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Back in Business & Baking Bread! - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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Back in Business & Baking Bread!

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  • Back in Business & Baking Bread!

    I've been occupied with the arrival of a new dog (had to post a photo) but in the past few days, spring has arrived - actually, more like summer! - and I can actually see my oven again!! So we decided it was time to fire it up and try out some bread ...

    First the good news - I managed not to kill off Jim's starter and got it fed & proofed quite nicely last night.

    The bad news - the recipe I used was terrible! I ended up over-salting because I couldn't get anywhere near the amount of flour kneaded into the dough that it called for. I think the balance of everything was way off. After that, my husband mixed up a regular yeast dough too, because things seemed iffy at this point. Eventually, into the oven they went.

    Our heat management needs some work as the oven seemed to cool off pretty quick to a lower than desired temperature. I ... ahhh ... ended up putting one loaf under the broiler in the electric oven to darken it up a bit (wince). Despite a few setbacks, bread - dense, heavy bread with way too small holes - is what came out of the oven and though our skills need some polishing, it tasted good, even the salty one!

    Here's the result ...
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Re: Back in Business & Baking Bread!

    Good for you Sarah, nice to see you reunited with your oven!

    What recipe did you use for the bread? I actually still follow John's explanations (more or less exactly) and really like the result. I got one of the recomended bread books, but it makes it sound so complicated, I'm sticking with what works.

    Cute dog. What's its name?
    "Building a Brick oven is the most fun anyone can have by themselves." (Terry Pratchett... slightly amended)

    http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/p...pics-2610.html
    http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f9/p...nues-2991.html

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Back in Business & Baking Bread!

      Welcome back to the living Sarah! Snow's gone?
      GJBingham
      -----------------------------------
      Everyone makes mistakes. The trick is to make mistakes when nobody is looking.

      -

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Back in Business & Baking Bread!

        Welcome back.

        The dog and bread both look good.

        We just got a new pup as well.....

        Ugh puppies!
        My thread:
        http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/d...ress-2476.html
        My costs:
        http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?k...Xr0fvgxuh4s7Hw
        My pics:
        http://picasaweb.google.com/dawatsonator

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Back in Business & Baking Bread!

          I'm jealous, Sarah! I'm so eager to get this thing built so I won't have to make my bread in the kitchen oven!

          With regard to recipes... A (very) modest amount of experience and a lot of conversation with an old friend who makes money baking have led me to the conclusion that it's worth doing a little bit of math to make good bread. Measuring by weight and learning to use baker's percentages completely changed my bread. (The attached picture proves I still need some practice shaping...kinda fat and lumpy!)

          I have a lot to learn yet--for instance, I want to experiment with rye flour in my starter to encourage more sour flavor. And then there's the world of whole grains. I'm convinced it's more science than art, but not too complicated a science! So please share all your best tips.

          Now I just have to get that brick hearth to bake on...

          -Ed
          Attached Files

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          • #6
            Re: Back in Business & Baking Bread!

            Hey Sarah,

            As to heat falling off...how long did you fire the oven? Did the dome go completely white?

            Drake
            My Oven Thread:
            http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/d...-oven-633.html

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Back in Business & Baking Bread!

              Sarah,

              I assume the pup's name is "Salty Dog." I'll send you a basic sourdough recipe via email.

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

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Back in Business & Baking Bread!

                Sarah,

                Whoops, can't find your email address. Send it to me via email, and I'll attach the recipe.

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

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Back in Business & Baking Bread!

                  Exciting to be back baking...our Farmer's market season opens soon so we'll be back baking in a big way down here again!
                  Dutch
                  "Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that's creativity. " Charles Mingus
                  "Build at least two brick ovens...one to make all the mistakes on and the other to be just like you dreamed of!" Dutch

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Back in Business & Baking Bread!

                    OK, lots to answer here!

                    First, after the worst winter in memory (even the visiting German couple I met last month while out West skiing had heard about our Ottawa winter!), yes , the snow is almost gone and we're now suddenly & bizarrely about a month ahead of where we should be, and into shorts & short sleeves! Fantastic!!

                    The recipe I used was a bad one from some website and I should have known better ... and now I do.

                    I agree that weight, not volume, is the key where measurements are concerned - I'm investigating those baker's percentages that were mentioned in various posts. (Ed, as for getting yours built, hang in there, your day will come!)

                    As for the heat problem - I thought that since it wasn't pizza, I didn't need to hit the white dome point. I'm having some trouble in that regard - think my wood pieces are too short maybe - they're about a foot long and I went through a lot of them over about an hour and a half and only hit 475 or 500. I thought that was good enough for bread but it wasn't.

                    Jim, your starter was the one part of this whole adventure that worked like it was supposed to and thanks for the recipe offer - I'll shoot you an e-mail & look forward to it!

                    As for the dog, Salty Dog has a certain cachet but her name is Theia (silent h though, pronounced Tia). My son named her after the Greek goddess of light, who gave birth to the three goddesses of the sun, the moon & the dawn ... she has a lot to live up to! Dave, who's your new addition?

                    Thanks for all the comments and tips everyone!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Back in Business & Baking Bread!

                      Ed,
                      Nice bread! Sourdough? That thing looks like it could feed an army. Got any recipes to share for this monster?
                      GJBingham
                      -----------------------------------
                      Everyone makes mistakes. The trick is to make mistakes when nobody is looking.

                      -

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Back in Business & Baking Bread!

                        Originally posted by gjbingham View Post
                        Ed,
                        Nice bread! Sourdough? That thing looks like it could feed an army. Got any recipes to share for this monster?
                        Thanks. It did feed three of us for a couple of days... I got a little carried away.

                        It's only sourdough in the sense that I use a starter that's been going for a couple of years--the flavor isn't particularly sour. I have this theory that rye flour would change that but I haven't tried it.

                        I can post what I did to make the starter originally if anyone's interested, but I mostly just followed Dan Wing's instructions in The Bread Builders. It's really easy, and a lot more forgiving than some people would have you believe.

                        The bread itself is nothing fancy--I usually go for about 64%-66% hydration, and I use KA all-purpose flour. I probably end up over-baking it a bit (since it's my kitchen oven) to get the crust darker. Those who already have the WFO don't probably have trouble in that regard!

                        I'd be happy to post more details if anyone's interested--I just don't want to hijack Sarah's thread.

                        Ed

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Back in Business & Baking Bread!

                          Ed,
                          Sure - post it over in the bread forum. Reinhart states in "the Apprentice" that when refreshing your starter, if you desire a more sour taste, just double the barm starter. If you want a milder taste, triple or quadruple the amount of starter you have with flour/water. What is your standard procedure.

                          Sorry Sarah! I'll shut up now.
                          GJBingham
                          -----------------------------------
                          Everyone makes mistakes. The trick is to make mistakes when nobody is looking.

                          -

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Back in Business & Baking Bread!

                            This posting is a new thing for me but you guys have gotten to the heart of my problem- getting the heat up in the oven high enough that when the coals are raked out for bread the oven temp doesn't drop. So could someone assume I am a beginner (which I am) and give me the blow by blow about how long to fire the oven for bread baking, what the temp should be, and ideally how long should that last ? I feel like I have to rush to get the bread in and if I am lucky the oven will stay hot long enough to do one batch. Obviously I am doing something wrong. I read one of Jim's posts with his list of everything he did in his oven after one firing (pizza, bread, chicken, lamb ??). I need help. Eileen

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Back in Business & Baking Bread!

                              Eileen,
                              If you give me a few details on your oven's construction I could help more specifically. But basically, you should fire your oven until it is pretty completely clean, maybe just a couple of dark bits on the walls. Then when it is down to just the hot embers spread them out across the entire oven floor. You can leave this for minimum 30 minutes but you could also let them go until they are pretty much just ash. Then clean off the floor, completely remove any ash as best you can and using a damp, not wet, old towel or stapled to the end of a bromstick briskly mop off the floor. Close the door and allow the temperature in your oven to stabilize. When we bake we look for the temperature to stabilize at about 600 degrees then when the door opens to load the baguettes the temp is about 575. Each successive load the oven will be cooler because there is nothing recharging the heat lost to what you cook. You should be able to get a couple of loads of bread at least before your temperature gets too low for artisan breads. If a recipe you use calls for an oven temperature of lets say 375 you can do that one in the WFO when the floor is about 400. I hope this helps! With a better idea of your oven size, insulation, etc. I can maybe give a better idea but, unfortunately each oven behaves a bit different from others.
                              All the best!
                              Dutch
                              "Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that's creativity. " Charles Mingus
                              "Build at least two brick ovens...one to make all the mistakes on and the other to be just like you dreamed of!" Dutch

                              Comment

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