Going back in time with bread - earth oven - lots of pix
I occasionally re-enact Celtic history with my good friends from Ancient Celtic Clans. This weekend we attended the Celebration of Celts event. One of the things we did was to make an earth oven. None of us had ever done anything like it before, so it was a definite learning experience. Here I am putting the finishing touches on the chimney we didn't think to add until it was already roaring hot.
This was also my first time going without a net - no scales, no measuring cups, no recipes. I put a big pile of flour in a bowl, added some yeast, added some salt, then water until it looked and felt right. I did a quick knead just to incorporate everything, then at 45 minutes did a stretch-and-fold, 45 minutes later either another stretch and fold if it needed it, or forming into a boule.
The first loaf went in and I realized I had forgotten to slash it after the bottom exploded out of it.
The loaves got progressively better as the day went on, until they were looking like this - a beautiful currant loaf:
One of my other hobbies is woodturning. We churned some fresh butter by putting cream into the wooden box on the left and shaking the heck out of it. The butter went into the little tub on the right. You can see the buttermilk still in the box on the left with the wooden agitators floating in it.
I also juggle :) Hey, I had to shake it up somehow!
I was astounded at how well they came out. Even without doing any measuring, I was able to crank out 6 beautiful, delicious loaves from a hole in the ground. Amazing.
And with freshly-made butter to slather all over them, we were in heaven!