#11  
Old 10-30-2006, 07:11 AM
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Default sourdough mass

It still seems to me if you are doing 2-3 loaves at a time of any bread you should be fine with the mass of the pompeii. How long does it take to bake your loaves and at what temp Carioca? I suspect that you will have enough mass and staying power of temp with a well insulated pompeii - see Drake's recent description of his oven's temp holding. If you are doing several batches (and I don't think there is any way you will need multiple batches for any sized 3 loaves), maybe. Maybe Alf could elaborate on the needs of baking sourdough?
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  #12  
Old 10-30-2006, 03:46 PM
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Default massolutions?

With regards to mass, would it be possible to build an oven with variances in mass in the oven floor? One side could be high mass for baking, the other side being thin for quick heat up pizza making. Another possible solution could be a removable sliding "shelf" in the hearth which could be alternately filled with a cast refractory plug for high mass firing, or an insulating plug for pizza. Caricoa. I'm Australian, and have used the old man's oven at our winery in Tasmania on many occasions. We too have heaps of gum trees on our property, but have stopped using them to fire our oven partly because of the peculiar aromatics of the oil. Of the trees local to us, blackwoods and acacias have provided the best fuel.

Last edited by redbricknick; 10-31-2006 at 03:37 PM.
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  #13  
Old 11-09-2006, 02:00 AM
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Default sourdough

Thanks for that, Maver - I'm a bit slow off the mark: we USED to bake twin large loaves in tins every second day when the kids were at home, now the frequency is down to perhaps three times a week, including my own 'experiments' with whole grain bread...

In Bianca's defunct electric oven (a miserable and originally expensive St. George model), we preheated the oven to about 220 C and then put in the loaves for 65-70 minutes at that temperature. They usually turned out just beautiful and tasted great (after all, we've baked the stuff almost ever since we came to Australia and found no edible bread :-) As an aside: we've found that our sourdough bread using wholemeal and a varying proportion of rye flour lasts for almost a week without loss of condition or taste - don't know why that is.

Thanks also to Redbricknick, point taken about the eucalypts and their oils! But just today, I chainsawed through some timber, perhaps E. robusta, that had been lying on the ground for perhaps 20 years and there was NO perceptible oils left. We've got sheoaks (Casuarina spp.) at a pinch. Will have to experiment, I s'ppose...

Still cleaning up the building site for the layout of my radially supported hearth slab - but at least I've ordered, and paid for, the oven materials yesterday.

Cheers and rgds to all,

Carioca
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  #14  
Old 11-09-2006, 02:30 AM
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Default Shelf Life

Carioca,

I've had exactly the same experience with my sourdough breads, wholegrains and not. Puzzled me at first, too, so I looked into it a bit. Turns out that the high acidity and bacillii present in a mature sourdough act as a sort of natural preservative. The crust produced by high temp baking helps, as well, so my breads are good for a week, easy.

Jim
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Old 11-15-2006, 01:35 AM
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Default the catch's in the rye, maybe?

Hello CanuckJim,

I passed on your comment to my wife just now and she says she believes the rye content in our breads may also play a role - is that your experience, too?

Ci vediamo!

Carioca

NB: Loved the beaut stuff on Mary G's!
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  #16  
Old 11-15-2006, 02:19 AM
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Default Rye

Carioca,

What rye lacks in gluten, it sure makes up in acidity. I had a rye starter that simply got too sour, so I had to start feeding it alternate times with bread flour to tone it down.

Glad you liked the stuff on the site.

Jim
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  #17  
Old 11-15-2006, 03:48 AM
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Default Local breads

This is a cultural question. Why is it that the basic supermarket bread in the states, UK and (I have heard though not seen) Australia so bad? Jim, I don't know what you get in Canada.

Along the Mediterranean you get great crusty loaves and natural yeast breads, and in central and northern Europe, you find great rye, whole wheat and seed breads. Where did us English-speaking bread makers go wrong -- all those years ago? How did we end up with Wonder Bread?

Any theories?
James
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Old 11-15-2006, 06:59 AM
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Default oh moderator

looks like this thread has taken a tangent that started on the 30th. How about moving it over to the bread section so it doesn't get lost.

Last edited by jengineer; 11-15-2006 at 06:59 AM. Reason: spelling - of course
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  #19  
Old 11-15-2006, 06:59 AM
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Default bad bread

Some of it has to be convenience (the greatest thing since sliced bread!) and some of it must be broad distribution rather than local production. I think many of our food woes can be blamed on the supermarket, where shelf life is king. I think a mass bread manufacturer would laugh at the idea that a one week shelf life is good - how long can wonderbread sit on a store shelf, and how long does it taste the same once it is brought into your house? Those breads don't really ever go stale, they just eventually grow mold. If I bake a large batch of bread at home I expect a change in how the bread may be used when it sits on the counter for a few days (although freezing works ok too). Eat slices plain when fresh, turn to bruschetta or french toast when a bit older, croutons in soup or bread crumbs after that.
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  #20  
Old 11-15-2006, 07:35 AM
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Hi Patrick,

Yep. This has happened a couple of times recently. In order to move individual postings easily to a new thread, I have to update our forum software (hopefully later today). Then I can start sorting these out.

James
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