Monday, November 7, 2016
Wednesday, May 25, 2016
If you ever wanted to have a pizza oven in your backyard, then join us at The Kneading Conference in Skowhegan, Maine (July 28-29) and learn how to build various types of wood-fired pizza/bread ovens. You can expect lots of individual attention from two instructors. No experience required. Participants will work with clay and brick and construct a low-cost earth oven that will make the best pizzas and breads. Discussions include techniques for making various kinds of wood-fired ovens as well as baking pizzas, flat breads, sourdough, and no-knead breads.
Unique sourdough starter will be shared with participants.
More information here: www.stusilverstein.com
Posted by Breadhunter aka Stu Silverstein at 3:42 PM
Monday, May 9, 2016
Saturday, April 23, 2016
Here is a recently completed pizza oven in Provence France. The oven will not be used for bread baking so the oven opening was made extra wide to easily accommodate two pizzas with plenty of room to maneuver them around.
Constructing the base with native stone
Preparing base for concrete slab
Continuing slab preparation
Rebar for slab
Creating template for dome
Constructing the dome
Waiting for door to be fabricated
The oven builders
To my right Abdel Fatah
To my left Fernand Toucourt
Made with native stone and firebrick. Insulated with vermiculite and Roxul. Stuccoed with mortar mix.
28.5” interior width
41.5” interior depth
16.5” interior dome height
42.5” baking height
3.5” interior concrete slab
Posted by Breadhunter aka Stu Silverstein at 2:32 PM
Monday, March 14, 2016
This past winter I spent two miserable weeks trying to improve my bread baking skills. Actually, it wasn’t all miserable because I learned quite a bit.
For years I had been scooping flour and eyeballing most everything, but I was, however, careful about salt. That I measured.
The “pros” said, to do it “right” you must weigh all ingredients. Well I did, and I can assure you that it wasn’t fun. They also said that temperature control was extremely important. It’s not.
Look. There’s a world of difference between baking professionally and baking for yourself and friends. The pro must strive for consistency of product or his customers might take a dim view of never quite knowing what they’re buying. To be absolutely consistent, then all ingredients must be weighed, and if you’re using sourdough starter, then it is no easy feat to prevent your starter from changing. It is far easier to use instant dry yeast because it’s always the same, but sourdough simple makes a better bread.
Everybody has the potential of making excellent sourdough bread, but the wild card is your starter. If your starter is not “right,” then your bread will fail. Learn to make and maintain a starter, and you are on your way to making great bread.
If it is cold in your kitchen, then your dough will take longer to rise, but a “cool” dough is much easier to handle. If it’s hot in your kitchen, then things will happen much faster, and it could get out of hand. Warm, sticky doughs are very difficult to handle. Keep it cool if you can. Use a little more starter in the winter and less in the summer, and that’s assuming you live in an area of seasonal changes.
Handsome Sourdough Loaf
Last summer I made a video about bread baking and oven building, and you might want to check it out.
Enjoy your amateur status and experiment all over the place. Just remember to take very good care of your mother starter.
Posted by Breadhunter aka Stu Silverstein at 3:47 PM
Saturday, February 13, 2016
Monday, September 21, 2015
Tuesday, August 11, 2015
Friday, July 24, 2015
Bagels are not the easiest breads to make, but there's no reason why you can't bake them in your wood fired oven. Here's a photo of some bagels baking in my oven.
In yesterday's edition of the New York Times you can find an interesting article concerning the problem of finding a decent bagel in California.
Posted by Breadhunter aka Stu Silverstein at 8:20 AM