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abcdefg

Chop Wood, Carry Water, Bake Bread

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abcdefg

Good story. And the loaf could have even been better than edible with a little practice. I have an old friend in North Carolina who built a free-standing brick oven in his large back yard. He not only makes stone-oven pizzas in it, but he bakes excellent bread. The temperatures reached are very high, such that it only takes pizza a couple of minutes to become done.

 

He has made good bread in it too, but he admits it's a lot of trouble to do. His house is built on the top of a mountain in a forest, so there's plenty of wood. He chops it with a pneumatic wood splitter. Once he fires up the brick oven, he's likely to make a pizza, bake several loaves of bread, and roast a chicken or two just to not have the heat go to waste. 

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大肚男
21 hours ago, abcdefg said:

How did you get the spiral pattern on top?

 

I used a cheap proofing basket (see photo), which is necessary when working with high hydration dough. I bought mine on amazon, and been working well enough. It is a beast to clean though :)

 

Today we were in the mood for some soup bread bowl, so this was what I came up with 😉

 

 

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abcdefg

Oh, yes, of course, a banneton! I have not used one in ages. Such a great trick. 

 

And soup in a "bread bowl" -- that is so elegant. I've had French Onion Soup served that way. Are you using a crusty whole-wheat loaf? 

 

It is clear that you are a bread master, 面包高手!You have all my respect and admiration. If I stay in the US long enough, I definitely will be back to ask you more questions. Right now I'm just baking relatively simple loaves, enjoying getting a feel for it again. 

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大块头

I was inspired by this thread (and my dwindling yeast supply) to try my hand at sourdough bread. Once my starter got to the point where it was doubling in volume after about 6 hours I mixed up a dough (120 g starter, 225 g lukewarm water, 2 tbs olive oil, 2 tsp salt, and 400 g bread flour) and let it sit in a covered bowl overnight to proof.

 

After about 16 hours though it still hadn't risen as much as I would have liked so I didn't attempt to reshape and proof it again. After baking it at 400 F for an hour the resulting loaf tasted fine but had a streak of unrisen dough running through it.

 

I think maybe my starter wasn't vigorous enough? I'm going to try feeding it twice a day for a bit before attempting this recipe again.

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abcdefg
19 hours ago, 大块头 said:

I think maybe my starter wasn't vigorous enough? I'm going to try feeding it twice a day for a bit before attempting this recipe again.

 

That would be my best guess too. Or it might have proofed too long. But it has been years since I've made real sourdough bread, even though I do love the flavor. This article might help: https://www.culturesforhealth.com/learn/sourdough/troubleshooting-free-form-sourdough-loaves/

 

Last week I made a buttermilk loaf with a third of the flour being whole wheat and the rest unbleached white. Came out real even and tender. It was another James Beard recipe. Here is a link: https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/member/views/james-beards-buttermilk-white-bread-53051811

 

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The second night I used the bread toasted and topped with pan-fried sliced tomatoes. Sprinkled them with oregano, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Topped with some Parmesan cheese, shaved off a big block. Made a tasty simple supper. Our local tomatoes are not quite prime yet, but cooking them like that concentrated their flavor. 

 

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realmayo
On 3/22/2020 at 3:09 PM, abcdefg said:

Had an old ripe Pu'er 熟普洱 this morning with my toast!

Shu pu'er - now you mention it - seems made for toast!

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