Thursday, 7 April 2011

All fired up in the Welbeck Bake House

Welbeck Bake House Wood Fired Oven
This morning was very exciting indeed. Russell and myself were responsible for managing the wood fired oven during our Thursday baking class under the expert guidance of head baker Matt at The Welbeck Bakehouse. It was back to basics as we used traditional methods to achieve the wonderful bottom-baked bread from this stunning brick oven.
Loading the furnace with wood
we collected. Lit first time:-)
unlike my fire at home!
It was a roaring fire in seconds. Continuous stoking and
replenishing of wood essential to keep the heat rising
The fire pushed up through the flume and out the
cast iron cap above to heat the oven.
We had to ensure we rotated this
in order to keep an even heat throughout the oven.
Using the laser probe we were able to point directly onto
the oven surface to measure the heat level.
An immense heat of 400 degrees!
Once we had achieved the desired oven temperature we
stopped stoking the oven and let the flames die down and
the oven settle. We then prepared the baskets for the mixing team.
Final prove before baking. Oven now at
around 280 degrees
The fun bit began. The peels were extremely long
to be able to reach right at the back of the oven.
There is definitely a skill to it. Matt described it as
a bit like playing snooker - keep your eye on where
you want to place the loaf and fire it in with one
swift gentle movement. Easier said...!
Loaves took on average between 20-25 minutes
to bake, however you had to keep your eye on
the hot spots and rotate the loaves if necessary
to avoid the crust going too dark. Its a fine line and
quite subjective, but generally, the consumer
likes a golden crust.
Chill out time!
Enjoying the sun and some of our baked goodies.


  1. I wanted to comment on your bagel post but it wouldn't let me. Just read today in McGee's book that the word Bagel is Yiddish from a German root meaning "ring".

    By the way enjoyed reading this post too. Both my grans use to bake bread in a wood oven...but domestic size.

  2. Thank you. Love McGee. Another says that it was originally stirrup shaped. The stirrup is called “breugel” in German. Anyway, they were great fun to make and lasted for days.

    We made pizzas on the stone ovens for the estate and they were amazing. I want to make my own stone oven at home - not sure how to go about it yet.