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I just took a challah out of the oven, the first I've ever made using bread flour. All these years, I've had the notion that bread flour would produce a heartier, heavier bread than I like, and I've

Best loaf yet!

Close your eyes and think of Tuscany. 

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16 hours ago, Anthony Bonner said:

I have BBA

Tho iirc since he wrote that he's become a stretch and fold guy.

My question, then is - do you bake baguettes like on a somewhat continuous basis?

Because what I'm gathering from Reinhart is that old dough (aka pâte fermentée) is how he does it. And then you save a piece for the next batch.

Or are you making a new, old dough whenever the mood for baguettes strikes? Or perhaps making a biga/poolish?

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  • 1 month later...

Yesterday, I rearranged the racks in the real oven, in order to make it more amenable to some baking I hope to do. I also reintroduced the baking steel, cleaned it first, and re-seasoned it as well. I have one of the big baking steels - sucker weighs 24 lbs. or so, so I intend to leave it in the oven for the foreseeable future.

My first reintro to baking in the real oven, and I started with focaccia...with a biga made the night before, from a recipe in one of the first baking books I ever bought, the Il Fornaio baking book.  I hope, one day, to make some beautiful a pizza bianco, but that will take some time and experimentation. One day, I may even take some notes.  In the interim...


The thicker, sometimes softer version of focaccia (from the Ligurian region, I think).


Not bad.

@Anthony Bonner - looks like the difference between the two (the pâte fermentée vs. the biga), at least according to Reinhart, is the pâte fermetée has some salt; the biga, none. As you suggest, they're pretty much interchangeable.

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8 hours ago, AaronS said:

I ruined the racks in my old oven by leaving a baking steel on them for too long.


58 minutes ago, small h said:

What happened to them? My steel's been in my oven since I bought it, which was years ago. 

Yeah - how'd that happen?  And what was the ruin? Like bent, rusty, or...?

In my old oven, I kept it on the floor of the oven, which probably wasn't good for the floor of the oven.

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This is an overnight Forkish recipe. Where i also swapped out 100 grams of flour/water for 100 grams of biga.

A little dense because I reversed the proportions of flour and water I removed from his recipe... because I'm an idiot, and I started the bulk fermentation after we'd finished a bottle of wine; not necessarily the best idea.

Dutch oven baked.

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11 hours ago, AaronS said:

I ruined the racks in my old oven by leaving a baking steel on them for too long.

Now that I own, I care about stuff like that. When I was a renter I would do things like run the self-cleaning cycle to heat up my baking steel. 

The problem with the ooni is it really doesn't have much mass to it, so while you can get it really roaring hot (The whole thing is just an optimized wood stove with some quarry tiles - not even very thick ones)  anything that benefits from heat retention is tough. I had fantasies of baguettes, but I think that's gonna be tricky..

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