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Damon's (BT) first bread attempt etc.

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  • Damon's (BT) first bread attempt etc.

    It so great to get to the point where you first fire up your oven and roll out the first few pizzas. I've fired my oven about 10 times now, mainly for pizza but I've also cooked meatballs, calzone, roasted almonds, toasted marshmallows (for the kids) and a couple other concoctions.

    The more I make pizza the more I want to cook other stuff after it to utilise the heat in the oven. So with a few mates coming over for pizza on Sat. I set out doing the bread dough on Friday night (as I was doing the pizza dough anyway). I used the "No Knead" bread recipe from the FB bread book. The plan was to put one loaf in an open bread tin (rectangular one) and the other in my dutch oven(round one with lid). So with the dough in a warm spot overnight it was up the next morning to put together a fairly simple door to help hold some heat in. I then stuck the door in a bucket of water for a few hours thinking this will help it to stop burning.

    So oven was fired, guests arrived and then it all happened.... and after about 9 pizzas we all headed inside for some coffee.

    I stuck the dutch oven in to preheat it for about 30mins. Then I loaded the dough into the tin and dutch oven (lid on and lined with baking paper). I had forgot one minor detail - I haven't built my ash rake and the shovel was a bit tricky to get the coals out. Well the coals were barely embers and my door has a few "natural" holes in it so I just left the coals there and put the bread to the back and put the door on (coals were mainly off to the side).

    Inside I went for a chat.....then about 25mins later I realised the bread was still in there. I tested both with a skewer and it came out clean. The rectangular one was quite browned but the dutch oven one (round one) was so close to golden I didn't bother putting it back in.

    We cut them both up to check and all seemed good. My mates jumped in as I cut and buttered slices of fresh warm bread, they reckoned it was pretty good first effort. The next day it all got eaten with the pumpkin soup my wife made for lunch (its winter here).

    So there you go.....its given me the confidence to have another shot.....I'd be intersted in your feedback on the bread.....sure its not ground breaking but I can't wait until the next shot.
    Attached Files
    Cheers
    Damon

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  • #2
    Re: Damon's (BT) first bread attempt etc.

    Damon
    You did great for the first time. Bread baking is lots of fun becuase you can experiment with it in so many different ways. You will learn so much as you go and I hope that I will be one to help in your future efforts. I am self taught, as I am sure many others on the forum are, and have probably gone through some of the hang ups that you will eventually go through.
    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

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    • #3
      Re: Damon's (BT) first bread attempt etc.

      Thanks Dutch

      the No-Knead seems to be a good spot to start. I will be doing a double-firing of my oven this weekend (Sat. and Sun. night) so maybe I'll try the Ciabatta recipe also. Does anyone have any tips, over and above whats in the recipe...pls?

      One of our guests is a real inspiration for me as she can cook a very large range of wonderful things. So you can imagine parties at here house are a gastronomic delight. I was hoping to send here home with some fresh oven baked bread
      Cheers
      Damon

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      • #4
        Re: Damon's (BT) first bread attempt etc.

        Damon
        I have read Jim's recipe and his advice is hard to alter and I believe harder yet to improve upon. He has great experience! I wish to tell you that Ciabatta dough is very touchy...have to be very careful so as not to deflate it in the least once it has proofed. My wife and I baked it once and we proofed them in rectangular baskets lined with linen that we generously dusted with flour. When it was time to bake them I simply reached into the hot oven(very quickly) with the basket and all and gently turned it over and "dumped" the bread onto the hearth floor. I have to say the loaves were wonderful. That might be my only suggestion as an alternative loading process. I have attatched a couple of photos, one of them baking along with other bread, and the results(they are the ones at the bottom of the pic)
        Good luck and have fun!
        Dutch
        Originally posted by Bacterium View Post
        Thanks Dutch

        the No-Knead seems to be a good spot to start. I will be doing a double-firing of my oven this weekend (Sat. and Sun. night) so maybe I'll try the Ciabatta recipe also. Does anyone have any tips, over and above whats in the recipe...pls?

        One of our guests is a real inspiration for me as she can cook a very large range of wonderful things. So you can imagine parties at here house are a gastronomic delight. I was hoping to send here home with some fresh oven baked bread
        Attached Files
        "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


        • #5
          Re: Damon's (BT) first bread attempt etc.

          I put the Biga (for Ciabatta) together late last night and on my way out to work this morning it looked ready to go. I've put it in the fridge as I figure I will do 2 batches this weekend.
          How long will the Biga last in the fridge? Is it something I can keep 24-48hours?
          be interested to here peoples advice on that
          Cheers
          Damon

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          • #6
            Re: Damon's (BT) first bread attempt etc.

            Damon,

            In the fridge, biga should last about three days, but not much longer.

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

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            • #7
              Re: Damon's (BT) first bread attempt etc.

              Dutch

              Is the Tony's used on the bread with butter?

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Damon's (BT) first bread attempt etc.

                I thought I posted a reply to this but, don't see it here. Tony's on the bread with butter is very good, also cream cheese works well. Next to it is Paul Prudhomme's poultry magic. They must've had something to do with dinner that night. Just returned from a Farmer's market where I sold about 100 of about 110 loaves baked yesterday and early this morning. Check out the photos...had fresh rosemary/black pepper, fresh basil/garlic, oven dried tomato and fresh basil, new york style rye with caraway, russet potato and caraway and some pain ordinaire baguettes and boules.
                Quite a successful outing I think!
                Best
                Dutch

                Originally posted by jengineer View Post
                Dutch

                Is the Tony's used on the bread with butter?
                Attached Files
                "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


                • #9
                  Re: Damon's (BT) first bread attempt etc.

                  thanks Jim...... 2 days and it was all used up.

                  My ciabatta's were semi-successful......bit flat. I think I probably made the final size to small Not used to the wetter style of dough and handling it.
                  I also did a multi-grain/white bread loaf and that was much better.....will get some pics once I get over the embarrasment of how flat the Ciabatta's where....the guests tasted and still pleaded to take some home. Thats the one great thing wood/brick oven bread tastes great (haven't had a doughy one yet).


                  Dutch.....we have a couple good farmers markets also - they are just the best to wander around.
                  100 loaves you'd have to call that success as a baker.
                  Cheers
                  Damon

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                  • #10
                    Re: Damon's (BT) first bread attempt etc.

                    We thought it was successful. Many of the patrons want us to be there anothet day...the market is a Wednesday afternoon and Saturday morning thing. It was a rainy day and the turnout was small according to the more veteran vendors. We'll be there again this coming Saturday. We struggled with the potato/caraway variety and eventually had to create it more in the style of ciabatta because the humidity of the day kept it so wet. I could not risk the addition of as much flour as seemed necessary for fear of a bland bread lacking in salt. Funny, because when the patrons heard "ciabatta" they were much more attentive. It tasted fantastic, as did all the others of course. We'll try to add a couple new flavors this week...maybe

                    In order to support your comments Damon, I have to share this snip with everyone. I have an acquaintance who was a partner in what used to be a very large commercial bakery in New York. He shared stories about when they baked in brick ovens and said simply that a brick oven can make mediocre bread special. People used to line up at the door to by their rolls and bread. The quality of their product changed significantly for the worse, in his opinion, when they began using more modern baking equipment.
                    All the best!
                    Dutch
                    P.S. Don't be embarrassed...first time we did ciabatta it was in the inside oven and I have to say logistically it was easier, when we did it in the brick we had a couple of flat ones too...only difference is that we made 12 loaves that day. Once you get the hang of the brick and mortar beauty and how it bakes and cooks, the breads will all be beauties as well!
                    "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


                    • #11
                      Re: Damon's (BT) first bread attempt etc.

                      here are some pics of the bread I took last night - the breads pictured are a day old.

                      The rectangular loaf at the back is half eaten (even my fussy 4yr old liked it) but I was very happy as it rose nicely, and no doughy sections at all. This dough was mixed in the breadmaker......I had to play it safe so the kids had fresh bread the next morning.

                      Now the Ciabatta's (long oval looking bread) I did the dough myself but it turned out a bit flat. It seemed to go wrong when I got to the final proof. When the 4 dough pieces where on the trays for the final proof (just before baking) it seemed to flatten out......Is this because I should have had them in individual containers or that my dough was too soft or something?

                      Oven temp when I removed the loaves was 400F.....I'm guessing it should be more like 500F. What effect does it have at cooking at a lower temp...sure it takes longer but is the final product worse.

                      Next time I might set it up my cooking probe so that it gives the the internal temp of one of the loaves.....or check it as I pull them out at least.
                      Attached Files
                      Cheers
                      Damon

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                      • #12
                        Re: Damon's (BT) first bread attempt etc.

                        The bread looks good in many ways. Good color on both, dense crumb on the pan loaf. I am confused ab bit when you say(about the ciabatta), "When the 4 dough pieces where on the trays for the final proof (just before baking) it seemed to flatten out." Are these baking sheets you are describing? Did you bake them on those same trays? Can you take a picture when you cut through the center of that ciabatta?
                        Best
                        Dutch

                        Originally posted by Bacterium View Post
                        here are some pics of the bread I took last night - the breads pictured are a day old.

                        The rectangular loaf at the back is half eaten (even my fussy 4yr old liked it) but I was very happy as it rose nicely, and no doughy sections at all. This dough was mixed in the breadmaker......I had to play it safe so the kids had fresh bread the next morning.

                        Now the Ciabatta's (long oval looking bread) I did the dough myself but it turned out a bit flat. It seemed to go wrong when I got to the final proof. When the 4 dough pieces where on the trays for the final proof (just before baking) it seemed to flatten out......Is this because I should have had them in individual containers or that my dough was too soft or something?

                        Oven temp when I removed the loaves was 400F.....I'm guessing it should be more like 500F. What effect does it have at cooking at a lower temp...sure it takes longer but is the final product worse.

                        Next time I might set it up my cooking probe so that it gives the the internal temp of one of the loaves.....or check it as I pull them out at least.
                        "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


                        • #13
                          Re: Damon's (BT) first bread attempt etc.

                          Baterium, Dutch,

                          Several variables here, so I'll do my best. The secondary rise time is based on an average room temp of around 76 F. It might be that you're dealing with higher temps, and therefore your secondary (and bulk) fermentation times will be shorter. The pic tells me that the dough was a bit overfermented, hence the flatness. (Ideally, you want to bake the loaves at about 80 per cent of full rise.) But, and it's a large one, for Ciabatta and similar high hydration breads, your hearth temp should be in the 500-550 range when the loaves are loaded. This will give you maximum spring and better volume; also, it will shorten your bake time. For the sake of example, let's say the bake time is 22 minutes on a 550 hearth for an internal temperature of 205 F. Before you load the loaves, the oven should be steamed for about ten seconds or so (depending on the size of the oven) and the door closed. After you load the loaves, the oven should be steamed again for the same length of time. Halfway through the bake, or at 11 minutes in this example, the door should be removed for about ten seconds to vent the steam, then put back on so the crust will develop properly.

                          I'd really suggest that you load your loaves directly onto the brick if at all possible. If you're using baking parchment, just put the parchment and the loaf on the peel and slide both in. The paper will brown but not burn. Loading high hydration loaves directly onto a floured peel is tricky and takes practice, but it can be done.

                          Having said all that, what I'm recommending here takes the form of improvements. You're doing fine; just a few tweaks to go and a bit more experience.

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

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Damon's (BT) first bread attempt etc.

                            Jim...your experience is humbling. I never gave thought to the fact that they might have been over risen. The other steps we had used but I thought for sure that there was some other reason for the lack of volume in that ciabatta.
                            Thanks for the great advice once again! My ciabatta will certainly improve.
                            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


                            • #15
                              Re: Damon's (BT) first bread attempt etc.

                              thanks Jim.......that all makes sense. I never thought of overise/overfermenting. It does make sense when I go back over my process. Seeing that its winter here I have been leaving the rise periods for slighlty longer to compensate - but obviously too long.

                              Yes that Ciabatta was baked on an oven tray - but I'll refine my handling process next time and get it onto the oven floor.

                              All things considered the flavour of the Ciabatta is quite nice. I ended up slicing it up lengthy ways through the middle and filled them with ham, cheese, capsicum(peppers) & pineapple. I sat them on the grill plate at work and it was just the best lunch.

                              ...aaaahhhhh thanks guys my eyes have been opened on how to achieve great bread.


                              I'm doing a mid week bake tonight of some No-Knead with a better quality flour (we call it a bakers flour)....rather than the unbleached/organic supermarket stuff I was using. The particular brand I used did have the milling date (I have noticed some Australian supermarket flours actually do have the mill date ).
                              Cheers
                              Damon

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