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Pedro Pan's blog

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Pedro Pan

So, I've talked alot about making this bread in previous posts on the original thread but have not documented the experience as yet in photos. So here goes:

3 cups casually measured AP flour + 2 T rye flour (i read somewhere that it enhances the flavor)

1 1/2 t salt

1/4 t active dry yeast disolved in 1 5/8 cup purified water

Oven at 475, baking vessel pre-heated. Baked covered 30 mins, uncovered 15.

1. What I call the biscuit stage-- all the ingredients are dumped in the bowl, mixed just enough to bring it together:


2. 18 hours later:

Those yeasties have been busy-- love the pressure buble on the plastic wrap:

The Fold (actually I folded it twice in 15 min intervals):

3. The oval platter for rising and the oval clay covered roaster:

3. Shaped and put on the platter for final rise:

4. 3 Hrs 15 Mins later (running erands). Apparently there is no such thing as over-proofing?:

5. Fresh out of the oven:

6. Side view, nice oven spring. It's about 4.5 ":

7. Top View:

8. Network of fine cracks on the bottom:

9. Crumb:

Pedro Pan's picture
Pedro Pan

"My all time favorite is a blue cheese and walnut bread with 25% toasted waluts..." The Bread Baker's Apprentice, P. 234
Good place to start. This bread was/is truly amazing-- I more or less followed the proportions except I used the WW SD starter and added 25% WW flour to the final dough. Blue cheese was Stilton (Costco). Walnuts from Trader Joe's. This was some serious bread. Dinner was Lasagne coi Carciofi, Artichoke Lasagna...ooh baby...but thats another story. The walnut/stilton bread with salad was a perfect compliment to a great sunday dinner.

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Pedro Pan

Friday night is often Pizza night in our house. This one is a favorite: Tuna Pizza

Basic Pizza dough (I used 1/2 cup SD starter but spiked it with 1/2 t of fast acting yeast, 2 cups flour, 1/2 t brown sugar, 1 t salt, 1 T olive oil)

Fresh mozarella (dried with paper towel then cubed then a quick whir in the food processor)
some basic tomato/oregano/garlic/basil sauce, about 1/3 cup
1 can quality imported solid tuna in olive oil (spanish or italian) flaked into uniform 1/2' pieces, not too small
1 can flat anchovies
2 T capers (rolled in paper towel to get rid of excess moisture)
10-12 strips roasted red pepper (rolled in paper towel to get rid of excess moisture)
1/2 cup pitted Kalamata (rolled in paper towel to get rid of excess moisture)

Notice a theme here...too much moisture is the enemy of good pizza, go easy on the sauce and dry wet ingredients where possible. In addition, I open the oven half way through baking and mop up excess moisture off the pizza by blotting the surface with paper towels. It is still a very juicy pizza but I avoid soggy bottom and side crust disasters!

Preheated 500 oven (rained last night, no outdoor grilling)

Building the pizza (and i believe in the hand form approach over the rolling pin) in this order: crust, cheese, tuna, anchovies,
sauce, red peppers, olives, capers.

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Slide it onto the tiles:

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12 minutes later, lets eat!

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Pedro Pan

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.

Pedro Pan's picture
Pedro Pan

I’d love to have one but since I don’t…

I set out to determine if I could approximate the wood burning brick oven effect by baking the bread in my Cast Aluminum PK charcoal grill. I was hopeful because one of the nice features of the PK is the heat radiating effects of Aluminum. “Aluminum reflects 97% of heat rays

Pedro Pan's picture
Pedro Pan

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I've been making Sourdough breads for a couple months now from a culture I started myself with water and unbleached flour. The original inspiration and methodology came from OUTLAW COOK by John Thorne. There are two great bread chapters in the book: An Artisanal Loaf and One Loaf Three Ways. The former explores the mystery and delight of making bread from nature, the latter gives practical instruction. Since then I have scoured every sourdough entry Google could locate and have gotten great ideas from the many excellent bread makers who have shared their art and technique. I've had some ups and downs as most people do. My goal is craggy, flavorful, crusty artisanal loaves. No bread pans for me! Initially I wasn't getting the loft in the bread-- they weren't door stoppers-- just not as airy as I would have liked. But the biggest failing in my mind was the lack of dramatic bloom and crests where i had slashed the bread. I've solved those issues with this bread which is 1/5 whole wheat flour. My next effort will be with all white bread flour.

Here is my set up: Flower pot cloche on unglazed tiles

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The recipe:
Rosemary Olive Sourdough Boule

1 ½ Cs activated 100% hydration SD starter (retarded overnight and brought to room temp)
1 2/3 Cs water
1 C WW flour
3 ½ Cs Bread Flour
1 T dried Rosemary softened in 1 T olive oil
1 C Brine cured olives pitted, roughly chopped and oven dried at 275 for about an hour.
1 1/2 t sea salt

Put activated starter, WW flour, olive oil/ rosemary and water in large bowl (I use kitchen Aid mixer). Mix on low with paddle until well blended. With mixer on lowest setting, add bread flour 1 tablespoon at a time until a dough begins to form. Using rubber spatula, scrape dough off paddle and exchange for dough hook. Turn on lowest setting with dough hook and continue adding flour 1 tablespoon at a time while scraping down side of bowl so the dough begins to form into a ball. After each addition of flour, the dough will come together away from the bowl and become dry on the outside. Then as the flour is incorporated, the dough will start to sag again, appear wetter and stick to the bowl. As this happens, add more flour. Throughout this process, use the rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl and encourage all the dough to stick together. This should take around 4-5 minutes. Once you have a smooth but still somewhat sticky dough, flour your surface and hands and turn/ scrape the dough out for hand kneading.

Hand knead incorporating flour as needed until you have a classic bread dough. 2-4 minutes more.

Set aside covered in a lightly oiled bowl for 20 minutes.

Turn out again onto floured surface and shape into a rough square. Sprinkle 2/3 of the salt on the dough, fold in half and sprinkle remaining salt. Fold over and knead for another 1-2 minutes until salt is evenly distributed.

Put back into oiled bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap and set aside to rise. 4-6 hours.

Turn out onto floured surface, spread out into rough square, sprinkle olives all over, fold and knead until olives are well distributed. Shape into Boule and place top down into floured banneton. Place banneton inside a plastic garbage liner (white kind only) or other plastic bag and place in the fridge for overnight retardation.

Remove from fridge and allow 3-5 hours to proof. Preheat oven, tiles and cloche to 500,
Turn bread onto corn meal dusted peel, slash top and slide onto tiles and cover with cloche. Bake 45 mins: 15 mins at 500, 15 mins at 400, final 15 mins uncovered to brown.

Peeking while it rises, 2 hours out of the fridge, 2 hours before baking (a finger poked 1/2 inch into the dough springs back quickly)

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