Thursday, 2 September 2010

Born and bread

Born & Bread: Peckham's finest purveyors wood-fired, sourdough bread to South East London and beyond...

Orders for the day. The B & B boys regularly get through over two thousands loaves in a single day of baking.

Like the loaves I'm learning to bake at the moment, everything is slow risen, using traditional sourdough starters.

And baked in their 1950s designed wood burning oven.

The stove burns something in the region of six cubic metres of wood each week. This might sound like a lot, but it's actually one of the most efficient, and environmentally sound fuels in existence.

The oven in it's glory. Manufactured by JJ Lopez in Barcelona, and built on site seven years ago at a cost of tens of thousands of pounds. The ingenious system within channels the heat evenly throughout the huge stone-based chamber.

Another important piece of kit in the bakery. We arrive at the end of the shift, and the beers are out, and reggae is rumbling from the stereo.

The optimum temperature for baking bread is somewhere 240 and 220 degrees centigrade. Dough responds best to a falling temperature, as the stove cools between re-firing. The initial blast produces a good crust, whilst the moist, light centre isn't over-cooked by prolonged intense heat.

Our take home. Ciabattas, seeded flutes, rye, and whole meal. Find out where you can get hold of your own batch here.

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