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Pequod

KK as Steam Oven for Bread

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On 10/2/2017 at 6:03 AM, dstr8 said:

Thread revival:   I should probably start a new thread but going to ask here first.   Does anyone know if the KoMo Classic grain mill will grind Flint corn?   They do state it will grind Dent corn; however Dent corn isn't as hard overall as Flint corn.

"Cracking" grains is a separate problem; one can buy dedicated devices. Or improvise, e.g. an industrial blender or a Thai mortar and pestle.

I like to get the grain size down on something like corn, whatever they say. Or, were I to dare using just the KoMo, I'd do two passes, starting very coarse.

My first grain mill was completely manual. Enough flour for pasta required twenty minutes and a shower. I keep it for exactly problems like turning corn into polenta.

A related problem: If one cooks with turmeric, there are actually several varieties available dried e.g. at Kalustyan's. North India favors one, the south favors another. There is a spectacular difference grinding turmeric in a spice grinder, even to save months at a time. However, one needs to smash the turmeric down to a manageable size or it destroys the grinder. I use a mortar and pestle (and find pieces 30 feet away).

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FWIW I just keep several pieces of fresh turmeric in the freezer; a microplane makes quick work of it.   Just be careful not to get any on a white counter top :D

 

 

Edited by dstr8
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Another resurrection of this thread. Seems Wolfgang Mock has a new mill that grinds finer than the Komo Classic and is about half the price (if a tad less attractive). It is the Mockmill 100 (and 200). Reviews relative to the Komo Classic are favorable. Might finally do this.

https://breadtopia.com/store/mockmill-100-grain-mill/

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1 hour ago, Pequod said:

Wolfgang Mock has a new mill that grinds finer than the Komo Classic

We're curious.

We use various test sieves (such as Gilson 12in Round Test Sieve, All Stainless Steel - #35/500um) to sieve out some bran. "Grinds finer" is a simplification; one could establish a profile of particle sizes by sieving through a sequence of test sieves, and weighing. (This is actually what the test sieves are for, hence their name.) It's well understood how to compare two numbers, but how does one compare two profiles? That can be subjective.

If the Mockmill produces a significant amount of flour that passes through a finer sieve than any flour from the Classic, then I'd accept the assertion that it grinds finer.

It is possible that the Mockmill grinds to roughly the same minimum particle size as the Classic, but it grinds more of the flour to this fineness. If one wants the bran, great. If one wants to remove some of the bran, sieving it out depends on a particle size differential, in which case one might actively prefer the classic.

The Classic grinds fine enough for my needs, unlike any other home grinder that I've experienced. Nevertheless, the flour doesn't feel like 00 pizza flour. There is room to grind finer.

If I can figure this out, we might want both grinders.

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Been messing around with einkorn lately. This loaf is about 20% fresh milled einkorn. Makes for a sticky dough, but great flavor!

4385A762-7C8E-4320-B06C-485DE2C88B84.thumb.jpeg.a19d693c4a652e2f27dade828a7c523f.jpeg

 

Was just about to order some Turkey Red and Red Fife wheat berries and noted the red fife discussion here. Anyone worked with fresh milled Turkey Red?

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On 11/27/2016 at 12:58 AM, Pequod said:

Here is the pan with chains on the lower rack:

IMG_1824.jpg

Better safe than sorry.. Are these just standard galvanized chains or stainless?

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3 hours ago, DennisLinkletter said:

Better safe than sorry.. Are these just standard galvanized chains or stainless?

Wow, this is spooky.  And timely.  I am just embarking on my KK bread making journey and was about to try out the measly 2kg length of chain that we had at home.  Will check whether the chains are indeed stainless.  

Does using a chain and creating the steam that way make a significant difference to the bread? Are there other ways to generate the steam e.g. heating up a cast iron pot and introducing the ice?  And does the process impact your gasket's life significantly?  Thanks!

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Definitely never let galvanized metal anywhere near a BBQ cooker. When heated, the fumes include zinc, and too much zinc can be toxic.

Is Galvanized Steel Toxic

I've been using stainless steel chain from Home Depot:

Stainless Steel Straight Link Chain

Cast iron doesn't hold up so well in this application; I've switched to a 16" cake pan. I'm not aware of any health issues involving aluminum; the dementia scare from decades ago was a false alarm:

Fat Daddio's PRD-163 Round Cake Pan, 16 x 3 Inch, Silver

One can buy metal disks on eBay, apparently left over from cutting big holes. This disk nicely fits a 16" cake pan. One could use two disks and skip the chain; I use one disk and chain:

1 Aluminum Disc, 1 1/4" thick x 14 3/4" dia., Mic-6 Cast Tooling Plate, Disk

I wondered if this would work as well as chain. In fact it appears to work better. The water ends up in the moat between the disk and the cake pan, and the disk conducts heat quickly to boil the water off. Now, I don't understand how the chain works! Most of the chain never contacts water. It does work, as we've observed.

I review the physics in my first post in this thread: Comment

One needs 30 lbs of thermal mass, one way or another, to boil off 350g of water or ice. Commercial bread ovens simply inject steam at the beginning of a bake, and plenty of it. Thomas Keller popularized the idea of reproducing this steam at home, though this didn't originate with him. He sure got a lot of flack over this in various forums; many cooks have a crippling lack of any sense of scale, and believe that a 10g spritz from their plant spritzer has the same effect. The Bouchon Bakery book proposed rocks in a sheet pan. I don't like that idea; steam in the wrong place could make a rock explode. But rocks have a similar heat capacity to metal: About 1/7th that of water. That's why one needs so much metal to boil off so little water.

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27 minutes ago, tekobo said:

Does using a chain and creating the steam that way make a significant difference to the bread? Are there other ways to generate the steam e.g. heating up a cast iron pot and introducing the ice?  And does the process impact your gasket's life significantly?  Thanks!

Yes. Let me give a meta-answer: Commercial bread ovens inject a great deal of steam at the beginning of the cook. This is a lot of trouble to design; they must have a good reason.

Individual cooks can come up with some pretty whacky explanations for why things work. Trust their observations that things work, but don't accept their explanations. I learned this for example working on what is perhaps my best-known theorem: It takes seven shuffles to randomize a deck of cards. One piece of evidence that people under-shuffled was the outrage from duplicate bridge players when tournaments switched to dealing hands by computer. The players astutely observed shifts in game play, but wrongly believed that the computer was doing a worse job of shuffling than humans.

I believe that the effect of steam at the beginning of a bread bake is this: Just as it takes a great deal of energy to convert water to steam, a great deal of energy is released when steam condenses back to water. One needs to be attentive working with steam; a steam burn could easily put you in the hospital. So at the beginning of a bread bake, what's cold in the oven? The loaf of bread. Steam condensing on the bread delivers a giant burst of heat energy to the crust. I observe better oven spring, and a better crust. There is however an ensemble of effects. The process is simply different.

Proponents of baking no-knead bread in a cast iron pot often claim that the cast iron pot traps steam, also replicating the steam injection in a commercial bread oven. Huh? Their method also produces good bread, but it's totally different. There is no initial surge as steam condenses to water. The crust is interesting, much better than not using the pot, but not the same.

I'm reminded of debating programming languages. Never debate programming languages with someone who isn't proficient in each language under discussion. Too many proponents of no-knead bread are no damn good at baking conventional loaves, and I simply don't trust anything they have to say. Confirmation bias, they like no-knead bread and they don't like kneading. I get it. The truth here is much more subtle. Chad Robertson for example advocates a very precise method of turning dough in a bowl, a very light kneading, that works well with baking in a cast iron pot. I bought some Danish landrace wheat flour at a farmers market this morning, and the directions about a long hydrolyze and the faintest knead were carefully given. If one isn't versed in both no-knead and classic kneading techniques, one doesn't have the skill set to adapt to actual conditions. Die-hard no-kneaders are simply dogmatic, they're not taking in new information.

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Thanks @Syzygies.  Really helpful.  I need to figure out whether I can get hold of the aluminium discs here in the UK.  If not, I will need to go with the chain.  I hardly ever bake cakes so it is good to have a better use for one of the cake tins adorning my basement store room.  The only question you did not answer was about the gasket. It sounds like you are a KK power-user (The Husband says they are called super users but you know what I mean...).  Does all the steaming you do affect the life of your gasket and, if so, how often have you had to change it?  

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22 minutes ago, tekobo said:

Thanks @Syzygies.  Really helpful.  I need to figure out whether I can get hold of the aluminium discs here in the UK.  If not, I will need to go with the chain.  I hardly ever bake cakes so it is good to have a better use for one of the cake tins adorning my basement store room.  The only question you did not answer was about the gasket. It sounds like you are a KK power-user (The Husband says they are called super users but you know what I mean...).  Does all the steaming you do affect the life of your gasket and, if so, how often have you had to change it?  

Your husband must be a Unix/Linux sort of guy. Between that and his espresso setup...I think we'd get along. 

I admit that I use my KK less and less for bread. I still use it on occasion with the steam method outlined here (STAINLESS steel chain, thank you very much). But I've been getting terrific results with my Challenger Bread Pan. Heresy, I know. @Syzygies is correct -- can't say either method is "better". Just that the crust is different between the two. I've taken to overnight retarding in the refrigerator with early morning bakes, which isn't conducive to the long high temp pre-heat needed in a KK, so...oven with Challenger Bread Pan works better with my schedule.

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18 minutes ago, Pequod said:

Your husband must be a Unix/Linux sort of guy. Between that and his espresso setup...I think we'd get along. 

I admit that I use my KK less and less for bread. I still use it on occasion with the steam method outlined here (STAINLESS steel chain, thank you very much). But I've been getting terrific results with my Challenger Bread Pan. Heresy, I know. @Syzygies is correct -- can't say either method is "better". Just that the crust is different between the two. I've taken to overnight retarding in the refrigerator with early morning bakes, which isn't conducive to the long high temp pre-heat needed in a KK, so...oven with Challenger Bread Pan works better with my schedule.

Ha ha.  I used to be one of the (lay) IT administrators for our Unix system in the office back in the day.  Main memory is the fact that, in spite of all the fancy checks we were taught, switching off and on again seemed to fix most things. The Husband is indeed a good person to have as a friend but never did Unix.  

Your post tells me I might, or might not, have problems with my current bread endeavour.  We put the sourdough wholemeal loaves into the fridge yesterday afternoon.  I got them out this morning to warm up and have only now, 24 hours from first putting the loaves in the fridge, put one into the KK to bake.  I hope that is not too long a gap.  Slight bubble on the top of one of the proven loaves.  Oh well, we will see.

It's a public holiday here so we have had time to do some research.  The aluminium discs that @Syzygies recommended don't ship to the UK (not surprising, given their weight) and I cannot easily find similar in the UK.  I then remembered that I had been considering getting a baking steel for thin crust pizzas. If a baking steel could double up as thermal mass for baking bread that could work well.  So, more questions.  Would I end up warping such a steel by repeatedly heating and quenching it in this application?  Would two steel discs placed on top of each other in a baking tin work ok and not bounce or get excited if water got in between them?  I ask the second question because I could buy two steels from these folk to make up the weight: https://pizzasteel.com/pages/shop.  Alternative is to get a custom circular big baking steel from these folk when I come to the US later this year: https://shop.bakingsteel.com/collections/steels/products/the-big.   Or I could try cooking pizza on an aluminium shop disc if I order one to be delivered to my brother in Texas.  Lovely hot day here in the UK.  Off to check on my loaf! 

 

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4 minutes ago, tekobo said:

Ha ha.  I used to be one of the (lay) IT administrators for our Unix system in the office back in the day.  Main memory is the fact that, in spite of all the fancy checks we were taught, switching off and on again seemed to fix most things. The Husband is indeed a good person to have as a friend but never did Unix.  

Your post tells me I might, or might not, have problems with my current bread endeavour.  We put the sourdough wholemeal loaves into the fridge yesterday afternoon.  I got them out this morning to warm up and have only now, 24 hours from first putting the loaves in the fridge, put one into the KK to bake.  I hope that is not too long a gap.  Slight bubble on the top of one of the proven loaves.  Oh well, we will see.

It's a public holiday here so we have had time to do some research.  The aluminium discs that @Syzygies recommended don't ship to the UK (not surprising, given their weight) and I cannot easily find similar in the UK.  I then remembered that I had been considering getting a baking steel for thin crust pizzas. If a baking steel could double up as thermal mass for baking bread that could work well.  So, more questions.  Would I end up warping such a steel by repeatedly heating and quenching it in this application?  Would two steel discs placed on top of each other in a baking tin work ok and not bounce or get excited if water got in between them?  I ask the second question because I could buy two steels from these folk to make up the weight: https://pizzasteel.com/pages/shop.  Alternative is to get a custom circular big baking steel from these folk when I come to the US later this year: https://shop.bakingsteel.com/collections/steels/products/the-big.   Or I could try cooking pizza on an aluminium shop disc if I order one to be delivered to my brother in Texas.  Lovely hot day here in the UK.  Off to check on my loaf! 

 

Personally, I *love* pizza on my baking steel. Pizza in a KK on a baking steel (using something like Grill Grates on the grate below as a deflector) is perfect, in my opinion. Just watch the temp...don't go over 550 or you'll get carbon instead of a perfect leopard spotted crust. Pizza in my Blackstone Pizza oven just can't compare. I know others disagree. YMMV. I also love my steels indoors -- I have a baking steel griddle I use often for both the stove top and in the oven for thermal punch when I need it.

That said...I'd be worried about using them for steam generation. I suspect they could/would warp over time. I might be wrong on that.

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13 hours ago, tekobo said:

The only question you did not answer was about the gasket.

Well, I did have to replace my gasket recently, though I don't think the steam did it. Just time. I highly recommend a gasket change if warranted; it's like sharpening a knife. My KK runs so much better now.

I am hard on cookers. I basically destroyed a Richard K. My KK can take everything I give it.

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8 hours ago, Syzygies said:

Well, I did have to replace my gasket recently, though I don't think the steam did it. Just time. I highly recommend a gasket change if warranted; it's like sharpening a knife. My KK runs so much better now.

Thanks!  I guess a gasket change will come one day.  I just didn't want to be hastening it by a factor of, say, 5.  Looking forward to experimenting with bread again.   I may end up back in the IDK but it will be good to see what the KK brings to game. 

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I've been practising and can't wait to put a bit of smoke through this in a KK.

IMG_2327.thumb.JPG.530d4d45a073c7e8c8e13b6a22796c11.JPG

The sourdough starter has been running now for a few months.

Nowhere near what Pequod, Syzygies and others seem to produce.

Gotta say I am having fun with the bread and have shared the starter with a few friends.

 

 

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54 minutes ago, Basher said:

I've been practising and can't wait to put a bit of smoke through this in a KK.

IMG_2327.thumb.JPG.530d4d45a073c7e8c8e13b6a22796c11.JPG

The sourdough starter has been running now for a few months.

Nowhere near what Pequod, Syzygies and others seem to produce.

Gotta say I am having fun with the bread and have shared the starter with a few friends.

 

 

Nicely done. If you enjoy making and eating it, it’s good bread! Kind of like when I used to fly airplanes... if you can walk away from it it’s a good landing.

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