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breadnerd's picture
breadnerd

Continued from an earlier entry....

 

We let the first layer dry a few days, and some fairly big cracks started to form. I decided to pull out the sand to give the oven more room to shrink as needed, and to help it dry out faster. I cut a smaller door than the final size, you can see the final door scored into the surface:

http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1239/1443314684_81e061fa2b.jpg?v=0

 

We ended up letting it dry for a couple of weeks due to rainy weather and other activities. It was covered with a tarp and opened up when the weather permitted to dry out. Next came the second layer. The first layer is just sand and clay—the second is cob: sand and clay mixed with straw.

http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1368/1443313710_f479fba985.jpg?v=0

 

The second layer goes on much faster, but as it's 6 inches thick you use up a lot more material as you go. We made LOTS of batches of this.

http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1260/1442449505_b5cda095e2.jpg?v=0

 

Almost there:

http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1182/1442450317_7efc87c836.jpg?v=0

 

Refining the doorway:

http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1208/1443313758_b3154e54b5.jpg?v=0

 

Our door, made from glued-up 4 x 4s, and shaped with a sawzall. Did I mention I have a very handy assistant?

http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1244/1442450793_11879b0dcc.jpg?v=0

 

We lit some small fires at this point to aid in drying, and after a couple of weeks started using it. The first few attempts had a big learning curve, and I think I joined the fresh loaf soon after that and documented my later bakes.

 

The oven was built in May and June, and we left it without a final protective plaster because we were undecided on what to do. We would cover it with a tarp when not in use. Finally, we decided just to make a roof over it, so there is no final plaster layer. It made it through a winter and another summer without much damage. Here’s the final oven with it’s roof:

http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1435/1443313790_6629aee699.jpg?v=0


Many thanks to Kiko Denzer for a great book--its a wonderful way to give wood-fired hearth baking a try without a huge amount of investment (well, if you don't count your time!). I also have the Bread Builders book which I found useful as well, I just didn't have the right location and finances for a masonry oven, and I think after a few years using the "mud hut" I will know better my needs and desires for any future ovens.

 

breadnerd's picture
breadnerd

I finally got up the gumption to move my construction photos over to my flickr account. Here they are in the entirety, I tried to make the titles fairly self-explanatory:

http://www.flickr.com/gp/7541655@N03/aX31kR

 

Here's a condensed version with some commentary:

First off is the foundation. Our frost line in in theory 48 inches, so we dug down quite a bit. We hit a VERY large rock, which made us decide the hole was big enough, and which we figured would act as a foundation in itself.

http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1012/1443314626_31ba338401.jpg?v=0

 

Next, we filled the hole with gravel and started building a foundation from rather unattractive landscaping bricks we already had from another project. We added a layer of lava rock for insulation, Kiko’s new edition has a lot of better ideas for this, but this has worked okay for us.

http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1410/1443314822_1f6502d8de.jpg?v=0

 

Next sand is added, packed, and leveled, and we laid the oven floor bricks. A string was used to draw a circle as large as we could fit on the floor, as our guide for the sand mold form.

http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1367/1442450837_2025385af8.jpg?v=0

 

The sand form took a lot longer than I thought it would, but it turned out nice.

http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1110/1443315018_c94673ba68.jpg?v=0

 

Because of this, we didn’t get very far with our first layer before dark, but you can see the width of the walls, and how compact it was. We were probably overly persnickety with this first layer:

http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1319/1442451223_365f1a3e72.jpg?v=0

 

We covered it in plastic, and resumed the next day.

http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1331/1442450183_71089d3c3f.jpg?v=0

 

Final first layer, wacked with a 2 x 4 and scored for the next layer to stick:

http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1162/1442450281_d233d47f01.jpg?v=0

 

 

more to come....

 

 

zainaba22's picture
zainaba22

I post this recipe before for JMonkey, you can see it here.

 

1 Tablespoon yeast.
1 Tablespoon honey or sugar .
2 1\2 cup warm water.
3 cups white flour.
1 1\2 cups whole wheat flour.
2 teaspoon salt.
2 Tablespoons olive oil.

1)Preheat the oven to 550 degrees.

2)Combine yeast,honey and 1\2 cup water in bowl,cover,stand in warm place about 10 minutes or until mixture is frothy.

3)place all ingredients + yeast mixture in the bowl of mixer ,beat 10 minutes to make a soft dough.

4)Divide dough into 12 pieces.

5)Shape each piece into a ball .cover,let rise in warm place until doubled in size ,about 1 hour.

6)Roll each to a 16 cm round.

7)The old method i bake Pita Bread on hot baking surface for 1 minute per side.

8)The new method I bake pita bread on wire rack over baking pan for 2-3 minutes.you can see it here.

zainab

http://arabicbites.blogspot.com/



 


AnnieT's picture
AnnieT

Today I baked the sourdough wholegrain bread from Breadtopia, and this time I used my ss dutch oven. I treated the dough like the NK bread and proofed it in a parchment lined banneton so I was able to score it before lowering it into the pan. No scorched bottom crust and in fact the loaf looks great. This is the one I am going to mail to San Diego, and the frustrating thing is that I won't know what the crumb looks like. Maybe my friends will send a picture - I have my fingers crossed that it is as good as it looks, A

susanfnp's picture
susanfnp

This flax seed-currant bread is similar in texture and technique to ciabatta. It was really fun to make and tastes delicious. The recipe and more photos are here.

Flax seed - currant bread Flax seed - currant slices

Susanfnp

http://www.wildyeastblog.com

breadnerd's picture
breadnerd

Still working on the nuances of oven temperature. It’s really a comedy of timing between two ancient processes—bread making and fire building. It seem like if I get it over 600 degrees at the start, it takes a good 45 minutes to reach a more comfortable 550 for bread baking, but then it holds the temps nicely for hours. Handy if you have multiple batches, less handy if you were hoping to cook your dinner at 350 degrees anytime soon. I do crack the door to bring the temp down a bit quicker.

 

Common occurrences when firing your mud oven:

  • If you think the fire is not hot enough, it will be MUCH hotter than you think.
  • If your oven is ready, and your bread is not, it will only get HOTTER if you wait to pull the coals out, and you will spend even more waiting for it to cool down. Fortunately, this will give your bread plenty of time to catch up!
  • By the time your oven cools to 350 degrees, you will be too tired and/or stuffed with bread and other roasted goodies to bake that last batch of cookies that you had planned.

Improvised proof box: Sunshine + moisture to keep it from getting a skin. Worked fine in a pinch...

http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1260/1425173125_fb0d261355.jpg

 

Like opening a package, it’s always a thrill to open the door and discover loaves like these:

 

http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1129/1426058300_6a233fae2d.jpg

 

I guess there’s always this thought in the back of my mind that the loaves will be charred black, or pale little lumps with no oven spring. Even though it’s not that much different in the end than using my indoor oven, there’s something magical about baking in my little mud hut. It also smells better. Also? The low-angled sunlight of fall doesn’t hurt the aesthetics.

 



http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1311/1426057062_b5f6f233a1.jpg

 

http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1311/1426056540_4941d7432f.jpg

 

http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1038/1426057642_e30d6f40cb.jpg

 

http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1124/1426057916_bf9ab49a10.jpg

I just did a bit of bread this time--a batch of Columbia and some Multigrain loaves. After the bread came out (well actually, while the last multigrains were still in—I was hungry) I made a pot roast and some baked potatoes. Also roasted a butternut squash to make soup out of the next day.

Floydm's picture
Floydm

Struan, banana bread, crumbbum's miche.

I got much closer on the timing with the miche. Real nice oven spring and pretty nice crumb.

wholegrainOH's picture
wholegrainOH

This is a concocted loaf of whole wheat with fresh basil from the garden, chopped green olives, and leavened with San Francisco Sourdough starter from Sourdoughs International

basil olive whole wheat loaf

Whole Wheat Basil Olive 

King Arthur Traditional Whole Wheat Flour

Amish Cornmeal

Quinoa Flour

Oat Flour

Ground Flax seed

Hemp seed

Org. Barley Malt

Org. Canola Oil

Kosher salt

Chopped fresh basil

Chopped green olives w/garlic

 

Mixed 9/21/07

Baked 9/23/07

more photos and details at http://alan-ohio-bread.blogspot.com

Alan

edh's picture
edh

I've never tried doing a blog before, but just had to share last weekend's ragingly successful experiment. Sourdough has been going not-so-well lately, so I've returned to commercial yeast for a bit. This is a somewhat altered version of my mother-in-law's recipe.

Orange Sticky Rolls

Sweet Dough:

1 Cup lukewarm milk (for non-dairy, I use 1/3 c each of coconut, soy, and rice milks)

3 Tbsp honey

1 tsp salt

1 tsp instant yeast

1/4 Cup water (the original recipe called for active dry yeast dissolved in water; instant doesn't need dissolving, but the dough needs the liquid)

1 egg

1/4 Cup shortening (coconut oil)

4 cups flour (I used 3 cups KA AP and 1 cup spelt, worked great)

Mix all ingredients together until smooth, let sit for 20 minutes, then do several french folds. It's a fairly sticky dough, but tightens up quickly.

Let rise for 2 1/2 hours, folding three times, every 30 - 45 minutes. The original recipe calls for 2 bulk rises, punching down in between, but folding made it so much lighter.

While the dough rises, make the orange glaze;

Juice and zest of 1 - 2 oranges, and 1 lemon (about 3/4 cup juice)

1 1/4 cups sugar

Cook juice, zest, and sugar together over low heat in a heavy saucepan until thickened, about 15 - 20 minutes.

Let cool to room temperature. I had to stick it in the fridge to cool it down a bit.

When the dough is ready, roll out into a 9"x18" oblong. Spread with about 4 Tbsp of the filling (don't use too much! It's not like cinnamon rolls, any extra will goosh out and make it impossible to seal the roll), then roll tightly along the long edge, and pinch the edges together.

Grease a 9"x13" pan (actually, next time I'm going to use something bigger, or two pans. I think 9"x13" is a little small, the rolls were a little too closely squeezed in there for my taste). Spread the rest of the glaze in the bottom of the pan.

Slice the roll into 1" pieces, then place loosely in the pan. Cover and let rise until not quite doubled (20 - 30 minutes).

Bake 25 - 30 minutes at 375 F. When done, invert pan over cooky sheet.

They're pretty decadent, but make a nice change from decadent cinnamon rolls.

Enjoy!

edh

dolfs's picture
dolfs

The Jewish members of my family and friends, have been fasting for the last (almost) 24 hours, as is traditional for Yom Kippur. I have been making their life difficult by baking and making the house smell very tempting. The good thing is that those "fasters" will be allowed to enjoy the results in a couple of hours.Break-fast bake IBreak-fast bake I

Inspired by Mariana, I produced Challah and "rolls" today. Half the rolls are filled with sugar, the other half or so with the poppy-seed paste. The recipe I used, like Mariana, is Rose Levy Beranbaum's "New Traditional Challah".

Break-fast bake IIBreak-fast bake II

 




--dolf


See my My Bread Adventures in pictures 

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