zondag 16 november 2008

Pistol Rolls - Whole Wheat

Pic of the pistol rolls fresh out of the oven!

Baguettes with pâte fermentée - Hamelman

I just sliced a piece of baguette and was blown away by the crumb. This is my best result so far. I have used and old piece of bread dough that has been stored in my fridge. I made the dough and added the old dough. The result was beautiful I think.
The taste was great too, and the crust was as sharp as a knife. I actually hurt my mouth. It remembered me at the baguettes we used to get at the local baker who is long gone.

Sunday Viennoiserie (Calvel)

4AM this Sunday morning I finished the Viennoiserie. I am satisfied with the result because I succeeded in tweaking the baking with the new oven.
They look pretty much perfect, although the apple slices could have been larger on the ones with apple, but the apple I had was a bit tiny. Like I said, I am satisfied with the Calvel recipe.

I did use a mixture of margarine and butter because I wanted my lamination better. I know this taste would have been better if I used pure butter only, but sometimes one has to make a compromise between the taste and end result, I chose that lamination was more important so I did use half butter/half margarine. Like I mentioned, I think the taste/result was great and next Sunday I will make them again.

dinsdag 11 november 2008

Pistol Rolls - Calvel

I keep on testing the new oven and today I made some pistol rolls. In the past I have made similar ones before (not the Calvel recipe though.) So I wanted to know how this would turn out in the new oven. I am still testing how to steam properly also so I gave it a try.
The dough was very good I thought. One thing I did change in the recipe was changing the milk to water. I don't understand why in this recipe Mr. Calvel uses milk and also adds some milk powder? That does not make any sense to me, besides that I've read that the use of milk should be avoided and replaced by water and milk powder. So I did.

The rolls came out of the oven beautiful, even though I still have a problem with their size. I just seem not to be able to make a decent size roll. I thought I over proofed, but I guess not.

Having good proof conditions in the house is not always easy. I am thinking about getting a proofer, but there are a few downsides. First off all, I don't have the budget to spend on a proofer. They are expensive. I've been looking at the second hand market but some of them are pure overkill, I am a home baker, not a professional baker. Second, I will have to contact the electricity company to get 380Volt in the house. And God knows how much that will cost extra, so for now I want to avoid these extras costs.

But at this moment I think the result was satisfactory and I keep on testing.

zondag 9 november 2008


Just a quick posting of the Viennoiserie I made this night. The lamination was okay, and I wasn't sure if I would post this, because these are the ones that are left over ;-)
but here they are :

Beer Bread (with roasted Barley) - Hamelman made in the new oven

So last night I did some test baking in the new oven.
I made the beer bread with roasted barley by Hamelman. I fired up the oven like more than an hour in advance. I did make some viennoiserie as well and baked that first and that also was an adventure. Just like my first loaf the bottom also did become too dark.
The baking stone seems to be really, really hot. Like I mentioned in previous posting, baking in this oven is nothing like baking with a hot air kitchen oven.
I did test a new technique for steaming, and the way the loaves came out was rather surprising. I did make them slightly larger, using 100grams more dough. So that also explains why they are taller as usual, but the steam seemed to work really well.
Today I am baking a couple of loaves again and hope to reproduce the result. The corn bread is bulk fermenting as I write this posting.
I post a pic of the loaves, please feel free to comment.

zaterdag 8 november 2008

New oven : pic :

This is the picture of my new oven. Like I mentioned : baking stone at the lowest level.
Also a picture of my first bread (a rustic Hamelman loaf). It did come out not as good as I had hoped even though it tasted great. It was okay, but no shiny crust. I did steam but because there are two small vent holes in the inside of the oven this is not ideal for baking bread!

I don't understand because the oven was clearly labeled as a bread oven. So my future project will be close the vents but not permanently. I will close them, but make sure that during the baking process (when the loaves are getting color) I will be able to open the vents. This will ensure steam will be going out through the chimney and the rest of the baking will be done in a dry oven.

The bread was the second thing I baked, the first time I made some hard rolls and the result was rather disappointing! I know I will have to learn to bake with it, because it is nothing like my regular kitchen oven to bake in. My goal is to get loaves as good as using the die cast pot I always bake in.
This should be doable. I will cross my fingers...

woensdag 5 november 2008

New oven.

I finally purchased a new oven. The oven I am currently using is good, but not actually made to bake bread. I had pretty good results baking in the die cast pot.
I have been saving money for a long time and I once spoke about getting a Rofco oven. But since the economy is pretty bad at this moment, I decided to look for something more affordable.

So I got a Fage oven today.
Their site looks pretty bad, but it is an Italian brand that make mainly pizza ovens. They made some bakery ovens too I guess, but the model I purchased I cannot seem to find on line. It has a baking stone at the lowest level and also a baking plate in the middle.
I am hoping I will get good results using it.

Delivery should be tomorrow and I hope to use it this weekend. Seems the weekend is going to be exiting!

zondag 2 november 2008

Finnish Rye

It has been a rather long time that I made the Finish Rye, so I decided this weekend it was time to make a batch. I did use levain instead of the starter which the recipe asks for. Nowadays I always keep like 500 grams of old dough and keep it in a plastic container with lid. I store this in the fridge and keep it there sometimes for a week.
It seems to work even though I am not sure if this is a good method to make bread. Please feel free to comment on this matter.