The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

This week's baking: May 6, 2017

dmsnyder's picture

This week's baking: May 6, 2017

This was a busy baking week (for me). I baked for two potluck dinners and for my wife and me.

Thursday, I had a committee meeting in the evening. I brought a San Joaquin Sourdough.

I bake a SJSD for home as well, but also a 90% rye bread, my currently preferred base for cream cheese and lox.

Today, I had another opportunity to bake in wood fired oven. I baked a Forkish Field Blend #2 pair and a newly devised formula for an Italian-style bread with currents, pine nuts and fennel seeds. I will blog on that one in a bit, but, meanwhile here's a photo of the bake:

As you can probably tell from the dull crusts, our biggest problem was humidifying the huge oven with only four loaves loaded. On the other hand, this is the first bake I've done in this oven where the temperature was not too hot. So progress is being made.

Happy baking!



IceDemeter's picture

the lox and the SJSD are just taking it over the top!  I really like the crumb on that rye and it looks absolutely perfect for the toppings.

I'm looking at the WFO bake and have to wonder whether putting together a light aluminum "tent" inside the oven (just big enough for the small quantity of loaves) would be enough to hold a bit more steam for the bake.  Another option would be to use a portable aluminum or steel oven frame (something like what is used for baking over an open fire) and closing it off with foil or a solid metal skin for the first part of the bake.

For that matter - have you tried ever just putting a lid over the loaves (along the lines of the steamer-table bin that Lazy Loafer uses) for part of the bake to hold in some of the steam?

It's really interesting to see the different challenges with different ovens (toaster / electric / gas / small WFO / massive WFO), so thanks for your sharing the experiences that you and your friend are having with baking in this large scale WFO.

Cheers, and keep baking happy!

dmsnyder's picture

Thanks for your comments.

I have thought about baking in Dutch ovens in the WFO, but then, what's the point of the WFO? Why not just bake in my electric oven?

In my very limited experience, there is a positive effect of the WFO bake, especially on the crust, in spite of its limitations. 

It's a challenge, and that makes it more fun.