Easter Bread, April 4, 2010

9:00 AM on a rainy Easter morning. What better time to waste 8 hours making 4 dollars worth of bread!
First, gotta get the oven going:

I was curious to see if I could figure out the convection, so I left the fire smoky for a while. After it settled down, it was apparent that the the air does stratify, moving from the lower front to the back, then up and out the flue.

As long as I let it smoke, it was stable. I let it heat to around 350 on the sides, then stoked it up.

At around 600 degrees, 10:30AM, I put the wood to it.

The oven cleared (all the soot burned off), hitting around 900 degrees about 11:30.

I let the embers burn then doored it off to kill the fire and even up the floor and wall temps.

After 30 minutes, I scraped up and brushed out the coals, then damp mopped the floor. All temps in the 560-570 range.

Clean, hot and ready to go, doored off waiting for the second rise from the dough.

The only thing that could go wrong, horribly wrong, is if my dough sucks, and it very may well. I did baguette shapes, but used my normal flour-and-water-plus-salt that I always use, but added various spices to each of the 8 loafs I made. We can only hope for the best....

The insertion was ugly. I made the dough real wet so the loaves wouldn't dry out, and they would not cooperate. I finally got them all in, but this will be some ugly bread.

After loading, the oven was consistent at 484.

30 minutes or so should finish it.
Not being the patient sort, I had to check it after 15 minutes. Browning nicely, another 15 minutes?

Nope, at 30 minutes, the center is still a tad doughy. 15 more minutes, maybe.

I will call this a failure, even though the loaves were reduced to thin bones shorty after plating. It was not the type I was aiming for, even though the result was damn tasty. Too much hydration made for too thick a crust.

Next Time!