The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

kendalm's blog

kendalm's picture
kendalm

This is for the stray canele junkies who appear here on occasion.  We know that getting the tops to cook is a serious challenge. There is a lot of debate about how to mix batter, how to pour etc. I find the tops cook well only in a very thin heat range and require good timing on you temp drop.  For my setup its 440F on convection with the mounds directly on stone.  Then after 20 minutes a drop to 385 for another 35 minutes and Bob's yer uncle ;) 

kendalm's picture
kendalm

Since Jeff Bozos took my malt off the shelves at whole foods I decided to resort to misting my loaves with the Maltiest think I could think of.  Yeah that's right, sticky goodness of Mickeys big mouth.  For the record my own little quirk when baking is to dissolve some barley malt in my spray bottle and lightly mist just prior shutting the door.  Makes for a nice glossy crust.  

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kendalm

Getting some improvent by bumping Temps a bit and taking the stone out for a few minutes before baking.  It seems with my element setup that reaching an ambient of 450F gets the stone up to 550F which will scorch the underside of my loaves.  Today I jacked the top element a bit more and then just removed the stone for a few minutes to allow it to drop down to around 450F.  Results look better yeah ? 

 

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kendalm

Well I had a baking extravaganza this weekend - pizza, croissants, baguettes and today canele.  I took a snap (with my flour encrusted phone - sorry for the lack of phoographic quality).  This bake had very few uncooked tops which if anyone has tried canele knows that cooking tops is a challenge since they like to rise or 'muffin top'.  I have no idea why with repetition, certain things just improve.  but to the bigger point - all y'all, sometimes its just a good thing to resign yourself to all the science and tips and tricks and just bake over and over - and accept the fact that even with tons of practice, you will have flops.  happy baking folks ;) 

kendalm's picture
kendalm

Now let your minds wander. Last few bakes I been getting kinks in my loaves.  It all seems to start at the preshape. 

kendalm's picture
kendalm

Getting closer - timing and temps on the new oven are more sense with each bake.  For benny (coz I am sure he will ask), this is 33% Canadian khorasan T55 against 66% French T65.  I am really happy with the crumb today.  Burst is improving but still not quite the ticket ... but close ! 

kendalm's picture
kendalm

Recently I have been making fine adjustments to my oven to max out the rise of my loaves and mentioned in a post that I wasnt seeing the full rise across the length of the loaves.  Having done a few ciabattas in the new CM right after cooking a few pizzas at 650F I remembered a steam comment by idaveindy regarding super heated steam.  So this time while preheating I decided to go for some higher temps and this time broke my cardinal rule of never using ice / cold water.  I think in the past when bumped temps, the steam teay was producing steam that was too hot and cooking the crust too early.  So this time I pushed the temo to just under 500F and poured an ounce of very cold water into the steamer.  I got a very satisfying rise as can be seen in the pic.  the loaf on its side shows even rise from end to end.  Kind of amazing really how many factors matter.  Main thing is the new oven is becoming more enjoyable with each bake :) 

kendalm's picture
kendalm

Something between a demi and full size.  Lets just call it a 3/4.  

kendalm's picture
kendalm

I've been taunting Benny for weeks now about trying out some Canadain T55 and decided to have two baguettes square up and have a face off for the TXX grand prix.  For the record on the left is Canadian T55 blended 50/50 with French T65.  This blend is done by recommendation of lepicerie.com seeing that this particular T55 is ancieny Khorasan grain.  On the right is straight T65 from france.  First impressions is that the Canadian blend turned out really much nicer than the French.  The shaping and lead up was noticeably different in that the Canadian dough was a bit more putty-esqe and required some more force while shaping.  Basically much better ear development and just overall more appealing shape.  Maybe it was due to that loaf being shaped better.  who knows, and it may take several bakes to really stamp a blue ribbon here but first impression is very positive - 

 

 This loaf is 73% hydration and I noticed it felt more like a 70% or lower so the khorasan is likely more absorbent.  The French loaf I brought up to 74% anf really didnt get much burst.  Crumb pics on the way ... 

 

kendalm's picture
kendalm

Recently I posted the arrival of a new oven that I purchsed as a dedicated bread oven, and since then have been in setup mode and quickly realized this has become a project as opposed to a more plug-n-play scenario.  So with that, I am seeing some positive results and want to share them here.

This is a small 350g batard tester loaf to see how well this (relatvely) cheap import mini deck oven performs.  the oven I puchased is a 'xoeleo' from china manufactured primarily for pizza and as such has required some tinkering and tuning.  Danny ayo was kind enough to send me links to a seal for the door and www.brookbake.com dug up a rofco steam tray (despite them being out of stock).  To date I have applied a door seal but still seeing considerable leaking steam from some of the other seams in the body.  Despite the leaks I very surprised by the fast spring on this bake.  Another surprise is the paper thin crust on this loaf.  never had such a thin crust like this ever.  

Very little went into the preparation of this loaf - the bake was more a first 'wet' test (as opposed to dry steamless) test, in fact I originally did not even plan to load but rathet test the steam so this is a last minute loaf sort of thing.  Very interested to see whats next. 

 

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