The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Who needs a wood fired oven pt 2. / Baking bread on charcoal grill

Pedro Pan's picture
Pedro Pan

Who needs a wood fired oven pt 2. / Baking bread on charcoal grill

All things require fine tuning and experimentation.
This time I used more coals--including some mesquite which burns really hot, moved the grill to the lee side of the house (out of the wind)and did not bother with water of any kind (no water in wood fired ovens, right?).
I did throw a couple water soaked wood chips through the air vent.
The temperature inside got up to 600+. I was resolved not to do anything that wood cause the temp inside the grill to drop so, no water and no opening the grill to peek.
In my oven, at 450 the bread takes 40-45 mins. I figured 30-35 mins in the grill. Theses are not big loaves.

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After about 27 minutes i wandered over to the grill to smell that lovely aroma of baking bread... more like burnt toast! I imagine this would have been a perfect loaf had I taken it out around the 20 minute mark. I baked the control loaf in the oven as usual. Both tasted delicious (had to cut the burnt bottom off the grilled loaf) My wife says that she likes the grilled loaf the best so far. She likes rustic things.

Comments

dulke's picture
dulke

Wow, these are wonderful. I have grilled pizza before, but have never thought of baking bread. What a fun thing to experiment with.

Pedro Pan's picture
Pedro Pan

Thanks dulke, they do come out all lumpy and charred and stuff, one does get the feeling of going back to basics: fire, flour, water. And as you can see it is still very much a developing process: char for example is a comendable property in a pizza flash baked at 900 degrees for 60 seconds(see the recent post "Pizza in my brick oven" by bill sfnm)...it is less worthy, as I have found, on a loaf of bread which requires a minimum 15-20 minutes to bake.
I have not yet grilled pizza because until this recent bread experimentation I had not figured out the terra cotta flower pot base as cooking surface inside the grill. I was never convinced by cooking shows that have one grilling the pizza on the grill rack directly over the coals. But now, with this oven hot terra cotta surface upon which to slide the pie for baking, I think its time to grill some pizza.
So, I will try grilling pizza and you try grilling bread and we can compare notes.

Pedro Pan's picture
Pedro Pan

Thanks for the nice comment, i'll keep yu updated on my progress. BTW, where was it that your dad hand made tortillas on a the cast iron wood burning stove??? Certainly not HK??

Pedro Pan's picture
Pedro Pan

now your talking--baking bread at sea. all you need is heat and containment!