper.

Cuisinart Mixer and Wet Dough

Hmmm. We seem to have a problem. My new Cuisinart stand mixer doesn’t do a good job of mixing high hydration dough. I have been trying different solutions to address the problem (adding the water first, mixing the flour and water using the dough attachment before turning on the machine), but I can’t see to make it work. This isn’t good.

Here is a photo of a 1Kg batch of dough with 72.5% water at 10 minutes of mixing. Nothing crazy. The stuff you see in the bottom of the mixing bowl is dry, unmixed flour.

Bittersweet — a Portable FB Pizza Oven for Sale

This is from Roadfood.com. It’s a Forno Bravo Modena oven mounted on a trailer for sale in Georgia. The owner is going to be focusing on his new brick-and-mortar restaurant and is selling his trusty trailer oven — after many successful events. The owner is also offering a lot of coaching and help getting going in the portable wood-fired catering world. Happy and sad.

I have a Forno Bravo Modina 120 mounted on a trailer. I purchased it back in April 2011 and have used it at numerous events, festivals, catering and non-profit. It has turned out better than I anticipated, the FB oven is a real workhorse. I truly love it. BTW, when I purchase a new Wood Fired Oven for the brick and mortar, it will most likely be a FB oven.

You can read the entire posting here. Hey, maybe you are in Georgia and looking for a new venture.

Heat Retention

You will certainly take this with a grain of salt (after all, we are a pizza oven manufacturer), but these ovens are great! The heat up time and retention is so good, I just have to say something. haha.

I lit the fire at 3:15PM this afternoon after stacking a nice top down fire with two pieces of wood broken down into thinner splits. After the fire was really burning strongly, I decided to throw on one more small piece of wood, split in half. Looking back, I really shouldn’t have wasted the wood. By 7:00PM, long after I had raked out the coals and was letting the oven cool and regulate, it was still 550F. Incredible. The ovens was hotter than I wanted, so I had to store my loaves in the refrigerator to let the oven cool down, and I still had to load my bread before the oven was down into the low 500F’s. I just got tired of waiting. The heat up time is awesome and I just can’t say enough about the heat retentions.

I also baked a marinated turkey breast for dinner, along side with my bread.

And this is my prototype for the very small and light oven. This gives me such a good feeling about the 3rd generation of FB Castable. My oven dome is extremely nice — it is hard, with zero hairline cracking and zero little chips and dings. Yes, I know I am supposed to be saying all of this, but there you have it. I’m a happy oven owner. :-)

Forno Bravo on the Road in Madison, WI

La Fortuna Mobile Wood-Fired Pizza in Madison, WI got some nice press this week. Madison Magazine has a nice article on the Lynch family, where they talk about pizza, local ingredients and community. Really good stuff. They have a Forno Bravo pizza oven on a nice red trailer from The Fire Within.

The Lynches’ gleaming red trailer has become a staple at area farmers’ markets and festivals where you can taste their fresh approach to serving an old world classic. Jen and Evi work in a large screen room, surrounded by containers of sauces and toppings, while Scott slings the pies into the nine-hundred-degree oven for the ninety seconds it takes to bake it to bubbly charred perfection. As Scott says, “Who doesn’t want to gather around a fire? It’s in our primal nature to gather and watch flames.”

You can read the whole thing here.

Dough Storage and Refrigeration

Time to get a covered, air-tight dough storage container. If you take a look at this photo, you can see that a pretty thick and dry skin developed on my whole wheat oat dough overnight while it rested in the mixing bowl covered with a towel. I stretched and folded it out, and it will get re-hydrated inside the dough ball, but I don’t think this is a good thing.