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Old 01-02-2007, 04:53 AM   #31
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Hello Candocook, and happy new year.

I will keep that book in mind. But at the moment, I know so little about bread, that I dont even know what artisanal bread is. But I am leaning. Step by Step.

Mel
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Old 01-02-2007, 04:58 AM   #32
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Hello Dinafine

Yes, the steam does works great. I discovered that tip, on this forum, just a couple of weeks ago. My bread is much improved.
Another great tip, is to rub some white flour over the bread, before baking. The tip was to rub cornflour, but i did not have any. But regular white four also works great.
I havent got a ceramic saucer. I wil have to wait, until i get one, to try that tip.

Would somebody explain to me, the benefits of the ceramic saucer?

Mel
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Old 01-02-2007, 05:00 AM   #33
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Thanks candocook.
I will check out the NY Times thread.


Mel
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Old 01-02-2007, 05:02 AM   #34
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Hello VeraBlue and Happy New Year!!!!!

When the results are good, i am certainly willing to put the time into getting them. Thanks for the tips.

Mel
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Old 01-03-2007, 10:56 PM   #35
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[quote=Mel!]Hello Dinafine

Yes, the steam does works great. I discovered that tip, on this forum, just a couple of weeks ago. My bread is much improved.
Another great tip, is to rub some white flour over the bread, before baking. The tip was to rub cornflour, but i did not have any. But regular white four also works great.
I havent got a ceramic saucer. I wil have to wait, until i get one, to try that tip.

Would somebody explain to me, the benefits of the ceramic saucer?

Mel

Hi Mel

It would be like having a baking stone, you are supposed to slide the bread directly onto a preheated hot stone. I never did it so I dont yet know what difference this will make to the finished bread. It would be used for round loaves or ones that are shaped without the pan. Good luck with your baking. I find that the taste and aroma of home baked bread so far surpasses anything you can buy, that it is well worth the trouble and then some. ]
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Old 01-04-2007, 04:53 AM   #36
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Hello Dinafine

Thanks for the info.
I will look out for those ceramic bowels, when I shop. Hopefully, they will say on the packet, that they are for bread making, so i will recognise them.
Yes, freshly baked bread is wonderful.
Hope u are having a Happy New Year.

Mel
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Old 01-04-2007, 10:26 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DinaFine
I just happened to have watched Alton Brown on the food channel discuss bread baking yeaterday, and he recommened baking the bread on top of a large unglazed ceramic pot saucer, assuming you can find one large enough. Also using steam in the oven while baking. He also let the bread rise in a steam filled, but not hot oven. I havnt tried the saucer yet, but the steam works great.
Hi DinaFine and hello again Mel!. Yes you can get a ceramic base to an unglazed pot but a simple baking or pizza stone works on the same principle. I love Alton and he likes to put those little twists in. I have combined parts of his recipe which I posted ealier as well as parts from my Cuisnart recipe and have come up with a good one. SOmeone mention rubbing the bread with flour, or corn flour. Try mixxing 1T cornstarch with a 1/3 cup water and brush that on the bread just prior to baking it makes a great crust and comes from Alton's recipe. And Dinafine the steam is good for the raising but is also great in the baking. It delivers that crispy crust.

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Old 01-04-2007, 12:36 PM   #38
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The ceramic base, a good baking stone, even a thick slab of tempered glass, all serve to produce an environment of even and constant temperature. The baking stone and ceramic have similar thermal properties, as does the glass. They are all insulators and contain significant thermal mass. That is, they heat slowly, absorbing and giving off energy slowly. What this does is to create a heat source that doesn't fluctuate as much as do metal pans, which quickly absorb and give off heat energy, and follow the temperature swings of the oven.

You know how a shock absorber works on a car to negate the bouncing of springs, keeping the car more stable? The ceramic and stone do the same for energy swings in the oven.

Brick ovens are used for exactly the same purpose. Once the bricks (a form of ceramic) are heated, they readiate a more constant temperature, and so are more predictable.

If you think about it, this is also what fire bricks do in a barbecue pit. They stabelize temperature and help eliminate hot-spots.

So in summary, pizza stones, ceramic pot bases, and other such materials heat to a specified temperature (chosen by you) and help maintain that temperature for the duration of cooking time to provide a more even heat and better quality control.

Think also about slow cookers (the food is cooked in a stoneware vessel that is heated by a thin heating band), ceramic bean pots, ceramic roasters, etc. They all help to even out the cooking temperature and insulate the cooking foods from hot or cold spots.

This wasn't my most elegant explanation, but it should help you understand why the pizza stone or cermaic pot base is a preffered method for heating breads, pizza crusts, etc.

Seeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
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Old 01-04-2007, 01:11 PM   #39
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Someday I hope to spend a great deal of time learning to make a "perfect" baguette. Right now I eat enough of them from the local bakery to make up for half a dozen low-carb fanatics. If I can catch them within an hour from coming out of the oven I eat them plain. I like them with a skim coating of butter and touch of real raspberry preserves in the morning. It's probably the most common carb I eat next to sushi. I love tearing off a hunk to sop up the sauces in the braises/stews I'm always making.

Just picked my almost-daily loaf up an hour ago and had a hunk for lunch with some raspberry preserves. I also just finished using up yesterdays loaf to make a batch of croutons.

I'm reading this thread with great interest, taking notes.
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Old 01-05-2007, 08:43 AM   #40
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Thanks JDP

I think i will try brushing flour mixed with water, on the bread next time, and see what happens.
So far, I have just rubbed dry flour on.

Mel
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