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Baking Bread in the cob oven

Because the pizza party from a few weeks ago didn’t exactly prove to you how much fun a cob oven is, when I was making bread in it the other day I decided to video the process.

And in fact today I’m going to make more bread in it.  Partly because the bread is really good and partly because it’s just fun.  Also I’m out of bread, and like any good mini-Martha instead of going to the store to buy bread, well of course I’m going to bake some myself in the cob oven I built.

I’m not sure when this happened to me but I have a hunch it’s only going to get worse, culminating with me growing my own heart valve when I’m 80.

 

 

 

 

This was just a basic, white bread recipe that you can use in any oven, not just a cob oven.

It’s originally from the book Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking. I don’t own the book yet but it’s only a matter of time because if this recipe is a representation of how good this book is … I need it. Actually … hold on a second while I go order it.

I’m back. Book has been ordered.

It’s a no knead bread, but not the kind that’s been making the rounds on the Internet over the past few years.  That no knead bread is a very, very wet dough that has to be baked in some sort of pot or crock.  I love that bread by the way and make a lot of it … this just isn’t that sort of no knead recipe. It’s a wet dough, but manageable unlike the other no knead recipes.

artisan-bread-2

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Consider this next fact a warning.  If you make 3 loaves of bread, you will eat 3 loaves of bread.  I did.  No joke. I ate 3 loaves of bread in 3 days.  By myself.  I now have back fat.  This is a serious warning and not even a joke.  YOU WILL GET FAT if you make homemade bread.  There’s  no way around it.

If you can deal with that, then bake away.  If you can’t you’d best stick to other baking.  Like baked broccoli.   Which taste especially good with a nice cheese sauce and a big … slice … of bread.


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45 Comments | Filed Under: Kitchen |

45 Responses to Baking Bread in the cob oven

  1. caryl hodgdon says:

    I like that big holey bread-plain-slathered with butter-covered with honey-homemade jam-homemade peanut butter-garden veggies etc. I just need to knead it before I need it!!

  2. Amber says:

    Good Punk! Punk is best for baking, I’ve always found.

  3. Jamieson says:

    Bread is my favourite food (and stuffing is my favourite dish). Back in high school I used to bring back a loaf of crusty bread from Main Street after lunch time and eat the entire thing in class. This did not pass without comment. And frankly sometimes it did not pass at all, at least for a couple of days.

  4. Pat says:

    My husband just learned a new technique from you for his same bread…the slashes. He does his in a cast iron dutch oven. When I read to him how the slashes will make the bread grow up rather than sideways, he was thrilled. Yes, you made his day. And we thoroughly relate to the bake and eat thing. We can easily polish off a loaf with friends as part of an appy, if we put the whole loaf out. We are learning not to do that as then we don’t have room for our supper or have some left for breakfast toast! If he makes 2, yes, then we eat 2 rather quickly.

  5. Debbie ruiz says:

    Wow, looks wonderful. You make it look easy!

  6. Grammy says:

    I can smell the bread in your video. It’s that good.

    That’s my secret trick for enjoying fresh-baked bread without getting back fat: watch bread being baked in a cob oven on a video on the Internet and convince yourself you had some of it. I’m going to have sweet dreams now. Thank you.

  7. jainegayer says:

    I’m drooling!

  8. mimiindublin says:

    Hahaha! I LOVE the warning, you with back fat! No way!

  9. Danni says:

    I can’t wait to make pita bread in my oven, which by the way I took a vacation day and will hopefully FINISH making today!
    Hint to those of you too lazy, like me, to go hunting and shoveling clay… Bags of clay kitty litter. Wish I could say that was my idea, but doing research and watching hours of YouTube gleaned that gem. Of course the grocery checkout person now thinks I’m an insane cat lady….

  10. Su says:

    I can smell the bread too! Hot baked bread and butter – YUM!

    And a heart valve at 80 would probably be a good thing (says Martha)…. :)

  11. Suanne says:

    Planning on getting our cob oven started next week! My Sweetie and I have a week off work at the same time and this will be our vacation project. We have watched your cob oven posts over and over and over, (plus the ones you suggested on the internet) have our book, with pages marked, have our site picked out and will be scoping out a couple places we can dig our clay. Question… you mentuioned having to let the lime plaster sit for a few weeks. Is there any way to expidite that process? I don’t want to run into frosty weather….. And do you add the sand to the plaster/water mixture right before you apply it or while its slaking? How does it feel to be such an inspiration to so many people???? :) If it wasn’t for you, we would NEVER have tried this on our own. You ROCK, Karen.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Suanne – Good luck with your oven! You’ll love it! I’m afraid you’re really supposed to let the lime sit for a few weeks minimum. The reason for this is that’s how long it takes to actually hydrate. The longer you leave it, but better the consistency and the less chance of having problems like cracking, flaking, chipping, etc. Plus the texture is easier to work with the longer it slakes (sits and hydrates). However, if you don’t get it coated with the lime plaster this year, you can always just put a tarp over it for the winter and do the plaster in the spring. You can still use the oven, you just have to be careful about it getting rained on. You add your sand to the lime, just before you apply it to the oven. Have fun and keep me updated! ~ karen

  12. Teresa says:

    I mill my own flour, so I often have difficulty replicating recipes that use store-bought flour because my flour is not as ‘fine-ground’. Do you have any suggestions on how to use whole-wheat, home-milled flour in this recipe or have you ever used that method? The bread looks amazing!

    • Karen says:

      Sorry Teresa, I have no idea. :( But I know a lot of bakers AND home flour millers read this site, so they may have an answer for you! ~ karen

  13. Ruth says:

    Hubby and I have been researching outdoor pizza ovens ever since your ‘pizza parade’ got rained on… We’re trying to figure out a portable version since we’re renters right now.

    Last time, I forgot to ask…. can regular aluminum bread pans and Pyrex dishes be used in one of these? Far too many insects in the tropics, so our loaves have to fit in a normal 10×20 bread bag. I’m taking no chances with bread baskets.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Ruth – Sure, you can use a regular Pyrex or aluminum bread pan in the oven. I wouldn’t put the Pyrex in while the oven is 900 degrees, but when it’s 450 or 500 for baking bread it would be fine. I’ve used Pyrex dishes in my oven a few times! Also if you haven’t ordered the book I suggested yet, he has something in there about making a portable oven. It’s not as easy as you think because even a small pizza oven weighs around 800 lbs! I think they made it in sections that fit together and came apart like a jigsaw puzzle or something? ~ karen

      • Ruth says:

        I guarantee you… if it can be conquered at all, I have just the man for the job. Not sure about ‘straw acquisition’ over here so we’re examining other options in the interim.

        I haven’t bought the book yet, because I intend to do that closer to the time when I have someone travelling in from the US. That’s how I get stuff from Amazon… purchase, send to a friend’s address, await their next flight, rejoice… :-)

        This will have to be a 2015 project because the book will get here right on the cusp of the rainy season. (Side Note: I am sooo ready to say goodbye to this stupid drought and 98F heat… I have never experienced anything higher than 82 in my almost 41 years. This is madness, I tell you!)

  14. Tigersmom says:

    I appreciate the caveat because I looooooove bread and would eat way too much of it.

    Last night I made tortillas that I bought pre-made but uncooked at the grocery store. Its easy to trick yourself into thinking it’s no big deal because they cook in one minute (30 seconds per side) in a dry non-stick skillet over med to med-high heat. Which wasn’t so bad except for the fact that I ate the first three fresh from the skillet each with a lovely slather of butter. : /

  15. Ev Wilcox says:

    I have been making the wet no-knead artisan bread all summer. My family and friends think it is the best thing since sliced bread, (sorry, couldn’t stop myself!). I think it is OK, but not as flavorful as other knead breads I’ve made. But they eat it like it’s magical, and I will soon have to make two loaves at a time just to keep up! Will be trying your recipe this weekend-thanks for inspiring us Karen! Your oven is a thing of beauty!

  16. Laura says:

    I love this bread – it’s the base recipe from the book Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a day. I too can eat 3 loaves at one time, but you can also put any amount of dough in a loosely covered bowl in the fridge and it will keep up to 2 weeks. You just grab some, pull it for a minute or two to form the ball/loaf and let it rise on the counter for a few minutes and then bake. Yum. Now I need to eat some bread!

    • Karen says:

      It is, lol?! I can’t remember where I found it (somewhere on the big Internet a while ago). Do they have a website too? I’ll credit them. I’ll go Google it now. ~ karen!

  17. Bernard says:

    “Mini-Martha” !!!!!!

    Gasp!!!! Ack!!!!

    a) You’re genuine;
    b) You have exceptional wit and humour;
    c) You’re much easier on the eyes;
    d) Repeat as needed in the order warranted by occasion.

    I would there fore submit You are “Maxi-Martha” except it sounds too, too much like a feminine hygiene product.

    How ’bout “Uber-Marta” … a bit Germanic, but hey, that’s pretty much where many of us can trace our roots.

    Cheers.

  18. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    Yes..I do believe that you ate 3 loaves of that bread in 3 days..I also believe that I could do that..warm..with lots of butter..yum..I think I will make some bread this weekend..

  19. Kori F says:

    All I have to say is… you are amazing!

  20. Patty Popoff-Serwotki says:

    We Doukhobors in the Saskatoon, Sk area have been delighting the exhibition go-ers with our brick oven baked bread for decades! Our Doukhobor bread is famous. People line up for loaves or just a slice slathered in butter and strawberry jam. It’s a great fundraiser for our Prayer Home. You just can’t get the same kind of bread in the oven! I’ve enjoyed reading about your adventures building. I’d love to build one as well, using the plans my Uncle used on the old homeplace.

  21. caymanali says:

    THIS IS SO COOL and I am so jealous. I would literally make pizza all the time as well as bread. If only I had the room for one. Can you make a cast iron skillet breakfast in there?

  22. JeannieB says:

    You bread looks wonderful. There’s nothing like a fresh from the oven, hot loaf of fresh bread, served with soft, creamy butter. I used to make a brioche in my breadmaker until I realized I was eating too much bread. Sigh…. I think that your “back fat” Karen, could be caused by eating too much bread at one sitting. Either that, or, you’re starting to grow ” wings”. It sonetimes happens to gals who spend a lot of time communing with chickens. lol

  23. Amy in StL says:

    I had a breadmaker and almost ate myself right into a new pants size. I can’t imagine the damage that I could do with three loaves fresh from the oven…. especially in summer which is the time of loose dresses and sandals.

  24. Olga says:

    I’m convinced! I must make cob oven just for bread making alone.

  25. Laura Bee says:

    Thanks for the warning. And now I want to polish off the rest of the olive loaf I picked up the other day. The butter is sitting right there on the counter. Sigh…

  26. Shauna says:

    Homemade bread, cheese and wine – best dinner ever! Broccoli – not so much. Funny story about broccoli – a friend’s kid loves broccoli, so one day at his first soccer practice, the kids aren’t doing their sprints so the coach threatens them with having to eat broccoli. My friend’s kid jumps up and yells, “yay broccoli!!!!!” It was at that moment when all the other kids were staring at him like he had 3 heads that he realized it wasn’t that cool to love broccoli:)

  27. Shauna says:

    p.s., love the music!

  28. Feral Turtle says:

    I love this recipe! We eat this bread probably a little too often and we never seem to get tired of it!

  29. Nancy R. says:

    I just finished baking 3 loaves. DELICIOUS! An even easier recipe than the one I found on Pinterest. Thanks SO much for sending it. My husband and kids say a big thank you as well.

    Please keep sending amazing food recipes.

  30. Natika says:

    You do have a way of reading your readers minds, don’t you? I was just thinking yesterday that I should occasionally start making my own bread, but the kneading part sort of put me off. I don’t have a cob oven, but I’m ridiculously excited to just have an oven at all again after years of not, (ovens are rare in Japan), so it will have to do!

  31. OMG. Delish. That is all.

    Wait. Did I mention that I’m drooling?

  32. Missey D says:

    I found your extraordinary site when I tore a fingernail — and spent a most enjoyable few weeks starting with the first post and “caching up.” Thanks for all the great information and the FUN! I’ve been a lurker, but just had to come out to say — you really don’t have to make all three loaves at once! You leave the rest in the fridge (with saran wrap right on top) for up to two weeks and bake as needed. The longer it sits, the more flavorful the bread. Here is a link from the wonderful folks at King Arthur Flour. If you aren’t aware of these folks, you are in for a treat — they even have a Baker’s Hotline (which is on my speed-dial.) http://www.kingarthurflour.com/blog/2009/12/01/the-crunchiest-crackliest-chewiest-lightest-easiest-bread-youll-ever-bake/

    • Karen says:

      Hi Missey D! Thanks for coming out of hiding. :) The reason I make 3 loaves at once is because firing up the bread oven is a bit of a thing and you don’t want to do it for just one loaf of bread. :) Plus how can I eat 3 loaves all at once and then complain about it if I don’t bake them, lol?

  33. Leslie says:

    I’d eat those three loaves in one day. With lots and lots of butter. Easy.

  34. SuzyMcQ says:

    I gained five pounds by simply watching your video….and, slathering it with a ton of whipped artisan creamery butter!

  35. karen l says:

    lovely~ but Karen, how do you store your bread? Do you use those bags from Rough Linen or plastic?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Karen! If I make a lot of loaves, I freeze all but one loaf in freezer bags. Then if I know I’m going to go through the loaf in a day or two I keep them in the Rough Linen bags so the crust stays nice. If I think it’s going to be around for more than a couple of days I put it in a plastic bag (but don’t close it) and then put that bag in the Rough Linen bag, and close *that* bag. Lol. Now that I think of it, I have quite a bread storage system. :) ~ karen

  36. Dana says:

    Artisan Bread in Five is probably my most-used book! There’s a new edition out called The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. It’s cheaper and has quite a bit more info than the original book, so I recommend getting that instead if it’s not too late.

    The authors of the book also run a great website (artisanbreadinfive.com) with extra recipes and advice. It’s very useful, even if you don’t have the book yet.

    In addition to baguettes, I’ve made pita bread, pizza, naan, and cinnamon rolls with their recipes! I can’t recommend them enough!

    They have a book for healthy bread, too. I haven’t tried it, but it might be good for those who grind their own wheat.

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