I haven't been around as much lately, lots of fun busy-ness like gardening and outdoor activities. But I've have lurked a bit at all the lovely baking on the fresh loaf!
We haven't used the mud oven as much this spring (funny we used it more over the winter) but had a good excuse to fire it up today. We discovered a good system of teamwork--DH managed the fire, and I stuck to the breadmaking. Not that I don't like playing with fire, but trying to do both was a stretch of my multitasking skills. It was a long day of baking but pretty relaxing overall.
Today's breads--an "order" for brat and hamburger buns (honey wheat), ABAA's Columbia Sourdough, Semolina, and french:
Attempt at an artsy crust shot (I was happy with the "ears" on this loaf):
I picked up the new edition of Kiko Denzer's book, and tried out a few new techniques on building a more efficient fire. We burned a less wood for a little less time, and I think we were just a bit cooler than ideal. Our top heat was about 575, and quickly cooled down to 450 or so. Plenty of heat for baking all these breads--about 4 consecutive bakes with some overlap, but I didn't get quite the crust color as usual and the french didn't have a huge oven spring from the hot hearth as usual. Also, the last batch of buns took 30 minutes to bake, which is a lot longer than usual. Right now the oven's at about 300 and I have a tiny chicken roasting and a batch of brownies. It's a little cool, but I figure it's like a big crockpot, they'll probably get done eventually!
Still learning, obviously, but still having fun too!