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Baking Lessons and Oven Troubleshooting

For those who are asking if the images of the breads posted in my website are included in the baking sessions, yes they are. The 3 day class will be limited to as much as 18 variations only, around 5-6 kinds of breads a day, but the 6 day full session which some take (one on one or special class) pretty much covers all of the breads featured in the EBook,  from No Time Dough, Sponge and Dough, Modified No Time Dough and Straight Dough.

Most of the images are taken from my hands on baking sessions, you will be amazed at how uniform and precise the finished breads are because the students weigh each of the portions and i make them repeat each if the shaping is not neatly done. I remember one student asking me if i am a sort of a witch because i can tell if one gram is off. I do not know how i can do that, i just know if one piece of roll lacks one gram or if it has more than a gram. Seriously, that is creepy, but it's part of the deal. If you have been baking breads for as long as i do, you will be able to tell from a distance if one piece does not belong.

Let's talk about ovens next. Like i said in the ebook, part of being a good baker is to be able to troubleshoot your oven. How it works, which part is hotter, how to adjust to its temperature, how to adjust the temperature etc.,

GET THIS. My brother's oven works differently from my mother's oven in New York. The only similarity that they have is the timer goes off or rings in 6 minutes short of 25 minutes which is what i need to get to 325F. If you do not know this, you will bake your rolls in A VERY COLD OVEN, WHICH BASICALLY RUINS THE WHOLE PROCESS. My cake deflated inside because the oven was taking too long to preheat or to get to 325 F the first time i baked. The fruit cake was tough and it sort of did not rise because the oven was way too cold. Yup, never should have placed the cake inside but i was getting too sleepy waiting for the oven to heat up to at least 300 F but the arrow in my oven thermometer was NOT MOVING AT ALL. Hmmm.

It took me about 5 trials to finally get to know how it behaves. 45 minutes to an hour  of preheating is way too much. Let alone 2 hours!!! I had an idea to increase the temperature by adding 10 degrees more or simply increase the temperature to make the heat rise fast. If i want 325 F, i will set the temperature to 325 F, then after 10 minutes, change it to 335 and then wait for 20 minutes. Once the temperature reaches 325 F, i reduce the temperature. Whew! That is nitty gritty hands on trouble shooting in the raw. Never thought an oven such as this would require that much tinkering but it worked. I reduced the amount of time i need to wait for the oven to preheat, and i am happy with that.

Can you imagine having an oven like this? No wonder nobody wants to use it. My mother's oven is much simpler, it gets too hot after about half an hour okay. You set it at 325 F but after a while open the door and you will see the gauge at 400 F! Not very good. Solution? After a few minutes of baking, i reduce the gauge way down to 315 F, or 320F, to keep the flame inside tame and calm. These ovens are no match to my cheap fabricated 4-sheeter oven. Never had problems with it, easy to manipulate and there are no flare ups.
So if you are having problems with your baked goods, check your ovens, maybe your recipe is not the problem, but your oven. Will post the pictures next time.


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