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

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I'm Peter Reinhart! Ask Me Anything! Monday, February 15, 2016 7:00-8:00 pm EST

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.

Ask Me Anything New Forum Feature

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.

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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  • poor bread

    I managed to incinerate 4 loaves today. I'm really fighting with trying to gauge temperature. (an IF thermometer is on my Christmas list, but I really would like to get a feel for it without one!)

    It was a little strange, though. The oven was too hot, I suspect, since I didn't leave the loaves in but about 20 minutes. The tops got VERY brown (not quite black, but still not good eats) but the bottoms weren't burned at all.

    I had them on parchment paper when I put them in, could that have protected the bottoms? The bread inside, when you scraped the top off, was moist but not wet, with a lovely crumb and they had better oven spring than I had hoped for.

    I did have to re-fire the oven before I baked- it had fallen to 350, which wouldn't have been enough for my dough. If I had let it sit with the door on afterward a little longer, would it have evened the top and bottom out (evidently so I could incinerate it evenly)?

    Or did the paper just save the bottom?
    Elizabeth

    http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/e...html#post41545

  • #2
    Re: poor bread

    I burned a lot of bread when I started baking in my oven...I sometimes have to wait 2 hours (or even more) from when I remove the fire before I can start baking. I find letting the oven cool down enough is sometimes the hardest part. It is one of the reasons I like retarding bread and baking it straight from the frigde, I don't have to time the proofing...
    My Oven Thread:
    http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/d...-oven-633.html

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: poor bread

      Originally posted by DrakeRemoray View Post
      ... It is one of the reasons I like retarding bread and baking it straight from the frigde, I don't have to time the proofing...
      That makes a lot of sense.

      Elizabeth, can you hold you hand in the oven for 4-5 seconds before you add your bread? One Mississippi, two Mississippi, etc. That would give you a good approximation for 500F. If you can can't do that, your oven is probably too hot.

      If the dome is a lot hotter than the hearth, are you burning your fire on the entire cooking floor? You want to drive heat into the floor and dome at a relatively consistent rate, where they are somewhat balanced. A good fire should do that.

      Let us know how it goes.
      James
      Pizza Ovens
      Outdoor Fireplaces

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: poor bread

        When I build my fire, it's in the middle of the floor. Should I be spreading it out after it burns a while and all the initial wood is involved? I always have to add wood after the first stack in order to get the dome to clear. Maybe I need to spread out the coals and spread the second batch of wood more evenly?

        I'll have to try doing more retarded proofing. Yesterday's fiasco had a lot to do with loaves ready to go and an oven that probably wasn't.
        Elizabeth

        http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/e...html#post41545

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: poor bread

          Originally posted by egalecki View Post
          When I build my fire, it's in the middle of the floor. Should I be spreading it out after it burns a while and all the initial wood is involved? I always have to add wood after the first stack in order to get the dome to clear. Maybe I need to spread out the coals and spread the second batch of wood more evenly?

          I'll have to try doing more retarded proofing. Yesterday's fiasco had a lot to do with loaves ready to go and an oven that probably wasn't.
          Elizabeth
          Burning the fire in the center is pretty much the norm just, when you are baking bread, when the fire is at the stage of just burning a low flame with most large red coals you will wan to spread them out across the entire cooking surface for probably an hour but at least 30 minutes(we usually wait until they are pretty much just ash if we can)...then you want to clean the floor completely and we usually mop it right away...the ash tends to insulate the floor so the sooner you get it clean after the heat soaks in the better...mopping it early rather than late also give the oven more time to recover....then you just have to bake things or wait until the oven gets to your temperature...remember you can prepare some flatbreads and even pizzas in that early really high temp oven stage...the heat used to cook something in the brick oven is never fully recovered so if you can cook something it will reduce waiting time...retarding and baking directly from the fridge in the beginning will help you understand oven management...
          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

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          • #6
            Re: poor bread

            It sounds to me as if you're on the right track. My bread sometimes didn't brown properly on the bottom until I started spreading the coals over the floor after pizza.
            "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

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            • #7
              Re: poor bread

              I find that my floor heats up best from cooking pizza, so even when I am not making pizza, I push the fire to one side and get flames licking across the dome and charging the floor. Then, I spread the coals at the end and let them burn down a bit.
              My Oven Thread:
              http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/d...-oven-633.html

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