#11  
Old 10-20-2009, 07:19 PM
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Default Re: Hearth Bread=Hearth Aroma?

timo
No offense intended but, are you cleaning the oven of all ash and coals and mopping the hearth prior to baking? It is quite rare for a WFO to burn bread and when you said it is a burnt smell...well I thought of ash and coals in the oven. As for the flour on the floor it is sometimes unavoidable but if you have a nice smooth peel you won't need as much flour. You could also try brown rice flour to dust your peel with...seems to have a nice slip and resists burning quite well.
Hope this helps!
Best
Dutch
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  #12  
Old 11-08-2009, 09:10 AM
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Default Re: Hearth Bread=Hearth Aroma?

Here's are a few loaves from some sour dough starter I was going to throw out, but used for these loaves.
I wasn't expecting much, but, I have to say these are by far the best loaves I have ever made... and they were made in my house oven on a pizza stone.

I still have not solved my hearth odor. These loaves are so good because I can actually taste the bread. The crust is light and crispy, plenty of rise, almost as much as my brick oven.

I am missing something with the brick oven, not too sure what though. The crusts on the hearth breads are very thick and hard. Would that be too much moisture at the beginning?

But the hearth odor is still the main problem. Something got into the hearth bricks to cause the odor and I am not sure what it was. You would think that a hot enough fire would burn off anything left behind from construction. Problem is I can't smell anything when they are going in.

So, now I am going to try another intense firing of the oven. Then perhaps taking up the hearth bricks.
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  #13  
Old 11-08-2009, 10:02 AM
Il Pizzaiolo
 
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Default Re: Hearth Bread=Hearth Aroma?

Hi Timo!

Your situation is definitely weird. I haven't chimed in because I simply don't have a clue.

Your starting oven temp may be a bit high but it doesn't seem high enough to be a problem. Are there any black spots on the bottom of the loaves that have the "hearth odor". I would think not. I presume you have tried parchment under the bread. If that works then it has to be something about the material you are using on the peel (and...that doesn't really make sense to me either) or the bricks...or...deeper. But again, none of that really makes sense. (I omit the pan because that protects most of the bread from exposure to anything.)

Your bread skills look good! Loaves look nice - good oven spring. You are questioning the crust on the WFO bread. How are you loading and humidifying the oven?

Jay
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  #14  
Old 11-08-2009, 08:04 PM
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Default Re: Hearth Bread=Hearth Aroma?

Well, given the plans for the Pompei oven are so straight forward and materials were easily found, the most likely cause for failure here was myself.

I took out the hearth bricks. I compared the charred side to the fresh bottom. The charred side has surely picked up some foreign residue. I really can't trace it, but somehow something I burned or introduced into the oven has left a bad blackened layer on the hearth bricks.

It was just so hard to know about what was going on because the smoke from the fire always hid the true smells inside the oven. And of course, I haven't ever done anything remotely close to this project.

So, this is what I did: Since I built around the hearth bricks, I simply flipped over all the whole bricks to their fresh bottom side. The Insul-board looked perfect and rock stable. I vacuumed the ash that settled between the bricks. That left the 20 or so odd shaped edge pieces, so I took them out and belt sanded them down to new brick. Basically stripped the top layer off that the blackened layer had soaked into.

So, now I have a new hearth, but the bricks that I belt sanded still have that residue smell. The whole ones I flipped have 2 1/2" between the old face and the new, so there's no problem with those. And I am not too worried about the dome because it gets white and cleans itself and ends up looking fine. But those hearth bricks...I just don't know what the hell happened. I should have noticed that the dome was turning white when really hot, but the hearth bricks didn't.

Given the bricks are porous, how can I drive anything in them, out? I'd like to try a nice hot fire and go from there. Anyone with other ideas let em fly.
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  #15  
Old 11-08-2009, 08:10 PM
Il Pizzaiolo
 
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Default Re: Hearth Bread=Hearth Aroma?

how about using coal or charcoal.. letting it cover the entire floor with the direct heat ? and a fire as well... theres got to be a way to burn that stink out....

coal will burn hot and for a long time,, maybe a wood fire in the middle and ring the coal around the outside...

Just some thoughts

Mark
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  #16  
Old 11-08-2009, 08:15 PM
Il Pizzaiolo
 
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Default Re: Hearth Bread=Hearth Aroma?

Hi Timo!

The hearth should get plenty hot to burn off any organic. But it is possible ash is insulating the hearth on you... (I don't really believe it but...) If you get stuff on the new brick faces you migh want to remove any excess ash and spread coals over the surface and repeat a few times. That will get the hearth hot for sure and should burn anything off.

Good Luck!
Jay
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  #17  
Old 11-09-2009, 10:00 AM
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Default Re: Hearth Bread=Hearth Aroma?

Thanks for the replies. Since I have fresh brick faces, I am going to try and reverse soak the faces with a solution of baking soda and lemon juice. I 'll mist the brick face down and put some lemon/baking soda paste on and let it draw out any smell, then after it dries I can scrap it out and vacuum it away.

Timo
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  #18  
Old 11-26-2009, 08:52 PM
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Default Re: Hearth Bread=Hearth Aroma?

Just a quick update for anyone following this thread. After flipping the bricks and sanding down the odd edge bricks and cleaning with baking soda and lemon juice, it all is good. I made a bunch of different hard rolls, challah, fougasse, and even some scones, and they all came out tasting great. No more hearthy smell, just nice clean flavor. Here's a picture of the spread.

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  #19  
Old 11-27-2009, 04:44 AM
Il Pizzaiolo
 
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Default Re: Hearth Bread=Hearth Aroma?

Nice work Timo...

Glad you finally got that smell out of your oven... Bread looks delicious

Cheers
Mark
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