Scorching problems with Jim Lahey no-knead bread recipes
I have been using the Jim Lahey no-knead bread method for several months, and with great success. The flour I use is organic, from Natural Way Mills of Middle River, Minnesota: Gold N White unbleached, containing the germ, as well as their whole wheat flour. I get a beautiful, chewy interior and a crisp crust, and magnificent flavor. However Lahey is a fan of scorched crusts, and I am not. The problem is with the bottom crust, on which, whether I use all unbleached white flour or a mixture of UB white and whole wheat, or rye, or semolina (2:1), there is always a circle of scorching about one inch within the bottom perimeter of the loaf. I use a Lodge cast iron Dutch oven, 5 1/2 quart size. This occurs using his temperature, 475 F, baking dough covered for 30 minutes, then uncovered for 6 - 10 minutes, until interior temperature is 195 - 200 degrees F. The last few minutes of covered baking I can smell the scorching begin. I've tried lowering the baking temperature to 450, and while the circle of scorching was very, very light, I did not get as good a spring or as wonderful an interior texture or flavor. Can anyone help with this problem?