I think this is going to be something which is very specific to the oven, my floor seems to cool off quite quickly (despite the mass of insulation I stuck under there) and as the volume of the oven is quite large I can put breads in almost as soon as I have swept the fire out. The brick temperature is usually 300-350C, but I think the air temp is probably less than that, I'm still waiting for my temp probe to go in the door so can't be sure.
I found that leaving my brick temp to fall to about 250C meant that cooking times were increased and the crust not as crispy as I like it, so I've taken to chucking it in pretty sharpish. Not saying this will be the case for everyone and it'll be interesting to see what other members' experiences are.
Post by cannyfradock on Sept 27, 2013 19:30:39 GMT
Good question Stockport......nice reply Barney.
I'm firing my mobile oven up tomorrow as part of a clay oven build and bake course. If we have time left over after oven management and pizza baking.....and dough left over I might just get the students to form a loaf each and put a batch in. The oven should hold 8 or so loaves. Thanks for the tips on the temps.....I haven't got a clue....( I'm still learning)
Sorry, didn't keep on top of replies to this. I normally cook my loaves for 20-30 mins for a 500g/1lb loaf at 220C in a conventional oven. Straight after a pizza firing I find this is usually about the same in my WFO, despite brick temperature reading as much higher.
I had a nightmare this weekend after a pretty poor firing for a tiny number of pizzas left my oven cooling off way too quickly. I stuck a harvest loaf in (more on that in another post) which didn't go too badly, but the bloomers I put in afterwards were in for an hour and, though cooked on the inside, didn't brown at all. I ended up letting them cool and crisping them off in a hot conventional oven; great way to make crusty bread that stays crusty, but not ideal.
I think it all depends on the oven and temperature profiles, the only way to know is to try it. If you have a long pizza bake the oven should have lots of stored heat which will keep the temperature up for a long time, if it isn't properly fired the temperature will be dropping fairly quickly and you'll find that the bread just won't finish well. I would suggest scraping the embers out as soon as you can, leave the temperature to equilibrate with the door closed for 10 mins or so and then chuck the bread in. Give a good spray with water if you can as some steam inside really helps, then check after 10-15 mins and leave in for longer if it isn't cooked; it's easy to crack the door and just peer in, if it's not almost burnt: it's not done (at least that's how it goes in our house!).
Anyway, we're past the weekend, so I imagine you have some of your own experience to add to the mix, how did it go? I think Terry's footnote sums it up for all of us: still learning.
Post by brennanpincardiff on Oct 7, 2013 19:25:07 GMT
I've been baking bread in a mud oven off and on for a few years. I don't have a thermometer so I base my temp gauge on my arm. This is not ideal for many reasons but does seem to work most of the time. Basically I put the bread in when I can hold my arm in the oven for just 12 seconds. Eight seconds is usually too hot and cooks the bread very fast. Twenty sec is not ideal. A few other things... Make sure you take out all the coals. Any coals left in the oven can burn the bread and make the temp very uneven. Hotter is better than less hot. Most home bakers bake at about 230C but industrial ovens are run quite a bit higher. A good hot oven will generally help your bread. Sourdough if you can make it is more flexible as the ideal time for putting in the oven can vary for an hour or more. Most books recommend 'soaking' your oven with the door closed after you have taken out the coals and before you put in the bread. This supposedly allows the oven to even out the temp... As my brother remarked, a full load of dough, say eight loaves will take quite a lot of heat out of your oven when it's loaded. I had a very bad session baking bread after pizza. I think quite a bit of heat was lost from the base of the oven. I would recommend: - finish the pizza, put a load of wood in the oven. - Burn for about an hour. - Take out coals and clean base. - Leave to soak for 30 min door in place - Put in your bread - a full load of sourdough ideally - put door on sealed with some wet rags for extra moisture. - stay by oven and attend for hot bread baking smells. - if bread smells very done check after 15 mins but best to wait for 20 or 25 if you can. - at 20 - 25 min , check bread move about if necessary. - bake for longer as required. Good luck. Please report back how you get on. Enjoy Paul
I did a loaf last night and the oven was around 250, with the coals still in it, I placed the loaf on one side, then a tray of cold water between the loaf and the coals, I turned it round after 10 mins and the loaf came out perfect, I was quite surprised as the last one was black ! The cold creates alot of steam and gives a lovely crust.