The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

It's all about timing - WFOven, Pain Au Levain

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

It's all about timing - WFOven, Pain Au Levain

I made the Pain Au Levain 'sourdough' pg. 158 from the book 'Jeffery Hamelman Bread'.

What a lovely delicious bread that has been enjoyed by many who have baked it.

When preparing my wfo for this bake, timing was very important because, I also make dinner in it before doing my baking.  

I call our dinner on Mike's work days 'time orders'.  

When he arrives home from a cycling exercise ride.  He has just enough time for showering and eating before, leaving the house.

So dinner is on table usually about 4:15.

 

I fired the oven up, mixed my bread and, roasted the chicken after the first logs burned down.  I only needed to add one log at a time to burn  a low flame for the roasting.

When the chicken was done.  I placed it into my elec. oven to keep it hot.  I made the salad, tended to my bread strectch and folds and made the pizza's.

Dinner was ready.  The pizza's only take a few minutes.  Everything was timed great and tasted delicious.

Just after dinner.  The loaves were shaped.  

Now there only some hot coals to rake over the oven floor.  Then I cleaned up after dinner.

After cleaning up the kitchen, I raked out what was left of the dying embers and ash.  Mopped my oven floor, placed the door on and left the oven to stablize for one hour and 15 minutes.  

The oven and loaves were both ready.  The timing worked out very good.

Everything was done.  Now the fun.  Baking my bread and I also put in some yams.

I had plenty of stored heat in the oven and could have baked longer.  But, it was a long day and I was tired and didn't really need the extra rustic pies I was thinking about adding to the days bake.  Easter and my birthday will be here soon.  How time flys.  Plenty of time for sweet eating and calories.

 

The neighborhood farmers market was full of fresh greens.  I should have brought my camera.  I especially wanted the Cara Cara Oranges for my roasted beet and goat cheese salad, basalmic glaze, all were topped over spinach.  Roasted walnuts were forgotten :/ would have added a nice crunch.

 

 

Whenever I fire up my oven.  I always include an organic chix.  Good for dinner, sandwiches or, what have you!

 

Lemon, Garlic and Herb Chix.  Delicious and very tender.

 

 

Mike's favorite  -  Pepperoni

The dough I had already frozen and used it today.  It was 100% Caputo 00 flour.

 

Heirloom tomato from the FMarket on this one, with a little pepperoni that was left.

 

 

Farmer's Market Squash Blossom's for this Pizza

These were the female blossom's, so I added the tiny zucc's

 

Delicious and tender

 

And now for more bread bakes. 

The lovely JH Pain Au Levain ' sourdough', melt in your mouth delicious 

 

They sprung so fast and started browning.... 10 minutes in the oven... before I got the steam pans out.  Not to much harm done.

 

Browning up nicely... apx. 30 min. in the oven... I removed them.  Let them cool overnight.

 

The bakers hand fell asleep about 3/4 away down the slash on the loaf on the left.

 

Crumb was open.  No extra hydration was added.  I stuck to the books formula

 

 

I was happy with the bottom crust.  The oven floor was a nice temperature.  Oven was apx. 500F and lowering.

 

Oven's clean and ready for the next firing.  Nothing beats a self cleaning oven.

 

Sylvia

 

 

 

Comments

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Hi Sylvia,

I couldn't help but notice your wet steaming towels tucking into your oven.  I thought WFO produced enough steam on their own so it surprised me to see that you include them when baking.  Do you notice a huge difference if you don't use them?

I have been toying around with your method again.  I have a Cadco counter-top oven that has a humidity feature but am having a wall oven installed in my kitchen soon that will not include steam so I am trying different steaming things out now so I will have a base off of which to work.  What I have been doing that gives me good results is more or less your method though I do not do the microwave step.  I have been preheating my oven and then, in the final 15 minutes of the preheat I pour boiling water over a towel in a 9x9 square baking dish.  I fill it almost to the top.  I then put it into the oven where it bubbles away.  When the bread is loaded I turn off the oven (it is convection) and I put a stopper in the vent and I let the steam from the water and towel do its thing.  After 10 minutes the pan is removed.  So far it is working great.  Seems to work better when I put it into the oven prior to loading the loaves so they are going into a moist environment.  I live where it is really dry so I try to capture all the moisture I can.  Hope I get as good of results with the new oven but I do worry about the moisture and the electronic panels they use on ovens now a days.  I am gonna challenge it while still under warranty!!  If it is too much moisture I will have to resort to my upside down flower pot cloches....or DOs.  Your method is so much simpler...

Anyway, thanks for the post and the photos of your wonderful dinner.  Wish I could feed it to my family :-)

Take Care,

Janet

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Sounds like you are going to have plenty of oven space for baking.

The steaming is something I always add to my bread baking in the wfo.  I have heard that if the oven is fully loaded the bread provides enough moisture on it's own.  I don't bake that many loaves but, I would still be reluctant not to add at least a squirt bottle of steam.  I also pre-steam my ovens, EO and WFO.  I don't block vents, so I can't say what might happen to the electronics in my oven if I did.  The WFO does a fantastic job of holding in the steam and a small 1/4 sheet  pan of rolled wet nuked towel's and a little hot water does the job fine for me.  You might like to look at the site I referenced Ian too.  There is all kinds of info there,  I believe can be applied to not only their wfo's.  Under 'Oven Management' in Resources.

Simple is best for me...having spent many a year tripping around the kitchen and not getting any better at it :) as the age comes on, I need to be careful.

Sylvia

 

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

I tried the site you linked too but got nowhere.  When I clicked on 'Resources' pg jumped to top of screen and said 'contact us at .....and then gave an 800#....

Makes sense about adding steam when it isn't full.  I hadn't thought of that and, since I do not have a WFO, I doubt I ever would have :-)  Love hearing what others do with theirs though.

I don't worry about plugging my Cadco as it is designed for steam and I make sure I let a bit trickle out.  I won't be able to plug the vent in the new oven as it will be built into a cupboard.  (My Cadco sits upon a cart and all working parts are conveniently exposed.

Janet

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Easier to go to the Fornobravo.com site.   They have a nice website.

Sylvia

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

This link worked great.  Very tempting....but my fire building skills are used all winter to keep us warm.  Summer the gloves go away and wood pile is left to the insects, snakes and mice :-)  Thanks for the peek.

Janet

isand66's picture
isand66

Sylvia, what a great looking dinner and breads.  I am so jealous of your oven!  One can dream about owning one...you never know.

Curious about what temp. you cook the pizza and the breads at.  I would think for the pizza you want to get it as hot as possible but not for the bread of course.

Regards,
Ian

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Yes, pizza loves a hot oven...especially when I use the Caputo 00 Italian flour.  I just managed it this time..this  pizza dough  could have taked a hotter faster cooking oven.  The oven floor temperature does have to be watched or you can have a burnt bottom...that's where regulating the fire comes in...a nice rolling off the roof kind of fire.  It's hard for me to explain..but if you go to this site HERE at Fornobravo.com there are photos and easy to understand explainations to your questions and then some.

You never know is right!

Sylvia

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

The link I put in doesn't look like the page that I wanted.. go to Resources and look under Oven Management.  Big site, lot's of stuff there.

varda's picture
varda

Sylvia,   You make it look so easy.   I'm impressed.    And with all the extra work of firing up the oven and so forth.   Any clues on the balsamic glaze?  -Varda

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

It's does make for a full day :)  but very rewarding, when it does work.

Aaaah, balsamic glaze....so delicious, thick and rich.  The sweetness is a lovely touch to salads, fruits and cheese.  Also, very delicious on fish..just a dribble.  If you haven't tasted it, your missing out.  

It can be made, by boiling down balsalmic vinegar but, it's so much easier to buy it.  You can usually find it at a nice market or I have ordered it online at Amazon.  I like denigris or Roland brands.  It goes a long way.

Sylvia

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

just leaves me speechless.    All of it just looks so delicious.  Just great baking all the way around.  The crumb is so open and glossy - perfectly baked inside and out.  You've inspired me to make a beet salad with goat cheese - have both in the fridge and the salad garden is going great guns right now for the required greens. 

Happy baking Sylvia  

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

for the very nice compliments!  

The bread is delicious and everything JH discribes.  It does bake up nicely in the comforts of my wfo. 

With season's transitioning from winter into spring, these type of of salads do hit the spot.  Your garden must look beautiful this time of year.  Today we had another favorite salad of mine, chopped kale, with a lot of the same beets and oranges, goat cheese.  I love kale and especially raw, chopped in a salad.  It keeps so nicely...doesn't get soggy..tastes great the next day or for snacking.

Sylvia