Week 3 Group C: Quadratus & Sourdough Bread

Our group attempted to make bread with three separate types of dough, with varying degrees of success.

1: Quadratus

Dough Ingredients

  • Flour: 502g
  • Salt: 10g
  • Water: 350mL


Time since beginningAction takenNotes
0:00 – 0:15Kneaded dough, shaped loaf, placed bread in cast-iron pot & coals/logs on top & underneathReally large, very hot fire, and a little bit of wind
0:35Briefly removed from fire: bottom was pretty badly burned, so removed coals from below pot & moved pot further from the fire
0:41 Removed from pot & left to cool!Crusted to bottom of pot, had to use a knife to remove bottom layer
0:48Bread cut into quarters & found to be undercooked on the inside: proceeded to cut a portion of the loaf into smaller flat sections
0:53Portion of sections placed in cast-iron skillet on the fireThis was our first attempt to make fry/flat bread
0:58-1:00Skillet briefly removed from fire to add olive oil
1:02Fry bread removed from fire
1:09Additional olive oil & new set of sections placed in skillet & far from the fireWe abandoned this because the increased distance from the fire and the wind led to it very quickly getting covered in ash.

We found the initial loaf to be too crispy on the outside and underdone inside. However, these textures remained very consistent the next morning, indicating at least a small degree of longevity. We also learned that because we made the loaf small and round, cooking overall would necessarily be more difficult than if we had made it flatter.

The quadratus dough prior to cooking.
Fry bread, placed in the skillet, and cooking in the fire.
The fire pit & cast iron pot in which the loaf was cooked.
Flipping the fry bread.
Bread expert Morgan checking whether the loaf is done while Alex looks on.
Fully fried, but very ashy, bread!

2: Sourdough

We used a sourdough starter for this loaf which we did not make ourselves & therefore cannot describe the ingredients of.


Time since beginningAction takenNotes
0:46-0:48Placed pre-made dough into cast-iron pot, which was placed into the fire with the coals/logs on topStill a fairly strong fire, but less than before
1:06Checked on loaf: 2/3s of the sides burned, returned to fire
1:17Removed from fire

This loaf turned out very soft inside, with a very even texture, despite the burnt exterior. Removing coals from underneath the cast-iron pot prevented the bottom from becoming more burnt than the sides were: in this case, the primary issue was the fire was too hot relative to the placement of the pot. The next day, the bread remained very soft and tasty, significantly more so than the quadratus bread.

The sourdough, placed in the pot, but uncooked.
Placed near the fire, but not as close as the quadratus bread, and without as many coals & logs surrounding it.
The final product!

3: Quadratus/Focaccia

We chose to change the ingredients of the quadratus bread slightly to see if we could improve upon our previous results. When kneading the dough the first time, it quickly became dried out, so we chose to add extra water at the beginning of the process.

Initial Ingredients

  • Flour: 500 g
  • Salt: 10g
  • Water: 400mL


Time since beginningActions takenNotes
1:30Began kneading ingredients
1:34-1:36Added pinch of flour and approximately 20mL of olive oil into the partially-kneaded dough
1:38-1:39Placed fully kneaded dough into cast-iron pot relatively far from the fire, added coals and logs to lid
1:57Checked on loaf, found very even cooking but a clear indicator that more time was necessaryBecause of increased wind and lack of fire maintenance, we had to add logs to the fire around this time.
2:13Added additional logs and coals to top of potWe were approaching the end of the time allotted for the lab & wanted to increase likelihood the bread would cook faster.
2:45Removed bread from heat
7:09Placed bread in oven preheated to 350 degrees FWe attempted to finish cooking the bread in an actual oven as a way to compensate for lack of lab time.
7:19Increased heat to 400 degrees F
8:15Removed from oven

We were optimistic about this one. The twice-cooked nature caused this bread to turn out very durable, but surprisingly hard for something ultimately undercooked. It remained edible, but the addition of the olive oil was not an improvement.

The uncooked dough placed into the pot.
The loaf, after 20 minutes of cooking.
Austin checking the bread’s doneness after 40 minutes.

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