Monday, December 19, 2011

Just a few left...

I have a handful of regular BreadPots left.
Also, one large cloche, one small cloche.

Once these are gone, I will take orders for the next batch which will fire in March.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Waiting for delivery

I had a gas leak at the kiln, fixed it, but did not have enough gas to fire the stoneware pots to temperature. I took the opportunity to change to a larger tank and get rid of the old ones that had to be refilled every firing. So I have a batch of pots in the kiln, waiting for 80 gallons of propane to be delivered. It is getting late for starting. I will be up late tonight. If  all goes well I will be shipping next week.
Because of a broken finger, I don't have many BreadPots this baking and gifting season.
They will go fast, so if you want one, let me know right away.
Saturday 11-2 if you want to come over.

Monday, November 28, 2011

a BreadBell cloche is good for croissants too

so it would seem anyway; there is almost too much oven spring. a traditionally laminated, all-butter dough baked covered for 6 minutes, then uncovered for a further 12 at 400F. fresh out of the oven, it smells like a warm, dry, early autumn morning in the viennoiserie district of choose-your-french-city. the sticky-looking filling is a pseudo-frangipane made tasty and more inauthentic by the addition of freshly ground green cardamom.

unfortunately, a disappointing texture in the final baked good and a distinctly bloated aspect unknown among the trim and lovely croissants made by pros and french baking nerds (see, for instance, this). is this due to my incompetent shaping? definitely. but it is also because i laminated the dough too many times. when the instructions say to "mark on paper or a slip of parchment each time you do a turn, for this dough will not hold indentations as puff pastry dough will," they know of what they speak.

fortunately, they taste great. perhaps next time, if i follow instructions to the letter, they will also look like this on the inside.


Tuesday, October 4, 2011


8"h x 9-10 square base
I have the one on the left remaining and another in the works. If you want a cloche, send an email.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

New BreadPots

It has been busy in the studio with a gaggle of projects going at once. New BreadPots are in the works and will be ready in a couple of weeks. I have two new cloches made of a dark chocolate brown clay. BreadBellz. There have been orders for custom inscribed wedding present BreadPots. Nice. What a good gift for a wedding!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

the base returns

some weeks ago, the cloche's base self-destructed in the middle of a baking cycle.  i brought the pieces to judy who, after much research, produced a New and Improved base.
for the new base's first flight, a very multi-grain bread: white wheat, whole wheat, rye, rough rye, pearl barley, and bulghur, to be exact. it has a nice crust, a really, really great crumb, awesome flavour, though less oven spring than a less whole-grain-y bread. having toyed briefly with breads requiring minimal intervention and few bowls, i am now all the way at the other end of the spectrum. here is the bread:

this formula involves 2 small bowls, 1 large bowl, no kneading, and

  • 520g all-purpose unbleached white flour
  • 72g rye and rough rye flour
  • 30g whole wheat pastry flour
  • 100g mix of pearl barley and bulghur, about half each
  • 360g water
  • 216g 100% hydration starter
  • 14g salt
you will have a baked loaf about 6 hours after when you begin mixing the final dough (but you may also retard the dough after shaping. so far, up to 12 hours has worked for me). 

8-12 hours before mixing final dough
  • make your 100% hydration starter by mixing equal masses of flour and water with a bit of your sourdough starter and leaving at room temperature until the whole begins to bubble. i do this in a 4qt glass bowl with a cover.
  • saturate the rye and whole wheat flours with 180g of cool water (the other 180g goes into the final dough); store in a covered bowl.
  • saturate the 100g mixed grains with water to cover, and then a bit more. no need to measure this water, as you will drain it completely later.

making the final dough
  • drain the 100g mixed grains in a sieve and press out as much free water as possible. i measure and use this water as part of the 180g of water in the final dough.
  • combine the 216g starter, 520g A/P flour, 180g water (slightly warmed; part of this was drained out of the grains), and the water/rye/whole wheat mixture, then mix thoroughly. i use a big spoon for this. leave to sit for 30-60 minutes.
  • after 30-60 minutes, sprinkle 14g salt over the dough and mix salt in thoroughly. the dough will be too wet to knead easily, so i stick with the big spoon.  
  • cover again and leave to bulk ferment at room temperature (should be about 72F). fold every 45 minutes for 2.5 hours.
pre-shape, rest 20 minutes, final shape, then proof (covered) for another 2 hours (or, better yet, do one of the proofing tests). i bake at 450F, with steam for 8 minutes, then without steam for 21 minutes.

i have also had good results from retarding the shaped loaves for anywhere from 8-12 hours before baking.

[another guest post from vt]

Saturday, April 23, 2011

April BreadPots, freshly fired

Get Bakers Jobs, a site for professional bakers will be featuring the BreadPot this week.
Here are the BreadPots fresh from the kiln.
I fired 5 of them with combustibles in a saggar so they are mottled and marked with the fire.

Sunday, March 27, 2011


the cloche slays it again. after various experiments with long-retardation, i began to fool around with rough-milled rye and increasing the amount of starter in the dough (this is a formula from peter reinhardt, by way of wildyeast). this accelerates the first fermentation ("bulk fermentation") of the dough so that you could, if you wanted, have fresh bread in about 6 hours.

rye makes dough sticky beyond belief and appears to become workable by hand only after lots and lots of retardation in a nice cold refrigerator. i followed instructions for time and temperature (which did not include a long cold period), so did not benefit. if you choose to knead a rye-heavy dough by hand, here are some discoveries i have made.
  1. dough on fingers dissolves most readily in warm water. hot water, apart from being uncomfortable, also cooks the dough onto you. 
  2. answering the phone while kneading is not recommended.
  3. wood toothpicks are best for getting dough out of the spaces between cellphone keys.
  4. folding the dough is easier and more effective than kneading it. 
as a test, i split the dough into two batches of equal mass, one baked with the cloche and the other on a pizza stone with a steel mixing bowl over the top. the loaf you see below is from the cloche: mildly sour, lots of rye flavour, incredible oven spring, great crisp, caramelised crust, tender crumb with great aeration. 

this competent but much less delightful loaf is from the stone. still decent oven spring, nice-ish crust caramelisation, but the final rise in the oven was not as uniform, and the crumb is not as well aerated (no crumb shot though, sorry!):

[vt, yet again]