#11  
Old 05-04-2009, 06:15 AM
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Default Re: First go at sourdough

Thanks Dutch and Jay for the additional comments - I had a go at some baking on the weekend with this advice in mind. In addition to doing four sourdough Boules I had a go at some Pan L'ancienne and I also threw in some leftover pizza dough as well! We fired up the oven for my sons third birthday party so it was a little bit rushed and I didn't get the temp even across the whole hearth. I cooked two boules in the hottest part of the oven (almost 570 F) and they were slightly burnt underneath but the colour came out great and so did the crust. The two other boules were just over 550 F and they came out ok as well and no burning underneath. The bolues were only about 10 percent wholwhweat this time. I gave the oven a good two and a half hour fire and I did a much longer spray this time as well. Heres a pic of the bake for the day

First go at sourdough-img_3160b.jpg

And heres a close up of the Boule cooked in the hottest part of the oven

First go at sourdough-img_3163b.jpg
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  #12  
Old 05-04-2009, 01:45 PM
Il Pizzaiolo
 
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Location: San Antonio
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Default Re: First go at sourdough

Hi Salv!

Sounds to me like you mainly needed a bit more firing the first time - i.e. you put in at 550 but the oven wasn't fully loaded so the temp didn't get back up to the temp needed to give an optimal bake. These look pretty good to me. Sounds like a few more minutes of heat soak to even out the oven might be desirable (to let the floor even out a bit... and avoid the burned bottom) but other than that sounds like you are close!

What do you think?
Jay
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  #13  
Old 05-07-2009, 04:38 AM
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Default Re: First go at sourdough

Hi Jay,

I think the main thing was the longer firing - which I will make sure I do each time I bake bread now. I also think I need to do my bread a little higher than 550 F - I will maybe go up to 560 next time. The bread had much more colour this time and much more crunch. I also should have allowed more time for the oven temp to equalise but I had hungry people over waiting to eat - I forgot to mention that while the bread was baking I also had a tray of chicken drumsticks in at the same time!

Once again, thanks for your great advice.
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Old 05-07-2009, 06:33 AM
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Default Re: First go at sourdough

Nothing like a hungry horde of scavengers to rush the oven preparation!!!

I NEVER do bread when there is a crowd around. Bread is just me and the oven. Pizza...now that's a different story. I try hard to have the oven just about ready when people are supposed to arrive. That way there is no standing around, drooling, and pilfering toppings! (WHACK!)

Jay
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Old 05-07-2009, 06:57 AM
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Default Re: First go at sourdough

I agree about bread not being an audience thing... I will fire the oven up JUST to do bread. Then I'll use the retained heat to do other things later. Or you can jack it up again and do pizza. Bread's too easy to mess up the timing when you have to think about all the other stuff. And when you have "is it time yet, is it time yet" going in the background....
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Old 05-08-2009, 05:33 AM
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Default Re: First go at sourdough

Yes - I wont be baking bread any more when there are guests around! In the past I just didn't want to waste the heat. The other funny thing is that a lot of the guests hinted that they wanted to take some bread home and I didn't bake enough to go around.

The other day it was just me and the oven baking bread and it was great not to be rushed and have everything quite and calm. I baked some walnut and raisin boules - I gave the oven a good 2 hour plus firing, baked the bread at a little over 550 F and the bread came out great - no burning underneath.
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Old 05-08-2009, 06:33 PM
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Default Re: First go at sourdough

Hi Salv!

Sounds like you are under control now. In the BREAD ZONE! And what a wonderful place to be!
Jay
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  #18  
Old 05-09-2009, 05:40 AM
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Default Re: First go at sourdough

Quote:
Originally Posted by Salv B View Post
The other funny thing is that a lot of the guests hinted that they wanted to take some bread home and I didn't bake enough to go around.

That made me laugh... Its a nice complement to your bread though. We've got guests over pizza this evening, and guess what I intend to do right afterwards? Luckily I've got enough dough for them to have some, too. (note to self: make smallish loaves...)

Baking is a lot more fun if you can just get on with it without interruptions. Do other bakers here also find that even the tiniest errand you have to run on a bake day will put everything else out of sinc? Even if its just half an hour or so, its bound to be just at the time when you should be folding/shaping the dough, or when the fire needs seeing to, or when oven hits exactly the right temp.
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Old 05-09-2009, 08:49 AM
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Default Re: First go at sourdough

Frances,

I've been there, too: small interruption=wrecked schedule=crying need for therapy. Why not get involved in retarding the shaped loaves in the fridge, then taking them directly from there to the oven when the hearth temp is just right? Works and saves nerves.

Jim
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  #20  
Old 05-09-2009, 02:26 PM
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Default Re: First go at sourdough

Cos the fridge is already full of dough balls for pizza...

Today everything that could go wrong did. Except for pizzas, they were great - well, appart for the thunder storm which started just when we were ready to eat... But the bread timing was completely off. First of outside temps suddenly soared to 23 C which made the bread dough rise like mad really fast. I ended up putting it all in the cellar since the fridge already had an elephant, sorry, pizza balls in it. Long story short, the first load of bread burnt to a cinder in 20 minutes...

At least we didn't have the problem of not enough bread to go round... funnily enough there just weren't any takers. And thats the last time I bake right after a pizza evening.
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