The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Woodie first batch

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noyeast's picture
noyeast

Woodie first batch

Had the wood oven for over two years, we've baked all sorts and cooked all sorts in there plenty of times, but the bread loaves were always the last thing to go in and be baked once the oven had cooled and with no issues.


A few days ago I decided to prepare some SD and some regular bread for baking early saturday morning.  Saturday dawned, I was up at 6 in pitch darkness and had the oven lit right away.  By 8 I had embers burning down and almost ready to sweep out the floor


By 8.30 all was clean and ready, only the temp was still too high so I checked every few minutes with my infra red gun thermometer.


My SD loaves were well inflated and looked like they might collapse at any minute so they had to go in at a little too high a temp.  The floor was 270 C and the walls were still up at 330 C.  In they went whilst I waited on the regular loaves to finish proofing.


I knew I should check the SD loaves quite soon for browning and after 10 minutes I did.  But the tops were quite blistered and burnt, so out they came quick smart.  I quickly fashioned some "chinese hats" from ali foil and placed them on top of the loaves for the duration of the bake.  Once at 96 C internal temp I took the loaves out and they looked great except for the awful black tops !  The oven spring on these SD loaves was excellent.


By this time, 9.00 am,  the oven had reached a better temp of 220 for the floor and the walls were now around 280 C.    I made a mistake with my proofing and the regular loaves could have done with another hour of proofing but I decided that oven spring might kick in and give me the result I was wanting.


But no, they emerged after 35 minutes, looking beautiful, with the score cuts looking great too, but the loaves were still a bit heavy and underproofed.   Once cut open I realised they were still quite good and great to eat.


 


This first effort at batch baking was a bit experimental in that I was unsure about how accurately I would bring together all the timing factors of the SD bread which took two days, the regular bread which I had mixed the day before with less yeast so as they would proof overnight and be "just right" the next morning at 8.30 !


It was pretty much a success with the SD proofing at just the right time and the regular loaves taking a little longer.


I have made good notes and hope that the next batch will coordinate perfectly.


Paul.

Edouard's picture
Edouard

Proofing and timing the right heat soak is proving, for me, to be a major part of the learning curve. Getting everything timed just so ... like timing the various cooking times and temperatures of a good dinner. 


Currently I'm favoring a higher hydration for oven spring and crumb. But with more moisture I'm less able to control the look and shape of the bread. 


Pictures, sir! If I can figure it out ....

noyeast's picture
noyeast

produces a great crumb alright, I too am right into this and finding, like you, that I need form tins of some description to ensure a good shape.


This morning I'm trying baking paper inside a loaf tin to act like artificial baguette form tins and baking off two short french sticks from Anis Boabsa's recipe.


Looks like I will need a slight modification to suit my own system, buts thats to be expected.


I'm also finding it all but impossible to score these higher hydration loaves.


Paul.

noyeast's picture
noyeast

I managed to coordinate my sourdough and yeast loaves proofing pretty well this time .   The four SD loaves have been fermenting/proofing two days where as the regular yeast loaves were mixed yesterday.


 



 



We have had very cold weather so everything needed a helping hand this morning before they all were sufficiently proofed.


Here is the result, four 20% stoneground and 4 sourdough loaves, this time the wood oven temp was spot on.  Nice brown tops and light crumb in all loaves.  The SD flavour is awesome !


Paul.

Edouard's picture
Edouard

Wonderful! Just wonderful, and thanks for the many pictures.

CanuckJim's picture
CanuckJim

Paul,


Here's a technique we use that you might want to try.  We make 1 kilo SD boule here on a regular basis, but timing the hearth and the proof can cause problems, and can require extensive therapy.  To avoid all that, we make, bulk ferment, cut, scale and shape on day one.  We put them in bannetons, cover completely with plastic wrap, and retard them overnight in the cooler: 39-40 degrees F.  The next day, we often start with pizza at 750F on the deck, then baguette at 650F, then leave the door off and wait until the temp drops to 500-550 F.  We take the retarded boule directly from the cooler to the oven, with no warming time at all.  I've never seen any significant difference in volume, caramelization or crumb using this technique (Hamelman does the same thing; we just got there by different routes).  Our kilo boule bake to an internal temp of 205 in 22 minutes flat.  Lots of steam, vent halfway through the bake.


CJ

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

CJ, This sounds like a great schedule for wfo baking.  My refrigerator is small and so I really have to plan.  Do you have a favorite baquette recipe for your wfo?


Sylvia

CanuckJim's picture
CanuckJim

Sylvia,


After much experimentation over the years, I've really settled on Gosselein's cold water Ancienne baguette.  In fact, my partner, Wendy, has made it quite clear that no other type is permitted here.  Betty Z, a food writer, sat in on a session and said flatly, and in print, that this was "the best baguette I've ever tasted, in North America or France."


Sure, these are "rustic" baguette, in that normal shaping is out, and the shapes will vary but get better with practice.  There's no real way to scale the loaves either.  Such wet dough can be tricky to handle and slash (we use floured scissors for this), but the results are well worth getting proficient.


For our scheduling purposes, one of the greatest benefits of using this high hydration formula--beyond great results--is that it rather likes elevated hearth temps of around 650.  I tried it first after reading somewhere that in Parisian wood fired boulangerie, the first bake of the day is baguette and the hearth temp can be as high as 750 (gulp, I'm not that brave).  Anyway, seemed like an idea to try high temps.  At 650, ours get to an internal temp of 205 in about 7-8 minutes, but that would depend on your oven's personality.  We use lots of steam just after loading, then vent halfway through.  For a crunchier crust, return to the oven for about a minute, door off.


I can post a pic or two on slashing with scissors if you like.  I've posted pics of the baguette elsewhere on the Forum.


Our Day Two bake schedule is this: pizza, baguette, olive boule, ciabatta, potato, cheddar & chive batard, bagels.  The last two are pretty much interchangeable, because they both like a hearth temp somewhat below 500.  These are brick temps, not air.


CJ


 


 

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

CJ, thank you!  The 650 oven 'brick temps' sounds good and the baguettes sound delicious!  I've found 750 works best for my pizzas.


Sylvia