#11  
Old 04-22-2008, 09:52 PM
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Default 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?
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  #12  
Old 04-23-2008, 08:17 AM
Ed_ Ed_ is offline
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Default Re: Back in Business & Baking Bread!

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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
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  #13  
Old 04-23-2008, 08:45 AM
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Default 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.
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Old 05-06-2008, 04:56 PM
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Default 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
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Old 05-06-2008, 05:08 PM
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Default 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
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Old 05-06-2008, 05:30 PM
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Default Re: Back in Business & Baking Bread!

Thanks for the quick reply. I have a forno bravo artigiano and it was installed just as Forno Bravo suggests. I'm not handy so I didn't do it myself. I guess what happens is that I don't get the oven temp up high enough to begin with. I had sort of forgotten about the white dome bit since I haven't baked since fall. I am just always afraid I will lose my heat so I rush. I guess what you are telling me is that it could take 2 hours to heat up the oven to 800 degrees or so then take out the wood embers that are left and give it some time to settle down. If it gets up that high it will last awhile. But what worries me is that as the embers burn to ash, doesn't the oven cool down alot ? And how do you get the oven up that high if you are letting those embers burn down? eileen
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Old 05-06-2008, 05:41 PM
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Default Re: Back in Business & Baking Bread!

Eileen
Don't worry...fire the oven with a very big fire...the dome will get clean...then the embers which are about 1000 degrees will continue to soak heat into the bricks and when they turn to a layer of ash they actually insulate the floor somewhat. When you remove the ash the floor and dome will stabilize shortly at about 600 degrees. You should get a good 6 hours of baking temperatures...sometimes more...don't be afraid...let those red embers soak their heat into the floor...then it will give it bake to you in spades
Best
Dutch

Quote:
Originally Posted by eileen View Post
I guess what you are telling me is that it could take 2 hours to heat up the oven to 800 degrees or so then take out the wood embers that are left and give it some time to settle down. If it gets up that high it will last awhile. But what worries me is that as the embers burn to ash, doesn't the oven cool down alot ? And how do you get the oven up that high if you are letting those embers burn down? eileen
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  #18  
Old 05-06-2008, 05:45 PM
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Default Re: Back in Business & Baking Bread!

Could be a silly question, but do you have a door?

Drake
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  #19  
Old 05-06-2008, 06:03 PM
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Default Re: Back in Business & Baking Bread!

Hi Eileen,

I can add a few things. Heck, I also have an Artigiano.

Don't be afraid to build a serious fire and get the entire dome white/clear, and then keep the fire going for another 30 minutes. That is how you basically "fill" the mass of the bricks with the heat you will use for retained heat cooking. One great way of doing that is to throw a pizza party (or bake a lot of pizza for the family). First, get the dome clear with a really big fire; then push the fire to the side, but keep adding wood every 15 minutes or so, while you are baking pizza. You want to tip of the fire reaching beyond the halfway point of the dome.

The pizzas will be ready in about 2 minutes, and you will be adding more heat to the oven.

Then, rake the hot coals over the floor and close the door. Let the oven rest for 15-20 minutes or so, and rake out the coals. The oven will gently fall from 600F+ down through 350F -- where you can roast and bake.

The more fire you add to the oven, the more heat you can use to bake.

You have lots of fun in store.

One other thing, we just produced a CD ROM with all of our cooking eBooks -- bread, pizza and cooking. If you send your address and phone # to info@fornobravo.com, we will send you one of the first copies. It has lots of photos and graphics that go into more detail on al of this.
James
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  #20  
Old 05-06-2008, 10:32 PM
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Default Re: Back in Business & Baking Bread!

If you're not using some type of Infrared thermometer, you must get one. Once you clean out the coals, you will probably be between 600 - 700 degrees. Close off the oven with a door, check the temp every 5 - 10 minutes and keep track of how fast it cools.

After a couple of firings, you will get comfortable with how fast your oven gets to bread temps, or other cooking temps you desire. I do a lot of ciabbata, pain a l'Ancienne and mediocre sourdough. I throw the most of the loaves in at 600 degrees. The oven is about 475 when they are done. 430 for sourdough.

Play with it and learn how your oven behaves. Then enjoy!
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Last edited by gjbingham; 05-06-2008 at 10:35 PM.
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