The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

1st Loaf Using Superstone Covered Baker

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blueboy2419's picture
blueboy2419

1st Loaf Using Superstone Covered Baker

Just come out of the oven so I haven't tasted it yet but I have to say it looks good!

First time using the Sassafras oblong covered baker from BakeryBits and I have to say I'm impressed.

After reading through previous posts, I decided to do the final proof in the baker rather than preheat it. No danger of getting burned when putting the dough in the baker and my other half is happy I'm not using semolina to transfer to the oven.

I was worried that putting the cold baker into the hot oven might shock it or that there might be little oven spring but it seems fine on both counts,

I can't wait to taste this because it's also my first 'Beer Bread'. I replaced the water in the recipe with a stout from a local small brewery: The Liverpool Organic Brewery

These things take far too long to cool down !!!

Floydm's picture
Floydm

Looks great.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

but what does this fine superstone baker look like?  We love stout in bread too:-)

Happy baking

blueboy2419's picture
blueboy2419

Sorry, thought this peice of kit was well known but I think it has a different name on your side of the pond

I got mine from BakeryBits.co.uk but I think they are more readily available (and cheaper!) in the States: http://www.breadtopia.com/store/oblong-la-cloche.html

;-)

 

 

jims's picture
jims

Beautiful! When you cut into it please send us a photo of the crumb.

jims

Antilope's picture
Antilope

I received a Sassafras oblong covered baker over the holidays. So far I have made 2 loaves of French bread, starting in a cold oven each time. They came out great. The baker makes a great, crispy, crunchy crust on the loaf.

Here's the recipe I use in the covered baker:


French Bread in Covered Baker
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Makes one 2-lb loaf. (I used a Sassafras Superstone 14.5" Covered Baker). The sourdough starter is used to add flavor, not sour, with the short rise times in this recipe. I use it as an old dough (pate fermentee).
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1 1/3 cups - 10.6 oz (300 g) Warm Water
3/4 cup - 7 oz (200 g) Sourdough Starter - 100% hydration, cold from the fridge
2 teaspoons - 0.28 oz (8 g) White Granulated Sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons - 0.25 oz (7 g) Instant Yeast, or 1 packet
2 teaspoons - 0.43 oz (12 g) Table Salt
4 cups - 17 oz (480 g) All Purpose Flour and Bread Flour (2 cups of each)
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You may have to adjust the water or flour slightly, depending on the hydration of your starter. I bake by weights (grams), so the volume measurements are a close approximation.
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Attach bowl and whisk attachment to Kitchen-aid mixer.
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Add water to mixing bowl.
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Weigh out starter and add to water in mixer bowl.
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Dissolve yeast in water in mixer bowl. Add sugar.
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Mix on Speed 2 for 1 or 2 minutes until well mixed.
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Remove whisk attachment and add dough hook to mixer.
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Mix table salt into dry flour.
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Add flour to mixer bowl. Turn to Speed 2 and mix about 1 minute, or until well blended.
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Knead on Speed 2 about 4 minutes longer. Dough will be slightly sticky, but the dough should not stick to the bowl, to any great extent.
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Remove dough from bowl, form dough into a ball and allow to rest on breadboard 10 minutes.
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Perform stretch and fold on dough. Form a ball. Cover with a bowl and allow to rest 10 minutes.
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Perform second stretch and fold on dough. Cover with a bowl and allow to rest 10 minutes.
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Perform third stretch and fold on dough. Let dough rest 5 minutes.
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Coat inside of covered baker (inside top and inside bottom) with cooking oil. Sprinkle bottom with cornmeal.
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Form dough into long loaf, place in covered baker.
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Cover. Let rise in warm place, like an off oven, about 1 hour, or until doubled in bulk.
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With sharp knife, make 3 diagonal cuts on top of loaf, 1/4" deep. Replace lid. Place in oven.
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Start in a cold oven. Set temperature at 425°F and bake, covered, for 40 minutes.
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Remove covered baker lid. Bake, uncovered, 10 more minutes (for a total of 50 minutes) or until golden brown and center of loaf reaches 205°F.
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Remove from oven, remove loaf from covered baker and allow to cool before slicing.

blueboy2419's picture
blueboy2419

Thanks all for comments so far, especially the French bread recipe, must try it.

Anyway, here's an update and a pic of the crumb:

 

Waiting for it to cool was agony but well worth it. The body of the bread is lovely and soft and the crust is really crunchy. Even though I used a chocolate stout, I am really surprised at how sweet the bread is. The taste is quite delicious and I could gladly eat the whole loaf in one sitting.

The Brewery have about 30 different cask ales and I think I might like to try the Imperial Russian Stout next.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

thanks for the link to the clay baker.  I have a Romertopf but yours has a much better shape that was made for bread then the odd triangular shape (looking on end)  of the Romertopf.... Looks like you have a real winner.  I wonder if you soaked it in water for a few minutes before putting the bread in.. it would add more steam?  Worth a try maybe.

Happy Baking 

blueboy2419's picture
blueboy2419

Thought about soaking initally but then thought I'd try and go down the seasoning route to make it non stick. The stone is porous so the dough would stick I think. I've put a coat of olive oil in it and intend to do this regularly to season it.

For the proofing and baking I lined it with parchment paper. The dough was at 70% hydration and the top of the baker is a pretty good fit. I guess this keeps enough steam within the chamber looking at the crust it produced.

As Bakingmadtoo says, the same company do a round version of the baker, which also looks good. Prices in the UK are pretty high though with an amost equal $ £ exchange rate compared to US prices. Don't know why because they are made in China !!!

CAphyl's picture
CAphyl

This looks fantastic, and thanks for sharing the recipe.  I have the same covered baker and am going to try this for my next bake.  CAphyl

CAphyl's picture
CAphyl

Blueboy2419:  I just baked the bread and posted the photo on the blog site, giving credit to you for the wonderful recipe.  As I said in my blog comment, it is really a small world.  My husband and I live in California, and he is from Liverpool, and we were just there for the holidays.  We actually have a place there right off The Strand.  I did a lot of baking over the holidays and brought my sourdough starter with me from the U.S. in checked luggage. We will try the brewery for sure, when we are over for our niece's wedding this year.  When I went to the web site of the brewery after you mentioned it,  I saw that there is the St. George's Beer Festival on when we will be in town, so my husband will be "made up" with that. (We watch as many of the Liverpool games as we can when we are in California, and, of course, all of them when we are in town.  My husband went to Anfield when we were visiting in December.)  Thanks again for the recipe.  I believe I will be making this one again.  Best,  CAphyl

blueboy2419's picture
blueboy2419

CAphyl - Glad you enjoyed your last visit here, where in Liverpool is your hubby from? He probably won't be too glad that I support the other team here, Everton. It's a family thing.

The Beer Festival at St Georges Hall in September will be the 2nd on there and if it's anything like the 2013 one it will be well worth a visit. I will be working there as an unpaid (apart from free beer) volunteer, I'd lookout for an american accent but I'm guessing your husband hasn't got one. If you spot a barman named Peter, it's probably me !

I think you might be giving me undeserved credit for the French Bread recipe, it was posted in a reply to my post by Antilope. Fine bread it is too.

Roll on September

CAphyl's picture
CAphyl

Peter:  An Evertonian!  Believe me, I understand the "family" thing when it comes to football.  Everyone in my husband's family is red, and I mean REALLY red.  My niece's boyfriend is blue and an Everton supporter, and he gets endless stick from everyone.  Both Everton and Liverpool didn't play so well last game with both drawing.  I assume you will be watching the big game next week. It's at Anfield, I believe.  I have to say I do like Tim Howard, your American goalie!  My husband lived in Norris Green for most of his childhood, and his sister and her husband are still there--they worked at Sayers until they went into bankruptcy and the company was sold. My husband's accent is quite muted as he has lived in the U.S. for more than 30 years.  His family's accents are very strong, but I have come to understand them as I have been visiting Liverpool since 1981.  I guess I am an honorary Scouser. I am so proud of Liverpool and its redevelopment after the Capital of Culture in 2008 and the development of Liverpool One.  It's fantastic!

It is interesting that I saw that some tickets are already sold out for the beer festival in September!  It must be quite popular.  Hope to see you there.  Best,  Phyllis

Antilope's picture
Antilope

The only problem with good bread...It disappears too fast (well that and the calories). ;-)

Antilope's picture
Antilope

When I received my covered oblong baker I worried about where to store it safely. Then I looked at a stainless steel bread box that I already owned, but never use. It was a perfect fit. I wrap each piece of the covered baker in a kitchen tea towel and stack it in the stainless steel bread box. Perfect fit and the baker is protected while stored.

Here's one at Amazon.

Storage bread box

http://www.amazon.com/Brushed-Stainless-Rolltop-2-Loaf-Capacity/dp/B006PX0XO4/

Here's a picture of the covered baker

http://www.amazon.com/Sassafras-SuperStone-14-5-Covered-Baker/dp/B00004S1DW/

 

Bakingmadtoo's picture
Bakingmadtoo

That looks like fabulous bread. The crust looks so beautifully crisp and crackly. I have that and the round one. I love them. I just wish that the oblong one was a bit wider. I don't preheat either. I think I might try your tip and prove my next loaf in it. 

COLC's picture
COLC

I was about to purchase a Sassafras oblong baker but have been reading several horror stories of the base breaking/cracking after a few months. would be interested in the comments of anyone here having  this problem. At around $100 here in Australia thery are not cheap.

Antilope's picture
Antilope

I don't subject the Sassafras Oblong Baker to thermal shocks. I start it in a cold oven. I don't trust preheating and dropping cold dough into it or placing it in a hot oven.

Have you tried an ordinary metal cooking pot with a tight fitting lid? That should provide about the same baking environment in a round shape.

COLC's picture
COLC

I have a Schlemmertopf Clay baker but looking for something that will fit in the oven at the same time, I have always used the preheat method and as my doughs are usually pretty slack I proof them on Baking Paper and lift straight in to the hot Schlemmertopf, it would be difficult to combine the two methods, incidentally how long do you bake starting off with a cold oven? my 100% wholemeal method  takes about 30 minutes. I did see a comment that said the oblong model was too shallow to make a sandwich loaf; do you agree?

Antilope's picture
Antilope

They take 50 minutes to bake at 425-F (218-C) from a room temperature start. My natural gas oven takes 10 minutes to come up to baking temperature. I make a torpedo shaped loaf using 1 kg of dough, before baking.

The interior size of the Sassafras Oblong Baker is 13.5-in (34.3 cm) long, 4.25-in (10.8 cm) wide and 4.5-in (11.4 cm) tall. These are the middle average measurements for width and length, which taper and lose maybe 0.5-in (1.25 cm) from each dimension at the top and bottom of the baker. I've just measured it.

The material it's made from is somewhat similar to unglazed pottery or even similar to a terracotta flower pot and about the same thickness.