A few of the baguettes I made


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A few of the baguettes I made in a class at Central Milling Artisan Baking Center. We only mixed straight doughs since that’s all the time we had in a one day class. The quality of the baguettes were amazing.

The top and middle baguettes were made with a blend of two flours. One of the flours, Type 110 is an exceptional flour. It strikes a balance between all purpose and whole wheat.

They replicated older milling techniques to create a flour that preserved the whole wheat qualities of flavor, texture, and color, including keeping the germ in for nutritional benefits. But it’s lightly sifted so it provides some the performance quality of an AP flour. I was so taken by this flours I bought 10 lbs.

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That Type 110 flour really bakes beautiful. The crunch on this crust was perfect
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Of course the right ovens helps
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Those look amazing @Norcalbaker59! I'm salivating at the thought - I love baguettes and a bit of butter :)
@Ian
the class was excellent. I really learned a lot. They have a master baker visiting from Germany who is also offering classes there until the end of the year. So I am enrolled in a pretzel class next! I’m thinking if my brother and I do a coffee shop, a pint and pretzels would be good too. Man cannot live on coffee alone:cool:
 
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Extraordinaire! Bravo! :D That really is the prettiest crust.
It was a good class.

In passing he mentioned that old stoves were designed with really small oven chambers. And they were designed to hold the heat in, so they bake completely different from ovens today. He mentioned this in contexts to people using a Dutch oven to bake bread in these days. You might experiment with trying to bake your bread without the Dutch oven to see if you get as good a result because your oven was designed to bake differently.

And again as I’ve mentioned before, he talked about the need of everyone trying to figure out what works best for them at home because everyone’s kitchen is different. Everyone’s oven is different. That he can’t tell anyone what will work best because everyone’s kitchen is going to be unique. And your kitchen is extremely unique.
 
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J13

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It was a good class.
In passing he mentioned that old stoves were designed with really small oven chambers. And they were designed to hold the heat in, so they bake completely different from ovens today. He mentioned this in contexts to people using a Dutch oven to bake bread in these days. You might experiment with trying to bake your bread without the Dutch oven to see if you get as good a result because your oven was designed to bake differently.
Thank you so much for passing that on! I'd be happy to try that...but the bread still needs steam, doesn't it? Or was he suggesting that the small oven substitutes for dutch ovens and the steam created by the bread is enough in such an oven? o_O

I could create steam by just pouring boiling water in a pan below, which is the method I used with that other bread (the seed bread). That was a ATK recipe that used instant yeast and got kneaded and rose twice and all. But I was under the impression that this steam method (pouring boiling water into a pan under the bread on a bread stone) worked best for sourdough loaves if the pan was filled with something like lava rocks, creating long-lasting steam.

Worth a try, I guess....
 
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Thank you so much for passing that on! I'd be happy to try that...but the bread still needs steam, doesn't it? Or was he suggesting that the small oven substitutes for dutch ovens and the steam created by the bread is enough in such an oven? o_O

I could create steam by just pouring boiling water in a pan below, which is the method I used with that other bread (the seed bread). That was a ATK recipe that used instant yeast and got kneaded and rose twice and all. But I was under the impression that this steam method (pouring boiling water into a pan under the bread on a bread stone) worked best for sourdough loaves if the pan was filled with something like lava rocks, creating long-lasting steam.

Worth a try, I guess....
Look you just need water. Here’s the gist of what he said in a nutshell before anyone asked. And he said this because he knew someone was going to ask the question. Then after he said this, he announced was not going to take any questions until the end of the class.

I don’t bake at home, I’ve baked bread once at home I don’t normally teach home bakers. It’s not what I do. And I don’t mean to sound arrogant, but all these things that you obsess over aren’t the things we as professionals focus on. Look when I made bread that one time at home it turned out great. I put a small bowl of water in the oven. It worked fine.​

I mentioned to you once before that you can drive yourself crazy taking in these internet sources. It’s not worth it.

There’s only two actual printed sources for correct bread making. But those are written for the professional so I did not recommend those books to you. They are science based and deal in baker’s percentages, and you already told me that you don’t like the math. So I know these books are not for you.

The one book I recommend is Peter Reinhart’s Baker’s Apprentice. The book is geared for home baker’s like us, the “two loafers”. Just buy the book. Learn a bit about bread and your own oven before you start filling it up with lava rocks.
 

J13

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The one book I recommend is Peter Reinhart’s Baker’s Apprentice. The book is geared for home baker’s like us, the “two loafers”. Just buy the book. Learn a bit about bread and your own oven before you start filling it up with lava rocks.
Honestly, I'm not trying to reinvent the wheel (or the bread as that's a far older invention). I just want to get the best bread I can with the tools I have. And this particular oven is one of those tools.

I tried the pan of water (no lava rocks) in the oven today and got...unusual results. The instructions were to let the pan of boiling water steam with the bread in the oven for 15 minutes, then remove the water. When I did this, I saw, to my disappointment, that the bread looked flat. But when I took it out of the oven 30 minutes later, I found it had puffed up—kinda like at the last minute and suddenly. Unfortunately, I didn't score it well and it blew-out through the bottom. It kind of looks like a stuffed pita bread and it seems to be very dense and heavy (haven't cut it open yet).

Rather like with your experiments with changing the percentages in pie dough...worth a try, but back to the old formula (combo cooker).

And I will certainly check out those books.
 
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Honestly, I'm not trying to reinvent the wheel (or the bread as that's a far older invention). I just want to get the best bread I can with the tools I have. And this particular oven is one of those tools.

I tried the pan of water (no lava rocks) in the oven today and got...unusual results. The instructions were to let the pan of boiling water steam with the bread in the oven for 15 minutes, then remove the water. When I did this, I saw, to my disappointment, that the bread looked flat. But when I took it out of the oven I found it had puffed up—kinda like at the last minute and suddenly. Unfortunately, I didn't score it well and it blew-out through the bottom. It kind of looks like a stuffed pita bread and it seems to be very dense and heavy (haven't cut it open yet).

Rather like with your experiments with changing the percentages in pie dough...worth a try, but back to the old formula (combo cooker).

And I will certainly check out those books.
Blow outs can be caused by several things, not just scoring.

Your oven chamber is smaller and your oven chamber is more far more insulated so figuring out the amount of steam to add is going to take Some experimenting.

ATK is too often taken for gospel because they are a respect the source for cooking. But they are not professional bakers. Much of what they do is contrary baking science. And in truth thousands of bakers bake beautiful bread without lava rock. But if you feel that strongly about the lava rocks by all means go out and buy them and give them a try.

One thing I didn’t mention is bread creates steam. This is more important for your oven than in my oven, because my oven like all modern ovens is not well insulated at all.

In class they discussed the insulation in a commercial oven, how they’re insulated so well the steam will not escape. As long as the doors are closed, the oven chamber will hold the steam in. So they opened the oven doors to show us just how much steam was in the oven chamber, and steam came billowing out. It was s significant amount of steam.

Since your oven is well insulated it It’s probably holding steam in far better than any modern oven. And since your oven chamber is also smaller, the amount of steam you add in your chamber will probably have to be adjusted for that as you go to higher hydration doughs.

It’s not just about understanding the fundamentals about bread first, but getting to understand and know your oven effects baking.
 

J13

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It’s not just about understanding the fundamentals about bread first, but getting to understand and know your oven effects baking.
Heh. I’m trying, believe me, but there seems to be no forum (outside of buy/sell/repair types) and very few books on A-B Battle Creek stoves. Information is out there, I’m sure, but so far, not easy to find. Optimally, I’d love to find another sourdough bread baker who uses an oven like mine. I’ve asked, but no replies yet.

And no, I’d rather not go for lava rocks. I’ve no room to store them, keeping track of all the bread making elements is hard enough without adding more, and they sound dangerous.

So, more bread I’m the combo cooker and we’ll see if we can suss out the baking secrets of my old oven with trail and error.
 
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Heh. I’m trying, believe me, but there seems to be no forum (outside of buy/sell/repair types) and very few books on A-B Battle Creek stoves. Information is out there, I’m sure, but so far, not easy to find. Optimally, I’d love to find another sourdough bread baker who uses an oven like mine. I’ve asked, but no replies yet.

And no, I’d rather not go for lava rocks. I’ve no room to store them, keeping track of all the bread making elements is hard enough without adding more, and they sound dangerous.

So, more bread I’m the combo cooker and we’ll see if we can suss out the baking secrets of my old oven with trail and error.
Yeah I can imagine it must be difficult trying to track down a vintage cookbook specific to your oven. And I would be hesitant to put a bunch of lava rocks in a restored vintage oven. Heck I’d be hesitant to put a bunch of lava rocks in any oven.

Have you tried using the rolled up washcloths soaked in water? I tried that once with good results.

It’s been over 100°F here for the past week. Couple of days hit 105°F - 106°F. It’s finally starting to cool off. I may try to bake this week I don’t know, I’ll see. No AC has been really miserable
 
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J13

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Yeah I can imagine it must be difficult trying to track down a vintage cookbook specific to your oven.
Actually, there is such a cookbook for sale on e-bay: https://www.ebay.com/itm/1936-Appro...692359?hash=item3407e42807:g:WSgAAOSwtjlclUwE

One of the oven forum folk found it. The seller put up a lot of photos from the book, including info on the oven and broiler and such. Some are pretty enlightening ("don't store food in the oven! It is not a refrigerator..." :rolleyes: Who knew?)--but it's clearly a "little woman's first gas oven" type cookbook consisting of mostly useless (for me) recipes like cream of tomato soup. It does have bread recipes, but I'd bet money that they're all yeast breads, kneaded and baked up in standard loaf pans. No dutch ovens or steam added.

I haven't decided if it's worth the $12. :D But thanks to those pictures of the book's instructions I now know how long to broil squab....
 
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Actually, there is such a cookbook for sale on e-bay: https://www.ebay.com/itm/1936-Appro...692359?hash=item3407e42807:g:WSgAAOSwtjlclUwE

One of the oven forum folk found it. The seller put up a lot of photos from the book, including info on the oven and broiler and such. Some are pretty enlightening ("don't store food in the oven! It is not a refrigerator..." :rolleyes: Who knew?)--but it's clearly a "little woman's first gas oven" type cookbook consisting of mostly useless (for me) recipes like cream of tomato soup. It does have bread recipes, but I'd bet money that they're all yeast breads, kneaded and baked up in standard loaf pans. No dutch ovens or steam added.

I haven't decided if it's worth the $12. :D But thanks to those pictures of the book's instructions I now know how long to broil squab....
Lol helpful if you want to clear the park of those pesky critters.
 
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interesting post thank you … ordered the book...

i love bread making but do need to brush up on my techniques... so hopefully

one of the downsides for us is we have a massive need to lose a few stones each …

so bread may have to stop … sad... unless of course some wise person tells me otherwise
 
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