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Old 10-02-2012, 07:44 PM
WJW WJW is offline
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Camarillo, CA
Posts: 387
Default Re: Firing just for bread

The temps I quote are throughout the oven...after things have pretty much equalized.

Keep in mind that there is generally significant variability between various parts of the oven for at least an hour after the fire is raked out in the case of my oven.

And I'm talking significant variability...say as much as 100 to 150 degrees....for the first half an hour after the fire comes out. In some places the floor is hotter, in some places the walls are hotter. To a large extent that depends on proper heat management during the period when the fire is dying down, and I'm still trying to master that. Basically it's not that complicated. It's a matter of keeping coals moving as they die down and not letting the die off go so long that you end up with a hearth that is significantly hotter than the walls/roof. My problem is that at the time when I could be pushing slowly dying coals around, I'm busy forming loaves, setting things up, etc. Like most of wood fired baking/cooking, it's as much time management as it is heat management. One thing I have learned...I need to rake those coals out, mop it out, and close it up as quickly as possible after getting it properly saturated. Doing that results in a much easier cooling/equalization curve without the need for successive moppings to quickly cool things and other such frantic behavior.

As noted above, the floor, wall, and arch temps will equalize after the fire comes out. I don't wait for it to completely equalize before putting bread in. So long as my hearth temp is at 580 or below...and so long as my walls and interior roof are at 595 or below...it's ready in my opinion. My experience is that an extra twenty degree differential on the walls and roof are not a bad thing...and are probablly a good thing to get the carmelization you want on the crust.

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