Old 09-07-2008, 06:04 PM
sarah h's Avatar
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Default Multigrain Extraordinaire

Perhaps this post should be under Heat Management but anyway Ö

I decided to do bread today from the Bread Bakerís Apprentice book that I had picked up a few weeks ago Ė multigrain extaordinaire, itís called. I doubled the recipe and allowed one loaf to rise freeform and put the other in the banneton I picked up recently on a visit to Kingston. Then I started the fire.

First problem - the banneton dough outgrew the banneton .
Second problem Ė the oven was too hot once the loaves were ready to go in (well over 400F while I needed 350F). I pulled out the logs and coals and put them into a coal scuttle, where they carried on a rather alarming (and smokey) fire in the scuttle .
Third problem Ė once the oven cooled enough, the dough was way too soft and the loaves collapsed a bit upon oven entry.
Fourth problem Ė Iím guessing that I had not saturated the ovenís thermal mass with enough heat to retain it well and it cooled quickly, so while the loaves did cook OK, the tops did not caramelize as they should have done. Maybe itís the fact too that my oven door is still not insulated ?

Despite all problems, I actually ended up with some very tasty loaves of bread Ö even if they were a bit misshapen and pale (amazing, too, the difference in colour between the two - both of which look darker in the photos than they really are).

Not knowing when to quit, I then decided to try to get a bit more out of the firing so I threw some apples and cranberries into the oven along with some brown sugar and butter as an accompaniment to the pork roast that was cooking on the BBQ rotisserie - I know, it should have been cooking in the oven but itís going to take some work to wean my husband away from the ĎQ. I think it could have been problematic anyway, trying to do the pork and the bread in the oven at the same time (pork-flavoured bread does not appeal to me). A short while later, however, the oven had already cooled too much and the apples were just half cooked. Had to finish them on the BBQ .

So, overall, a success but more practice definitely needed!

(I did pizza two weeks ago, though, and they worked beautifully Ė especially the one with balsamic-caramelized onions, fresh figs, brie and basil Ė no pics of that though.)
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Multigrain Extraordinaire-banneton.jpg   Multigrain Extraordinaire-loaves.jpg   Multigrain Extraordinaire-apples.jpg  
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Old 09-07-2008, 07:36 PM
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Default Re: Multigrain Extraordinaire

Those loves look wonderful. I made my first batch of bread with my new sourdough starter, but I just didn't have the energy to attempt it in the WFO. It really does take some patience to learn how to get the fire ready when the loaves are ready. But I plan to practice this fall. I cooked mine in the electric oven and they came out pretty decent. I think I need a few more weeks of feeding the dough before it is fully developed.
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Old 09-08-2008, 06:45 AM
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Default Re: Multigrain Extraordinaire

The bread looks delicious Sarah!

It sounds as if it might have have been an idea to put the bread in when it was ready, regardless of the high heat. Wasn't it Jim who recommended putting your first batch of bread in at 260 C (500F)? I've tried it, although it feels like a really bad idea the first time, and it really doesn't burn, just bakes faster.
"Building a Brick oven is the most fun anyone can have by themselves." (Terry Pratchett... slightly amended)

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Old 09-08-2008, 11:11 AM
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Default Re: Multigrain Extraordinaire

I think they look great. Did you upend the bread in the banneton directly into the oven or did you turn it out onto a peel?

I vote no on the pork-flavored bread, and I LOVE me some piggy. Pork-flavored bread is just wrong...
(I do think I've heard of crackling bread, though...)

How hot did the oven get? I've been wondering about the need to fire it all the way white every time, but it sounds as though you do.

I would really like to know about the pizza with figs and stuff...

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Old 09-08-2008, 01:58 PM
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Default Re: Multigrain Extraordinaire

I love Banneton lines on bread. Excellent.

I'm with Frances. Don't be afraid to start baking bread at higher temperatures than you would in a conventional oven. The moist oven won't burn your bread, and that is where your carmelization can start.

I went through a whole series of boules last year that collapsed in the oven and kept using less and less yeast, and eventually got there.

Way to go.


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Old 09-08-2008, 07:27 PM
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Default Re: Multigrain Extraordinaire

Those look very good...you are well on your way to making really excellent bread...now you just need to learn the variables...I agree with James on both parts...I have cut the yeast percentage at least in half for many of the loaves in BBA...and baked my first batch of baguettes in the oven at 625F...scary!!!...little char on the bottoms but cooked in 7 minutes...just as sort of a good rule for WFOs...if the recipe says 350 bake at 400 to 425 in the WFO...for just about everything...not just bread
Keep up the good stuff!
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Old 09-09-2008, 04:43 PM
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Default Re: Multigrain Extraordinaire

Thanks everyone!

James and Frances, that's good to know about higher temps being OK and, Dutch, I think you're right about less yeast - they were a bit overblown until they went into the oven.

Elizabeth, I didn't really know how to get the dough from the banetton into the oven but I tried to invert it gently onto the peel, and that's where it imploded.

As for the fig pizza, I caramelized some onions by slow cooking them in a frying pan and adding some balsamic vinegar near the end, then spread that onto the pizza as a kind of substitute for sauce, ground some pepper, sliced some figs, tore up some basil and added slices of brie. Oh, and some chopped bits of a proscuitto salami I found in some little Italian shop. Simple!

I have to say, apart from this one though, not many combinations I have tried yet have delivered the kind of flavour punch I'd like but I don't think I've hit on just the right sauce and cheese yet, and I think commercial versions are often way more heavy-handed with salt and other spices.
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Old 09-10-2008, 09:23 AM
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Default Re: Multigrain Extraordinaire


Trying to match bread rise and oven temp is a sure fire way to go bonkers at first. Been there. Next time with banneton breads, try this:

1. Cut commercial yeast way back, about in half. Go with the full amount of sourdough/wild yeast culture/levain, however.

2. After bulk rise, dividing, scaling and forming your loaves, place them in the floured bannetons (I use a very fine seive for this), cover the entire things completely with plastic wrap. (NO air intrusion at all.)

3. Put the covered bannetons in the refrigerator overnight (about 38-40 F).

4. When the oven is at the temp you feel you want (I routinely bake 1 kilo banneton raised boule at 550 F), take the bannetons directly from the fridge, invert on dusted peel, dock/slash, load, steam, bake. At this temp, mine usually take between 22 and 28 minutes, depending on additional ingredients like seeds/olives. Vent steam halfway through the bake. Overnight retardation allows for a more complete breakout of grain sugars, leading to better caramelization and flavour complexity. Also, such a slow rise means they won't over-ferment in the fridge.

5. Don't forget, bannetons are made in different sizes to accommodate different weights. Looks like what you've got is for a kilo, so don't put more dough by weight in it than that.

6. Don't skip steaming the oven .

"Made are tools, and born are hands"--William Blake, 1757-1827

Last edited by CanuckJim; 09-10-2008 at 09:25 AM. Reason: incomplete/typooooos
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Old 09-10-2008, 08:04 PM
sarah h's Avatar
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Default Re: Multigrain Extraordinaire

Wow - all those suggestions sound appealing and I especially like the one about making the dough ahead of time and keeping it refrigerated right up until baking time. Sounds like a sanity-saver and definitely the way to go - thanks Jim!
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Old 09-11-2008, 06:02 AM
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Default Re: Multigrain Extraordinaire

6. Don't skip steaming the oven .


Jim, how do you steam your oven?
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