The Fresh Loaf

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shimpiphany's picture
shimpiphany

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.

 

blumb001's picture
blumb001

Today, while shopping for a new fridge, I came across a BBQ called the Big Green Egg. It is lined with ceramic and fueled with wood only charcoal and achieves temperatures of 800 degrees which can be controlled with a thermometer. It is said to be great for making bread and pizza in addition to meat. Does anyone have any experience or knowledge of making bread with this?

ejm's picture
ejm

wild rye bread © ejm July 2008

Dark rye bread flavoured with onion and caraway seeds and made with wild yeast; based on a recipe by "Breadchick", one of the Bread Baking Babes (BBB)

My starter is extremely active these days. I think that's one reason this bread turned out so incredibly well. When I started to make it, I was sort of sneaking around about it. It was a bit warm outside (around 28C) and I wasn't absolutely certain that turning on the oven would be a big hit.

My fears were unfounded. We loved this bread. And no wonder. It was fabulous!

It was equally delicious on its own, or buttered, or toasted and buttered. And it made the most stellar Reuben sandwiches (made with home-made red cabbage sauerkraut)! Did we take photos of the sandwiches? Ha. Of course not. We were too busy stuffing them down our gullets.

I was particularly thrilled with the slashes on the bread. I've never managed to have slashes stay so well defined. I only hope I can reproduce this! I can't wait until we have enough freezer space so I can make it again.

wild rye bread © ejm July 2008

For a more detailed account, please see:

The all-purpose flour I use is "No Name" (Loblaws) unbleached (about 11.5% protein). The rye flour is "Five Roses" Dark Rye flour (no idea how much protein). The bread flour is "Robin Hood" 'best for bread' flour (about 13% protein).

And I used my shiny new digital scale to weigh the ingredients!

digital scale © ejm July 2008wild rye bread © ejm July 2008
foolishpoolish's picture
foolishpoolish

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foolishpoolish's picture
foolishpoolish

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proth5's picture
proth5

Lest anyone who reads my posts think I know what I'm doing, I've decided to post my latest adventure as an illustration to the contrary.

The story of how the tandoor got into my back yard is one for which the world is not prepared, but it is there, the weather is too hot to turn on the oven, and I thought to myself “Well, this is a good time to learn to make naan.”

The first step is getting the right tools.  After watching and watching the YouTube video of a chef making naan, I decided that the little tool seemed pretty handy.

Although it just looks like a wad of towels, it is actually a convex pad of compressed straw covered with a cloth.  It is firm enough so that (if you know what you are doing) you can get the naan dough to make good contact with the side of the tandoor.  It is pictured below:

Bread Pad 

Armed with the tool – the next step is to heat up the tandoor.  It took about two hours for my model (pictured below) to heat to the point where the walls were nearly 700F.

Not Pretty, but it gets the job done Fire in the hole

So it was time to cook the naan. 

I took about 4oz of dough and shaped it into thin disks and then draped them over the dough pad (sort of as per the video), gave them a quick spray of water (so they would stick better – hahahahahaha) and steeled myself to put my hand near a 700F tandoor entrance to stick the dough to the side.My first disk (of six)dropped promptly to the bottom to become a flaming dough ball.

Oh well.  I learned that you really need to apply some firm pressure on that tool.  Never mind the smell of burning feather as the hair was singed off my hand.

Finally disk three stuck.  But it also stuck to the side of the tandoor when it was done and came off in shreds.  Four was the turning point (or so I thought) and I moved on to five feeling like I had figured this thing out.  Four and five are featured in the pictures below.

One finally Stuck!

Looks almost good enough to eat

Two of six isn't bad... 

Number six showed me to be overconfident and slid off the dough pad without ever making contact with the tandoor wall.

Well, two out of six isn’t bad – and what bread I did get was eaten with relish.  Of course, failure never deters me – it just makes me more determined.  I’ll be back with a report when the whole thing has been perfected. In about a year or so...

Meanwhile my consolation prize is pictured below.  It has been a long while since I had real Tandoori food…

Consolation prize

Happy Baking!
MANZMAN's picture
MANZMAN

I am interested in baking a rustic bread with huge holes or bubbles and a thick crisp crust - any recipes come to mind? I have tried several chabatta bread recipes which come close but I'm looking for larger bubbles.

AnnieT's picture
AnnieT

I found this interesting book in the library recently, The Italian Baker by Carol Field. It covers not only bread but cakes, pastries and cookies and gives both weights and volume. It also gives methods in three ways, by hand, by mixer and by processor but they are quite well separated and easy to follow. The author lists many sayings and proverbs that express the Italians' way of expressing their sentiments, using bread as their common metaphor. A couple of my favorites: "Riuscire meglio a pane che a farina" To succeed more with the bread than with the flour ( to have more success than expected.) "Chiurugo come il pane, medico come il vino" Look for a surgeon like bread (young) and a doctor like wine (well aged.) Does anyone own this book? Any opinions on the recipes? A.

weavershouse's picture
weavershouse

English MuffinsEnglish Muffins

After seeing proth5's muffins I had to try them hoping to get the nooks and crannies. I messed up totally when I tried to convert the recipe to kg so ended up guessing. After several stretch and folds I let it rise for about 1 1/2 hour. It was full of big bubbles by then and I thought I want lots of holes so why should I deflate this thing and roll out all the air bubbles. I just gently turned it out on a floured board and gently pulled it out till it was about 1 1/2 - 2" high and just cut with an inverted drinking glass. I put them on cornmeal and then right onto the hot skillet still full of air bubbles, no rise time. I didn't use rings. I was happy to see all the "butter bowls" inside. I hope I can repeat the whole thing, mistakes and all. I ended up with 18. I doubled the recipe but should have ended up with 12. Oh well. Thanks proth5 for the inspiration. They toast up great.

 

My photo is very bad.

 

 

 

PagnottaPagnotta

 

 

 

Bill Wraith's Pagnotta

Today I also made Bill Wraith's Pagnotta. This bread always works well. I was on the phone when these were proofing and they went too far. I was worried they would deflate but they didn't, they just baked into each other so I'll have to pull them apart when they cool. The recipe can be found in the SEARCH. Hope you see these Bill so I can say thanks for your recipe.

lioness7's picture
lioness7

HEEEEELP!

I'm trying to find out some history on my kitchenaids.  I have a mustard colored tilt-head 4.5 and a moss colored tilt head 4.5 that I found for $5 and $10 respectively at local thrift stores.  I've contacted kitchenaid directly but they could not fill me in as to their age of each one, etc.  They work marvelously.

I also have a 5 quart, that is a dingy white, not a tilt head but it is old because I got it off of craigslist from a catering company that said they've had it for a good while but couldn't give me specifics.

So, it there is a kitchenaid connoiseur out there or possibly a an ex kitchenaid employee/historian please fill me in.

Thanks.

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