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Baked 1st Time in Rock Oven: Success!
From the WFO board
Posted by Herb_Wis (184.108.40.206) on March 15, 2004 at 04:38:42:
No one responded to my previous question about temps, so yesterday I just went ahead and tried baking some simple French white bread in my rock stove (built for heating, not baking).
I simply guessed at the amount of wood to use. First I made the dough and set it aside to rise. Later I thought that maybe I should have fired the rock stove first, but as it turned out maybe not.
I loaded the rock stove 3 times: a kindling load and then two chunk loads. When the last loading burned down to coals I stuck a thermometer inside the door and got a 350 F. reading. "Good enough!" I thought and put the 3 metal pans with dough inside on a metal rod rack. The rock is about 12" above about 8-10" on the sides and the coals about 12" below (I should measure that) the bread pans.
The directions for the bread called for 425 F. for 30 mins. Well I didn't seem to have that temp but went ahead anyway. In 30 mins the 2 inner pans had brown crust and I took them out. I shoved the one near the door (not so brown) further in for another 5 minutes.
Later I cut the darkest loaf and it was pretty good. It was not quite as airy as I remember when my mom made it and the interior may have been just a touch underdone, but it wasn't bad at all for my very first attempt and quite eatable.
The interior part of the loaf seemed to have 2 different texture layers (one white and one more raw looking). Maybe I didn't kneed it enough? The dough was awful sticky and used dry flour while kneeding to unsticky it. But maybe I got it sort of layered (sticky and dry layers) that way?
Also: What does it mean when the crust seems done before the interior is quite done? Too much heat? I took the temp reading just inside the metal door and I think the temp might have been higher further inside the stove. It seemed that way when baking (door side pan not as brown) plus the heat level when I stuck my gloved hand in there.
Please help a beginner if you can!
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