The Fresh Loaf

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The proper pot for no knead

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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.

Evanswood's picture
Evanswood

I agree with the previous sentiments that using a pot with a much smaller mouth then base will only end up with you getting the bread stuck. I have successfully used a Pyrex casserole dish for 18 months and have had no problems with cracking or shattering. I would recommend using one.

BreadHound's picture
BreadHound

Corningware's French white ROUND baking dishes work great for baking round loaves.  I only greased the bottom of my dishes and wow! got a nice dome shaped loaf that was well crusted on top and just fell out of the dish when ready.  I did not use the glass lid but might try it next time. I'm not even going to get a lacloche baker! I also use the pan of water on the lower rack and a cold oven to start, at 450 degs for 10 mins, then lower temp to 350.  Use a peice of foil on top if it looks like getting too brown.  Let me know how it works if anyone tries it.


Breadhound

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.

Nancy Baggett's picture
Nancy Baggett

Hi,


I hate to tell you, but I learned the hard way that the opening at the top of the pot has be as large as or larger than the bottom, or you can't get the bread out in one piece. (You can cut the loaf into pieces and remove servings, so the bread isn't wasted, though). I learned this while testing the pot breads for my new book Kneadlessly Simple--all recipes are "kneadless" and a good number are pot breads. (If you want to try my Pale Ale Pot Boule, it's posted on my website, www.kitchenlane.com. You don't even have to shape it--the wet dough just gets inverted into the pot--yet it ends up just fine.) Here are some other tips: 


>Those very pretty but pricey French pots are not the only ones that will work: Seasoned plain cast iron pots, which are much cheaper, will do just as well. And some of these plain cast iron pots come already seasoned and ready to use. Enamel-coated carbon steel pans will also work--they are a little lighter, so easier to lug around, but tend to have hot spots, so I always bake a a slightly lower temp with them.


>Many pot bread recipes circulating around today call for pots that are larger than is optimum. Loaves that call for 1- to 1 1/2-pounds of flour will dome more and look better if baked in a 3 1/2 to 4 quart pot. (A 3-quart pot with a domed lid will work, too.) The 6-quart pot often called for result in loaves that flatten out too much, although, of course, they taste fine.


>Since some pot bread recipes call for preheating the pot at high heat, be sure the knob of the pot selected is heat-tolerant. I've bought several great pots--the Lodge enameled Dutch oven for example--with knobs that could only be heated to 400 or so degrees. I was able to use the Lodge pot anyway--I just unscrewed the phenolic knob and replaced it with a brass one I bought at the hardware store.


Hope this is helpful. Happy Baking!


Nancy Baggett


 


 

BreadHound's picture
BreadHound

My next adventure is to try a 3 qt. crockpot (just the liner) inside the oven. Seems like the bread would dome great and be just the right size. Plenty of room at the top too. I will keep ya posted.


Breadhound