The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

The proper pot for no knead

cogito45's picture
cogito45

The proper pot for no knead

I just bought the most beautiful covered pot and am about to make no knead bread.  Possible problem:  the diameter of the pot at the lip is 3/4 in. less than down below.  How will I get the bread out?  Can I succesfully let it cool in the pot, and will the bread shrink when cool?  If letting it cool in the pot is o.k. but it won't shrink,  how about cutting it into pieces while still in the pot?  All ideas will be much appreciated.

LindyD's picture
LindyD

That's the secret of both lowering the dough into the pot (which I presume you are going to preheat) and lifting the bread after the bake.

Cut the parchment into wide strips and form a cross inside a bowl.  Place the dough on it and when you're ready to bake, you can remove the hot new pot from the oven, place it carefully on a good trivet, then grasping the parchment, lift it and the dough and place it into the hot pot, which is then moved back into the oven. 

This has worked well for me using my Lodge cast iron dutch oven with nary a burn.

You don't want to cut the bread until it is fully cool.

Have a great bake!

 

cogito45's picture
cogito45

 

My Pot

 

 

 

 

home/bob/desktop/dcp_0235.jpg

 

I know.  I'm a lousy photographer.  The top diameter is 8 1/4 in. and down below, it is 9 in.   I wish you could see it; It is earthenware, very heavy, white glaze on the inside and deep cobalt blue on outside and lid.  Re. the parchment X, what prevents the bread from expanding out, pinning the parchment against the wall?  Thanks for the responses so far.  this really is a community, isn't it? Thanks especially to Fred for making this all possible.

home/bob/desktop/dcp_0235.jpg

 

I know.  I'm a lousy photographer.  The top diameter is 8 1/4 in. and down below, it is 9 in.   I wish you could see it; It is earthenware, very heavy, white glaze on the inside and deep cobalt blue on outside and lid.  Re. the parchment X, what prevents the bread from expanding out, pinning the parchment against the wall?  Thanks for the responses so far.  this really is a community, isn't it? Thanks especially to Fred for making this all possible.

 

I know.  I'm a lousy photographer.  The top diameter is 8 1/4 in. and down below, it is 9 in.   I wish you could see it; It is earthenware, very heavy, white glaze on the inside and deep cobalt blue on outside and lid.  Re. the parchment X, what prevents the bread from expanding out, pinning the parchment against the wall?  Thanks for the responses so far.  this really is a community, isn't it? Thanks especially to Fred for making this all possible.

PaddyL's picture
PaddyL

If your pot is that much narrower at the top than at the bottom, I think you could have a problem, and cutting it in two while it's still hot won't help.  Bread doesn't shrink 3/4 of an inch during, or after,  baking.  If you're determined to bake in that pot, the only way I can see that you might be able to work it, is to turn the pot upside down when the bread is done and letting it cool that way, but propped up on something as you would an angel food cake, so the top isn't touching anything.  Then, when it's completely cooled, turn it over and slice it in two.  The only alternative would be to find another pot.  When the no-knead bread first burst onto the scene, I wanted to try it too, but the only pots we had that were oven proof were pots as you describe yours, narrower at the top.  So I've never made that bread, although I understand it can also be made in bread pans.

Dwu3193's picture
Dwu3193

What's the diameter of the bottom and top of the pot? Even if the top is narrower than the bottom, the loaf might not spread that much. Also, could you post a picture of the pot?

cogito45's picture
cogito45

 

 

 

I know.  I'm a lousy photographer.  The top diameter is 8 1/4 in. and down below, it is 9 in.   I wish you could see it; It is earthenware, very heavy, white glaze on the inside and deep cobalt blue on outside and lid.  Re. the parchment X, what prevents the bread from expanding out, pinning the parchment against the wall?  Thanks for the responses so far.  this really is a community, isn't it? Thanks especially to Floyd for making this all possible.

mcs's picture
mcs

I think this is similar to what you're talking about where it's narrower at the top than in the middle.  As was mentioned above, (and as you fear) your bread won't shrink enough to get it out after it's cooked.  I think your only option is to cook a loaf that's small enough so it doesn't rise up to a level that's wider than the top opening of your pot.

-Mark

http://TheBackHomeBakery.com

Oh, and it's Floyd, not Fred.

 

LindyD's picture
LindyD

Re. the parchment X, what prevents the bread from expanding out, pinning the parchment against the wall?  

The parchment won't stick to the wall.  That said, my brain wasn't in gear when I first read your post and now that Mark has shown us his pretty bean pot, I can understand your dilemma.

I got into a flight of fancy trying to come up with some way you could use the pot - like placing a bottomless/topless can inside the pot to contain the dough - but sometimes my ideas backfire.

bassopotamus's picture
bassopotamus

I would try a smaller loaf of something that doesn't spread too much during baking, but personally, I think this is just kind of looking for trouble.I do all my no knead just on a sheet or baguette pan with no problems, so long as you steam the oven. Alternately, a cast iron dutch oven is useful for all kinds of stuff and not that expensive. I got a Le Cruset knock off from Sam's for 40 dollars. You'd wan't to take the top handle off if baking at high heat (it is some kind of oven safe plastic and only rated like 400) but that is no biggy. The lodge dutch oven is really standard too, is around 55 bucks (give or take) and both are perfect for bread.

cogito45's picture
cogito45

I tried it anyway, and was lucky - The bread didn't expand much and simply fell out.  Thanks for all the support.  The bread was great.