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WJW 09-02-2012 11:59 AM

More Bread, screwing with proof times, and blow-outs
13 loaves of sourdough. Most about 700 grams...two or three at 900 grams.

Bulk fermented a long, long time time due the fact that I was taking my daughter riding during the middle of the morning. So I mixed it up (65% hydration), using Costco's Minnesota Girl (conagra) flour. Delayed salt addition by 30 minutes. Did a couple S&F's five minutes later and left from 9:30 am till 11:30am. (Scary) Another two S&F's at 11:30.. another one at 12:00...loaf formation at 12:45. (For a 3 hour and fifteen minute bulk ferment.) Then let loaves proof in the bannetons (i.e. ratan chip baskets) for an hour and a half.

I knew I would be gone a while so I kept the room cool during the bulk ferment (approx 65 degrees). Once the dough was formed into loaves I turned on the heat and brought the temp up to eighty degrees. (It's a small room so it's easy to manipulate temps.)

Not an ideal way to do things I'm guessing, but I was able to get it done and was happy with the result. I think the final proof was just about right. (Correct me if I'm wrong Jay or others.) I got the three colors, and very slight tear at the slashes.

The pic on the bottom shows a blowout which resulted from (I think) improper slashing on that loaf. It was the only loaf that did this. As you can see from the slash, I didn't get all the way through the "skin" on the middle slash and it was poorly placed. I got a blow out right there. (Anyone have a different opinion on the cause of the blow-out?)

The blow-out

As far as cooking...the loaves went in the WFO in two batches. Lot of steam in these bakes. Prabablly not needed due to all the dough in the oven, but I put a cast iron pan with five or six ice cubes in at the beginning of each bake. Plus the inside of my oven door is folded shop towels which I soak before putting the door on. (If I don't do this the cloth will char immediately at the high temps.) Throughout the bakes, little jets of steam are shooting out of the seal around the door. The recipe had approximately 4400 grams of water (That's approximately ten pounds of water. Since I broke it up into two batches, I had approximately five pounds of water in the oven for each bake. I don't know how much turns to steam, but it must be a lot. As I think about it, I doubt five ice cubes are making any difference whatsoever. I think I'll stop doing that.)

Anyway, first batch went in with the hearth temp at 580. I pulled them at 29 minutes. Measured hearth temp (with IR gun) when I pulled them out was only 490. (I think the big drop was due to all that steam.) Internal loaf temp was 206-209.

I put the door back on the oven and let it come back up to temp for about 15 minutes. The second batch went in with the hearth temp back up to 545-550. That batch stayed in for 34 minutes. When the loaves came out, the hearth was 475. (Again lots of steam.) I put the door back on the oven yesterday at 3:30 pm.

Temp right now (21.5 hours later) is 364 degrees.

Big pizza cook tonight. Twenty-five people coming over later for hanging by the pool, pizza, and margaritas for a friend's birthday.


TropicalCoasting 09-02-2012 06:29 PM

Re: More Bread, screwing with proof times, and blow-outs
Looks absolutely fantastic,I can almost smell them and taste them from here

lwood 09-03-2012 03:50 AM

Re: More Bread, screwing with proof times, and blow-outs
They look perfect, you can sell those beauties.

WJW 09-03-2012 10:46 AM

Re: More Bread, screwing with proof times, and blow-outs
Thanks guys. Having fun with the oven. Cooked twenty-something pizzas last night. Everyone making their cooking 'em. Good fun. Several of the people had never seen pizzas cooked in a WFO and were blown away over the process.

I haven't fabricated a metal door yet so if the temp is over 600 I cant put a door on the oven. (The door I use for baking is one inch sheet of insblock19 sandwhiched between cement hardiboard on the inside, and 3/4 inch plywood on the inside. I then stapled shop towells to the plywood and stretch them across the inside face of the door. The shop towels bake a good seal on the brick edges and give the added benefit of addining some additional steam to the oven as I always wet the towels. The towels will char a bit during each bake, but it's no big deal since I just tear them off and replace them every six to ten bakes. But if I left the door in place over night at any temp above 500 or so it would probably destroy the door. If I want to close the oven up when it is at high temps I have to simply stack bricks in front of the door.)

So anyway, last night I put bricks in front of the door around ten. The oven temp was 675-700 and the fire was out. This morning it is 600-610 degrees. These ovens are very neat the way they hold heat.

I'm going to open the door and let the temp fall to 475-500 and make calzones with the left over pizza ingriedients. Then I need to go work out to burn off some of that bread and pizza.:D


texassourdough 09-10-2012 06:25 AM

Re: More Bread, screwing with proof times, and blow-outs
Hi Bill!

Sorry to be slow getting back to you but I was on a float trip on the Deschutes for steelhead.

The loaves look really good. You pretty much nailed it. I would say you were really close to spot on on proof (color) but the oven spring says you may have been a hair early but...for all practical purposes I would say spot on. A great call for an odd development process/out of the norm.

The blown out loaf looks to me like the blowout resulted from a largish bubble (I assume you checked and now know what that area looked like). A frontal picture of the blowout itself would help the diagnosis as woulc a cross section/crumb shot at that area. Blowouts sometimes occur because two loaves are too close together. That doesn't seem to be the case here but...I don't have enough detail to say it didn't contribute.

As baking batches get larger there are often odd loaves that defy sanity. Could just be you had a weak spot in that loaf...

Well done!

WJW 09-10-2012 10:11 AM

Re: More Bread, screwing with proof times, and blow-outs
Thanks for the comments Jay.

I love steelhead fishing. Never done the Deschutes though. How was it? This is my fishing time of year too. I fish in a bunch of Marlin tournaments every August September. Did a six day trip two weeks ago. Getting on another boat next week for a five day trip. :D


texassourdough 09-10-2012 10:43 AM

Re: More Bread, screwing with proof times, and blow-outs
1 Attachment(s)
Fishing was fair to good. Three steelhead in five days and two lost. Great weather and camping on the river float. But really long days - up around 5 am, fishing by 5:30 and finishing around 8 to 8:30 at night. Followed by dinner and bed around 11:30 to midnight.

Good luck on your trip!

WJW 09-10-2012 10:50 AM

Re: More Bread, screwing with proof times, and blow-outs
nice fish. Thanks.

SCChris 09-18-2012 08:00 AM

Re: More Bread, screwing with proof times, and blow-outs
Bill, I just noted that there is a California Bill pending that might interest you and other Californians. The California Homemade Food Act, AB 1616 is awaiting the Governor's signature. This would allow $35K gross income in 2013 rising to $50K in 2015.


WJW 09-18-2012 09:41 AM

Re: More Bread, screwing with proof times, and blow-outs

People have been telling me I should sell my bread rather than give it all away. It might be kind of fun to do the Farmers Market thing some time. I have no idea what the cost of a loaf of bread should be. Maybe I can hire my teenage daughter to go to the market and do the sales while I just bake at home.

Let's see...could probably do fifty loaves on a bake day without too much trouble. I'm doing close to twenty each bake day now and that's just screwing around...Maybe I could do a hundred if I was really going and had a helper...

Bake on a Friday...sell on Saturday...

I need an apprentice. :D

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