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eG Foodblog: Jackal10 - Bread and Apples

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Such a lovely blog, Jack. 

That bread looks sublime.  Do you fire up the oven often?  How long did it take for you to get the oven built, concept to concrete?  Nice project.  Can you smoke things in it?

I only really fire the oven for entertaining, and also occaisonally baking a batch of bread to sell at a charity event, maybe half a dozen times a year. It would be a lot easier and cheaper to give them the money!

It took maybe 6 months to build, but we had builders in anyway, building the new garage, so bricklayers and other trades were on site. Its bult around a shell made by Four Grandmere. The circle is the pipe for the embedded thermometer.

I've done some hot-smoking in it with a small fire, but you can't really smoke in it - it gets too hot. I should have built a smoke-box in the chimney, but its really better seperate, as smoking needs a different sort of fire, and a long pipe to cool the smoke. Another project...


Edited by jackal10 (log)
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Jackal, I think I have experienced the true hand of God in your pictures and text of your blog!

You have brought one eGulleter unbelievable pleasure in allowing me to share in this experience .. truly an eye-opener! Thanks for this .. and all of the writing you do here at eG!

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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I'm curious about the produce you bought.  All of it from the supermarket?  Is it local?  Is it fresh?  What varieties of tomatoes and sweet corn?

I often shop at the Minneapolis Farmer's Market, where much of what is for sale was picked early that morning, with the picker wearing a miner's hat/light.  Is it like this where you live?

And, please talk about butter in your area.  We have become enchanted here with butter that is churned not far from where we live (I know I included a link to Hope Butter in my blog).  Local, cultured, and oh so good.

Yes its all from the supermarket or the garden. The only veg (so far) from the market are the onions, which I find are just as good if not better than the ones I grow. I try an buy veg with the least food miles. We do have farmers markets, but they are of variable quality.

The sweetcorn for the pizza is a tin of Jolly Green Giant kernals. Some like it, I don't myself, but it is a common pizza ingredient here. I'm growing some, not very sucessfully, as the mice, squirrels, pigeons, munjac etc eat it before I do. Also the main block of it this year turned out to be (by a mix up) strawberry corn, whicj is mostly ornamental but cab be used for popcorn. I'll try and get a snap tomorrow. Other years I've had success with bi-colour super-sweet, like Thompson and Morgan's Honey and Cream and also with Indian Summer.

Tomatoes This year I am mostly growing Gardeners Delight (small red) and the ever wonderful Sungold (yellow sweet cherry). For bulk I grow Fireworks (bush, Flame deriviative), but its not doe well. I have a few plants of other that people give me or swap like Apricot Brandywine, Hector, Maryanna's seedling (disapointing).

This is more arable than cattle country, so there are no small butter producers or dairy farmers. The regulatory regime also make it difficult - you may remember the foot and mouth, and the mad cow epidemics recently. I could get Neals Yard unpastuarised cream from a farm sjop locally, but they have stopped shipping it. I'm using mostly President, an unsalted french butter, and also unsalted English Country Life. Generic, but OK.

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Since you asked... :raz:

Why does having a high sugar content (i.e., the chocolate challah) make things potentially "interesting" to shape?

I take it you'll have a large number of leftovers?

For the onion and raisin bread, proportions in general and is the onion pre-cooked first or raw?

I didn't know you could have beef tzimmes, most tzimmes I've encountered are vegetable based (i.e., carrot tzimmes).

Thanks for the reply.


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Marvellous blog!  What an oven! 

When you said you built it instead of a barbeque, does that mean that you had anything to do with the brickwork, or just instructing your local masons what to do?  That brickwork in the dome is quite something to marvel at.  Just finding somebody capable of doing work of that quality would be a task in the USA, I think.

As I said above, the internal brickwork is a shell bought from Four Grandmere. The external brickwork was built on site by a local bricklayer.

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Since you asked... :raz:

Why does having a high sugar content (i.e., the chocolate challah) make things potentially "interesting" to shape?

I take it you'll have a large number of leftovers?

For the onion and raisin bread, proportions in general and is the onion pre-cooked first or raw?

I didn't know you could have beef tzimmes, most tzimmes I've encountered are vegetable based (i.e., carrot tzimmes). 

Thanks for the reply.


It wasn't the high sugar content that made if difficult to shape, but the big lumps of solid chocolate!

Tzimmes, like lobscouse, can come with or without meat...I think it was poor mans food, and they cooked what they could.

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Its past midnight, and its been a busy day, including the couple who turned up a day early for the party!

Where were we...

Second batch baking (red onion and rasin, and the chocolate challa)


Cross sections above.

The chocolate challa stuck to the peel a bit, so ended up a bit squished. I wonder if the acid in the sourdough made the chocolate go very dark reddish, like devils cake.


Some bread:


The oven was still over 200C, so put the pate in for a couple of hours, in a bain marie. This is it uncooked. After that the oven was still over 150C, so I put in the BBQ pork ribs (with my own secret spice rub) to cook overnight..


Made some Pimento Cheese. It was that or Lipatauer, and Pimento won, since everything was on hand


After all that supper needed to be something simple and quick: Pasta carbonara


Enough already! Until the morning...

List for tomorrow:

Light oven

Make Pizza dough

Put on beef

Make salads (green, cucumber I guess)

Pick more tomatoes

Set up car park

Make Tourte Blette etc

Make salmon en croute

Bake off chicken, sausages etc

Set up for Pizza making,

Lay out breads, cheeses, pate etc

Put out beer etc

Set up apple press

Await the throng...

Looking over the blog I see the promised potato kugel never happened, since the tzimmes had potatoes in it. Maybe next week...

Edited by jackal10 (log)
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Since you asked... :raz:

I take it you'll have a large number of leftovers?

For the onion and raisin bread, proportions in general and is the onion pre-cooked first or raw?


I hope we won't have any left over, or that people will take whatever is left away with them...

It was about 6 large onions and 500g/1lb raisins to 2Kg/5lbs flour. The onions were softened and slightly caramelised in some butter, the allowed to cool first.

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That sounds like a book I'd like to read! Can you find a reference? Thanks!

The book is 'The Classic Cuisine of the Italian Jews' by Edda Servi Machlin.

It was set in Pitigliano, not Rome....

And thanks to both Pan and Gifted Gourmet for helping me remember (in another thread) the name of that wonderful book....!

Amazon has it in stock...

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All the food you have prepared, especially the breads, are gorgeous. I was inspired to bake a couple of wholewheat loaves today. Incidentally, the bread I made is from a book you recommended, Baking with Passion. Terrific book for a relatively slim volume for a baking book. Your guests are all very fortunate to have you as a host.

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All the food you have prepared, especially the breads, are gorgeous. I was inspired to  bake a couple of wholewheat loaves today. Incidentally, the bread I made is from a book you recommended, Baking with Passion. Terrific book for a relatively slim volume for a baking book. Your guests are all very fortunate to have you as a host.

Last years apple pressing day is on Dan's website at http://www.danlepard.com/applejack.htm. There is a chance Dan may come today. I guess you've seen his eGCI Baking Day

Edited by jackal10 (log)
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The book is 'The Classic Cuisine of the Italian Jews' by Edda Servi Machlin.

It was set in Pitigliano, not Rome....

And thanks to both Pan and Gifted Gourmet for helping me remember (in another thread) the name of that wonderful book....!

Amazon has it in stock...

Thanks! I've ordered it!

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Please do talk about dough for pizza crust!

And, thanks for answering my gardening questions.  Glad that most of the veg is from the home place, not the supermarket!

I think Pizza crust should be thin and crisp.

Basically it will be a version of the standard white sourdough, bulk fermented for four hours or so.

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Good Morning!

Its bright and suuny, with only a gentle breeze. I've adsorbed two mugs of coffee, and it looks like it will be a good day...

The pheasants and the squirrels have come and had their breakfast at the kitchen door. They will make themselves scarce for the daygallery_7620_3_1095582019.jpggallery_7620_3_1095582065.jpg

I've set up a webcam on . It will reload every 30 seconds.It might even reload here if you refresh the page! Unfortunately the view includes some of the scaffolding. The oven is under the trees mid right in the distance.


The pork had cooked overnight to falling off the bone perfection. The oven was at 125C this morning. Took the pork oput, and light a small fire on one side to heat for the pizza later. Got out the beef - the supermarket had kindly hung it for me for a fornight - amazing what they will do if asked nicely. I'll long time low temperature cook this, and then flash it in the super hot wood fired oven. The beef is Scottish wing rib on the bone, but nicely butchered.


Mde the pizza dough. 4.5Kg/10lbs flour, 90g sea salt, 3 litre water, and the rest of the starter.. time to get my hands stuck in and messy..


Next up, the salmon en croute, and the tourte. Will report when I can...

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Jack, I'm in awe of how productive you've been since I last checked in on Wed. morning. Your fish balls look fantastic. I was ordered to search for fish balls on my last trip to London and became hooked. When I returned I made my English friends cook them for me. One day I'll have to make an attempt.

Regarding the quest for a sweet and sour salmon recipe, I do have several -- one is really for pickled salmon. Additionally, in Cucina Ebraica by Joyce Goldstein there is a recipe for Trigie con Pinoli e Pesserine, Mullet with Pine Nuts and Raisins.

1/2 c red wine vinegar

3 tbls sugar

1/2 c pine nuts, toasted

1/2 c raisins, plumped in hot water

4 tbls evoo

1 whole fish (about 2 lbs cleaned) or 1 1/2 lbs fish fillets

Salt, to taste

Combine vinegar, sugar, pine nuts, raisins and a bit of raisin plumping water in a small bowl.

In a pan over medium heat, warm olive oil. Add fish and saute on one side until golden. Turn and add salt and vinegar mixture. Cover and cook oven medium heat until done (5 to 10 minutes depending on whether whole fish or fillets).

Transfer to serving platter -- can be eaten warm or room temp.

"Some people see a sheet of seaweed and want to be wrapped in it. I want to see it around a piece of fish."-- William Grimes

"People are bastard-coated bastards, with bastard filling." - Dr. Cox on Scrubs

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What a day!

THe hordes descended and ate and drank...nothing left...I guess we picked and processed a metric tonne of apples and made something like 500 litres of juice

Completely knackered...I'll post pix in the morning.

My collegue Jamie made this excellent panoramic view from fairly early in the proceedings. Its very wide, so you may need to scroll sideways. It covers more than 360 degrees - there is only one table!

The pizza dough takes about 4 hours to prove - its sourdough remember. I guess its useable for another 4-6 hours, although you could retard it in the fridge for up to 24 hours or so. When we ran out of dough, Dan Lepard kindly made some up with conventional instant yeast, but flavoured with sourdough starter that was ready in half an hour...

Edited by jackal10 (log)
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