Sunday, December 19, 2010

Baguettes and Country white bread just out of the wood fired oven!

Sucess at Last!
This is our first batch of any size, sixteen loaves, eight Baguettes and eight Country white. The Country white is coming out the same every time; light, mild sour dough, with a crunch that can be heard across the room… delicious!

The Baguettes are getting better with each bake, this time we have the flavor and crunch we are looking for, but the surface is a little irregular and the final loaf is not deep in color.

We are thinking maybe an egg-wash will produce the color we are looking for. For the next bake we are thinking maybe 16-32 loafs of each. After the oven gets hot enough, each bake takes about 30% more time, so we need to use hearth space as economically as possible.

I believe we can do about 30 Country loaves per bake and about 16-18 loaves of Baguette, per bake. Add that to about 10 – 12 bakes per fire and we’ve got a nice little bread business on our hands. The best part of this process is I feel alive about food again, like when I was 28 and had little kids and a young wife that I was grilling for. My mind is busy with the process of baking and it feels good.

Kathy is still by my side, tasting and helping and suggesting, only now she is an Executive chef with 35 years of cooking under her belt. Money is tight, business is slow, and my health is still in question, but life here is good!

While we were getting our oven heated and our bread dough ready, I put a pork shoulder with baby red potatoes and about 20 garlic cloves in an old iron Dutch oven in about two inches of chicken broth. As the fire was quite hot, I placed it just in the doorway. Right before our first bake, I took it inside and let it rest. When the baking was done we had supper, the pork was juicy and almost sweet, combined with the Country white just out of the oven with a schmear of organic sweet cream butter, a few cloves of the roasted garlic and a glass of Cabernet. It wasn’t fancy but WOW! Did it taste great!

The Columns are up on the Bakery pavilion and next week we go to beams and joists for the roof… photos to follow!

Shot of oven during the first counter pour!