Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Snake Test

When constructing an earth (clay/cob/mud, all basically the same) oven, probably the trickiest part is your clay/sand/water mixture. I like 2 parts all-purpose sand to 1 part clay and enough water to get the right texture. It's the texture that poses the problems. Your can write about it, but you really have to get your hands into the mud to know what it feels like.
If you add too much water, then your oven will slump as it's being built, and that's not good.
If you add too little water, then your mixture will be too dry and not clump together properly.
To determine if you actually are working with clay, perform the snake test as shown below.

 Abbott Meader

If it's clay, then it should hold together

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Bread Magazine

Check out this magazine concerning bread. It's free, and there are lots of interesting articles. 

Bread (issue 3 fermentation)

It's time for another magazine full of bread making inspiration and information: Issue 3 of Bread takes a close look at the topic of fermentation through instructions, baker interviews and tips. Among other things, inside the magazine you'll find the following articles:

(interview with her in the magazine)
Ying Shi—better known in the online world as txfarmer—is a software engineer and passionate home baker always looking for ways to improve her craft. Her skills are a great example of where deliberate practice will get you.