The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Long Time Away

OldWoodenSpoon's picture
OldWoodenSpoon

Long Time Away

I have been quiet on TFL, mostly, for several months, posting a comment in a thread only rarely, and not taking/making/having time to post any of my baking.  Life has been good, but very busy, and so has work.  Good, and very, very busy.  What time I've had free I've not wanted to spend in this same chair, and at the same computer, where I make my living all day (and night too, sometimes), but I have still found some time to bake.  Not a lot of time, especially last spring and summer, but some.  I can proudly say, however, that no "store bread" has come into this house in two years.  :)  I'm not going to recap  it, or even describe it, but this collage of selections from the last  6 months or so fills in some of the gaps.

There was more, but the evidence all disappeared.

In addition to some baking, one of the things that has soaked up much of my free time has been the completion of my wood fired oven (Denzer style), which has reached a successful near-end milestone.  I have the oven completed, and everything left to do is for looks.  Well, looks and protection.  After the bad outcome from my 2010 effort, which you can see in my blog posts here I put it under wraps for the winter, and took up the project again this summer after things dried out.  I finally was able to get it successfully completed, except for the final finishing strokes, earlier this October.  Here is another collage that tells an abbreviated version of that saga too.


 I've been able to bake in it three or four times so far, and the first fire and first bake are both at the bottom right of the collage.  Based on my limited experience at it so far I know it is going to be a challenge to get to where I can reliabely and predictably produce quality bakes from it.  Heat management and timing are everything, as those with much more experience than I will confirm.  I am hoping that it will not get so wet around the oven this winter that I cannot get to it to bake.  I really hate to think of having to leave it wrapped again all winter when it is so nearly completed, and fully capable of sustained baking.  

I am really looking forward to a little more personal time this fall and winter, and hope to be able to post some of the lessons I expect to learn about managing a Denzer-style oven.  There is much more information available on this topic for an Alan Scott oven, but even then there is not an overabundance.  I'll at least be able to share my mistakes in hope of saving others from making them!

It feels good to be coming back, and I look forward to sharing with you all.  Until then, thanks for stopping by.
OldWoodenSpoon

Comments

arlo's picture
arlo

Glad to see you posting again OWS. Your wood fired oven is a work of art, I can easily say I am jealous of it.

I wish you continued success and can't wait to see some more of you around here. In the mean time, take care!

OldWoodenSpoon's picture
OldWoodenSpoon

Thanks arlo.  I appreciate the good wishes.

OldWoodenSpoon

clazar123's picture
clazar123

After looking at your pictures, I started daydreaming about baking in my back yard  wood fired oven.  Oh no! I can't start another hobby! Maybe next year.

Your pictures are wonderful and so inspiring. Thank you!

OldWoodenSpoon's picture
OldWoodenSpoon

Watch out there because this hobby takes some serious time.  I severely underestimated just how much.  Once the dome was up, which took a day to build and 6 weeks to slowly dry and sun-cure, I spent at least one day of every weekend where I had at least a day, on the oven.  But it was worth it!  :)

Thanks
OldWoodenSpoon

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I look forward to reading more about your learning to bake in your WFO.

David

OldWoodenSpoon's picture
OldWoodenSpoon

Thank you David.  I look forward to sharing as I go.  I already know that I have a great  deal to learn, especially about timing.  I know, too, that the learning will improve my baking.  That's a good thing.
OldWoodenSpoon

FaithHope's picture
FaithHope

Super sweet bread!  Man, you're pro!  If that was out of a regular oven, man, what's going to come out of your WFO?!!  Are you in the yahoo oven group?  They have been really helpful!  It think they are all going to shoot me though, cause I'm planning on painting my oven!  I know it's a supposed-NOT good idea, but, I'm just going to have to do it! ;)  I'll wear a blindfold for the shooting! :)

Have you tried bagels in the WFO?  Bagels are one of my favorites, I just don't know about loosing those small little guys in the back of my oven.  It's an AS oven.  My landing is kinda big so the back of the oven seems far away!  I'm going to need a long peel!  I'm sure I'll burn everything until I get the hang of it!! ;)

Thanks for sharing about your WFO.  I wish there were more pictures and information available to me too when I was building.  It was kinda build as you go.  But, now I think I would do A LOT different on my next oven, that I hope I never have to build! ;)  I posted a million pictures on the oven group.  I'm sure they think I'm crazy, but...I would have loved to look at a lot of picuters!!  I only posted like 300+ :)  out of my 1,000+!!!  LOL!!  Ha!!!

Anyways, can't wait to see more of your bakes!  Awesome job on the oven!!!

faith

OldWoodenSpoon's picture
OldWoodenSpoon

Your enthusiasm is contagious faith!  Thank you!  Yes, all that bread was from the kitchen oven except for the last picture, which you can tell matches the loaves in the last picture in the oven collage.  Obviously, that was from the WFO.  And no, I don't bake bagels.  I love them, but I can't eat them.  Too many calories for me.  I'm big enough already!  Oh, and no I'm not in the Yahoo Oven group.  I'll have to check it out, but as my track record here on TheFreshLoaf already proves, I can't even keep up with just one group, let alone two.  I'm afraid I'll just be a lurker there.

Thanks for the infectious enthusiasm.  Congratulations on your own WFO project.  I've enjoyed following it along.  Oh, and DON'T paint it!  (Just kidding.  You do what you want, since it is yours!)
OldWoodenSpoon

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

What a great collection of photos.  Great looking WFO.  Looking forward to seeing your bakes.  I hope the weather stays good for your WFO baking...I know how frustrating those rainy days can be.

Sylvia

OldWoodenSpoon's picture
OldWoodenSpoon

Thank you Sylvia.  I hope our wish comes true about the weather.  That part of my yard is a swamp, especially in wet springs.  I'll need pontoons to get out there to bake when it is like that, and I don't know how I would get firewood to the oven to heat it up.

OldWoodenSpoon

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hello OWS,
What a lovely collage of photos and congratulations on your new WFO!
:^) from breadsong

OldWoodenSpoon's picture
OldWoodenSpoon

Thanks breadsong!  I consider that high praise as I've seen your work!
OldWoodenSpoon