We have an old functional bake house in the village that gets used maybe twice a year (it has already made an appearance here). It has become a small tradition to do a gathering there shortly before Christmas - last year we didn´t attend for some reason I can´t think of anymore, but this year we did and I spent all Saturday morning preparing some goods that I wanted to bake in the brick oven. Above are Hungarian "Kipferl" made with a wheat sourdough and soured milk - recipe is here.
Here´s the bakehouse. Basically what you do is burn a whole lot of logs in that oven over the course of one whole day so that the brick gets really hot. Once you want to bake the embers are being removed and the oven gets a rough cleaning with a very wet cloth and then the bread goes in. Sounds simple but of course it´s not because you can´t control the heat like in a conventional oven. But more on that in a minute.
My husband made mulled wine which we warmed over that bonfire. I got him that tripod/kettle thingy as a birthday gift a few years ago. Thank god for gatherings like these or otherwise we wouldn´t use it ever.
Besides the Kipferl I prepared this sourdough bread with shredded rye (this recipe). It was a bit worried how it would turn out since we were running late - baking bread requires impeccable timing but at the agreed time the oven just wasn´t ready - not much to do about it. So my bread was way overproof by the time it finally went into the oven (meaning it had risen too much/was baked too late) but I think the cold prevented the worst.
Here´s the result. It turned out really good I have to say. It´s a rustic bread so I figured it would do well in the hot oven, and I was right. It has a lovely crust and a flavor that you can only achieve in that kind of oven.
The Kipferl turned out fine too. The oven was still too hot for them so they got charred a bit but they tasted wonderful. One of the neighborhood kids polished off five Kipferl in one go and not a single one got left over so I assume I did well.
Bonus picture that has nothing to do with baking bread but is too cute to not share it here. Happy 4th advent from Emma who sits on what will be a wreath some day. Always helpful!