The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Baking Bread on the Big Green Egg's picture

Baking Bread on the Big Green Egg

Just started using my new XL Big Green Egg to bake bread. I use a starter and levain toprepare my dough according to Tartine Bread. I use a pan with boiling water and towel in the baking chamber for the first twenty minutes of the bake. I remove the steam source after twenty mins and finish the bake for another twenty minutes. The bottom of  the loaf is very dark, but I have a very light crust, virtually no blistering and no carmelization. I ran the temp at about 500 then tried to correct back to around 450' with less than successful results.  My oven spring was marginal to pretty good. I am thinking I need to become better at temperature control. However I am interested to learn of other peoples suggestion for doing bread on the BGE. in particular I would like to hear experiences with using the water pans as a steam source as opposed to Chad Robertson's Dutch oven technique. I have used the Dutch oven with very good success in a conventional oven, however I can only bake one loaf at a time and it must be boule.  Suggestions and experiences areappreciated.  

DerekL's picture

How long did you preheat the Egg for?   It takes a good half an hour or more after you reach your target temperature for the dome to fully preheat.

Did you use a stone and was it also preheated?  Was the Egg set up for direct or raised indirect?  If indirect, was the plate setter also preheated?

Also, you need to minimize the amount of time the dome is open and the number of times it is opened.  You lose a lot of heat each time.

Yeah, lots of questions about preheat and management, but those are the keys to the Egg, especially at high temps.'s picture

I preheated for at least 45 mins.  I felt the temperature was stable.  I had the plate setter (legs up) with grill then the pizza stone.  All of this was preheated.  I take your point about minimizing time the lid is open.  I opened to put the water baths on the stone; I closed let come back to temp; I slashed the loaves outside the oven; I opened to slide the loaves on to the stone (used parchment with great success); closed the dome for 20 mins.; opened the dome to remove the water baths; finished baking for 20 mins.  I need to get a bit better at temp control, and need some more experience with the procedure.  I'm trying to figure if this is generally the correct procedure.  In particular, is using water baths the best or good enough way to steam the dome?


tikidoc's picture

Do you have an infrared thermometer?  I have not done much bread on my ceramic grill (I have a large GrillDome) but I have done quite a bit of pizza.  It takes a while to get the dome temp up, even when the stone is more than hot enough.

gerhard's picture

I have a Large Green Egg and I had the same problem that the bottom burned befor the top had the colour I wanted.  What fixed the problem was raising the pizza stone off the place setter using the three ceramic feet that come with the egg.  I think with the pizza stone right on the plate setter you are getting a lot of conducted heat through the stone.  I baked between 500 and 550 F.



P.S.  The interior of the Green Egg tends to be more humid than ovens are so I wonder if the water bath is just over kill.  All I did was spritz the surface of the bread with water and then put it in the egg, 2 minutes later I pulled the parchment  and gave the bread one more spritz of water.  Total bake time was around 30 minutes, I controlled the temperature with the bottom vent and left the top vent off completely.  I guess I did not read carefully enough you had the platesetter legs up, I bake legs down.  The reason for baking with legs down is that you have a convection effect as the heat comes around the platesetter.  I think there are those that think legs down is hard on the felt, if I have to replace the gasket sooner rather than later well that will be the price I pay.

tikidoc's picture

A new gasket can be had for under $15, and a special "high temperature" gasket, good up to 1000F is about $20.  Compared to the cost of the grill, it's pretty trivial.'s picture

I have the standard dial thermometer that comes with the BGE.  It is brand new, so I can't imagine it could be that far off.