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bread weather - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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New Forno Bravo Forum Feature

Forno Bravo Forum Community,

You will notice a new forum at the top of the main page called, "Ask Me Anything". This forum will be used for live one hour "Ask Me Anything" (AMA) sessions hosted by people who are knowledgeable in different areas pertaining to wood fired ovens. How it works:
- Each AMA will have a "sticky" thread where the community can post questions they would like answered during the live session. This will allow everyone to participate even if you can't be online for the live session. These questions will not be answered by the host until the live AMA; if you need an answer quickly, you should post it in the appropriate Forum area for the community to respond.
- Another thread will be posted for the live AMA. Registered users who are logged in during the live session can interact with the host by asking questions and receiving responses.
- The live thread will remain in the AMA forum to view after the session.

To kick off our AMA feature, we have invited author, chef and master bread maker and host of Pizza Quest, Peter Reinhart, to be our first host! Peter will be in the Forum on Monday, February 15th, from 7:00 - 8:00 pm EST. If you are unable to be online during the live session, you can post your questions in the sticky post. Peter will answer those questions during the live session on February 15th. You can view Peter's answers to your questions as well as what happened during the live session in the session thread.

We hope you enjoy this new feature! Please let us know if there is a topic that you'd like to have as an AMA and we'll look for a host!

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  • bread weather

    Had an interesting discusion with the baker at a local restaurant today. He mentioned differing batches of bread in different weather conditions. He said when the Santa Ana winds blow, the humidity drops right out and he has trouble proofing his loaves. Has anyone experimented with humidifiers in their proofing areas?

  • #2
    Weather and Bread

    Brick,

    I've had lots of experience with humidity levels affecting both formulas and proof times.

    It can be quite humid here in summer, and, even with the AC going, I still have to cut back the hydration of my doughs by as much as 10 per cent to get proper dough consistency.

    In winter, even with a humidifier on my gas furnace, I've found that both hydration levels and proofing are adversely affected by the dry air. I bulk ferment in my large kitchen, and I've found it advantageous to put a large pot of water on the stove kept just at the simmer. Even so, bulk fermentation times are increased. Many of my doughs are retarded in the fridge overnight, so that, at least, is one constant in my favour.

    What you don't want is air so dry that your shaped loaves develop a skin.

    Temperature (air, ingredients) is one factor. Humidity level is quite another; both must be factored in as the seasons change.

    It's quite possible, and cheap, to build a proof box out of an large, inverted, styrofoam picnic cooler. Stick a termometer probe through the wall, add a 25 watt bulb on a rheostat, put in a pan of hot water, and you're away. How warm the interior is will determine what your proof times will be.

    I'm working on this, don't have all the figures yet, but I'll post when I do.

    Cheers,
    Jim
    "Made are tools, and born are hands"--William Blake, 1757-1827

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