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Companion Bakery Webcam | Sourdough Companion

Companion Bakery Webcam

Our bakery's web cam is now operational. I am hoping this becomes a place to chat with the baker as they work the dough and fire the oven. Baker's are busy but lonely souls, please talk to us.

Webcam loading...

Live Bakery Temperatures

Oven Crown Bricks - Provides an important indication of live oven temperature. Oven air temperature is approximately 35C less than crown brick temperature (on a baking - not firing - oven)

Oven Crown Cladding - Indicates stored heat in the concrete and perlite layer immediately behind the crown bricks. Shows how much 'charge' is in the oven.

Ambient Room - Bakery room (air) temperature at the dough bench. Dough is mixed, scaled, balled and shaped at this temperature

Proving Trolley - Mobile proving cabinet. Batards and other banneton loaves are risen here. The baker moves the trolley between different temperature zones to control fermentation

Visit the Companion Bakery website
Please note that we are closed Monday (Australian time).

142 comments

Our bakery's web cam is now operational. I am hoping this becomes a place to chat with the baker as they work the dough and fire the oven. Baker's are busy but lonely souls, please talk to us.

Cynthia is our current baker. She is a traveller, originally from France and new to sourdough baking when she started with us as a WWOOFER a few months ago. Incredibly, Cynthia trained to mix, shape, proove and bake in just over a month. She is now a full time baker and completes the entire bake without assistance.

It is very unusual for someone to be able to pick up sourdough baking, particularly on a professional level, so quickly. Yay for me because I'm really enjoying seeing the bake from a completely different POV! (sometimes I sleep in a bit and watch from bed on my phone)

Graham

It is late afternoon here. The oven is often fired around this time and that is what Cynthia is doing right now. I'll post a typical baking schedule here shorlty.

Does the window blind effect occur for everybody? A bit disconcerting to say the least.

Farinam

Hi Farinam. I have 2 computers here and can not see any display issues. But if we are getting problems elsewhere i can have a play with frame rates to see if that helps. Currently the camera is running at 6 frames per second...which i think is about the maximum my ADSL upload connection will handle at this resolution.

 The flickr problem happens in Firefox. Safari and Chrome are fine.

Is there any way to stop it flickering in Firefox?

 For now make the image upload less, and therefore refresh less.

But at least I can see the picture in Firefox... Opera is OK but slow...  Chrome is OK but slow... Safari is OK but slow...

So I'm a geek - I have lots of browsers

It's really interesting that Explorer is the problem (and I'm responding from Explorer) when it is as close to "generic" as you get on the PC platform. Go Mozilla!

 

 

 

 Don't worry guys. We'll fix this webcam up for everyone in the coming days :)

 Graham, what a generous idea.  I really enjoyed watch your baker at work last night.  I pick up a few tips which I am sure I will benefit from. Thankyou. For bread geeks like me being able to watch a professional artisan baker in action is a real joy.

Glad you enjoyed the show Timmy. Sunday morning (midnight to 5am) is the only time we do traditional 'baker's hours'. All the other bakes are day shifts. Monday is our day off, so no baking (unless we are teaching a class).

Do you use Chrome as your browser? We are still having issues getting the live feed to show properly in other browsers. Also I would like to play a bit with the camera angle and get a bit more of the bench action. Graham

 I think the angle's perfect as it is dad!

Great to see the webcam up and running guys.

Looking forward to watching your great work.

All the best.

Cheers,
Phil 

We bake 5.5 days a week, with some preparation or baking classes on other days. Our week starts on a Tuesday:

  • Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday (day bakes)
  • Sunday (early morning night bake)
  • Monday (holiday and some starter preparation)

Approximate baking times will be noted in the following post.

Baking times are very approximate because (with one exception) we use existing environmental temperatures. For instance water temperature varies from 5C to 20C over 12 months. Air temps inside the bakery vary from 5C to 35C.

Ambient temperatures in Tasmania are excellent for baking year round, however from November and March the night time temperatures are too warm for an 8 - 12 hour overnight proof. This overnight period provides a break and sleep between shifts. In Summer we use a coolroom to retard loaves overnight.

Listening to the oven...

The oven is basically a big battery. It is normally fired (charged) for about 5 hours between mid afternoon and late evening. The coals are usually scraped out late evening but sometimes the baker might decide to leave the coals in overnight with the oven door open.

We need to wait for the heat to balance and fall before we can bake. If the baker times it right the oven will be ready at around 0700 on the morning of the bake. In our oven, with our current flour, we like the crown bricks to be below 280C to achieve a beautifully baked batard (flat breads can be higher, tinned breads lower).

Air temperature is approximately 35C - 40C less than the crown brick temperature. So 280C = approx. 240C.

This is all very important because last year we installed a system of network data-loggers to help bakers better manage the bake, reduce worry and increase the likilihood of getting a good night's sleep.

When crown bricks fall (or rise) to 286C, the oven sends a text message to the baker indicating that oven temperatures are becoming friendly. And for most bakes (except Sunday early morning) that is when the baker will start the bake.

Australian Eastern Daylight Time (ADT) is used, which is the time and date at the top right side of the camera image.

For most of the year this is GMT + 10 hours. For October to March (approx. and inclusive) we have 'Daylight Savings' which is GMT + 11 hours. 

Scheduled activity times are very approximate, due mostly to our use of passive controls for variations in climate (with the exception of coolroom retarding from November to March)

Tuesday (same as days below except no baking of bread, and oven is fired earlier in the day)

Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday 


0700 - 1000

  • remove risen loaves from cool closet, cool room
  • cleaning the oven
  • bake pide, sticks, batards, tins (usually in that order)
  • ingredient preparation
  • dough mixing
  • dough bulk proofing (1st proof)

 

1000 - 1200

  • scaling
  • balling
  • flouring bannetons
  • starter prepartion
  • oiling tins
  • lunch
  • dough rising in draws (2nd proof)
     

1200 - 1530

  • shaping
  • firing
  • dough rising in forms (final proof)
  • dough retarded in forms (cool closet, cool room)
  • end of shift
     

2200

  • scrape coals from oven
  • OR leave coals to cool overnight
  • ....the cycle begins again at 0700 the following morning (except Sunday, Monday, Tuesday mornings)
     

Sunday

(to achieve a hot oven for Sunday morning, we fire the oven for about 3 hours, and scrape the coals on Saturday night)
 

0100

  • clean oven
  • prepare pide (flat turkish bread baked in hot oven - e.g 300 crown brick temp - they also bake well at lower temps)
  • bake pide, sticks, batard, tins (usually in that order)
  • bake batard
  • bake tins
     

0500

  • end of shift
     

Monday

  • day off
  • some starter preparation may occur

 

 This is wonderful. Thank you very much for sharing such interesting and detailed info, and with a webcam...!

Thanks this is amazing, I have the same "window blind" effect as Farinam, cant wait to see it a steady stream.  Thanks its a fabulous idea

Linda

 I agree Graham, would love to see how Cynthia shapes the loaves so a wee bit more angle on the dangle would be great 

Linda 

The camera is now closer and the angle shows more bench. We can still play with other camera positions when inspired. Image quality has been temporarily reduced to reduce the 'window blind' effect in Firefox. A network expert is working on another way to serve images up on this web page that will hopefully provide high quality in all browsers.

Our bakery is holding a breadmaking workshop this Sunday and I'd like to have it sorted by then. Graham

 Morning Graham, Bonjour Cynthia. 

Camera angle is much better now as we can see Cynthia in full.  Thanks for lettings us into to your amazing bakery.  Your baking room is so clean and tidy its a credit to your standards.  

Wish I could come to your workshop, but its a bit far to travel. 

regards

Linda

We have changed the camera's address to www.sourdough.com/webcam (previously /culturecam).

New code is now in operation but not fully tested...please provide feedback re Firefox, I.E, etc.

Apparrently in I.E the images will show as MxPEG, which allows audio streaming (the camera has a microphone). Sounds too good to be true.

Graham

Hello Graham,

At least we have a full picture.  The pic still renders from top to bottom and sometimes halts part way so that you get the odd vision of top half of body in a different position to the bottom - maybe she's just moving so fast ;)

Also the images that do appear are at variable intervals sometimes 10sec, sometime 15 sec, etc  apart. 

Maybe it's a bandwidth thing.

The other thing , is it possible to do interlaced rendering - I believe this can help (so I've been told).

Farinam

Hello Graham,

Chrome renders the image instantaneously but the images are at variable intervals similar to those for Firefox.

Farinam

Hi Graham,

Tried Safari and it keeps crashing when I navigate to the webcam page.  I don't use it much and my version could need updating.

Farinam

Internet Explorer has a sign saying 'webcam loading' but sits there interminably like a can of stale beer and doesn't seem to do anything.

Farinam

Hello Graham,

I have upgraded Safari and the cam seems to work on that with the same cavaeat about variable image time intervals.

Opera seems to have some sort of a problem as well.  The image does not render until you scroll the area off the screen and back. It then holds until you repeat the scrolling.  When the current image has finished downloading (very slowly by the way) the image blanks and starts to render from the top (if you do the scrolling bit).

I wonder is it a resolution and bandwidth thing - if you have lots of people viewing?

Farinam

Thank you all for the feedback.

With the latest code code we are still relying on the camera to serve images directly to all of us, just like the original code. So bandwidth could definitely be a problem. The next thing we will do is ask the camera to ftp files up to our web server and we will all view the images via the server.

I can still see a problem with Internet Explorer unless it prompts viewers to install Acitve X....which apparently I.E needs to render streamed images. Graham

Hello again Graham,

Another thing is that for some reason some of the Javascript source code is showing in the frame on the home page instead of your text.

Farinam

Hello Maedi,

Firefox is certainly significantly better.

In IE I just get the little red cross.  I have checked that ActiveX is allowed.

In Opera the image disappears completely and then reappears some time later.

Farinam

We have manged to get the camera to send images to our server via ftp.

http://www.sourdough.com/webcam-files/current.jpg

The image is being replaced about once a second, but you wont see the replacement unless you refresh your browser.

So the next step is to get hold of some code that makes everyone's browser refresh to reload the images. Sounds so simple it just might work.

Graham

http://webdesign.about.com/od/metataglibraries/a/aa080300a.htm Hello Graham, I believe there are some pitfall with this approach. Farinam

Thanks for that link Farinam. I've got two people working on it, including Maedi. It will be interesting to see what kind of code works. I'm surprised that after so many years of broadband, showing a live moving image accross all browsers is not so simple. Graham

http://www.themercury.com.au/images/uploads/webcams/webcam2%28MTVIEW%29.... Hello Graham, I did send this link to Maedi via PM. Not sure whether he looked at it but the code could prove useful. Farinam

That webcam is operating in mjpg and is a bit lousy but a good way to get a live video effect on limited bandwidth. Very effective. I'll have to look for that camera next time i'm walking along the wharf...had no idea that it was there. Graham

Hello Graham, The cam seems to have stopped updating without hitting the refresh page button. Farinam

 Yes, but i think we finally have the cam operating in all browsers! The code is still being worked on to reduce lag and improve refresh....

Images are slow to refresh, probably due to a combination of low local upload bandwidth and my desire to have clear and sharp images (= large size image files).

We can't increase bandwidth until high speed broadband arrives in Oatlands in a year or so. So the only option is to reduce image file sizes by reducing or compressing the images, which i'll experiment with today, but my preference is for clearer rather than faster images. Graham

By the way Graham, who is pavel9 and why has he taken over from Maedi as the originator of this post. Farinam

 Pavel was employed to get the camera to ftp to our server, and for those images to refresh on this page. He has done a good job and now the author of the page is Maedi once again. We are still looking at ways to speed up our network and the rate new images appear. Graham

 I was looking for instruction to freeze sourdough bread and came across your site.  It's such a wonderful place for information.  Thank you.

Thanks for a great webcam feed!  It has inspired my sourdough baking a great deal, and just watching how Cynthia handles and shapes the dough has improved my loaves a lot.  I still have plenty to learn but am enjoying some good bread now.

Cheers

Glad you are getting something out of it Mark. Today Cynthia was making a special seed and nut loaf that she has developed, as well as the standard batards and spelt loaf. Tomorrow we are sending a sample of the seed and nut loaf (called 'Cynthia's Bounty') for judging at the delicious produce awards in Sydney. It is actually the first time we have ever entered in a competition. Should be fun. Graham

 Thanks for the reply Graham - I was watching the various loaves off and on this morning, between tending my own dough.  Was "Cynthia's Bounty" the loaves where she was folding the nuts inside the dough?  Best of luck to Cynthia and you for the competition!  Mark

Yes, the nutty loaf was the Bounty. It's got lots of locally grown linseeds in it, and a range of nuts. I found it amazing that it works so well - even better - without fruit. I'll see if I can get Cynthia to post about it. Graham 

 Hello Graham,  my name is Billie and I have been keeping track of my son Sam, who has been travellin through Tasmania. For a lilt while.  He has just finished a job at the forest walk lodge and is starting a job at a bakery or mill, I'm not sure if it's the Companion bakery or if there is another in your lovely town. I'msure he is going to love it there. Having the webcam in the bakery kitchen is just fantastic. Everything looks so delicious . Doesypur bakery only make sourdough products. I 'm not sure about the different type of wheat coming from the mill. Here in Canada, B.C. In particular it is a rare treat to find an artisanal bakery o I appreciate watching what is being done at theCompanion bakery. 

 

Hi Billie. Sam is working here (Companion Bakery) at the moment and has accomplished a lot during the last week. Today he was cleaning a very old two-arm dough mixer, which will be displayed and operated in the front window of our bakery. The next 2 days are holidays for WWOOFER's here, so he will get a chance to relax a bit and probably take a closer look at Callington Mill. Best of wishes to you in Canada, Graham

Live bakery temperatures from Companion Bakery are now showing at the top of this page. Thank you Maedi for all your hard coding work. The graph looks great and I can't wait to have fun taking a closer look at what the readout reveals about temperature management in this bakery.

Tomorrow we are going to bake another batch of Pumpernickel, aiming for air temps of 120C start, descending to 100C over about 18 to 20 hours. The 'Oven Crown Bricks' temperature will be watched as air temp is generally 35C - 40C less than the crown brick temp. Thanks again. Graham

 

and when I rebooted my laptop and reconnected this page loaded with the following error message:

Webpage error details

User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 8.0; Windows NT 5.1; Trident/4.0; .NET CLR 1.1.4322; .NET CLR 3.0.04506.30; .NET CLR 3.0.4506.2152; .NET CLR 3.5.30729; MDDS; Zune 4.7; .NET CLR 2.0.50727; BRI/2)
Timestamp: Sun, 6 May 2012 23:54:10 UTC


Message: 'console' is undefined
Line: 2258
Char: 5
Code: 0
URI: http://sourdough.com/bread/js/js_9600056358f8d911c51da71e697b5b34.js

Don't know if this can help Maedi. I don't have a temperature graph in IE but it's showing in Firefox but the camera is stuck at 9:17 in both browsers.

Thanks Old Possum. I have sent Maedi a text about this, he might not get a chance to look until later tonight due to work commitments. No problem for me viewing graph in Chrome, but both graph and camera frozen at 9:17 same as you. Graham

which is great!