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Hearth Bread


Sesame seed chili flatbread

Apr 19, 2015

I was digging through recipes this week craving something spicy with a little crunch and a soft chew. Deep within the stacks of my handwritten, tattered pile of unfiled recipes, I uncovered a flatbread recipe I used 20 years ago in a Mediterranean restaurant I was running. Admittedly, we baked these off in a traditional oven for the sole reason of keeping up with demand. We served this bread as... Read More

bread oven

Bread Photos. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Feb 24, 2014

I’ve been baking bread for years and years. It was my baking and building hobbies that led me to start Forno Bravo in the first place (those many years ago). So I am happy to say that my baking has continued to improve in the past months and that my bread oven is a lot better than it was 10 years ago. Which doesn’t mean that I still don’t make... Read More

Bread Baking

A Bit More on Folding, Bread-Baking Technique

Feb 19, 2014

Here are some fun resources on bread molding, my newest bread-baking technique. 100% Whole Wheat Bread that Doesn’t Suck I have always really liked this one. There is even a technical thread on Stack Exchange, a user group for computer programmers. Fun stuff. Stretch and Fold vs. Kneading Read More

bread baking

Back to Bread; Folding-a bread baking technique

Feb 18, 2014

My bread baking skills are slowly improving, which is a good thing for all — for me and the family. I have learned a handful of new skills over the past few months, including temperature control, long (24 to 48 hour) fermentation, builds and folding. On folding, I started baking when you were supposed to punch down the dough after the bulk fermentation. The idea was to push out some... Read More

baking bread with whole wheat flour

Baking Bread in Someone Else’s Oven

Aug 30, 2013

I’ve been baking bread in other people’s ovens for years. It’s a lot of fun. You get to experiment with flour and yeast from other countries, use different ovens, and bake entirely by feel. Forget the digital scale and baking stone, most rental apartments and houses don’t even have measuring cups. And besides, a hand-mixing dough is a lot of fun. It’s therapeutic. A couple of years ago, I even... Read More

bread oven

The Ever Humbling Art of Bread Baking

Jun 17, 2013

Just when you think you have seen a lot, you do something new wrong in this ever humbling art of bread baking. haha. This is a 75% hydration sourdough rye boule (the flavor was really good), where I did not use enough flour to keep the loaf from sticking to the banneton — it’s as though I am trying to find things that could go wrong. From now one I... Read More

Sourdough Boule

A Sourdough Boule

Jun 04, 2013

  Here is the bread from my three build, four-fold sourdough rye. I think an honest assessment is that four folds worked — the bread had a solid structure and no problem with loaf height or oven spring (boing!). But the three build technique did not work as well as I had hoped. I would have liked a better final proof and a lighter, slightly less chewy crumb and a... Read More

Sourdough Rye Bread

Dough Structure and High Hydration Dough

Jun 03, 2013

  I am making sourdough rye bread today and pulled out Hamelman’s  Bread: A Baker’s Book of Techniques and Recipes (a really good bread technique book) to looks for some new ideas — and I think I had another ah hah moment. The Hamelman recipe for a mixed flour Miche calls for 60% whole wheat, 20% whole rye and 20% bread flour, and 83% hydration. Yep. 83% hydration. I was already in... Read More

Pain Pauline

Pain Pauline at Trader Joe’s

May 28, 2013

  Trader Joe’s is like the Wells Fargo Wagon from the musical the Music Man (sorry for the arcane reference). You never know what is going to be new (or which of your favorites has been phased out). Anyway, I was bemoaning the lack of a whole wheat sourdough option at our local Trader Joe’s in Pacific Grove, CA just a while back, but today there was Pain Pauline. A clear... Read More



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