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  1. CADCO , small UNOX combi ovens

    Surely it wouldn't be too hard to tweak the wiring and put a toggle or push-button switch to engage/disengage the fan. Actually, it is pretty simple to cut off the fan, but the heating element in the combi ( and in the Cadco - Unox ) is not actually in the heating chamber, and is in a coil behind the chamber, and the fan is needed to push the heat into the heating chamber. What I could do, is load either oven with a lot of stone, and make it work like the Rofco - or even a wood fired oven - by a very long preheat, and turn off the oven entirely, and let the bread bake from stored heat. For the Cadco that would actually work, though there is a vent in the rear that would have to be covered. For the combi, even when you shut it off, the fan runs to cool the oven down, so I would have to switch the circuit breaker. Seems like a lot of work to me, so I am instead thinking of making a Forneau style to go in the oven - basically a combo cooker for something other than boules https://www.fourneauoven.com/
  2. CADCO , small UNOX combi ovens

    Yes, I went looking for something designed for home bakers, and was not all that thrilled with what I found. I did get a true combi, but the downside is that it does not have a bake mode, only a convection bake, so although I can add steam at the beginning, it is blowing air over the bread the whole time, and I would prefer something that just used heat and not a fan. The other end of the spectrum is the Rofco . https://pleasanthillgrain.com/rofco-electric-stone-oven-b20-bread-oven Fairly pricey, and is, in essence , just a big dutch oven. It does have optional steam, but many users seem to just fill it with dough, and the moisture from cooking keeps the steam inside until you open the vents. Unfortunately, not only is it pricey, the smallest one uses only 1300 watts - so if it were wired for 120 volts, it could easily plug into an ordinary US outlet. Since the element is 240, you need a special line run to operate it. I actually considered it, but was turned off by the long preheat times - 1 1/2 to 2 hours according to some posts.
  3. French toast for the novice

    Apologize for being OT, but when I read the title Novice French Toast, it reminded me of the movie Kramer v Kramer - an extremely well done movie ( 5 Oscar Awards ) with Meryl Streep and Dustin Hoffman. Hoffman and Streep are married, and are progressing through a divorce. At the outset of the movie, Dustin starts to spend some time with his son alone in visitation. To demonstrate his ineptness at the beginning, the movie shows him making french toast for his son - and Dustin is a true novice. The son's face throughout the process is priceless. As I recall it , much later in the movie they again make french toast, though of course the results are much better.
  4. CADCO , small UNOX combi ovens

    I have an older non humidity Cadco Unox, and it is a nice convection oven. As to the models you referenced, since you are familiar with the CSO, you might want to ask the Cadco whether their models have a boiler, or steam injection, or whether the humidity button just adds room temperature water. I know that some ovens add moisture to the oven by just pumping a stream of room temp water into the oven , as opposed to injecting water that has already been heated to steam. If there is no boiler, then the humidity function would not be very unlike putting a small copper tube into a vent in your home oven and slowly dribbling in water. Not trying to discourage you, but wanted to be sure which one you would be getting.
  5. Sprouted Grains in Bread

    I have sprouted wheat berries, and ground them, and to me they add a sweetness to the bread. The downside is that if you allow them to sprout too long, and you use a large percentage of sprouted ground flour, you run a risk of the dough collapsing. I finally got around that by drying them as soon as they show signs of sprouting. As Anna says, you do not want to get them too warm, so a food dehydrator is a good choice. Also, if you are grinding them in a typical stone or burr mill, you want them fully dried before you put them in the mill, otherwise, you will have to learn how to take apart the mill and clean off the stones when it gets clogged - so err on the side of being certain they are dried. http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/40502/peter-reinharts-sprouted-whole-wheat-bread
  6. Kitchenaid Stand Mixers

    Just a post to say I haven't seen his actual mixer, nor do I know the price he is asking, but I have the Magic Mill Assistent, which is the 450 watt version, and it is an unstoppable bread kneading machine, that will handle anything from low quantities to large doughs with no problems. As noted below, I should have said her and she.
  7. Kitchen Lighting Color Temp

    Not only is your question not silly, it is pretty important, and yes it will impact how the food will look. I added a bulb once that made waffles looked like they had a green tint, very unappetizing. Unfortunately, it really is a personal decision. I am with Smithy, and find natural daylight far too blue for my tastes. My lighting companies suggest warm white for a kitchen and dining, others suggest bright white, but you really need to find what you like - try a few bulbs and see, the investment is not that high, the ones that you don't like can go into closets, etc.
  8. Anna , glad to see rice flour worked for you. It is pretty amazing when you see the difference between bread flour and rice flour. BTW, winter is coming, and I am sure any white dusting outside will be taken for snow.
  9. Electric Flour Mills

    If you are looking for a stone mill, in terms of pricing, most are quite expensive new, though you can find them used on ebay at fairly good prices $150 to $250 or so, and the latest arrival on the market is very attractively priced at around $260 https://breadtopia.com/store/mockmill-100-grain-mill/ I haven't used the Mockmill, or even seen it, but have read a few good reviews, and the price point is pretty attractive for a stone mill. BTW, it would not surprise me if the Mockmill grinds flour more finely than the Komo Classic - I have a classic, and while the flour is fine for bread baking, it is coarser than the flour I get from my Lee Household Mill . I can't actually measure fineness, but I have started sifting freshly milled flour the last few weeks, and far more is left in the sifter when I use the Komo than when I use the Lee.
  10. Anna, for dusting your couche, rice flour works great because it doesn't allow the dough to stick as much. Regular flour plus a moist dough can lead to sticking.
  11. I made my attempt at the Lean French Bread in a combo cooker today, overall it came out well. I followed the recipe as close as I could. For mixing, I went with 6 minutes in a Bosch Compact. It was somewhat sticky, but I mostly make high hydration whole wheat, so it was not too bad. I used my proofer for the final proof and used the timing in the chart of 1 1/4 hour at 80 F, and think it was slightly overproofed. It sang after came out of the oven, I enjoyed the cracking noise, normally I don't get that with 100% whole wheat, and the flavor was fine for a lean bread with bread flour.
  12. Anna, if you go with a cast iron combo cooker, as I have, definitely get some barbecue gloves - here is one set, though not the ones I have https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01H0EE1L2/ref=sspa_dk_detail_3?psc=1 Loading the combo is not that hard, but it helps to be able to put a hand on the handle, and well as the opposing hand hold, and the gloves really come in when taking off the top halfway through.
  13. Chris and Anna, thanks for the explanation. I wondered whether friction would have some impact on final dough temp, but didn't think it could shave the bulk ferment by that much. I will be posting my bread photo this weekend.
  14. Chris, thanks for the explanation as to the salt and water, I was confused by that as well. I did have another question though. Am I reading the table correctly when it looks like it says that bulk ferment is 1 1/2 hours if mixed by machine, but 3 1/2 hours if mixed by hand? Just surprised there would be that much of a difference.
  15. The Bread Topic (2016-)

    On the Eastern Coast of the US , they have had white whole wheat for years. BTW, I know it is more work, but home milled white whole wheat is even better than the stuff on the shelves. Though, you would then have to track down winter white wheat berries - and they can be a little hard to find and a flour mill. I only point that out because I have made 100% home milled white whole wheat for a number of people, and have never had anything but positive feedback. When using home milled red whole wheat, it is more of a grassy taste then actually bitter - I think the bitter may come from the age of red whole wheat on the store shelves.