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    You are in: Home / Community Forums / Breads & Baking / Baking bread in a wood-fired stove
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    Baking bread in a wood-fired stove

    Sat Aug 10, 2013 12:32 am
    Forum Host
    OK, I know you won't understand the language, but in between the interviews, you will see this lady bake bread in a fairly traditional manner (other than that she does not use a peel and free-form loaves). Note the enormous oak bread bucket (used only for bread) that is kept "on the oven" for the starter to develop. The dough is only rye flour, salt and water. The baker dips her hands in water, because as we know rye doughs are very sticky.

    The baker explained how the rye flour was ground - it was a somewhat coarse flour, as it was harder to turn the millstones to make a fine flour.

    You will also see that the baker makes the Sign of the Cross over herself and over the dough, as well as impressing a cross into the first loaf baked. Lithuania was a deeply religious country, and bread had an important spiritual as well as culinary role. (Still more religious than the rest of Christian Europe, I would wager).

    The bread is now baked in tins, which became common after WWII during the Soviet occupation. The peels were quite large - the handle was two meters long. Bread required a hot fire, so they used birch primarily, sometimes other wood.

    The second youtube has more of the baking - neither of these is very long.
    Donna M.
    Sat Aug 10, 2013 11:18 pm
    Forum Host
    Interesting. What is the wet stuff she is smearing over the loaves after they come out of the oven?
    Sun Aug 11, 2013 12:15 am
    Forum Host
    She does not say - I will listen to it again just to make sure. I know some of the old recipes say to brush water over the loaf to keep the crust softer. From the color, I am wondering if it's a potato starch slurry - with the starch that precipitates from a grated potato, not commercially availble starch. This might add some shine to the loaf.

    I just saw another one, where the bread is baked on a layer of oak leaves, free form - the loaves look amazing. Here they said that loaves would be brushed with bacon grease. The loaves were baked in a 300 C. oven, making a very thick crust, which protects the interior, which reaches 90 deg C. Loaves of this bread could stay fresh for three months. All they have is rye flour, water and rye starter. And salt, I imagine. The location is a water mill where they bake bread to educate children. The last rise is 7 hours, first rise is 12 hours. I did not catch how long the second rise was. One batch makes four loaves.
    Sun Aug 11, 2013 12:25 am
    Forum Host
    I forgot to say - the preparation of the dough has some similarity with the Japanese bread you are exploring. A third of the dough has hot water poured over it, to a consistency of heavy cream. It's permitted to cool, then you add starter which has been dissolved in water (a lump of dough saved from the last batch) and sufficient flour to make the dough.
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