The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

First Try Cast Iron Bread

bob13's picture

First Try Cast Iron Bread

Although I've been "lurking in the weeds" for a while, this is my first real try at home bread baking other than with my bread machine.  I'll try to post a picture, but I am not too sure how to do that so it might go proof somewhere in the cyber oven.  Anyway, I watched the you tube video on "Pain e Campagne" from Daniel Leaders Bread Alone, which I have a copy of, and followed it very closely.  The biggest thing is time ran away on me so I had to put the bowl in the fridge overnight for final proof.  Preheated the Lodge Combo Kooker that my wife gave me for Christmas, and ........away we go.......!  You can image my surprise as things actually did what they were suppose to, and even though I was temped to remove the cover and peak during the baking process, I was good and did not remove the lid until after the initial 15 minutes at 450 F.    SURPRISE, SURPRISE, the bread was at the top of the dutch oven and looked pretty good (not only to eat, but eye appeal with the slits I had made), when the lid came off.  After another 17 minutes out it came and sure enough did not stick to the cast iron at all, in fact almost had it slide out onto the floor when I turned away from the oven.  While it was on the cooling rack I actually heard the "crackling" of the cooling crust and remembered reading on this site that this was an excellent sound to hear.  Had to go for a walk to keep from cutting it before it was cool, but when I got back was it ever DELICOUS.  

I am sure all of you pros have experienced this joy so many times  that it no longer amazes you as it does us newbie.  Just wanted to share my enthusiam, maybe rejuvenate a slightly tired baker, and encourage other newbies to keep reading and don't be afraid to get your hands all flour.  Thank you to all of you folks who continue to post on this site for we novice to learn and grow.

pmccool's picture

Welcome to TFL!  It sounds like you had a great bake.  I'm still tickled to haul bread that looks, smells, sounds, and tastes wonderful from my oven.


FlourChild's picture


Sounds like a wonderful bake, keep it up. :)

rolls's picture

I'm no where near being an expert lol but I hav baked heaps of bread and I still hav that same reaction :) final proof was in a normal bowl? And u baked it in a preheated Dutch oven? Thanks

bob13's picture

Yes, the final proof was done in a ceramic bowl from a set we have, nothing special about it other than I kept it covered with plastic wrap so it would not dry out and "skin" over.  I did line the bowl with parchment paper so I could transfer it to the preheated dutch oven and not worry about deflating  the loaf.  I have had issues in the past with getting the "fragile" dough out of the bowl with out deflating it, guess my hands are too large and I do not have a delicate touch so the paper helps as I can lift it out by the four corners very gently.  This is one of the several ideas I found while reading this forum.  The dutch oven and lid went into the convection oven at 500F about 20 minutes before the dough went in.  After placing the dough into the dutch oven, I lifted one corner of the parchment paper and poured in 1/4 cup of hot water being careful not to get any water on the dough and lowered the oven temp to 400F.  That really produced the steam and I put the lid on as quickly as possible.  


I must say that even though it sounds rather complicated, it was very easy to follow and the results were beyond my expectations.  Feel free to ask any other questions so we can all learn together and improve on our skills.  I will answer answer all that come along.   Enjoy