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  #11  
Old 04-09-2010, 10:56 PM
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Default Re: Why necessary to clean all coals out for bread?

Wow, this is my own thread and I totally dropped the ball on it. I need to back and read all this great information.

Thanks everyone.
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  #12  
Old 04-09-2010, 11:09 PM
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Default Re: Why necessary to clean all coals out for bread?

Jay,
AWSOME, direct, to the point, and in terms that a chickenshzzt non baker like myself understand. ALMOST makes me want to give bread a shot, ALMOST.
Just can't break myself of my mantra - I cook, and cook very well; why ruin everthing by trying to bake?
A couple more meaningful post like that and some nut in Texas will be getting a knock at his door by some other nut from FL insisting he be taught every thing and any thing about bread baking. Jay can I volunteer to be the breadmakers apprentice?

RT
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  #13  
Old 04-10-2010, 06:52 AM
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Default Re: Why necessary to clean all coals out for bread?

Thanks a ton for all the great information. I will certainly try cleaning out my oven for bread once I get the necessary tools (large metal dustbin, perhaps from a converted stop-sign ) and some sort of receptacle, a metal box which I simply having nothing to stand in for yet.

However, one thing you said thoroughly confused me...

Quote:
Originally Posted by texassourdough View Post
After about 50 minutes the bread should be done (assuming one to two pound loaves in a 15 pound bake...
Jay
First, may I assume that "15 pound bake" means total dough, as in 7 2lb or 15 1lb loaves? Is that what 15 pound bake means?

My confusion arises from the fact that the FB bread book says 2lb bread should cook in like 22 minutes and 1lb bread should cook in 12 minutes (p. 10). Do you have any idea why there is such a discrepancy here, more than a factor of two?

At any rate, thanks again for the thorough explanation. I'm really excited to try bread and want to do it right.

Cheers!
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  #14  
Old 04-10-2010, 08:15 AM
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Default Re: Why necessary to clean all coals out for bread?

I baked bread once when I still had coals in. I didn't like the odd flavor I got. Smoked is good for lots of things, but not bread.

I almost never have to go 50 minutes to cook a loaf (mine run about 1.5 to 2 pounds, mostly). Most of them cook in about 20 to 25.

This winter, when I was forced to bake mostly inside (I'll post pics later of my oven reclamation, but let's just say that the winter has NOT been kind) I would load the oven with a baking stone on the top shelf and a rack lined with quarry tiles on the bottom and heat it up as far as I can go- about 500. Then I'd put in my bread, steam the oven (hot water in a pan that preheated while the oven did) and set the timer for 10 minutes. When it goes off, I turn the loaves end for end and then I put the probe of my oven thermometer (the kind with the metal cord) in and set the temp for 205- usually it goes off in another 10 to 15 minutes.

While I know that it's heresy to poke a hole in my bread that way, it works pretty well, and after the first 10 minutes, the crust is set and I haven't had one deflate on me yet. I just wish I had a thermometer that had a really really long cord on it for using outside!

RT, even practice loaves from a novice usually taste better than store bread. If you want to try it, get Reinhart's Bread Baker's Apprentice and read. My sister in law bought it last year after eating my bread and has gotten herself into it! Hamelman's Bread is good too, but I think Reinhart's is a little easier for a novice to read. I think Bread is more like a text book. I also have Whole Grain Breads, but I recommend Apprentice first.

you could also try out the no-knead breads. I have a couple of recipes I use for that, it's easy and turns out well. PM me if you want them.
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  #15  
Old 11-27-2011, 02:53 AM
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Default Re: Why necessary to clean all coals out for bread?

Jay
Very concise and practical article. Have kept for further reference; oven base just about complete and mouth already watering.
Thanks
Dave Ly
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  #16  
Old 11-27-2011, 06:44 AM
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Default Re: Why necessary to clean all coals out for bread?

I have a wireless thermometer made by Oregon scientific that has a 48 inch probe wire and broadcasts the signal up to 100 ft.

The only major complaint I have about the design is that you cannot turn iff the beep when the probe reaches over temp and it is designed for meat so the highest setting is 180f.

I am thinking if going inside to disable the beeper.

AW129 | Wireless BBQ Thermometer | Thermometers | Weather | Oregon Scientific Official Online Store | USA

Chip

It appears that they have developed a better model for us

http://us.oregonscientific.com/cat-W...ermometer.html

Higher temp and the beeper shuts off.

Last edited by mrchipster; 11-27-2011 at 06:59 AM. Reason: Added second probe
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  #17  
Old 11-27-2011, 11:12 AM
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Default Re: Why necessary to clean all coals out for bread?

I am basically more than happy to try to avoid "work" and like Splat girl (post 9) have done good loaves with ash around the inside oven perimeter. Eventually I decided--that although the bread tasted great--the ash that always ended up on the loaves just wasn't what I wanted as a trademark. I've also posted elsewhere that I tried leaving a chunk of smoldering wood in the oven (cause I was trying to avoid work) and found (as Jay noted) the resulting loaves of bread picked up a strong and distasteful smoke flavor/odor. As Dino (post 10) noted, there is a great advantage to having all your oven space available for placing your loaves. Jay (TexasSourdough in post 7) certainly covered all the physical issues with leaving coals & ash in during a bake.

I now brush as much of the coals and ash out as I can, then I use my 4' section of 1/2" copper tube to lightly blow the hearth surface clear of ash. The advantage to this method is that when the hearth ash gets "blown up", the majority of it comes back out the opening and moves up & out the chimney with the heat pulse.

The best thing any of us can do (IMO), is to take the time to make a temperature profile for firing and using your oven. Use the IR temp gun to take hourly readings on both the hearth and dome during heating and through baking. You'll certainly gain a lot of understanding about how much fire your oven takes to get fully heat loaded...and as Jay said, that's critical to consistent success using the oven.

I now know that my oven takes about 4 hours of +600F to load it for a bake of 25-30 loaves. My 1-1.5 pound loaves take 20 minutes baking 4 to 5 loaves at a time.

Hope this helps a bit.
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  #18  
Old 11-27-2011, 11:58 AM
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Default Re: Why necessary to clean all coals out for bread?

I'm with you Splatgirl. I usually remove half the leftover coals. If you place your bread directly on the floor then you don't want ash all over the bottom of the bread. I found that I was burning the bottom of my bread doing this so I now cook my bread on trays. I usually only cook one or two loaves anyway. Cooking on trays keeps the bottom of the loaves clean (don't worry about ash on the floor) and, so long as the bread is not too close to some left over coals it cooks evenly. Cleaning the oven out is way too much trouble for a couple of loaves IMO. I also use about 4 ice cubes on the oven floor for steam when I place the bread in the oven. They immediately begin producing steam. Works well for me.

Last edited by david s; 11-27-2011 at 12:01 PM.
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  #19  
Old 12-09-2011, 01:09 AM
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Default Re: Why necessary to clean all coals out for bread?

Quote:
Originally Posted by texassourdough View Post
Loading the oven with bread will drop the temp in the oven dramatically as will spraying it with water to raise the humidity.
Hi Jay, thanks for the excellent info...I recall reading elsewhere (can't find the thread now!), when baking bread, they would place a small terra cotta dish on the floor of the oven with a little water in it, and were getting excellent results. I assume they would just pop it in when putting the loaves in, this would then take a few minutes to get to steam after shutting the door. Sounds like a good idea, have you tried this or heard of anyone's success and/or failures??

Cheers,

Russell.
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  #20  
Old 12-09-2011, 02:02 AM
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Default Re: Why necessary to clean all coals out for bread?

It takes ages for the water to produce steam that way and you really want the steam at the beginning of the bake. For this reason I go for the ice cubes thrown on the floor just before putting in the bread. I don't always remove all of the coals, but most of them so there is room for the bread and so you don't get ash all over them.
Here are a couple of baguettes and another small loaf I just removed from the oven. One for the neighbours and the rest for us.
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