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Old 01-27-2009, 06:42 PM
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Default Re: Two new breads

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Originally Posted by egalecki View Post
I may be getting the coals spread unevenly- I'm right handed, and the left side of the oven is easier to get to for me.
Funny...I never thought of it before, but I am left handed and I always use the right side of the oven.

Hot spots:
One night I could swear I saw a glowing orange spot in my oven. It was very dark, no possibility of a light shining in, and a tennis-ball-sized area of the floor was a dull orange glow. I had just raked the coals to one side (the left, of course), but the fire was an hour old. They were very old, faint coals. AND, I have a witness - it wasn't just me.

Anyways, your bread pics and talk have convinced me that I need a new book. That is my next order of business.

I am inspired.

dusty
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  #12  
Old 01-27-2009, 09:17 PM
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Default Re: Two new breads

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Do you all see anything I'm neglecting in the oven prep?
I don't see anything, it sounds like you do exactly what I do. My biggest problem to date is not letting the oven cool down enough. It takes several hours for it to get down to bread baking temp (I start around 550 dome) from pizza temps, and sometimes I just rush it...
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Old 01-27-2009, 10:09 PM
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Default Re: Two new breads

Elizabeth,
Be grateful that you have an oven floor that retains heat that well. Many do not.

Frances, I'm not buying one bit of the Coriolis effect explaination for the smoke in my dome, though I did read the wiki entry and crack a nice smile. Perhaps it works on a celestial scale, but in my oven? I think it more relates to a microclimate created by my dome in relation to the house. I'm sure that a flat angle iron entryway does nothing to improve the flow of smoke from dome to chimney.

Just my smelly opionion.
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Old 01-28-2009, 02:13 AM
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Default Re: Two new breads

One idea that came to mind while reading your baking schedule Elizabeth, is that I let the oven cool down more slowly. I spread the coals after it burns white and leave it for half an hour, maybe more, them remove (or push back) the coals, and then I leave the oven to cool down slowly with the door on for another hour or two (or however long it takes) until it reaches the right temp.

My thinking is that the way you do it maybe the surface of the bricks is the right temp when you put the bread it, but the inside of the bricks is actually hotter and as soon as you close the door that heat comes rushing to the surface again. I dunno, what does everybody else think, does that make sense?

Goerge, apparently the Coreolis effect really does work on smnall scale things, too. Say if you pull the plug in a bath, on the northern hemisphere the water will always turn clockwise, on the southern anti-clockwise. And on the equator it'll go one way or the other. Strange but true (or so I'm told). And railway tracks that go in North-South direction always have one side of the track that gets worn down faster than the other.

Dang, you'll have me with my head in the oven watching the smoke all the time now!
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Old 01-28-2009, 07:26 AM
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Default Re: Two new breads

Well, George, with 3 1/2 inches of vermicrete plus 2 inches of board under it, that floor had better retain heat. Or else!

I think I'm not patient enough. If I'd left my door on after swabbing longer, maybe I'd have seen the temperature come back up a bit. That doesn't explain why I only burned the bottoms of some of the loaves, though. The others were perfect.

We'll see what happens next time!

Dusty, I really like Whole Grain Breads by Reinhart. If you're into the whole grain stuff, that's the one. If you just want a basic bread book, Bread by Hamelman is excellent too- but I also have Bread Baker's Apprentice and like it. Which books do you already own?
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Old 01-28-2009, 12:52 PM
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Default Re: Two new breads

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Elizabeth,
I think it more relates to a microclimate created by my dome in relation to the house. I'm sure that a flat angle iron entryway does nothing to improve the flow of smoke from dome to chimney.

Just my smelly opionion.
Sure George...dismiss the Coriolis effect and then try and explain away your convection current with some micro-climatic condition created by the straight iron angle and the top of your door and its relationship to your house......doing this type of thing to a newbie with a woodfired oven is just wrong!!!... ...if you're a newbie you shouldn't pay attention to the smoke direction...reminds me of the time I asked my adversary in a golf match if he inhaled or exhaled on his backswing...lets say I had no trouble whatsoever winning that match......oh and our oven is a barrel vault so I have no idea what direction the smoke moves...
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Dutch
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Old 01-28-2009, 10:54 PM
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Dutch! Great Yuks! You should have seen me out there on the links today. It is so wet that a drive landing in the fairway nearly plugs, then bounces backwards a foot or two. I took some enormous divits that normally wouldn't leave more than just a slight scar, and hit some splat shots that feel normal, but only fly about 2/3rds the normal distance. Winter golf in Washington is hilarious, but you need to keep all potentially dangerous weapons out of your bag. Hari kiri is always a consideration when you loose face so many times during one round. BTW Dutch, do you inhale, exhale, or just hold your breath?

Frances. Okay, I'll give you the benefit of the doubt. Look in your oven and tell me what the smoke is doing. Get it real hot prior to that with your bellows.

Elizabeth, the insulation you've got sounds excelent, if not excessive. That's a good thing. Obviously, that is not the problem. If you do as Frances suggests, and rake the coals over the entire floor, let it moderate, then remove them and give the oven time to adjust again, the floor and dome should pretty much be in equilibrium. I forget your numbers for dome height to circumfrence. If the dome was significantly higher or lower than a half sphere, then I wouldn't be surprised to hear that the floor cooled faster or stayed hotter (respectively) than expected. It may just be a variation in the properties of the bricks you used too. Perhaps different batches from the manufacturer ended up with different properties. Using something as simple as a baking sheet might delay the carmelization on the bottoms enough that you end up with a perfect loaf. Think outside the rectangle.
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Old 01-29-2009, 11:05 AM
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Default Re: Two new breads

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BTW Dutch, do you inhale, exhale, or just hold your breath?
Don't know!...Don't care!...Just hit it, go find it, then hit it again, etc., etc....
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Old 01-29-2009, 11:32 PM
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Dutch, I'm all over that! I'm sure you've played in the fog. Nothing like sports in the fog.

I used to surf in the fog in San Diego. One of the coolist things you can do. You have no idea if a huge wave is just outside you, just on the verge of breaking. You just deal with the limited area of your vision and try to perform and not get killed.

Golf in the fog is somehow easier than on clear days. Expectations go down. Hit a ball into the the abyss, walk out to the normal areas you usually hit to, wander around until you find it, then guess where your next shot should go. Forget aiming at a pin, hope for the middle of the green. Somehow, the scores are similar, if not better than on clear days.

I think I should buy a fog machine for my house!
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Old 01-30-2009, 04:13 AM
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Cool... You know, that description made me feel for the first time that maybe playing golf might be quite fun after all
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