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More Bread, screwing with proof times, and blow-outs - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community


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More Bread, screwing with proof times, and blow-outs

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  • More Bread, screwing with proof times, and blow-outs

    13 loaves of sourdough. Most about 700 grams...two or three at 900 grams.

    Bulk fermented a long, long time time due the fact that I was taking my daughter riding during the middle of the morning. So I mixed it up (65% hydration), using Costco's Minnesota Girl (conagra) flour. Delayed salt addition by 30 minutes. Did a couple S&F's five minutes later and left from 9:30 am till 11:30am. (Scary) Another two S&F's at 11:30.. another one at 12:00...loaf formation at 12:45. (For a 3 hour and fifteen minute bulk ferment.) Then let loaves proof in the bannetons (i.e. ratan chip baskets) for an hour and a half.

    I knew I would be gone a while so I kept the room cool during the bulk ferment (approx 65 degrees). Once the dough was formed into loaves I turned on the heat and brought the temp up to eighty degrees. (It's a small room so it's easy to manipulate temps.)

    Not an ideal way to do things I'm guessing, but I was able to get it done and was happy with the result. I think the final proof was just about right. (Correct me if I'm wrong Jay or others.) I got the three colors, and very slight tear at the slashes.

    The pic on the bottom shows a blowout which resulted from (I think) improper slashing on that loaf. It was the only loaf that did this. As you can see from the slash, I didn't get all the way through the "skin" on the middle slash and it was poorly placed. I got a blow out right there. (Anyone have a different opinion on the cause of the blow-out?)

    The blow-out

    As far as cooking...the loaves went in the WFO in two batches. Lot of steam in these bakes. Prabablly not needed due to all the dough in the oven, but I put a cast iron pan with five or six ice cubes in at the beginning of each bake. Plus the inside of my oven door is folded shop towels which I soak before putting the door on. (If I don't do this the cloth will char immediately at the high temps.) Throughout the bakes, little jets of steam are shooting out of the seal around the door. The recipe had approximately 4400 grams of water (That's approximately ten pounds of water. Since I broke it up into two batches, I had approximately five pounds of water in the oven for each bake. I don't know how much turns to steam, but it must be a lot. As I think about it, I doubt five ice cubes are making any difference whatsoever. I think I'll stop doing that.)

    Anyway, first batch went in with the hearth temp at 580. I pulled them at 29 minutes. Measured hearth temp (with IR gun) when I pulled them out was only 490. (I think the big drop was due to all that steam.) Internal loaf temp was 206-209.

    I put the door back on the oven and let it come back up to temp for about 15 minutes. The second batch went in with the hearth temp back up to 545-550. That batch stayed in for 34 minutes. When the loaves came out, the hearth was 475. (Again lots of steam.) I put the door back on the oven yesterday at 3:30 pm.

    Temp right now (21.5 hours later) is 364 degrees.

    Big pizza cook tonight. Twenty-five people coming over later for hanging by the pool, pizza, and margaritas for a friend's birthday.

    Last edited by WJW; 09-02-2012, 01:16 PM.

  • #2
    Re: More Bread, screwing with proof times, and blow-outs

    Looks absolutely fantastic,I can almost smell them and taste them from here


    • #3
      Re: More Bread, screwing with proof times, and blow-outs

      They look perfect, you can sell those beauties.
      Our Facebook Page:http://www.facebook.com/pages/Stoneh...60738907277443


      • #4
        Re: More Bread, screwing with proof times, and blow-outs

        Thanks guys. Having fun with the oven. Cooked twenty-something pizzas last night. Everyone making their pizzas...me cooking 'em. Good fun. Several of the people had never seen pizzas cooked in a WFO and were blown away over the process.

        I haven't fabricated a metal door yet so if the temp is over 600 I cant put a door on the oven. (The door I use for baking is one inch sheet of insblock19 sandwhiched between cement hardiboard on the inside, and 3/4 inch plywood on the inside. I then stapled shop towells to the plywood and stretch them across the inside face of the door. The shop towels bake a good seal on the brick edges and give the added benefit of addining some additional steam to the oven as I always wet the towels. The towels will char a bit during each bake, but it's no big deal since I just tear them off and replace them every six to ten bakes. But if I left the door in place over night at any temp above 500 or so it would probably destroy the door. If I want to close the oven up when it is at high temps I have to simply stack bricks in front of the door.)

        So anyway, last night I put bricks in front of the door around ten. The oven temp was 675-700 and the fire was out. This morning it is 600-610 degrees. These ovens are very neat the way they hold heat.

        I'm going to open the door and let the temp fall to 475-500 and make calzones with the left over pizza ingriedients. Then I need to go work out to burn off some of that bread and pizza.



        • #5
          Re: More Bread, screwing with proof times, and blow-outs

          Hi Bill!

          Sorry to be slow getting back to you but I was on a float trip on the Deschutes for steelhead.

          The loaves look really good. You pretty much nailed it. I would say you were really close to spot on on proof (color) but the oven spring says you may have been a hair early but...for all practical purposes I would say spot on. A great call for an odd development process/out of the norm.

          The blown out loaf looks to me like the blowout resulted from a largish bubble (I assume you checked and now know what that area looked like). A frontal picture of the blowout itself would help the diagnosis as woulc a cross section/crumb shot at that area. Blowouts sometimes occur because two loaves are too close together. That doesn't seem to be the case here but...I don't have enough detail to say it didn't contribute.

          As baking batches get larger there are often odd loaves that defy sanity. Could just be you had a weak spot in that loaf...

          Well done!


          • #6
            Re: More Bread, screwing with proof times, and blow-outs

            Thanks for the comments Jay.

            I love steelhead fishing. Never done the Deschutes though. How was it? This is my fishing time of year too. I fish in a bunch of Marlin tournaments every August September. Did a six day trip two weeks ago. Getting on another boat next week for a five day trip.



            • #7
              Re: More Bread, screwing with proof times, and blow-outs

              Fishing was fair to good. Three steelhead in five days and two lost. Great weather and camping on the river float. But really long days - up around 5 am, fishing by 5:30 and finishing around 8 to 8:30 at night. Followed by dinner and bed around 11:30 to midnight.

              Good luck on your trip!
              Attached Files


              • #8
                Re: More Bread, screwing with proof times, and blow-outs

                nice fish. Thanks.


                • #9
                  Re: More Bread, screwing with proof times, and blow-outs

                  Bill, I just noted that there is a California Bill pending that might interest you and other Californians. The California Homemade Food Act, AB 1616 is awaiting the Governor's signature. This would allow $35K gross income in 2013 rising to $50K in 2015.

                  Last edited by SCChris; 09-18-2012, 08:11 AM.


                  • #10
                    Re: More Bread, screwing with proof times, and blow-outs


                    People have been telling me I should sell my bread rather than give it all away. It might be kind of fun to do the Farmers Market thing some time. I have no idea what the cost of a loaf of bread should be. Maybe I can hire my teenage daughter to go to the market and do the sales while I just bake at home.

                    Let's see...could probably do fifty loaves on a bake day without too much trouble. I'm doing close to twenty each bake day now and that's just screwing around...Maybe I could do a hundred if I was really going and had a helper...

                    Bake on a Friday...sell on Saturday...

                    I need an apprentice.


                    • #11
                      Re: More Bread, screwing with proof times, and blow-outs

                      It is something to think about.. I know the city will want their $ and there would be some course like "How not to poison your customers" followed by 5 yes/no questions, but from what I'm seeing, real artisan bread is getting hot, pardon the pun..

                      I know that once you get involved in whatever you notice that there is more around than you had realized.

                      Like seeing that 1973 lime green AMC Gremlin or 1975 Paser and then seeing it over and over, Deja vu!

                      Bread is like that only in a good way..



                      • #12
                        Re: More Bread, screwing with proof times, and blow-outs

                        It is something to think about.

                        I could see it being a neat sideline. I'm pretty sure I'd have a tough time justifying (from a financial standpoint) the idea of not working on Fridays as an attorney so I could bake bread and sell at a farmer's market saturday. That being said, I could see doing it a few times to see how it goes and maybe seeing if one of my daughters were interested in helping out and giving selling a shot. I like my saturdays around the pool too much to spend them at a farmers market...but I would do the baking.



                        • #13
                          Re: More Bread, screwing with proof times, and blow-outs

                          What sorts of firewood do you have in your area, I'm currently burning Almond, but would burn Citrus if I had a choice..



                          • #14
                            Re: More Bread, screwing with proof times, and blow-outs

                            The big three in this area are oak, avacado, and eucalyptus.

                            Oak is generally pretty pricey although I can get it for 150 a cord right now from a farmer friend who is changing some orchard stuff around, clearing areas, etc. Don't know how long that will last. I've paid as much as $275 in the past.

                            It's funny you say that about citrus. We have tons of lemon orchards in this area and after about ten years or so production drops off and most guys will plow them up and replant. So quanities of it are available from time to time. That being said, as far as I know, I have never burned it. But that same farmer friend of mine took out a few hundred acres of lemons last year which were past their prime. He's offered me all the cords I want for $150 each split and delivered to my driveway. I've got a cord coming tomorrow.

                            I hear people say bad things about Eucalyptus but I think it is probablly my favorite wood. Contrary to what I have read on the net, it is not smokey at all. I am burning oak right now and the oak is most definitely putting off more smoke than well seasoned euc. I smell absolutely no funky oils or aromatics. The issue may be simply one of seasoning, or it may be the particular variety. But here in southern cal we have vast quanities of Euc that were origionally brought over from Austrailia for railroad ties. They were then planted as wind breaks in all the ag areas. So the stuff is everywhere. I have been burning it my entire adult life and it's great in my opinion. The BTU's per cord on Euc is higher than anything but white oak. It is super dense and burns forever.

                            Avocado burns bright, but doesn't last very long. I like cooking with it though but have never done so in a WFO.

                            Before I realized that my farmer buddy had oak and lemon available at 150 per cord for me, I told my gardner to be on the look out for good wood. So yesterday he pulls up and tells me that he got his hands on two-plus cords of some kind of non-fruiting pear tree wood. He said if I paid for the rental of the hydraulic splitter and paid his laborer's hourly, I could have it for free. The splitter is about sevety-five bucks for the day. I figure the laborer will be about $125 for the day. So that's more than two cords for a couple hundred. It's green, but I can let it sit for a year.

                            So now I have a 3/4s of a cord of oak on the side yard. I have two cords of pear sitting in the driveway waiting to be split this weekend. And I have a cord of split, seasoned lemon arriving tomorrow. Obviously, a lot more wood than I need but it all sort of fell on me at once.

                            I'm curious to see how the pear and lemon do.



                            • #15
                              Re: More Bread, screwing with proof times, and blow-outs

                              I was hoping to hear that some Citrus was around in your area.. I guess my attachment to citrus relates to all of the fireplace fires that we had when I was a child were citrus. The smell of the wood burning brings back great memories.. With your recommendations I'll give a load of Euc a try and I may have to journey north to bring home a load of lemon or orange..