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Wlodek 09-15-2008 05:59 AM

The Grey Bottom Syndrome (GBS) ... help?
All is fine here, except that bread (but not pizza for some reason), specifically very highly hydrated ciabattas suffer from the grey (or gray, depending on geography) bottoms. I am getting told off for polluting the bread board with ashes because of that, and they get a little bitter as well.

I do try and sweep the oven floor really well before putting the ciabattas in, I have a nice dense Italian brass brush, I talk nicely to the ciabattas and they still come out with a lot of ashes attached.

What is interesting, the pizzas are fine and clean. And so is everything else, but everything else goes in in all sorts of receptacles, so does not get in contact with the ashes on the oven floor. It is just the ciabattas that seem to have this habit of cleaning the oven floor with their own bottoms.

I suspect it is me doing something wrong, but then the clean bottoms of the pizzas seem to contradict this. Do I need an oven hoover or something? I am a bit worried about mopping the floor (you know, high temperature refractory and water, possible cracking) ... should I?

Any suggestions?

(other than that - a very successful cooking week-end: we are sorted for food till Wednesday)


DrakeRemoray 09-15-2008 08:03 AM

Re: The Grey Bottom Syndrome (GBS) ... help?
I do mop the floor before baking bread. I use an damp, but not dripping wet, kitchen towel and put it on the end of my oven rake and just wipe it around the floor. The ashes and steam mostly go up the chimney...

egalecki 09-15-2008 08:56 AM

Re: The Grey Bottom Syndrome (GBS) ... help?
I use a piece of pipe to blow the ash off the floor where I'm putting the bread. Just make sure you take your mouth off the pipe before you inhale... heat isn't good for lungs. :eek:

I don't know why it's a problem with ciabatta and not with pizza- maybe the length of time they're in there?

Wlodek 09-15-2008 10:08 AM

Re: The Grey Bottom Syndrome (GBS) ... help?
Thanks Both, I'll try both next weekend and report.
The ciabattas were really good apart from the bitter bottoms.

And the lemon cake was really nice too, I like the way the oven works, compared to the dry heat of the regular home ovens. Pity I am limited to weekends ...


james 09-16-2008 02:41 PM

Re: The Grey Bottom Syndrome (GBS) ... help?
I use a damp paper towel (kitchen roll) that I push around with an FB oven brush. It gets that little bit of ash and the slightly cooler floor is fine for bread. I think I wrote something once where I thought ash is sort of fun on pizza, but not bread.

But don't mop the floor before pizza! You need all the heat you can get for a crisp pizza base.

Wlodek 09-17-2008 01:03 AM

Re: The Grey Bottom Syndrome (GBS) ... help?
Thanks, I'll probably try all the methods and report. :)

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