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Paradise Rosemary Bread

GretlGretl Posts: 670
edited 8:35PM in EggHead Forum
Hi all,
Got totally soaked to the bone walking home in the thunderstorm yesterday. But the sky brightened as I arrived, shining a religious painting-type ray right on Humpty. I sort of took this as a divine sign that I oughtta fire that mother up.[p]I had some bread dough made the regular way, but I had replaced 1/2 C white flour with some buckwheat flour. I added some crushed rosemary and crushed grains of paradise to the dough, sprinkled some coarse Kosher salt on the top, and Egged it over firebricks and two pizza stones which I allowed to heat up for about 1/2 hour or so at about 500 degrees.[p]The bread was just GREAT. And finally...after many burned bottom! It really needs a pretty thick layer of ceramic to protect the base from getting too dark; adding that second pizza stone really did it. Sorry I don't have pictures. [p]Cheers,


  • sprintersprinter Posts: 1,188
    Gretl,[p]Sounds great. Was there music playing as that light shone on the BGE? You paint a great mental picture. How long did you cook the bread? Did you use any wood to add smoke with or just lump? I've used sage wood (from a sage plant (weed) I pruned this spring) to cook bread with and it adds an interesting flavor to the bread. It was sourdough bread so it wasnt overwhelming but definitely noticeable. A little goes a long way with the sage I found, not for cooking everything.[p]Troy
  • GretlGretl Posts: 670
    Yeah, come to think of it, there was a sort of heavenly chorus sound eminating from nearby. Or maybe it was the bassett hound, Jazzman, next door. Hard to tell sometimes.[p]I divided the dough into two loaves and egged each separately for about 25 minutes. The first loaf came out lighter than the second since the heat had even more time to build up. I added no wood; I like a slightly smoky bread flavor, but not overpowering. I brough the second (darker) loaf to work with me and we're happily eating it with some jalapeno cheese. Oh, man. Doesn't get much better than this.[p]Now, I'm just thinking about your sage wood. What about using a few wet fresh sage leaves tossed on near the end? For that matter, has anyone used star anise, cinnamon stick, or any other non-wood to provide a smoke source?[p]Cheers,

  • EpondaEponda Posts: 21
    Gretl,I have been experimenting with a baking method very close to the one you described. I use two layers of fire brick and a 5/8" thick pizza stone, bring it all up to 500 degrees (checked with an oven thermometer sitting on the pizza stone that I can see through the top vent), and hold at that temp. for about half an hour. I put the loaf on the pizza stone and then shut all vents so that I am baking mostly with the retained heat of the Egg and the added ceramics. My two pound round loaves are done in about 30-40 minutes. The dome thermometer reads about 350 at the end of the bake. No need to add any moisture with this method to get a nice crust since the Egg holds in the moisture from the dough. The results are as close as I've come to "brick oven" baking so far. The fringe benefit is less fuel consumption than baking with the fire going the whole time.

  • GretlGretl Posts: 670
    That's a great idea about shutting down the vents. I never thought of that. I know that when I looked down the chimney while the second loaf baked, there were flames visible around the edges of the stone. It's true that when the vent and chimney are closed, the heat is retained for a long time.
    Thanks for posting.

  • Gretl,[p]On one of the salmon I was smoking I threw on a few twigs of rosemary. I wasn't able to taste it but I could definitely smell it as it came out of the chimney. Smoke didn't last long and for the 4.5 hours of smoke I really think it was a waste of time for the 10-15 minutes of smoke that it provided. It may imart a nice flavor to something cooked low for a shorter time. I have not used wet sage leaves, only the woody stalks. I wonder if the leaf would add less of a bite than the woody part of the plant? The stalks definitely give a zing, good, but a zing none the less. [p]Troy
  • MaryMary Posts: 190
    I've found 500 to be too cool for bread. How long do you preheat? I wonder if a 30-40 min. preheat with the thick firebricks, then shut down would work. I find my egg retains the heat a lot longer when it's been fireing for a long time than when I just fire it up and cook something quick and shut it down. I haven't been all that pleased with the crust I get in my egg - get perfect crust in my kitchen oven I'll have to do some more experimenting. Thanks for the idea.[p]Mary

  • MaryMary Posts: 190
    I've used some rosemary wood/twigs (from a dead bush) that imparted a nice flavor, but not to bread - I don't like too much smoke on the bread either.[p]I have a bunch of lavender wood trimmings. Anybody ever used lavender?

  • EpondaEponda Posts: 21
    Mary, After the ceramics get to 500, I pre-heat for another half hour or so. I find that if the stone is over 500, I get some burning. I make a fairly moist dough which may help with the crust formation in the closed Egg. As I mentioned in above post, I'm still experimenting. Let me know if you try other variations.

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