The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Preserving the art of bread making

buzybee's picture
buzybee

Preserving the art of bread making

Hello I'm new here. I've been baking bread for about a year. Recently join our local farmers market with good success. I love reading all the helpful information that is on this site. This reason I'm posting here is hopefully someone can help me local a recently video I watch on the site. I can't for the life of me find the link and on what section of the forum it was posted. The video was about small wheat farm and bakery that was run by these men might have been brother (they spoke in french)it looked like they were giving a tour or a class on bread baking (from cultivating the wheat they grew straight through to the baking of the bread). What interested me was the way they mixed their dough. They used a huge wooden table like box maybe 4'L x2'W x8"H it was a very interesting video everything was done by hand nothing electrical was used including the oven it was a brick or clay oven used outside their building. I would like to replicate the wooden mixing table they have (not that big of course). I like to do thing as basic and natural as possible. If anyone has seen this video and could help with any suggestion  as to what type of wood they may have used and what they put in the bottom to hold in the water. I would highly appreciate it.

Tamara

RobynNZ's picture
RobynNZ

Hi Tamara

A few days ago I added a direct link to the video in a comment to another NZ baker in lieu of bread photos  (I don't have a camera), perhaps that's where you saw it. Here's a link to the original post on TFL, it's stored in the video section in the banner at the top of this page :

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/13688/peasant-bakers-france

Sorry I can't help with the questions about the wood. Have you seen MC's wonderful series on Gérard Rubaud on her Farine blog? If not, you are sure to enjoy them. Start with this one, there are more links at the bottom:

http://www.farine-mc.com/2009/11/meet-baker-gerard-rubaud.html

M.Rubaud maybe able to assist with the questions about the dough trough, if you don't hear from anyone on TFL.

Cheers, Robyn

buzybee's picture
buzybee

Thanks Robyn for your reply and the links I will check them out.

buzybee's picture
buzybee

Yes, Robyn that was the video I was talking about. I'm inspired by the way and  how they mixed the dough all by hand in that wooden vat, table, trough not sure what to call it . It's very basic but at the same time artistic( a certain skill level needs to achieved to mix that much dough and have it turn out looking like it did), the dough looked beautiful when he was done (didn't like the part where everyone kept toughing the dough eww.... )Thanks again..off to find out what kinda of wood they used.

Tamara

buzybee's picture
buzybee

Yes very similar, but the one I saw wasn't as deep maybe 10 or 12 inch and had a flat bottom. Thanks for the link Andy it looks like and interesting site.

Tamara

copyu's picture
copyu

you'd want European (red or white) beech-wood for that sort of set-up. 'Fagus sylvatica' is the correct stuff, but any other beech-wood by whatever name (eg, English 'red' beech) that you can find would be OK. Japanese "Buna", a true beech (F. crenata) works well also. Most kinds of maple you could get in NY (Acer spp.) would probably be just as good, though; 'Sugar', 'Rock' or 'Hard' maple, (or whatever they call them these days...) 

Most Euro breadboards, rolling pins, wooden bowls, spoons, etc, were (and often still are,) made of beech-wood because it's reasonably dense, food-safe, doesn't stain too easily from foodstuffs...and it's very available and 'traditional'. They also don't have that much maple-wood available. Beech or maple are probably your top choices for making one of these troughs.

Best wishes,

Adam

 

buzybee's picture
buzybee

Thanks Adam I'll try out the beech wood and make a small one to experiment with.

thomaschacon75's picture
thomaschacon75

I can appreciate wanting to do things the old-fashioned way, but only if they add value to the process.

Having used them and the more modern stainless steel vats, I can honestly say I'd never want to use them again. They mold, they rot, they're unbelievably heavy (especially with dough in them), they give you splinters, they're difficult to clean (because you can't use water on them), their temperature flucuates unpredicateably, requiring you to watch dough temp. very carefully, and they add/remove moisture and microorganisms, etc. Insects love them. Did I say difficuilt to clean?

They likely won't pass food inspection, which you'll need to sell your bread at the local farmers market; so, make sure you check with the health authorities before you put too much into this enterprise. They'll also make your insurance costs skyrocket, if you can find anyone to insure you after they learn you're using them. I think (in Washington state?), you can't even use wood banettons or brotforms for similar reasons.

buzybee's picture
buzybee

Sorry you had such a bad experience with this process. I will try to research this primitive way of mixing before I dive completely into it. If people have done it this way in the past and are still doing it today there must be a way of keeping them from molding , rotting and cleaning them, but thank anyway for the heads-up.