Just signed up for a class with King Arthur. Bread Baking in a Wood-Fired Oven with Dan Wing. Is anyone else here going?
June 18 & 19 course, right? Got contacted today by a Chicagoan who'll be attending.
Where are you in Va?
Hay Larry, (South West) Virginia I live in a real small town but Blackburg and Virginia Tech are just north of me.
it sounds like. I'm in traffic-hell: northern Virginia.
Does bread baked in a wood fired oven actually taste any different than a bread baked in a conventional oven?
I've always wondered about that since seeing all the work involved in building one.
To be honest, I can't tell the difference from mine. Since the fire is usually removed prior to baking, any "wood" qualities would seem to be minimal. That is not true, however, for other cooked items like pizza, roasts, etc, which often have a live fire component. I also typically get good spring in the WFO and can bake unrealisticly long baguettes :-)
The differences are in the character of the bread rather than the taste.
The significance of these ovens is they are a solid mass of masonry [usually brick] and baking is through retained heat rather than a thermostat to throw fresh heat at the product
I guess pizzas baked in an oven with the fire still smoking will taste different, but for bread the fire is out and the oven left to settle so that does not apply.
When I make bread in my wfo pizza. I have left a little of the oak coals dying in a far corner of my oven..wow..we could not believe the delicious flavor that came through the dark roasted crust..totally amazing, delicious! I have also baked in it moped out of all ash and coal, still delicious but not as good with a little bit of that smokey goodness. The pizza's are out of world. I make pizza's in my indoor oven often too..though delicious not the same as the wfo's. I use oak as it's a clean, long burning and good flavored all around wood. Other fruit woods are lovely too..but my first choice is oak for my baking needs it also grows all over CA. We do have a hugh wood supplier near buy that supplies all varieties of fire wood. I have a large wf pizza oven from forno-bravo a company that makes them here in CA.
Just looked at the KAF class description - looks very interesting and like it would be a lot of fun too. Have several questions:
- description states for advanced bakers - I have worked in three bakeries over the past 18 months (not fired .. moved to gain experience) and been baking SD at home for six months. I have never baked on a WFO though - that is why I would be going to the class:-)
- Where do you fly into/out of when going to KA Education Center? I do not drive - is a car necessary or is there some sort of public transportation available?
Thanks for any answers.
Ben - Raleigh NC
Ben I will fly into Burlington VT and I usually fly out of Charlotte NC unless I can get a cheap rate out of Roanoke VA (not usual)
Ben the description of the class only asks if your confident about baking yeast breads in your kitchen oven. I think your qualified.
I have not worked out transportation yet myself but I know the area and don't think public transportation is available. I also don't know if KA can provide a ride.
I will be visiting family while there so I would offer you a ride but I may be there for a few extra days.
Yes this class does sound like fun. I hope to start building my WFO soon.
Hope this helps.
Wow...serendipity afoot. I just signed up for the Wing class today, then in some sort of subliminal buyer's remorse haze, went looking for postings on the web about previous Wing classes. Google turned up Larry's comment about him going in June so I joined the Fresh Loaf to introduce myself to him and viola....seems like quite a community.
I will likely fly Southwest Airlines into and out of Manchester NH and rent a car to drive over. Happy to provide a ride to anyone along the way. In addition to the baking, looking forward to seeing VT again. Vacationed in the Smuggler's Notch area a few summers as a child. Also hope to have Larry regale us with stories of chucking it all and following his passion so that I can live vicariously through him.
Something is afoot for sure. Look forward to meeting you. I hope this class is as informative and fun as it sounds. This is the first class of this type for me.
Do you already have a WFO? I will be starting mine soon. I was thinking of making mine mobile and I have an old dump truck that won't sell so I was threatening to jerk off the dump body and mount a WFO back there.
Any way see you soon...Faith
No WFO for me yet. Currently use a baking stone fired by a propane gas grill. Thinking of making mine mobile as well....or at least reloactable in case we move. Check out the following link. This guy has done a nice job with the trailer build. A dump truck will be one heck of base for a WFO.
Look forward to seeing you there...a 1st one for me too.
YES!!! that is so cool.
Think I would spring for a longer trailer so I could bring wood and stuff for the bake along... Perhaps he has that underneath the oven.
Food for thought.. thanks for the link
Not many good stories. But one thing I do recall: when I called up local bread guru Mark Furstenberg and asked how one my age could become a baker, his response was a question: "Can you afford to do this?"
Not an idle question as it turns out! Look forward to meeting you up there -
You qualify as an advanced baker, so don't worry about that. The class I took last year from Jeffrey and James MacGuire was also listed the same way, but about half the class or so were amateurs of varying experience. So no problem with feeling out of place.
If you fly in, it will have to be Burlington, VT and you'll need to rent a car. Norwich is a small town off the Interstate and I'm not aware of any public transportation that would get you there (and if it did, you'd still have the problem of transportation to and from wherever you'd be staying. If you look at the Baker's Education Center info, there a any number of inns, motels and B&Bs within easy driving distance that offer discounts if you're attending an event at KAF.
Hope to see you there -
Your going also? Cool I guess I misread your post. I'll be flying in on Thursday and out Monday that will give me time with the family and the new babies.
See you there.
I'll be there. BTW, if you've never driven the highways in Vermont, the vistas are jaw-dropping. And yes, wood-fired bread tastes completely different. "Regular" bread for me immediately became a disappointment.
I have a wfo and couldn't believe the difference in flavor..it seems no matter how I 'European Roast' my loaves in my home oven..the flavor is no where near the same..the flavor that comes from that dark roast out of my wfo oven is completely amazing..the first time a did a really dark roast in my wfo, I thought the bread was ruined because I had nearly burned it and when my husband and I tasted it we were amazed at the flavor that came from the crust...knocked our socks off.
Thanks for the info - I have been on the phone today with a lot of the folks in the Hanover and Norwich area - many nice people. What I have found is there is a coach service - Dartmouth Coaches which goes between Logan Airport Boston and Dartmouth College (1.6 miles from KA). I could fly RDU to Logan I believe and take the coach to Dartmouth. I started looking for lodging - within walking distance - only to find out that the weekend of the WFO class coincides with the Dartmouth Reunion weekend - all nearby place are already booked and/or have hiked their rates for the special weekend. At present I am still looking but coming to the conclusion that this may not be the weekend for me - may wait until July when the BBGA is offering a WFO class with Jeffrey Hamelman at KA.
I have not given completely up on June but it is not looking to hopeful. I know you guys will have a great time and learn a lot.
Ben I sent you a message. I went for days befor I realized I had a message.