The Fresh Loaf

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Please help me size dutch oven for sourdough

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beakernz's picture
beakernz

Please help me size dutch oven for sourdough

Hi,

I am starting out making sourdough.  My proofing basket is round 22cm and my loaf will be 750gm loaf.  I am going to buy a Le Creuset dutch oven for this bread but am completely lost as to the best size.  They vary quite a lot.  My options are at this site:

would this one work?

http://www.home-essentials.co.nz/Le_Creuset__Flame_Round_Casserole_26cm-details.aspx

Thanks!

MichaelH's picture
MichaelH

Buy the biggest  one they  make. Then anything you bake will fit.

beakernz's picture
beakernz

So the side walls of the oven don't really play a role in the height of the loaf?  I guess the loaf is mostly formed and shaped before placing it in the dutch oven so it doesn't matter.   Thanks

Donkey_hot's picture
Donkey_hot

They do.  If you place a reasonably hydrated dough in a pot that is too big for it, you'll get a flatter loaf.   For your 750g boule, the  4qt pot is a better choice than 5 qt.    However, 5 qt dutch oven is a universal size that would work for almost all culinary projects. 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

alternatives.  I got a huge Mario Batali Enameled CI that any bread can fit in at Costco for $69 - it has proven every bit as goodas any other.  I got a small and medium enameled CI Martha Stewart at Macy's for $29 and $39 for the two - onn sale.  All together they were less than half the cost of  the large LaCrueset.  Plenty of money was left over to buy 3 -4  CI combo cookers which is the best to a bread in - in my book.  But everyone is different when it comes to their kitchen tools.

BurntMyFingers's picture
BurntMyFingers

I have a 5 qt Lodge cast iron dutch oven that's the perfect size for the loaf you describe and it cost me around $30 in the US. The Tartine Bread book, source of the recipe I use frequently, recommends 7 qt but a smaller oven will capture more of the steam which is what you want. As long as the loaf does not climb up the sides of your pan you are OK. I've made a miche in my DO, at well over 1 kg, and it's too small for that.

As to Le Creuset, be sure it doesn't have a plastic knob on top. Word is that those melt at the higher temps you're likely to use for baking bread. Good luck--Otis

Donkey_hot's picture
Donkey_hot

5 qt would work for the larger loafs, for 750g even a 4qt would work just fine.

beakernz's picture
beakernz

Thanks guys, I plan to go with a brand name due to issues with glazing from china brands containing lead and cadmium.  Not exactly something I want to ingest.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

diameter DO and find it more than plenty if room for free standing loaves 1750g.  If your basket is 22, I would go with a 22cm or more.  

When I use the DO as the bread form (bread pan) raising the dough in it, then I tend to use a smaller diameter because it will hold up the sides of the loaf.  Then it is important that the inside curve from bottom to side wall appeals to me.

beakernz's picture
beakernz

I ended up with this big daddy:



http://www.home-essentials.co.nz/Le_Chasseur_Cream_Round_Cast_Iron_Casserole_28cm-details.aspx

It was on clearance and I'm sure will last me for many years..  not just for bread but a variety of things :)

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

the lid handle off you can break off a wet chopstick in the  hole to seal it up.... or a small cylinder of aluminum foil.   DO SD bread baking will soon be yours.  I'm taking a tip from Mini to use my smallest  Enameled CI to support a 100% hydration, 100% whole grain pumpernickel bread later this week.  Cold DO going into a hot oven .

Enjoy your DO and happy baking.

pjkobulnicky's picture
pjkobulnicky

change out the knob for a metal one. At 450F the standard Le Creuset know will disintegrate with an awful smell.

Paul

bob13's picture
bob13

I have had very good success with the non glazed lodge CI dutch oven,  and their combo cooker.  Both make excellent bread and I have no reason to spend the extra on a glazed dutch oven.  A little TLC and sticking nor rust are an issue.