Thanks for all the tips adm, hopefully I can reduce my experimental time by following your advice, though if there is one thing I've found out about baking, it's that it seems to be different for everyone. I think a major difficulty is working out which are the really critical actions and which are just personal preference/chance coincidences.
Thanks again for all the sharing. There is just one thing to say though: if you're already getting results like these, what's the benefit of a WFO?!
Didn't rise quite as well as normal, maybe due to the half pound of bacon in each loaf, maybe due to me not leaving it to proof long enough as I had to go out. However the crumb is still light, airy and delicately chewy. And it tastes fantastic with a bit of butter.
Toasted with some scrambled eggs for breakfast tomorrow morning....
Some people show off with their pictures...but you've taken it a stage further....you're such a tease!!.......what a beautiful crumb.....and crust.
I bake quite often but sometimes I get a bit despondent with my results.....please keep posting your results......it gives me that extra bit of inspiration needed to take my baking to the next stage....
To be honest with you, I feel a bit of a cheat posting on a WFO board without actually possessing one of the beasts myself. In my defence, I will own one at some point in the fairly near future and am learning all about how to build the thing here. I am kind of slow and obsessive with things like this, but I will get there.....
The baking thing is fun though. I travel a lot, but when I'm not travelling I work from home and that gives me a chance to play around with baking as it really takes so little hands on time that it can easily fit in with days at home on conference calls. I pretty much gave up eating "commercial" bread a few years ago, but that only means that when I do eat it, I want "good" bread. I figure it's one of those life skills that is useful to learn how to do well. I feel the same way about beer and meat :-)
What I have learned with bread (and pizza) though is that it's incredibly sensitive to all kinds of things. A recipe you think you have dialled in might change completely due to atmospheric pressure, temperature, humidity etc. I'm not sure if that makes it fun or just frustrating - either way, it's challenging to get it right most times. But when you do get it right it's very rewarding!
We just finished one of the bacon boules. The other one is going as gift to a friend tomorrow morning. Caught the last of the sun this evening. Fired up the charcoal grill and cooked off a couple of lamb neck fillets that had been marinading in Aleppo chiles, olive oil and some other spices for a few days, fried up yesterday's jersey royals and a big old salad. Nice bottle of burgundy and job's a good 'un!
It's been a while since I added to this thread......what with holidays and all that, but we did some more sourdough pizza today.
I've gone even further away from the WFO approach right now, as my back garden is dug up as we build a patio, outdoor kitchen and WFO - so I didn't even get to use the Weber grill.
I did however buy an Italian electric pizza oven (effeuno P134H). This hits 450+C, so should give the same heat profile as a WFO and will work well for when it's raining! Anyway....I just got this on Friday, so am still learning how to work it, but I am going for "proper" Neapolitan type pizza using 100% Caputo "00", 63% water, 2.5% salt and 1.3% sourdough starter. 2 days fermentation of the dough at 18C. sauce is crushed San Marzano tomatoes, garlic, oregano, oilve oil, salt & pepper. Mozzarella is DOP Buffalo Mozz from M&S (3 for £5 today).
Here's a few photos. Results are not great as I am new to the oven, but highly encouraging nonetheless....
The dog takes delivery of the package
Here's what the oven itself looks like.
A brussel sprout and pancetta pizza! Sounds awful but tastes divine. The saltiness of the pancetta offsets the lovely tart bite of the brussels perfectly.
Standard Pepperoni - a little overdone though. Crappy photo too!