Saturday, April 23, 2016

Oven In Provence



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.





The location



Constructing the base with native stone


 Preparing base for concrete slab


Continuing slab preparation



 Rebar for slab


Creating slab


Slab finished



 Creating template for dome


 Constructing the dome


Completed oven 
Waiting for door to be fabricated



 The oven builders
To my right Abdel Fatah
To my left Fernand Toucourt

Oven Specifications
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

Monday, March 14, 2016

Two Miserable Weeks

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.
Bubbling Starter

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.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Breadwoman

Great story with video about Breadwoman.


http://www.factmag.com/2016/02/09/breadwoman-interview/


Monday, September 21, 2015

Stu's new video

Here's a video that I just finished. Check it out. The video is about earth oven construction and bread baking.


photo Alan Priest

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Hilarious Video

Really a wonderful professor and a hilarious video.
https://vimeo.com/9944174

Friday, July 24, 2015

Bagels

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.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

The Most Beautiful Oven

Yes, this is the most beautiful oven I've ever seen. No brick oven can come close to this earth oven at Flatbread Co. in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. 
I had lunch there on Saturday and sat right in front of the oven and watched the bakers do their magic.


Monday, May 25, 2015

Earth Oven Workshop

Hi
The next earth oven workshop I'll be teaching will be held at The Kneading Conference in Skowhegan, Maine. July 30-31. Thursday and Friday.
All aspects of earth oven construction will be covered, and the oven we build will be auctioned off at the end of workshop.
If you have any questions, simply email ssilverstein@gmail.com




Sunday, May 24, 2015

Bread Peels

Beautiful peels made by Amanda Slamm and her sister Mimosa Mack. They simply call out to you, asking to be used. The women can be found on Facebook.

Amanda by her mud oven

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Bread Earth and Fire

I just learned that Bread Earth and Fire had not been available as an ebook on Lulu, but this has been corrected. If you've been waiting for the ebook edition, it now exists. 
Happy Baking
Stu

http://www.lulu.com/shop/stuart-silverstein/bread-earth-and-fire-earth-ovens-and-artisan-breads/ebook/product-22182173.html