#11  
Old 08-31-2009, 09:25 AM
mfiore's Avatar
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Michigan
Posts: 919
Default Re: I suck

Wow. Lot's of things I never considered. Much more than just throwing loaves into an oven!
Yes, the door was open during much of the cool down. I also did not likely give it adequate time to equilibrate.

Also correct on both accounts, the loaves had big, big bubbles that formed under the skin (again, it over-proofed as I waited and waited for the oven to come to temp). the surface was a little dry.

I did not mop down the floor, just brushed it really well. Also, I steamed it by using a garden style sprayer, creating a mist in the oven. As others have suggested, I filled the oven with steam, loaded the loaves, then again steamed the oven before sealing the door. Is it possible the "mist" fell on the loaves, making them wet. There was some loose flour on the tops. This may have created that gummy coating.
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  #12  
Old 08-31-2009, 10:01 AM
Il Pizzaiolo
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: San Antonio
Posts: 1,719
Default Re: I suck

Bingo!

The oven was undoubtedly way hotter than 450 then! And with minimal dough to cool it the temp shot up fast when you closed the door and...

Every oven has a different personality and you have to learn your oven... IMO baking bread is the most precise/complex thing to do in an oven. There are two different clocks ticking that may or may not be coordinated (the rising of the bread and the firing/cooling of the oven). I have a lot of respect for the professionals who do it routinely (which probably makes it easier for they have a "routine". Doing it occasionally is HARD and really easy to screw up!) Kudos to CanuckJim and DutchOven!

Glad to help!
Jay
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  #13  
Old 08-31-2009, 10:01 AM
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Il Pizzaiolo
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Virginia
Posts: 1,049
Default Re: I suck

I will let the oven cool off with the door off, but I always, always put my door on when it's getting close and let it sit for 1/2 hour to get it equalized inside. This, combined with spreading my coals around for the last 20 minutes or so of my heat-up, really makes it so I don't get weird burned spots in some places and not in others.

It takes thinking about the oven as not just a hot surface, but as a heat-storage organism. For those who just fire up until it gets to 500 inside, they miss the part where it soaks up the heat and their food is undercooked. For those who fire it up all the way but don't let it sit with the door on so all the heat evens out amongst the bricks, they get burned spots. Let's just say I've been in the second camp, with the pictures of bread with brick-shaped burn marks to prove it...

If you're cooking with the fire still in the oven, that's different, but you don't usually do bread that way. I have done chicken, roast beef, and the like that way, though. It was GOOD. You just can't walk away from it- it needs nearly constant attention. The results, however, are worth it. I got Mary Karlin's Wood Fired Cooking book a week or so ago and it has all kinds of things in it I can't wait to try.

First I have to refab my door. Dang thing crumbled again.
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  #14  
Old 09-01-2009, 10:18 AM
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Il Pizzaiolo
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Littleton, CO
Posts: 1,211
Default Re: I suck

I have sure burned plenty of loaves. I think one of the best things to do is to concentrate on sourdough bread that have been retarded in the fridge. They can stay in the fridge until the oven decides to cooperate and cool down enough for baking.

This saturday I had a noon pizza party (20 pizzas) and was sitting out by the oven at midnight waiting for the dang thing to cool down enough to bake. But I really really did not want to burn my bread!

So my advice is to try some sourdough or other retarded breads. It really helps on the timing.

Drake
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