The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.


breadnerd's picture


I haven't been around as much lately, lots of fun busy-ness like gardening and outdoor activities. But I've have lurked a bit at all the lovely baking on the fresh loaf!

We haven't used the mud oven as much this spring (funny we used it more over the winter) but had a good excuse to fire it up today. We discovered a good system of teamwork--DH managed the fire, and I stuck to the breadmaking. Not that I don't like playing with fire, but trying to do both was a stretch of my multitasking skills. It was a long day of baking but pretty relaxing overall.


Today's breads--an "order" for brat and hamburger buns (honey wheat), ABAA's Columbia Sourdough, Semolina, and french:


Attempt at an artsy crust shot (I was happy with the "ears" on this loaf):


I picked up the new edition of Kiko Denzer's book, and tried out a few new techniques on building a more efficient fire. We burned a less wood for a little less time, and I think we were just a bit cooler than ideal. Our top heat was about 575, and quickly cooled down to 450 or so. Plenty of heat for baking all these breads--about 4 consecutive bakes with some overlap, but I didn't get quite the crust color as usual and the french didn't have a huge oven spring from the hot hearth as usual. Also, the last batch of buns took 30 minutes to bake, which is a lot longer than usual. Right now the oven's at about 300 and I have a tiny chicken roasting and a batch of brownies. It's a little cool, but I figure it's like a big crockpot, they'll probably get done eventually!


Still learning, obviously, but still having fun too!








crumb bum's picture
crumb bum

Hey Bread Nerd

First of all, just between you and all the other members, anyone and I mean anyone who has a mud oven and bakes all that bread and chickens and brownies is way too cool to be a nerd.  I would like to start a petition that would require you to change your name to "Bread Fonz".  I am so jealous.  I have been trying to talk the wife into a small  mud oven with little success so far.  Anyway, great bread.

Da Crumb Bum

bwraith's picture

OK, Crumb Bum,

I see it your way again, as with the scale. What could be more cool than making all this nice bread, so many varieties, too, and then a chicken in your own mud oven?


breadnerd's picture

Ha ha "bread fonz"!  Np really, I like being a bread nerd.  I've embraced my geekdom :)



KipperCat's picture

That semolina is just too cool!  Geekdom is pretty "in" on this forum, anyway. :D

Jeffrey's picture

You made some really good bread, after all that mowing i was to beat to make anything.

weavershouse's picture

Oh, how I would love to have a mud oven! But even more.. how I would love to know how to make beautiful bread like that in a mud oven. Great job!                  weavershouse

ehanner's picture

Once again you are doing it right in the backyard bakery. You are my hero! Class work all the way!