The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

first bread from the earth oven

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shimpiphany's picture
shimpiphany

first bread from the earth oven

i fired up the mud oven on thursday, and had a hectic evening of trying to time everything correctly.

i made pizza, brussel sprouts with garlic, onions and breadcrumbs, sourdough rye, french bread, and roasted corn, sweet potatoes and garlic.

as you can see, i overproofed the french bread, but the sourdough came out perfect, with a great oven spring. i soaked my door a second time before the bread to increase the amout of steam in the oven, and it really seemed to work.

sorry for the lousy pictures, but by the end of the evening i was exhausted. getting the timing down to maximize the oven is really going to be a challenge.

here's the group shot. i took this while all the veggies were roasting. leftover pizza, sourdough, french and brussel sprouts:

i saw the brussel sprouts at the farmer's market and knew we had to try them in the oven. i roasted them at about 600 degrees. they look ugly but taste fantastic:

the bread. the sourdough was about 25% rye made from my 100% hydration starter, thaddeus. thad's been lounging in the fridge since the weather started getting hot, so this is not only his inaugeral run in the mud oven but first bake in about 5 weeks.

the french bread in the back is based on reinhart's recipe in BBA. i overproofed it because of timing issues, and it tastes okay but is really a disappointment.

i'm going to try and fire the oven again next week. i just brought in a fresh supply of almond wood, and the starter is back to living on the counter. i'm going to try and see how many loads of bread i can cook in one firing.

 

Comments

holds99's picture
holds99

Sounds like you had a busy evening.  The French breads look fine and the sourdough, as you said, looks perfect.  That's quite an accomplishment.  Congratulations and best of luck with your next batch of bread.  Please keep us posted as to how things are going with your breads and oven.

Howard - St. Augustine, FL

susanfnp's picture
susanfnp

This is so exciting to watch. Congratulations on a wonderful inaugural bake!

Susanfnp

 

Psfarrow's picture
Psfarrow

Thanks for sharing - I've always wanted one of these, but it really does look like hard work.  Question - are you using any special type of wood?  Or is the type of wood used really important to getting the fire going properly?

 Anyway, now I'm hungry from looking at your pics - I love Brussel sprouts, bread, pizza - love it all.

shimpiphany's picture
shimpiphany

i found the firewood seller that supplies most of the restaurants with wood-fired ovens in my area, and schmoozed them for a while to get a backseat and trunk full of their fine split almond wood at a discounted price.

i spent about 40 bucks for enough wood for about 15-20 firings.  i figured i was so under budget on the rest of the oven i could splurge on wood.

figuring out the firing process has made getting the oven up to speed easier.  i imagine that once i'm better acquainted with the oven timing the cooking will get easier as well.

 

 

weavershouse's picture
weavershouse

Really nice job shimpiphany, it all looks perfect from here. Oh how I'd love to have an oven like yours...and someone to fire it for me :)                              weavershouse