The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

I know I don't have to remind everyone here but...

mikeofaustin's picture
mikeofaustin

I know I don't have to remind everyone here but...

When spraying bread / oven with water, be carefull when spraying around the oven light bulb. Especially when you're sending your family back home with a couple loaves. :(

(two ruined loaves, sprinkled with glass).

Russ's picture
Russ

Ack, that's awful! Sorry to hear it.

I always spray the wall opposite the bulb. Thanks for the reminder though.  

Russ

ejm's picture
ejm

Ohhh!! So sorry to hear about that! (I always spray the loaves themselves just before putting them in the oven because I'm so afraid of that calamity.)

-Elizabeth 

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

that's too bad, especially after all the time and effort you put in. I stopped spraying a long time ago. I felt with opening the door I was losing 100 deg of heat and I wasn't shutting it fast enough to capture steam from a few sprays. I have better luck with a pan on the bottom rack and hot, hot water.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

That is why I support the development of clear aluminum and unbreakable glass.  It could replace all those breakable things like oven lights, oven doors, fireplace doors, even light bulbs, jars or airplane panels.  (I'd love to fly in a see-thru plane, what a rush!)  And not to mention baking covers for our bread that we can see through.   I'm cheering for upstart scientists to come up with a good solution.  Glass is just too breakable!  

Mini O

Mike Avery's picture
Mike Avery

They should not make those things out of rubber.

 

Rubber breaks,

 

But Chico can no talk about that!

 

Mike

 

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

SYLVIAH

I  would love to have the new kitchenaid steam oven....I will just keep using my La cloche...sorry to hear about your glass blub breaking.

fminparis's picture
fminparis

No need to spray.  With loaves on a baking sheet, cover the whole sheet and loaves with a large piece of heavy aluminum foli, fold under the sheet all around.  Doesn't have to seal perfectly - just fold under all around. Two-thirds of the way through the baking, remove sheet of foil.  Baking times will have to be adjusted (longer).

fancypantalons's picture
fancypantalons

Yeah, the problem is if you're baking on, say, a stone preheated to 500 degrees.  I don't think I'd want to try and wrap tinfoil around my screaming hot pizza stone...  not to mention the difficulty in doing that while trying to maintain a space to allow for oven spring.  'course, that's why the cloche was invented, but knowing me, I'm just as likely to break that (or burn myself horribly) as I am to break the light bulb in my oven. :)

fminparis's picture
fminparis

Why bother with a heated stone?  Unnecessary.  Let rise on a cookie sheet, seam side up (not in oven).  When fully risen, flip over on cooke sheet, slash, cover with aluminum foil tent, and put in oven to bake. Moisture from bread gives a wonderful crust, Finish baking without foil to crisp, and voila!  Finshed.  I bring bread to restaurants I go to locally and chefs fight over it - the best bread they've had.

ejm's picture
ejm

Creating an aluminum foil tent seems like a terrible waste - even if the tent could be reused several times. Wouldn't it be better (I'm thinking about resources and landfill) to use a bowl or lid that can withstand the high oven temperature?

Question: When, during the baking, is the dome to be removed so the crust can crisp? Half way through?

-Elizabeth

fminparis's picture
fminparis

The aluminum foil can be used over and over if you're careful and don't rip it.  I just fold it up and put it with my baking stuff.   Yes, if you can find a cover to fit over the baguettes or batards you can certainly use that. I haven't been able to find one. The bread creates its own steam and bakes beautifully. I have a small oven so I make batards.

 For my batards, I bake at 450 degrees for 30 minutes, then remove the foil for 20 minutes to finish the crisping. They puff up beautifully and crispy.

I have found that a very important part of baking bread is the autolyse.   I knead my dough in my cuisinart and after initially turning it on and adding the water slowly, as soon as it's mixed (maybe 5-10 seconds) I turn it off and let it sit for 30 minutes.  Then I turn it on to knead for 1 minute after a ball forms and dump it into a bowl to rise.

 

 

ejm's picture
ejm

So that's a total of 50 minutes baking at 450F? Wow. Are your loaves particularly large? (I don't think I've ever baked bread for much longer than 30 minutes - at 400F)

Yes, autolyse is a great thing. I'm a big fan of stretching and folding too.

I wonder if the lid for a roasting pan would work in lieu of aluminum foil... (if the lid is not too shallow).

-Elizabeth

MaryinHammondsport's picture
MaryinHammondsport

USing the lid of a roasting pan for a batard or bagettes was how I decided to go; then I discovered we had gotten rid of our old covered aluminum roaster some time ago, when I got a new s.s. one with a rack. The new one is cover-less, and too shallow to turn upside down. Darn! My husband reminds me that this is why he never throws anything out.

So I am stuck with boules under a s.s. bowl unless we find a cheapo covered roaster at a garage sale. And since I hate garage sales, my other half is going to have to take care of that, and I will never live it down.

I have seen them on eBay, but for $10 + shipping, I'll stick with boules. And I do love using the bowl upside down for boules. I will have to try the foil tent idea sometime, as long as I can save it for more than one use.

Mary 

 

fminparis's picture
fminparis

<<So that's a total of 50 minutes baking at 450F? >>

Yes . But remember, it's baking under foil which slows down the process considerably (and makes it very even).  Sort of like covering the edges of pies with foil to prevent them from getting overbaked while the rest of the pie bakes.

 For boules, I use an old Dansk pot we had for years and years unused. Fortunately we didn't throw it out and it's the absolute perfect pot to bake boules in. 

 The only differences between my batards and boules is I make a looser dough with more water for the boules. I can't make the batards too loose or I couldn't roll them into logs. Also, I allow my boules to rise longer.

fminparis's picture
fminparis

Hmmm.  I was just thinking.  It might be possible to use an aluminum roasting pan, the kind you get in super markets to roast something in, then throw out. Turn it upside down to cover the loaves and rest on the cookie sheet.

 

One more thing.  When baking the boules, I put a cookie sheet under the pot or the bottom of the boule gets too well down, i.e. burned. 

MaryinHammondsport's picture
MaryinHammondsport

Don't know why I never thought of that. Thanks -- it will hopefully keep my husband away from garage sales! I am sure a throw-away aluminum roaster would work, if they are deep enough, and they will be for bagettes, I'm sure. And definitely reuseable.

I don't think I expressed myself real well about being "stuck" with the ss bowl for boules. What I meant was that until your suggestion of the throw-away aluminum roaster, I was stuck with boules, as opposed to long and skinny. I love the ss bowl -- it works perfectly.

I use parchment under all my loaves that are baked on the stone; that seems to prevent scorching for me.

Mary 

 

fminparis's picture
fminparis

<<I use parchment under all my loaves that are baked on the stone; that seems to prevent scorching for me.>>

 I don't use a stone but I use parchment paper with flour on the cookie sheet under the batards; easier cleanup. I turn the risen batards over and slash for baking.

I also use it for boules with lots of flour to prevent sticking.  When ready to bake, I lift the boule, turn it over in the palms of my hands and place it into the pot in the oven. 

sandrasfibre's picture
sandrasfibre

Hello.   I have a clay flower pot tray that I fill with water and put it on the bottom shelf when baking.  However, if I bake two loaves and one of the loaves is somewhat over the top of this tray........the bottom of that loaf doesn't get browned and isn't hollow like the rest of the loaf.   so now what I do instead is, I have two new clay loaf pans.  while my oven is preheating, I set the two loaf pans in a small amount of warm water in my sink.  actually, you are supposed to presoak these anyway, but I don't.  I just do it this way.    It works great.