I just took this loaf from my conventional gas oven, but the loaf was baked "Undercover." I followed my own procedures from my book "Bread Undercover," and my cover was a Pyrex bowl. Baked at 475 for 15 minutes and then at 400 for 30 minutes. Never removed the cover until the end. Although I have recommended against using Pyrex because of the difficulty in handling it, it does however assist you in baking a most toothsome sourdough loaf. "Bread Undercover" explains how to bake superlative loaves in a conventional oven that replicate masonry oven quality.
Bread Experiment #572
Baked on June 7, 2008 Baked "undercover" with flowerpot shown. On tiles. oven preheated for 30 minutes at 475. Baked "undercover" for 10 minutes. Cover removed. baked an additional 30 minutes at 400. Excellent, tender bread. NOT TOO CRUSTY. 1 cup ww flour. The rest unbleached white.
"John Downes started the modern sourdough movement in Australia, circa 1978 at Feedwell, in Greville st Prahran (VIC). John was the original owner of Natural Tucker Bakery, Firebrand bakery and the Newrybar Bakery. Because of John, Australian's began their journey in style: 100% sourdough made with organic flour."
The oven pictured looks to me like one of the most inefficient ovens I've ever seen. Although the oven is still being constructed, I can't see where there would be room to insulate it. Besides, the oven opening is large enough to fit in a heifer, and the chimney...Well, let's just assume a bakery will be built over the oven. Notice the wood storage space under the oven, but it's off to the side. I wonder why. With this arrangement, it might be difficult and awkward to get close to the oven opening. In spite of what I just said, the breads certainly look superb.
photo.net/photodb/photo?photo_id=3928389&size=lg I really love this old oven. Note the deteriorated stucco over the brick and the gothic style arch. The oven sits on logs and probably hand hewn timbers. The shingle style roof protects some of the oven from the elements, especially just under the eaves.
Bread Earth And Fire: Earth Ovens And Artisan Breads
For the past couple of years I've been revising my book, Bread Earth And Fire. I've added the subtitle Earth Ovens And Artisan Breads because I feel this more fully explains what the book is about. Along with the photos, you'll now find drawings that better illustrate the oven building process, new ovens to build as well a history of bread from the "beginning of time."
Bread Earth And Fire: Earth Ovens And Artisan Breads is available as an ebook from Lulu.
I write about bread and wood-fired bread ovens. Sourdough bread baking is my specialty. While the dough is rising I have time to make art, lots of art. Each winter I travel to Guatemala to build energy efficient stoves for the Mayas.