Wednesday, February 18, 2009

It's Madness I Tell You... More Artisan Bread in 5

Light Wheat Boule, Olive Oil Loaf with Parmesan Cheese, Deli Rye with Caraway & Poppy Seeds
Due to last month's shock-and-awe gas bill, I wanted to try making better use of the oven and baked these three loaves at the same time. Sadly, the two of us weren't able to consume them quick enough, but boy did we give it our best shot. One thing about the ABin5 method is, it's about having your bread on a daily basis. The loaves will not really keep for more than two days after baking. Old bread can be refreshed by placing it in a dampened paper bag and set in a hot oven for a few minutes. But it's probably better to bake only what you need for 2 days' time, freeze the loaves right away, or give some away. Still, it's pretty cool to be able to bake all these different breads at once, don't you think? My new strategy for energy saving is to bake something, anything, before putting the bread in, essentially using the preheat for baking. I've been doing frozen pizza (400°F deg) and brownies (325°F deg) a lot lately. Gods help me.

The oven with a 14" x 26" kiln shelf replacing one standard rack
I love my Bluestar oven. Do you see how nicely it accommodated this latest breadbaking insanity? Rather than having molded-in rack tracks, it has rack guides that just screw into the sides. I was able to buy a kiln shelf from a local pottery supply store that fits into its cavernous cavity just right. It bakes like a mutha, too. Just doesn't have self-clean, a minor drawback.

The fridge with 3 different dough batches going
I just noticed last night that I've gone through a 25 lb. bag of flour lickety split. Hmm, my symmetrical soul thinks one more Cambro container of dough is needed here...

1 comment:

  1. Oh, dear Lord, woman! Madness indeed! The bread looks amazing, and I covet your oven :)

    I've had very good luck w/baking/cooling/slicing/immediately freezing my homemade breads. I know the slicing sort of goes against the artisan thing, but you could cut it in chunks, right? Anyway, it keeps for me, wrapped in foil and then in a freezer bag, very nicely for up to 6 weeks.