I have been spending waaaay too much time reading all of the interesting comments and hints - love the way people jump in to help. So I decided I have to try to do this "blog" thing - my kids think it is hysterical that Nana is learning such skills. Hope you will bear with me. I made a loaf of nkb today, using 1 cup of white whole wheat and 2 of bread flour (both King Arthur.) My dough was slightly firmer than the last loaf so the folding and shaping was easy. I placed the ball of dough on a square of parchment and dropped it into my banneton, and placed that on top of my propane stove which has the pilot light on still. I have tried several baking containers and have gone back to my stainless steel Dutch oven. I bought a Lodge preseasoned one and got charred bottom crusts each time, and I even bought a wide terracotta flower pot which worked well as long as I remembered the square of parchment over the hole! I was getting gummy crumb and scorched crusts when I tried to bake the bread for a longer time. I also figured I was dropping the dough and deflating it, hence the square of parchment paper. Now I lift the paper and gently lower it into my heated pot - great oven spring and no more gummy crumb. I am pre-heating to 450* and baking for 30 minutes with the lid on, then lowering to 400* for another 20 minutes. The crumb isn't as "holey" with the bread flour but the flavor is good. In case you think I only make the blob in the pot as I think someone called it, last week I made Mike Avery's Micha ( I think) bread using the stretch and fold method he shows on his video. What fun, and so delicious.
Maybe I should have introduced myself first? I am retired and live on Whidbey Island near Seattle. I have a senior one eyed Pug and recently adopted a senior Bengal cat from WAIF, the shelter here on Whidbey. Plus we live in a senior park. My only 2 grandchildren are here, and they LOVE Nana's bread. My son here is building their house and my daughter-in-law is the gardener on a large private estate. My other son lives in Paso Robles, CA, and I recently sent him some of my sourdough starter. He seems to be having fun with it and impressing his friends - they made pizzas last week. Not quite sure what the rules are about rambling. Just wanted to say how much I enjoy The Fresh Loaf, thank you.