Friday, December 12, 2008


I have been tinkering with the steam vent of my oven again. The thought of modding my oven has been on my mind for the last few weeks but procrastination has ensured that the vent cover never materialized. I had a hinge type design in mind so that it can be opened when a steam environment is no longer needed. All this was put into the back-burner of my mind until yesterday when I stripped out the innards of my oven for a thorough cleaning. I had anticipated a thick build up of flour caked onto the oven's inner walls. However, I was pleasantly surprised that the accumulated flour was less than I had thought. While cleaning the oven, I had a clear view of the oven vent and this jarred my memory about modifying the vent. 

In the meantime, I blocked the vent with foil to ensure that the steam stayed in the oven chamber. I was quite happy with the results as the slashes opened up nicely. The effect of steam made the crust more shiny instead of the matt finish.

Tonight's bake was my favorite busy person's baguette. The dough has been doing its thing in the fridge while I had gone on a 7 km walk and returned by 6.30 p.m. The 24 hour baguette was shaped at 7.00 p.m and by 9.00 p.m, the kitchen was already cleaned up and I was sitting on the sofa, contemplating if I should bring out the butter as the smell of the loaves was so enticing. I ended up eating a leftover slice of Bertinet's sweet dough bread that I had made the night before. It had a wonderful flavor as I had added orange zest and rum soaked raisins. It was really decadent with some handmade kaya. I really should curb my bread craving and intake considering the fact that I had had my dinner only a couple of hours earlier.

I was satisfied with the result. The crumb was creamy with a holey texture and a flavor which is addictive after a single bite. My only gripe is the short shelf life of the bread. Actually, it is the humid Singapore weather which is the problem. The crunchy crust degenerates quickly and has to be refreshed in the oven everytime before consumption. 

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