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Max Poilaine at Work - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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Max Poilaine at Work

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  • Max Poilaine at Work

    Check out this wonderful video of the late Max Poilaine at work in France YouTube - Fabrication du pain Max Poilâne à Lyon . Quite apart from being well done as a video, take note of the very low dome white oven with a cast iron hood in the floor to funnel flame into the chamber (later the location for the steam pan), the pate fermentee dough method, the super slow fork mixer, the speed of his boule shaping and slashing (check depth) and the clever door design. Breads ain't too shabby, either.

    There are several other videos there, so don't get lost.

    Jim
    Last edited by CanuckJim; 11-30-2009, 07:20 AM. Reason: Mistake
    "Made are tools, and born are hands"--William Blake, 1757-1827

  • #2
    Re: Max Poilaine at Work

    Jim, that was fun to watch and learn from. I'm just starting to make bread with a chef and find it fun and challenging.
    It would have been nice to see the bread sliced. With butter spread on it.

    Tom
    Member WFOAMBA Wood Fired Oven Amatueur Masons Builders America

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    • #3
      Re: Max Poilaine at Work

      Thanks for poking that up, Jim!

      It is always inspring to watch a real master work dough. Swift, sure, and decisiive. Nothing like volume baking to help one overcome the dreaded sloooowwwwww method!

      Stay warm up there!
      Jay

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      • #4
        Re: Max Poilaine at Work

        I'm a little curious about that oven. Does the firebox sit directly below the oven, where the waterpan was inserted? Does it vent both around and through the baking chamber, depending on what's in the hole?
        My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2

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        • #5
          Re: Max Poilaine at Work

          Hi dmun!

          I can't tell you all of the details for the film doesn't explicitly answer all the questions and white ovens have quite a few different design variations.

          Basically, I think you got it. Fire box below the oven. It is normal for the firebox to vent into the oven and on to the flue and chimney. I think the flame director shown in the film sits in the hole where the water pan is also placed but...that feels a bit weird so I am not sure of that. When baking a white oven is bypassed by the flue gas and I am definitely not sure of the answer to how it gets around.

          Neat oven for bread (but not so hot for pizza!)
          Jay

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          • #6
            Re: Max Poilaine at Work

            Four years ago, after reading an old artilce in Smithsonian about Poilane, I afforded myself a birthday present--a entire loaf of sourdough from that magical place, about 50 dollars US with express shipping. I cut a thin slice, toasted it to near char, and added good old Minnesota butter, nothing else.
            This ranked in the top ten moments of my life.

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            • #7
              Re: Max Poilaine at Work

              Interesting oven, remote firebox and very very low roof.
              Obviously built for the bread baking speciality!
              Great to view.
              Thanks.

              Neill
              Prevention is better than cure, - do it right the first time!

              The more I learn, the more I realise how little I know


              Neill’s Pompeiii #1
              http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/n...-1-a-2005.html
              Neill’s kitchen underway
              http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f35/...rway-4591.html

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              • #8
                Re: Max Poilaine at Work

                What a great video! It's really neat to see both an oven and the process dedicated solely to making such an elegant product.

                Two dumb questions: 1) What was the tool the baker used to measure the dough just prior to hydrating it? 2) What is the practicality of adding a layer of firebricks either on a raised floor or on a rack above the floor of a 42" pompeii oven to re-create the performance of this oven? Does anybody do this?

                Thanks for sharing, Jim.

                John

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                • #9
                  Re: Max Poilaine at Work

                  Great video, for me the best part was watching him load the bread into the oven. I always try to offload all the loaves off my peel in one motion, but he does it one motion per loaf! Of course, it seems like a no brainer now that I have seen it.

                  And John, he is measuring the temperature of his flour and fermentee mixture before adding water. Hamelman has a good chapter on adjusting water temperature based on the temp of your ingredients.

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

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                  • #10
                    Re: Max Poilaine at Work

                    He measures the temp because he is on a schedule and needs it ready to bake at a specific time!
                    J

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                    • #11
                      Re: Max Poilaine at Work

                      Thanks, Drake. Videos like these make me cognizant of just how much bread-baking knowledge I am short of and the need to catch up.

                      John

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                      • #12
                        Re: Max Poilaine at Work

                        That is VERY cool. That cast iron pot business is the business. And someone should figure out how to rig a door like that for us!
                        I want to know if/how the baking loaves are rotated, as it seems like those at the back would end up being in for quite a bit longer. Or do you think they're all done and unloaded at once?

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                        • #13
                          Re: Max Poilaine at Work

                          Originally posted by splatgirl View Post
                          I want to know if/how the baking loaves are rotated, as it seems like those at the back would end up being in for quite a bit longer. Or do you think they're all done and unloaded at once?
                          My thoughts exactly! I have a hard enough time moving just a few loaves around. And I hate to think of how many times I'd accidentally dump one in that pot of water

                          Very cool video .....

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Max Poilaine at Work

                            Originally posted by dmun View Post
                            I'm a little curious about that oven. Does the firebox sit directly below the oven, where the waterpan was inserted? Does it vent both around and through the baking chamber, depending on what's in the hole?
                            I can't remember where I read it, but he has room with 3-4 ovens made to his specifications lining the outside walls with work area in the center of the room. All of the ovens are heated from one central location.

                            I should go try to find that article so I am not spreading rumors.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Max Poilaine at Work

                              The entire poilane bakery story is remarkable. when the company decided to expand, rather than build a bigger oven, they built 24 copies of the original paris oven -- apparently they are in a circle, and each is tended by a single baker.

                              Give Us This Day Our Global Bread | Page 2 | Fast Company

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