Tuesday, June 26, 2012

France 2012

I'm just back from France and I had the golden opportunity to work with a French baker using his wood-fired oven. In all honesty though, he only allowed me to slide the dough from the peel into the oven.

French baker slashes dough

The dough is slid onto the circular oven floor that turns like a carrousel. Note the "steering wheel" on the left. Baker turns the steering wheel when he wants to rotate the dough to help him achieve an even bake. The door has a glass viewing window so you always have a view of what's happening inside. To get the dough inside the oven you have to push open the spring loaded oven door with the peel. This insures that little heat is lost because the door closes automatically when the peel is withdrawn.
Another great thing about this oven is the firebox. It's on the side of the oven, and you can continuously feed the fire while you bake. Through a convoluted system, the heat from the fire finds it's way to the oven proper. 
Consequently there's no downtime, and that's an amazing advantage if you're a commercial baker.