Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community (
-   Wood-Fired Oven and Cooking Videos (
-   -   Max Poilaine at Work (

CanuckJim 11-30-2009 06:19 AM

Max Poilaine at Work
Check out this wonderful video of the late Max Poilaine at work in France YouTube - Fabrication du pain Max Poilâne à Lyon . Quite apart from being well done as a video, take note of the very low dome white oven with a cast iron hood in the floor to funnel flame into the chamber (later the location for the steam pan), the pate fermentee dough method, the super slow fork mixer, the speed of his boule shaping and slashing (check depth) and the clever door design. Breads ain't too shabby, either.

There are several other videos there, so don't get lost.


trockyh 11-30-2009 06:56 AM

Re: Max Poilaine at Work
Jim, that was fun to watch and learn from. I'm just starting to make bread with a chef and find it fun and challenging.
It would have been nice to see the bread sliced. With butter spread on it. :)


texassourdough 11-30-2009 06:58 AM

Re: Max Poilaine at Work
Thanks for poking that up, Jim!

It is always inspring to watch a real master work dough. Swift, sure, and decisiive. Nothing like volume baking to help one overcome the dreaded sloooowwwwww method!

Stay warm up there!

dmun 11-30-2009 07:33 AM

Re: Max Poilaine at Work
I'm a little curious about that oven. Does the firebox sit directly below the oven, where the waterpan was inserted? Does it vent both around and through the baking chamber, depending on what's in the hole?

texassourdough 11-30-2009 09:16 AM

Re: Max Poilaine at Work
Hi dmun!

I can't tell you all of the details for the film doesn't explicitly answer all the questions and white ovens have quite a few different design variations.

Basically, I think you got it. Fire box below the oven. It is normal for the firebox to vent into the oven and on to the flue and chimney. I think the flame director shown in the film sits in the hole where the water pan is also placed but...that feels a bit weird so I am not sure of that. When baking a white oven is bypassed by the flue gas and I am definitely not sure of the answer to how it gets around.

Neat oven for bread (but not so hot for pizza!)

Eric Pfeifer 11-30-2009 07:07 PM

Re: Max Poilaine at Work
Four years ago, after reading an old artilce in Smithsonian about Poilane, I afforded myself a birthday present--a entire loaf of sourdough from that magical place, about 50 dollars US with express shipping. I cut a thin slice, toasted it to near char, and added good old Minnesota butter, nothing else.
This ranked in the top ten moments of my life.

nissanneill 12-01-2009 01:27 AM

Re: Max Poilaine at Work
Interesting oven, remote firebox and very very low roof.
Obviously built for the bread baking speciality!
Great to view.


GianniFocaccia 12-01-2009 10:34 AM

Re: Max Poilaine at Work
What a great video! It's really neat to see both an oven and the process dedicated solely to making such an elegant product.

Two dumb questions: 1) What was the tool the baker used to measure the dough just prior to hydrating it? 2) What is the practicality of adding a layer of firebricks either on a raised floor or on a rack above the floor of a 42" pompeii oven to re-create the performance of this oven? Does anybody do this?

Thanks for sharing, Jim.


DrakeRemoray 12-01-2009 05:18 PM

Re: Max Poilaine at Work
Great video, for me the best part was watching him load the bread into the oven. I always try to offload all the loaves off my peel in one motion, but he does it one motion per loaf! Of course, it seems like a no brainer now that I have seen it.

And John, he is measuring the temperature of his flour and fermentee mixture before adding water. Hamelman has a good chapter on adjusting water temperature based on the temp of your ingredients.


texassourdough 12-01-2009 07:46 PM

Re: Max Poilaine at Work
He measures the temp because he is on a schedule and needs it ready to bake at a specific time!

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 04:07 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0
© 2006/10 Forno Bravo, LLC