Friday, June 17, 2011

Baking Day

Fridays are our big baking days for the Farmers' Market.  We get a lot of questions about how we  use the wood-fired oven, so today I took some photos of the baking process.

After a fire has been burning in the clay oven for several hours, we remove the fire and clean out all the ashes.  The floor of the oven is fire-brick. The thick walls are insulated with straw and clay to hold the heat.
Our newest, coolest tool is a temperature gun. We have lost many an oven thermometer to the  high temps of the clay oven. This one reads the temperature from outside the oven.
The temperature is being read at the red laser dot -- 660 degrees F is just about  perfect.
The bread loaves are gently  turned out onto the long -handled peel, which has been liberally sprinkled with corn meal so the dough doesn't stick and the loaves will slide easily into the oven.  We bake four types of bread and each variety is scored with a different pattern so we can easily identify the flavor. This is 100% whole wheat.
The first two loaves of whole wheat, ready to go into the oven.
First two loaves in the oven. We can fit 6 to 7 loaves in per firing, and can bake two batches before we lose too much heat and have to  rebuild the fire.
Rog removes a finished loaf. Today we baked 52 loaves of white, whole wheat, multi-grain and rye. This week we will try to remember to  save out a few loaves for ourselves! Last week we sold out early and didn't get any.
The bounty of beautiful bread baked today. Bethany gets the credit for doing most of the baking today-- Great work, Bethany!


Mama Pea said...

I always say that I don't have time to bake (enough) bread in the summer. Guess I'm feeling a bit more than wimpy right now. Thanks for the (unintentional) kick in the butt. ;o}

Ladybug said...

Awesome bread making...I make
everything No! Store Bought

Dan Finnegan said...

This is a great post. May I ask how long (approx.) each batch is baked for? Thanks.

Susan said...

Hey Dan - Love your pottery!
The first batch of 5-6 loaves bakes in about 20 minutes at around 650 F. Each subsequent load takes a bit longer because the oven is cooling off. Every two batches we stoke up a fire in there to bring the temp back up a bit.