The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

First Mega-Bake Attempt

sourdough greg's picture
sourdough greg

First Mega-Bake Attempt

I always tend to get a little too ambitious when devoting a whole day to baking bread. It's always been an indoor effort before, where I try to make enough breads so that my wife and two teenageers don't finish it all by, oh, Tuesday morning. So I figured I can REALLY crank out a lot of bread when I can bake numerous loaves at once. So I pulled out The Jewish Baker and Old World Breads. Had a sourdough starter and rye sour starter going Saturday so I'd be ready Sunday. 


Fired up the oven about 9:00, planning to start baking about 12:00 or so. Decided on Sourdough French, Tuscan Sourdough (one of my favorites), Lazlo's Sourdough Potato Rye, and Old World Rye. Boy, do I need to work on my timing! Ended up having to refire the oven in late afternoon to bake off the last batch. Oh yeah, I decided I may as well double some of the recipes as long as I was firing up the oven for all day.  


Final score: eight SD French baguettes, two Laslo SD potato Ryes, two Tuscan SD, and two Old World Ryes. Also made five thin crust pizzas for dinner. Grades: Pizzas-A, baguettes-B (not quite browned enough as oven was cooling down by then), Laslo's SD rye-A+ (cooked post pizza so the ove was nice and hot, came out crisp crust, nicely browned, and tasty), Old World Ryes- B, Tuscan SD-a disappointing C- or even a D. I've made these in the past, and they have had great oven spring. This time, I burned the first one, as the oven was too hot, and the second tasted okay, but didn't have the spectacular oven spring I was used to.


I think I'm going to get one of those infrared laser thermometers. 1) so I quit burning breads, but more importantly  2) so I can bake during winter without having to guestimate temps, or wait around to check a thermometer I've placed inside the oven. Sorry for the long ramble, but I'm excited to finally be using this thing after spending all summer building it, and my family loves to eat the results, but certainly aren't interested in talking about it.


Oh yeah, my neighbor just replaced his cedar fence, and gave me all the old wood (never painted, stained, or treated in any way). Although it was a ll a little damp, I used the oven today as a sort of drying kiln, and it worked great! And the fence boards are much easier to cut up than tree limbs!


 


Greg 

dwcoleman's picture
dwcoleman

Were all of the loaves sold, or gifts?


I've been doing my big bakes on Thursday nights for sale on Friday at my wifes work, as well as my own.


Last weeks bake was 9 focaccia, 7 baguettes, and 36 cheese buns.  Previous week was 6 focaccia, 10 baguettes, and 51 cheese buns.


I've switched this week from bread to pastry and so far I have 12 orders of 6 danishes each to fill!

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

All your baking sounds wonderful!  I'am assuming you are baking in a wfo?  Sounds like your having fun and making a little extra cash for flour...hope you can post some photos...a lot of us on TFL would really enjoy them!  Talking about danish makes me want to make some...about what temperature do you bake them in your wfo?


Sylvia


 

dwcoleman's picture
dwcoleman

I'll have some pictures on Wednesday or Thursday hopefully.


My orders have increased, I'm up to 17 x 6 per package now.


I've used Joes recipe and his technique with great success.


http://joepastry.com/index.php?cat=89


 

sourdough greg's picture
sourdough greg

Some for gifts. Thank you's to people who donated materials to help build my earth oven WFO. Took some to work. And the rest are being snarfed up by my family. The sourdoughs are good keepers. And 2 teenagers and a breadaholic wife make sure nothing lasts long enough to go bad.  pictures next time.

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Hello, Greg!  Congratulations on your first mega bake...It's not easy!  I'am so happy with my IRT.  If I knew how much more accurate it was than my hand or counting..I would have purchased it a long time ago.  You won't regret getting one!


Hope you can post some photos next time around!


Sylvia