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Author Topic: Contraption for baking wet sourdough bâtards  (Read 1984 times)

Offline Gene

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Contraption for baking wet sourdough bâtards
« on: April 22, 2010, 11:06:01 AM »
As detailed here at Paul's blog, I had been working on something that would allow me to bake two 750 g bâtards in one go. I am not looking into perfectly shaped ones although I would obviously not mind that. Still, lacking the proper tools, my husband and I came up with the contraption you see in those pictures. The titles are rather self-explanatory. I shall add some notes all the same later when I am a bit less busy.

The resulting bâtards are somewhat lopsided because, as I said above, we do not have the proper tools to carve the proper curves into the maple blocks, but we do have the oblong shape that is recommended for sourdough bread. So, until we can perfect that (or someone maybe here provide some solution), that'll have to do.

Cheers everyone!

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Update: I've added a couple of pictures of the baked bâtards. I'm new at this. So the loaves are not that great, but you'll get an idea about this set up.
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Update - April 25, 2010
I've added a few pics of the latest bâtards baked with this setup. They have come out better I believe.  The flour on the top? That's because I had to put them to prove in baskets in the fridge first (I had to leave the house for a while and could not keep to my bread baking schedule) & transfered them in the roaster when I came back home.  Otherwise, the taste is just great and I very much like the size that I've been able to get this time. I've also added a new twist to my bread baking business: scoring the loaves with a very sharp & slim pair of scissors - the kind used in science labs. Not traditional, I know, but such a charm to do. Cheers!

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Update May 10, 2010
I've added a few more pictures [#26 onwards]. The contraption has been modified a bit & there are some pictures of newly baked pain au levain. Regards.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2010, 07:04:42 AM by Gene »

Offline Zeb

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Re: Contraption for baking wet sourdough bâtards
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2010, 06:01:42 PM »
How interesting and inventive!  I spend a lot of time looking at my bannetons and going, hmmm, maybe an oval and a round one, or maybe two ovals or maybe two rounds and then it all goes a bit wrong and one falls off the edge of the baking stone, or they touch and I pull them apart.. and shout a bit at the oven, which is always a mistake, as it doesn't answer.....

 never thought of making something to keep them apart like that  :clap:
Joanna @ Zeb Bakes

Offline Gene

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Re: Contraption for baking wet sourdough bâtards
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2010, 10:41:01 PM »
Thanks Joanna! This is what happens when one is on a rather tight budget: can afford neither baking stones nor having to discard unedible breads. Snif! [I'm joking. Yes, budget is tight but I rather enjoy putting together bits & pieces although that can lead to Frankenstein-like stuff. No matter. As long as it is edible.]

Offline Steve

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Re: Contraption for baking wet sourdough bâtards
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2010, 11:12:37 AM »
Gene, it is great to see innovation in process. 

You have intrigued me with your remarks about using scissors to score the bread. Would you post some pictures of your scissors in action sometime?   Thanks!    :hmm:

Offline Gene

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Re: Contraption for baking wet sourdough bâtards
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2010, 11:08:45 PM »
Will do! That should be some time next week. Cheers!

Offline Gene

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Re: Contraption for baking wet sourdough bâtards
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2010, 02:09:32 PM »
Hi Steve! As promised, here are a couple of pics showing the bâtards scored with scissors & one of the baked loaves. It's not perfect. I hope with time that I shall be more adept at this.  Cheers!




Offline Steve

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Re: Contraption for baking wet sourdough bâtards
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2010, 04:11:59 PM »
Well Gene, the end result makes for a pretty convincing argument!  Now I know what kind of scissors you are talking about.  That bottom picture is stunning.

I had some doubts about the scissors, but I can see where they really would control the depth.  I am not yet convinced, but I am sure going to give it a try!

Thank you, my friend!

Offline Gene

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Re: Contraption for baking wet sourdough bâtards
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2010, 09:20:04 PM »
... I can see where they really would control the depth.

You're way ahead of me on this. I think the scissors come in handy mainly with those of us who are not yet very good at using knives or other sharp blades to score our breads (and cannot afford to lose good flours and what not - that's me!), and also in cases where the dough is so slack that scoring becomes a hassle. Otherwise, I believe that lames & knives must be better. I'll get back to you on this in a couple of years.

P.S. Thanks for the encouragement regarding my bread baking. It's most appreciated.

Offline Steve

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Re: Contraption for baking wet sourdough bâtards
« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2010, 08:08:25 AM »
From the picture alone, I do not know that you need any encouragement...   ...all you need is some fresh butter!   :drool:

Offline Zeb

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Re: Contraption for baking wet sourdough bâtards
« Reply #9 on: May 11, 2010, 10:21:25 AM »
I think you should put a patent on that contraption of yours!  :D Nice looking loaves!  :clap:

 A propos of scissors, there is  style of snipping away at the top of the loaf with little cuts and you get a sort of hedgehog effect, have you ever had a go at that one? It looks pretty good and then there is also making epi from baguettes with scissors which is much easier than it looks and you feel really show-offy when they come out ok. You might know all this of course, excuse me if you do.... Just going to find a link to a video http://lepetitboulanger.com/video.htm scroll down to 'la scarification' and click on the image not on the name and you will get the file that way for epi coupe which is a wmv file, I don't think I can link to it directly, you have to download it.... .. and look at some of their others too!  I have watched their videos more times than I care to remember....

Joanna @ Zeb Bakes

Offline Gene

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Re: Contraption for baking wet sourdough bâtards
« Reply #10 on: May 12, 2010, 06:10:22 AM »
You're too kind, Steve! Thanks!

Thanks to you as well, Joanna! What a great site! No, I did not know about it. I'll make sure to watch all the videos.

Offline Abby

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Re: Contraption for baking wet sourdough bâtards
« Reply #11 on: May 12, 2010, 06:44:21 PM »
Seriously, that is an awesome contraption! I'm so impressed!  pompom