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The Wood-Fired Blog

Whole Wheat Walnut Boule

May 23, 2012

60% whole wheat 20% white whole wheat 20% general purpose flour 73% hydration (going a little higher) 20 grams salt 10 grams yeast 40 grams extra virgin olive oil 30 grams honey 110 grams chopped walnuts (I will use more next time) Mix everything in a stand mixer and knead for 10 minutes on low (the two setting on a KitchenAid mixer). Then a bulk fermentation for about an hour,... Read More

Ice Water, Yeast and Crumb

May 21, 2012

This is a follow-up on my earlier posting on High Hydration Dough, where I ask (and answer) the question—”do I need to proof my yeast”?, with a clear and definitive “no”. As a little background, I mixed my flour, salt and yeast, and then added 80% ice water directly to the flour and mixed it. After a two hour bulk fermentation, I shaped my baguettes, put then on a homemade... Read More

Handling Wet Dough and the Couche

May 21, 2012

In my previous posting, I made to notes on mixing and kneading high hydration dough (80% in this case), so I wanted to make a couple of notes on working with web dough—and point out a mistake that I made (something I know but need occasional reminding). First, don’t over-flour your work surface, or the dough, when handling wet dough. You can add a little bit of extra virgin olive... Read More

Mixing High Hydration Dough

May 21, 2012

I made 80% hydration baguette’s, and was reminded just how much longer (and a little faster) you need mix the dough to build the strands of gluten and develop the bread’s structure. That statement marks roughly the end of my technical knowledge on the science of web dough—thought I want to do some more research in order to understand why this is true. From this sequence of photos, you can... Read More

Baguette Shaping with Ciril Hitz

May 20, 2012

On YouTube. Baguette shaping from the bulk fermented dough through to finished bread. Everything except how to load a wood-fired oven—they use modern electric bread ovens. The technique is awesome, and I learn a number of things that I am going to be incorporating into my daily baking. Read More

Slightly Over-Proofed Whole Wheat Olive Boule

May 17, 2012

My on-going bread experiments are continuing (and are a lot of fun). One thing I am enjoying about my most recent round of dedicated baking is that the family is really enjoying my whole wheat bread—rather than just tolerating it because it’s healthy. To some  degree I think that I because we have all been eating a great deal more whole wheat bread over the past few years and everyone... Read More

Whole wheat bread with olives in the Presto Pizza Oven

May 10, 2012

Still having a great time with my Presto oven. As an update, I can confirm that I will be working with a second prototype of the Presto within a few days as the final OK before releasing it to production and making it available for sale. To quote Apple on the latest iOS 5.1.1 software update, we are working on “minor improvements and bug fixes”. haha. More seriously, we are... Read More

Whole Wheat Boules in a Small Pizza Oven

May 09, 2012

I am enjoying having a small oven in our side garden for the same reasons as the many people who have who have decided to buy our smaller ovens—the Primavera and Andiamo. They are easy to manage, they fire up really quickly and they are just a blast to use. Don’t let the smaller size deceive you; you can do a lot of serious pizza and bread baking in a... Read More

Pain Pascale

Apr 24, 2012

We are lucky to live within a few miles of the Trader Joe’s in Pacific Grove, CA. I really don’t know what we would do without it, as I often (and only somewhat jokingly) think our local Supermarket (Save Mart) is out to kill its patrons with artificial additives, preservatives and partially hydrogenated oils. Our favorite markets in Florence were the Co-op on Viale Europa, which is a wonderful big... Read More

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