Non-cooks think it’s silly to invest two hours’ work in two minutes enjoyment…

…but if cooking is evanescent, so is the ballet.  – Julia Child


February 22 I baked four loaves of my Great Gramps Oatmeal Molasses bread in my oven.  I needed to replenish my stash since I’d been unable to attend a Community Oven bake since December.  I used the baking method suggested to me by Bliss (she is the one who shared her 9/11 sourdough starter with me).  Heat a baking stone in the oven and bake bread 20 minutes at 500°, 10 minutes at 450°, 10 minutes at 400°… and you continue this pattern until your loaves achieve your desired doneness.   This method produces a fabulous dark, thick crust and serves as a great substitute for the community oven.

As an aside:  I overnighted two of those loaves to a friend in Colorado – the shipping cost would blow your mind!!  So to my other friends who may want a loaf… come to my house… I’ll bake you all the loaves you can consume.

2/22/12 - Beautiful results from my oven.

The very day I baked those loaves, I received email notice that the next Community Bake would be Sunday the 26th.  I hadn’t been since December, so of course I had to go.  The breads I have been making require two to three days prep, so I started my doughs on Friday.  I made two more Oatmeal Molasses, and with my sourdough starter, I made four loaves of garlic, rosemary, olive sourdough.  They all rose beautifully and  I was excited for this bake… but the final results were less than stellar.  I arrived, the coals had already been removed and the group was baking pizzas in the hottest oven, but then for some reason the oven temperature dropped rapidly.  I was baking my bread in a tepid 300° oven for nearly an hour.  The inside of the loaves did cook… but they deflated in the oven and the crust is light and thin like Italian bread.

2/26/12 - A less than stellar bake at the Community Oven.

I am disappointed, but the bread will not go to waste and when the next community bake rolls around, I’ll be right back at it, elbow-deep in dough.

*Check here for dog room renovation pictures.  I decided to keep them all in one place because it will be a good way for me [and you, if interested] to track progress.

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