baking bread in a dutch oven vs other methods
I started baking bread recently mainly because my husband bought a dutch oven for another purpose, and I wanted to use it. So I tried the basic Bittman no knead recipe and fell in love. Since then I have made semolina bread, rye bread, sourdough bread, etc. etc. using this method. Then I found this site, and realized that perhaps there were breads I could make using other methods. But I admit to some confusion. People seem to go to great lengths to get effects that one can get easily using a dutch oven. I am thinking in particular of stones and steam. So my question is why not just cook in a pot even when you are not doing no knead? At least one reason comes to mind which is shape - all my dutch oven breads are round, and sometimes I long for a longer loaf. But are there others, or are people just used to their methods and not anxious to switch over to another simpler one? Even though I don't know the answer to this question I tried cooking today with a stone (a 1 ft square, 1 inch thick block of raw granite from home depot) and with a steam pan. I made a whole wheat flax seed batard (hurray) and the crust came out great, etc. but it was a bit more of a production than just throwing it in a dutch oven. Any thoughts on this? Thanks!