The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


smoke signals's picture
smoke signals

Hello Fresh Loaf Friends,

My name is Tara Jensen and I'm the baker/owner behind Smoke Signals. We're a micro bakery located just outside of Asheville, North Carolina specializing in honest bread and rustic pastries. All our work is done by hand we source our flour exclusively from Carolina Ground, a local mill devoted to milling grains from the Carolinas. We've been doing all our baking for our first year up & running at our town's local pizza shop. Without the generosity of this shared hearth we wouldn't be were we are today, however, our bread is gaining popularity and we need to purchase our oven to meet the demands. So, we've launched a Kickstarter. If you are unfamilliar with Kickstarter, it's a fundrasing platform whereby you make a pledge towards a monetary goal and recive various rewards and recognition. We are raising $5,000 to purchase a gently used gas, deck oven and have a number of different rewards. Give us a look and share with your baking community!

Click here to go to our Kickstarter, learn more, watch our video & share:  Smoke Signals Kickstarter

And click here for our website: Smoke Signals Website

ratatouille's picture

Cadco XAF-113 - Anybody else using it these days?

February 5, 2013 - 9:45am -- ratatouille

So after reading a review on this site from a couple years ago and seeing photos of what this oven is capable of, I think it would make the perfect secondary oven that will accomplish what we're trying to do.

Anybody else using it these days?  How has it treated you?  Has it ever been out for service?  Would you recommend getting it again?


Thanks a ton in advance,




toddvp's picture

poor spring/dry crust in restaurant oven -- ideas?

November 27, 2012 - 7:03pm -- toddvp

Hi folks! I work for a local cafe that has been shipping in expensive baguettes for their sandwiches. I made a batch of Italian rolls from BBA as a potential alternative, and have been appointed the official baker of such rolls from now on (hooray!). However, I'm having some predictable challenges with their ovens, since they're not designed for bread baking.

kathunter's picture

Bread Machine Bread Bakes Flat in the Oven

September 15, 2012 - 6:33pm -- kathunter

Hello Fellow Bread Bakers,

I just baked a loaf of part wheat part white bread using my bread machine to do the mixing and kneading. Then I took the dough out, punched down the air on a lightly floured board, then placed the shaped dough in a loaf pan to rise. It looked beautiful after about 30 minutes. But as soon as I removed the lightweight towel, the dough sank and did not rise again when I placed it in the oven to bake. What do I need to do differently?

Thanks a bunch,


El Fante's picture

Can I achieve quality bread from a Blodgett Pizza Oven?

August 25, 2012 - 5:48pm -- El Fante

Hi Everybody,

I've been reading everything for sometime and decided to finally join.

I'm looking for an oven to begin my own small production bakery.  My idea is to buy a used double deck Blodgett and install a stone hearth and steam injector, but I'm concerned that converting this 'pizza oven' is a chincy way to roll.  I want to make sure this beatiful oven can hold up to five rounds of baking each day, potentially with colder overnighted dough.  I'm currently baking in a Sveba Dahlen deck that throws out a storm of steam, giving me the results I'm looking for.

loydb's picture

The oven that was in our new house was pretty much the cheapest exposed-element electric that they could find when they did the kitchen remodel pre-sale. We replaced it with a Frigidaire FPEF3081MF, from their 'professional' range. It's my first glass-topped unit, and my first convection oven (sadly, no steam). While I still can't find the (in a box somewhere) stuff I need for breadmaking, I used it last night to roast some potatoes and carrots and a pork tenderloin. 

I am now in love with convection. I wish I'd gotten some picture (camera -- in a box somewhere).  These were - by far - the best roasts I've ever produced. The potatoes were well-browned and slightly crunchy on the outside. The carrots were sweet and caramalized. The roast had a perfect crust.

I don't know how much use it will be for bread, but I'm in love with the feature so far...



Biffbread's picture

Can the Zojirushi bread pan handle being put into an oven?

July 29, 2012 - 1:00am -- Biffbread

So I have a really nice Zojirushi breadmachine with duel kneading paddles,but I know that nothing beats an oven; so I was wondering if I could take the breadmachine pan right of the breadmachine and into the oven. Can the breadmachine pan handle 550 degrees ?

jarkkolaine's picture

Every year, in the beginning of summer, my three brothers and I gather for a weekend at our parents' summer cottage to eat, relax, and create something together. As we all love to create things and try out new ideas, we usually end up creating something out of the ordinary.

This year, I suggested creating an oven using materials found in the nature and bake some bread in the oven. Although I have been reading The Bread Builders by Alan Scott and Dan Wing, I can't say I know much about ovens. Just that we need to collect heat in it and then try to keep that heat as well as the steam from the breads inside. That didn't stop us.

We dug a hole in the ground (had to stop when it started filling with water—we were too close to the lake). Then, we used small rocks  to build a small oven inside. Then we heated the oven.

As we were ready to put the bread in, we realized we hadn't planned for an oven door. There was an old wheelbarrow standing next to our oven, so we put it on top of the oven door to keep the heat inside. Not the best of choices, but it does look fun in the photo!

The first version lead to a loaf of bread that baked a bit unevenly, but rose nonetheless and tasted very good. 

I wasn't very happy with the big holes in the crumb, but I suspect this didn't have anything to do with the oven but rather the fact that I was a bit sloppy with the dough as most of my attention was in creating the oven. My 

Last weekend, we went back to the summer cottage, this time taking all of our families with us.

My son, Oiva, was excited about the oven and wanted to bake some bread in the oven, so we heated it up again. But before that, we did some improvements based on the previous weekend's results: we added another big rock on top of the oven to distribute more heat on every side of the bread being baked and changed the structure to be more oven-like with a door and all. After three loads of wood, we baked the first loaf.

This time, the results were very good, and the loaf of bread disappeared from the kitchen table in less than five minutes! The oven was really hot at the beginning, as you can see from the bottom of the loaf.

Right after taking the loaf out of the oven, I put in another. The heat left in the oven wasn't very strong, but after baking the second loaf for about two hours, out came a loaf that was well worth the effort. It didn't have much crust and it didn't rise quite as much as the first loaf, but tasted good, and everyone liked it too.

What more can a baker ask for? ...except, maybe, a real masonry oven...


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