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Old June 18, 2016   #46
Old chef
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Originally Posted by Worth1 View Post
I have seen so many videos I am about to turn into a loaf of bread.
As far as scales it is yes and no for me.
I have learned to adjust what I need by the way the dough looks and feels.
You simply cant do that with a measuring cup or scales to a point.
I know some people do.
I need to find a good set of scales.
There are a boat load of breads out there and to be honest I only like about two or three of them.
Ciabatta is one of them semolina is the other and I like raisin bread from time to time.
The other thing is I am about to die waiting on these darn sponges.
Every time I go out in theregarage it smells like a bakery and it makes me hungry.
Worth
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Baking is science. My pastry chefs don't really get along with or like the line cooks. Two completely differnt personalities. Cooks pick,throw and scatter ingredients. Bakers methodically weigh every thing in grams.
If you want to bake with consistent results. Gotta follow the rules

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Old June 18, 2016   #47
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Originally Posted by mdvpc View Post
Worth-trust me on this-if you don't measure with a scale, you will never to get to the next level!

Worth is right-I have posted a few in the past. Here is a photo of a loaf made with organic Turkey red whole wheat flour.
Beautiful bread. Nice to have a steam deck. Peter Reinhardt is a friend. He has many videos online. He is also "super pizzaman "
Worth buy a gram scale. You'll do fine
Now is a good time to revisit that wood burning oven

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Old June 19, 2016   #48
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Originally Posted by Worth1 View Post
As for scales I might just make some balance scales.
I have everything I need to make the weights to counter balance them.
And a set of grain scales to measuer the weights.
I think having my own hand made balance scales would be way cool.

Worth
You will need to weigh down to a single gram. Can you make a scale that is accurate from 0-1,000 grams? Maybe 2,000.
I can't function without my little digital scales. I have two and use them all the time. My husband does,too.
I grind my own grains and have an electric grinder which I love. I don't bake all the time but when I do I get into a huge baking kick and bake a lot. I mainly do sourdough whole grains.
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Old June 19, 2016   #49
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Interesting idea!

The "hot water in the pan" bit can be improved. Place a pan on the bottom of the oven (pretty much need a gas oven for this). In it place stable rocks (not river rocks) and/or bricks and heat with the oven. When ready to bake place the loaves in the oven then quickly pour boiling water over the rocks and close the door. Wear an oven glove!

Not a steam oven, but better than anything else I've used.
I use an old rusty cast iron pan with a cup or two of ice cubes.
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Old June 19, 2016   #50
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Old-Thanks.
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Old June 19, 2016   #51
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You will need to weigh down to a single gram. Can you make a scale that is accurate from 0-1,000 grams? Maybe 2,000.
I can't function without my little digital scales. I have two and use them all the time. My husband does,too.
I grind my own grains and have an electric grinder which I love. I don't bake all the time but when I do I get into a huge baking kick and bake a lot. I mainly do sourdough whole grains.

Yes I can, anyone can if they have the right equipment, imagination, skill and understanding of how fulcrums, levers and inclined plains work.
An inclined plain being the screw thread on a set of scales to adjust to tenths or even hundredths of a grain or gram.
Then knowing how to apply this understanding to how scales work.
There is no doubt I could make some that could weight down to grains or up to pounds and be very repeatable and accurate.
I could even make the scales air dampened so they would settle down fast and not be susceptible to tiny wind currants in the room.

I also have a very good understanding of how to and a good way to measure powders in volume and be repeatable with it double checked by scales.

I'm not a bakery chef I dont claim to be nor do I want to be.
Nor am I a line cook and feel being compared to one is more or less an insult.


What I did do yesterday was make some pretty darn good bread that I will enjoy, it was made for me to my standards and I can guarantee you I can do it again.

Maybe it wasn't a true ciabatta bread I really dont give a hoot but it was my bread not store bought bread and it is good.
How do I know it was good, because I ate it as I cant stand 99% of most bread.

Yes I will have a set of scales they will be very good scales.
I will either make them for the fun of it or I will buy a set of beam scales.

If I fail at making them I will simply trash the mistakes and start over, it wont be the first time.
Yesterday I threw out a set of cheap spring scales as I hated them.

Worth
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Old June 19, 2016   #52
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I use an old rusty cast iron pan with a cup or two of ice cubes.
Nice. I don't have a big piece of cast iron. I take it that you use ice cubes to prolong the steam?
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Old June 20, 2016   #53
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I just toss about 1/4 cup of water directly in the not oven and close the door.
I have no idea if it helps but it makes me feel better.

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Old October 16, 2016   #54
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Worth

1. You need to scale ingredients-using cups (volume) is notoriously inaccurate.

2. Ciabatta is a difficult bread for folks because of the high hydration-the dough is so wet, its difficult to manage.

Here is a representative recipe:

Ciabatta Bread Ciabatta Bread
Variaton 1

500g bread flour
475g (~2 cups) water
2 tsp. yeast
15g salt

Varation 2 (Semolina)

350g bread flour
150g semolina flour
475-485g (~2cups) water
2tsp. yeast
15g salt



In Kitchen Aid style mixer: Mix all ingredients roughly till combined with paddle, let it rest for 10 minutes.
With the paddle (I prefer the hook to prevent the dough from crawling into the guts of the mixer), beat the living hell out of the batter, it will start out like pancake batter but in anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes it will set up and work like a very sticky dough. if it starts climbing too soon, then switch to the hook. You'll know it's done when it separates from the side of the bowl and starts to climb up your hook/paddle and just coming off the bottom of the bowl. I mean this literally about the climbing, i once didn't pay attention and it climbed up my paddle into the greasy inner workings of the mixer. It was not pretty! Anyway, it will definately pass the windowpane test.
Place into a well oiled container and let it triple! it must triple! For me this takes about 2.5 hours
Empty on to a floured counter (scrape if you must, however you gotta get the gloop out), cut into 3 or 4 peices. Spray with oil and dust with lots o' flour. Let them proof for about 45 minutes, which gives you enough time to crank that oven up to 500F.
After 45 minutes or so the loaves should be puffy and wobbly, now it's iron fist, velvet glove time. Pick up and stretch into your final ciabatta shape (~10" oblong rectangle) and flip them upside down (this redistributes the bubbles, so you get even bubbles throughout), and onto parchment or a heavily floured peel. Try to do it in one motion and be gentle, it might look like you've ruined them completely, but the oven spring is immense on these things.
Bake at 500F until they are 205F in the cnter (about 15-20 minutes), rotating 180 degrees half way through. Some people like to turn the oven down to 450F after 10 minutes, but whatever floats your boat. I usually bake in 2 batches.

My husband had to work today and I'm still dealing with a lingering cold, so I decided to bake bread which always makes me feel better. I went with this recipe, the semolina variation, and turned out amazingly good. Recipe is a keeper!
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