Homemade Bread

Discussion in 'Shiny Things' started by a1fa, Nov 29, 2009.

  1. crampfan

    crampfan Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,734
    Location:
    Clarksville Arkansas
    mine looks like everyone Else's
    [​IMG]
    But it looked lonely, so I made this for it.
    [​IMG]
  2. Cpt. Ron

    Cpt. Ron Advrider #128

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2001
    Oddometer:
    3,372
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA
    I've not had great luck with a pot in the oven, even with boiling water. I've had better luck using a very shallow pan on the bottom of the oven (mine is gas) with just a little bit of water. Do this while pre-heating the oven. I have also thrown some ice cubes on the floor of the oven to generate steam 'right now'.
  3. AngryScot

    AngryScot .

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2006
    Oddometer:
    18,330
    Location:
    ☼ Ca ☼
    so lets chat baking stones, do I got to the chef place and bust out 15-25 on a pizza stone or get an unglazed bit of tile (unglazed) from the hardware store?
    if hardware store version what type of store am I looking for, or tile for that matter?
  4. levain

    levain STILL Jim Williams

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2005
    Oddometer:
    7,706
    Location:
    Providence, RI
    I'd hate to claim that I know a ton about this. Here's the thing though. You want thermal mass. You want alot of heat that transfers to and rises up through your bread. That is one of the reasons convection ovens don't work well for thick crusted bread. They pummel the bread with heat from all sides, rather than sending it through the bottom up.

    My old oven was the best oven I ever used. Unfortunately, we outgrew it. The floor of the oven was 3" thick refractory concrete. There were lots of other reasons this oven was so amazing, but that was part of it.

    When shopping for a stone for your oven, I would look for the thickest you can find. I've heard about home bakers using thick slabs of slate or granite as well.

    Someone commented on not being happy with the stone, but I would bet that had to do with not getting steam in the oven, or not preheating enough. I doubt there are too many home ovens that even get hot enough. Add to that not preheating enough and you have problems! That stone is going to take at least 45min. to heat through. We bake our breads at 240C. and it never really cools down. Our stones are always hot! I would recommend giving your oven a solid hr. with the stone in their before baking.

    As for steam, you may be able to rig something up similar to what my oven has. Quite simple design actually. There are U-shaped pieces of cast iron that run the length of the oven. Through the center is a long pipe with small holes drilled in it. When we hit the steam button, it shoots water onto the hot cast iron. Voila! Steam. That's it. Simple yet effective. I'm not suggesting you get a U-shaped cast iron bit. Maybe, a cast iron pan, then spray some water? Cast iron is great, because it's thick and has... THERMAL MASS!!! If you put a thin pan in your oven and tossed some water in there, you might get some steam, but it's gonna lose heat fast. The thick cast iron will retain somewhat.
  5. slackmeyer

    slackmeyer Don't mean sheeit. .

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,217
    Location:
    Berzerkeley, CA
    Man, I don't know why I haven't looked in this thread before. I used to be a baker at a small artisan bakery, still do a few loaves a week for myself, and pizza every week or two. I use a sourdough starter that I started about 8 years ago, it keeps getting better.
    Last batch (saturday) was an old favorite, potato bread with fennel seed.

    Anyway, I use a kiln shelf (for pottery) for a baking stone. They tend to be thicker than most pizza stones, and granite or soapstone can transfer heat too fast if you have your oven hot, and will burn the bottom of the bread.

    <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/_vH6zXFbPHY59sa5wM6ucA?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/_deyExFMkG4g/SyHadZjHZ7I/AAAAAAAACxw/zCvSArbR1-M/s640/Mt.%20Tam%20Easter%20ride%20011.JPG" height="601" width="640" /></a>

    <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/FO0z6eabnhVp41CO-oJKFA?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/_deyExFMkG4g/TWR6hcqpR0I/AAAAAAAADqI/fbJh1Xg9-_4/s640/DSCF9323.JPG" height="640" width="480" /></a>
  6. Parsley

    Parsley Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2008
    Oddometer:
    377
  7. slackmeyer

    slackmeyer Don't mean sheeit. .

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,217
    Location:
    Berzerkeley, CA
    I'll add a couple notes from what Jim said- I use a spray mister to steam my bread- it's definitely not as good as the real system that a bakery has, but it works. I let the oven preheat with the stone for quite a while (probably 45 mins), put in the bread, spray liberally, and shut the oven door, and I don't open it again for about 15 minutes. Then I take out the loaves, rotate them around, and put them back in to finish. Time varies depending on oven temp and loaf shape/size. My oven is usually around 450 F.
  8. levain

    levain STILL Jim Williams

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2005
    Oddometer:
    7,706
    Location:
    Providence, RI
    Noticed your from Berkeley. I worked at semifreddis, bread garden and artisan bakers in sonoma once upon a time. Where did you work?
  9. levain

    levain STILL Jim Williams

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2005
    Oddometer:
    7,706
    Location:
    Providence, RI
    That's great! Get the biggest sheetpan that will fit in your oven and pour he concrete onto it as thick as you can. Let it dry and boom your in business. Both ovens I've built required a slow heat up to allow all the masonry to dry out completely. You could do something similar with this...
  10. slackmeyer

    slackmeyer Don't mean sheeit. .

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,217
    Location:
    Berzerkeley, CA
    Anjou bakery, in eastern washington state. Actually a very good bakery, though I think they've stopped doing much bread nowadays. . . . disappointing.

    I've been to your bakery, and seen that wonderful rotary oven that you used to have- good stuff, great bread.

    Nowadays, I live a few blocks from Acme bakery in berkeley- very good bread for when I don't make my own. I go to Semifreddi's from time to time also- their bread is not quite as much to my tastes, but them make a seeded baguette, which I love.
  11. ShadyRascal

    ShadyRascal Master of None

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Oddometer:
    7,080
    Location:
    the Root, Western Montana
    Dumb question from a cooking enthusiast/bread idiot:

    Wifey made banana bread last night. We have a new oven that is far better than old oven. Bread cooked perfectly. Had great crust all around the outside, done just right inside.

    So I chew up a few pieces last night while it was still warm. Wonderful. Especially the crust, my favorite part.

    I have some today, after it's in a plastic bag, and my nice crunchy crust has equalized moisture with the rest of the bread, and it's not all crunchy and fun now.

    How would a guy store the bread so the crust might retain some of that fresh from the oven textural goodness?
  12. levain

    levain STILL Jim Williams

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2005
    Oddometer:
    7,706
    Location:
    Providence, RI
    Don't put it in a plastic bag. There's really nothing else you can do.
  13. Ceri JC

    Ceri JC UK GSer

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,462
    Location:
    All over, usually Wales or England
    I have one of the proper baking stones. It was a gift and I have no idea what it cost, nor can I recall the brand. It works very well for pizzas. Seems to reduce cooking time and also makes the base nice and crisp, which I prefer, rather than doughy. Pizza also seems to taste better when cooked on it. Could be the stone imparts some flavour, could be "Emporer's New Clothes", could be it just tastes better because it is cooked better. If I broke/lost mine, I'd buy another.
  14. levain

    levain STILL Jim Williams

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2005
    Oddometer:
    7,706
    Location:
    Providence, RI
    I don't know why I never worked at Acme. Always chasing the almighty $$ I suppose. They are still regarded as one of the best bakeries in the country. I have a tremendous amount of respect for what they have done and continue to do. Semifreddis bread has never been great, but it sure was a good experience for me! Have you done the 5:00pm line up at Tartine in the city? I'd love to try their bread. It's supposed to be pretty impressive!

    I can't believe you've been to my place! How cool! That oven was a Llopis Spanish oven. Wood fired. The hearth rotated, and if the oven was kept full it was an unbelievable oven. Whoever designed it understood oven design as well as bread baking exceptionally well. It is a perfect design in many ways. I really miss it!
  15. NikonsAndVStroms

    NikonsAndVStroms Beastly Photographer

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2007
    Oddometer:
    42,127
    Location:
    The Hub of the Universe
    So to do the dutch oven method what size do I need?
  16. crampfan

    crampfan Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,734
    Location:
    Clarksville Arkansas
    a 5 qt. works just fine
  17. slackmeyer

    slackmeyer Don't mean sheeit. .

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,217
    Location:
    Berzerkeley, CA
    I haven't done the Tartine thing, I've heard about it of course. This area is pretty amazing for people who like bread.
    Essential bakery in seattle has a rotating hearth oven like the one you had, only bigger (I think). Pretty impressive- the commercial oven that I baked in was pretty uneven, and bread had to be taken out and rotated to get good results.

    My sister in law actually worked at Seven Stars a couple years ago. She brought us there (before she worked there) the one time we visited Providence.

    Now I guess I should go read through your homebrewing thread- I took a year or so off, but I'm back brewing my own again as of last weekend.
  18. levain

    levain STILL Jim Williams

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2005
    Oddometer:
    7,706
    Location:
    Providence, RI
    Who was she? Do you know which location she worked at? We moved our production offsite 4.5 yrs. ago. Was it at one of the retail stores? Small world...
  19. pilot

    pilot Slacker Moderator Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2002
    Oddometer:
    32,538
    Location:
    Kansas City
  20. Dismount

    Dismount Boring bastard

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2007
    Oddometer:
    9,311
    Location:
    Beckley wv
    My latest try. Made a really good meatload sammich :D

    [​IMG]