The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Eliminating the danger in Artisan Breads

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Janknitz's picture
Janknitz

Eliminating the danger in Artisan Breads

I made the basic bread from Jim Lahey's My Bread without the danger--I'm just too chicken to try to throw my dough into a screaming hot pot.   


After the 18 hour bulk fermentation, I did the single stretch and fold called for (impressive that this single stretch and fold had such a dramatic effect on the dough!) and simply placed my boule in the base of my clay baker (at room temperature) for its final proofing.  


I did heat the lid as I preheat the oven.  Since I didn't have to deal with overturning slack dough into a screaming hot pot, I scored the dough before baking (can't find my lame--grrrrr--had to use kitchen scissors!)


I followed the directions from that point on, leaving the dough covered in the oven for 30 minutes and then removing the lid until it was done.  It had a lovely crust (not as rustic looking, since I didn't need to use bran or other agents to prevent that side from sticking during the final proofing), great oven spring, and wonderfully irregular crumb.  


I didn't even get to taste it--I brought it to work and it was gone before I had a chance to grab a piece, so I guess it was good.  


I think this would work equally well for any covered vessel.  My theory is that preheating the pot is not necessary and I'm curious about how this works for people with heavy ceramic dutch ovens and the like.  


 

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Hi janknitz,


Obviously this is something a number of folk are wondering about as there has been quite a bit of posting on the this topic recently, as on this thread:


http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/20746/hot-versus-cold-dutch-oven-baking-experiment


Kind regards, Daisy_A

AnnaInMD's picture
AnnaInMD

They tell us not to preheat but to soak the lid for 10 minutes in cold water. 


anna

Janknitz's picture
Janknitz

It's an inexpensive terracotta  clay baker similar to a La Cloche--the base is deeper and glazed inside and the dome is more shallow.  At first I was tying to load dough into the heated base and even with parchment I was having difficulty.  Once I learned that you can load the dough at room temperature and it wouldn't explode in the hot oven there was no going back.


BTW, the bottom of my crust was very nicely browned and firm, too. 


 

AnnaInMD's picture
AnnaInMD

It is so much easier to work with a room-temp anything. You are having great success !!


 

flournwater's picture
flournwater

Frankly, the "danger" isn't in artisan breads but the method used for baking a particular variety of artisan bread.  It's dangerous just working around a hot oven so I don't get too concerned about one more hot surface to contend with.  I prefer to use the pre-heated vessel for a firmer bottom crust and for the fact that steam in the vessel develops more quickly if it's preheated.  I find that there is a difference in the quality of the crust of breads baked in a cold vessel vs a preheated vessel.

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

I always get better oven spring and crust.  Sally just posted her boule which is beautiful using a cold oven start...so others may pre-fer this method.  I think the results I get from a cold start, good or bad...will always be 'better' with a hot oven and vessel, IMHO.


Sylvia

Davefs's picture
Davefs

The only"danger"for me is sitting sown and eation an entire loaf!

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

I never did like that part about making no-knead bread.  Tossing it into the hot pot does get easier after a few tries and a planned attack!  Watching how it's done on http://www.breadtopia.com  helps...he makes it look so easy, but then he also uses the LaCloche which is a lot easier than a high sided pot!


Sylvia

subfuscpersona's picture
subfuscpersona

I do the final proof directly in my cast iron dutch oven. The oven is preheated but (obviously) the dutch oven is not.


RISEN DOUGH IN CAST IRON DUTCH OVEN READY TO BAKE



 


Here's the result of the bake


FINAL LOAVES



 


For more info, see http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/20715/baking-bread-cast-iron-no-preheat-method