Hotel Albris stories

Fresh bread straight from the wood oven


Recently we have been baking bread in a real wood-burning oven . This is not in the bakery, but one floor higher – in the completely renovated restaurant .

The new wood-burning oven is usually heated up after lunchtime. With beech wood, as this has a good calorific value. It takes around one and a half hours for the oven to heat up to bake the popular Kochendörferbrot with sourdough in it.
Claudio Kochendörfer. calls it “our freshly baked Fyrabig bread”
The new after-work bread has already found some enthusiasts who are waiting especially for it to be on the shelf at around . 15.00 o'clock
“Yes, the Fyrabig bread tastes really good,” says the chef with satisfaction he puts it on top at the end . As a kindling aid he uses wood chips soaked in wax – and under no circumstances newsprint. "In this way, the wood burns more slowly and in a more controlled manner than with traditional lighting from below. This creates less smoke and fine dust."

When the fire alarm went off
Starting the fire was not always as smooth and smoke-free, however .. “We had to experiment for a long time with the air supply and smoke extraction. The fire alarm even went off a couple of times. So on August 1., when the restaurant was full of guests sitting comfortably with coffee and cake ”, Recalls Claudio. Luckily the fire brigade didn't have to go out, it was just smoke that didn't really want to move through the chimney.
The difficulties with the smoke outlet already started with the planning. Claudio Kochendörfer's idea was basically simple: "We just use the old chimney of the former coke oven." Down in the bakery the chimney access was found quickly, but the flue pipe did not lead to the roof and outdoors, as a smoke bomb test showed. "We probably cut the chimney when we were renovating the roof."
The furnace from the smithy of the renowned furnace manufacturer Häussler in Germany had already been ordered, while the architect had to find a new way for the smoke outlet. "A risk, but finally we found a solution by installing a pipe curve in the 3. floor."

Oven-fresh bread also in the evening
When the oven was delivered, the next problem: It did not fit through the entrance door. So the workers had to dismantle the large restaurant window in order to bring the heavy equipment to its destination next to the large regulars table.
And it went on in a similar way: the first time the heater was heated up, the smoke accumulated in the pipe curve and pushed back into the restaurant. Consequently, a fan had to be installed on the roof. “And then we still needed several attempts until we found out how to operate which flap and which doors and windows may or may not be open ”, says Claudio Kochendörfer.“ But now we've got the hang of it and can offer our guests bread fresh from the oven not only early in the morning but also late at night. Straight from the wood-burning oven. ”
By the way: The after-work bake is not done by the master bakers, who are known to work at night, but by the women who work in the shop.

After the mixer has kneaded the dough vigorously, it rests for at least four hours. «We only use a little yeast and no chemical additives. It is important to us that the dough can rise naturally. This is the main difference to large industrial bakeries», says the bakery departmentf. «Dem Allowing dough this waiting period is worth it. The bread tastes natural and fresh for a long time, chemical leavening agents and a lot of yeast, on the other hand, leave a slightly sour taste. »

The first series of loaves lies on boards that are covered with rollable cloths. But before the loaves go into the oven, they still have to be "trimmed ". Paulo pulls out a knife and pulls Zorro- different cutting sequences into the loaves." This is how they rise elegantly ", he explains and has already opened a flap of the four-layer oven. Two people push the three-meter-long board in. Now it has to be quick, Paulo pulls powerfully on one end of the cloth and there are already 25 loaves in the oven and the board back in the rack.

The two bakers treat themselves to a short break. A sip of coffee. A short chat. And on it goes. While Francesco pretzels are turning, Paulo takes care of the rolls and croissants. These are stacked on a roller cart in the so-called fermentation stop system: a device that both cools and can also warm up. Paulo already rolled the croissants yesterday and then flash-frozen them. “This way there is no freezer burn,” he explains. Now he is slowly bringing them back up to temperature; as soon as 40 degrees are reached, he pushes the trolley into the 240 degree hot rotary kiln. "Without the fermentation stop system we would not be able to produce as many rolls and croissants freshly baked every morning."

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