The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Can I use an enamel pot for "Jim Lahey method" bread?

poorlittlefish's picture
poorlittlefish

Can I use an enamel pot for "Jim Lahey method" bread?

I have a large ceramic casserole dish that I've been using to bake bread in but I find it very heavy and awkward to pull out of the oven, so I don't see it lasting long before getting dropped! Could I get the same results from a lightweight enamel dish and would I have to grease it? I'm thinking along the lines of one of these:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Round-Enamel-Roaster-White-Cookwear/dp/B001E3YSDW/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1364249529&sr=8-7

or http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B003WC75MY/ref=gno_cart_title_2?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A2X5QKTIJPT88W

I thought an oval one would allw me to make both boules and batards?


carefreebaker's picture
carefreebaker

I have experimented with different baking vessels for Lahey's method. All have been successful and one was the oval enameled roaster. I bought an oval willow basket for $1 at Goodwill. (I bought an extra enameled roaster at Goodwill for $4.) I line it with parchment and let the dough rise in it before baking. I lift the parchment into the roaster. I put the roaster on the middle shelf of my oven. With all my bakes, after 30 minutes covered, I remove the loaf from the vessel and put it on the rack to finish the bake.

pepperhead212's picture
pepperhead212

But lightweight probably would not work too well. If you put a thin enameled pan into a very hot oven, you will probably get hot spots, and burned bread. It is the thickness and heaviness of cast iron and clay casseroles that makes them so good - like a baking stone compared to a thin baking sheet.

I have a 5 qt oval and a 9 qt oval LC casserole and they are great for bread. I rarely use the 9 qt, but once in a while I want that size.

Dave

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

Floyd had posted a review of a bread kit that included an enameled pan, which produced good results.

And yes, you will want to grease your pan before puttin the dough into it.

Paul

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

great top notch breads that Song of the Baker makes in his cheapo enameled turkey roaster. 

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/user/song-baker

I too get many DFO's for bread at Goodwill on Dollar Thursdays.  Just don't end up with half a dozen, or more,  of them like me :-)

 

Red5's picture
Red5

Yes, I'll bake using a Le Cruset occasionally. 

Red5's picture
Red5

Yes, I'll bake using a Le Cruset occasionally. 

pepperhead212's picture
pepperhead212

...that those thin enameled pans would work so well, but if so, that's a lot less weight to haul out of the oven! 

I just remember using thin white speckled enameled pans for uses other than baking back in my early days, and the $2.95 pots, when on the stovetop,  developed bad hot spots.  After a while I stopped using them for anything but boiling pasta, and soon learned that heavier, thicker pans were the way to go for most pans.  But then, look at most loaf pans - they're as far from heavy as you can get!

Dave

pepperhead212's picture
pepperhead212

What's with these duplicate posts?  I just had it happen here, too.

mezalkb's picture
mezalkb

I have used a straight sided metal mixing bowl and covered it with several layers of heavy foil and it worked great!  In fact I taught a class and recommended that they students use something to that effect until they became comfortable with what they where doing and were sure they wanted to spend too much on supplies (most were youth mothers on a budget).  Either of those whould work for you.

poorlittlefish's picture
poorlittlefish

Well, I've bought the oval one and it's big enough for me to drop the dough in from being shaped in a banneton so I'll see how I get on (it's so much lighter (and cheaper!) than the ceramic pot and won't smash on the floor if I drop it, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a good result).

carefreebaker's picture
carefreebaker

I use 450 for the oven temp when using my enamel roaster to bake Lahey's recipe. I also put the roaster on the middle rack and preheat it for 25 minutes. I use parchment to lift the dough into the pan. I have used a double layer of foil on the bottom of the pan as an insulator.  I remove the loaf from the roaster and bake directly on the oven rack after the 30 minute covered bake until the internal temp of the loaf is 208. We like a dark loaf. 

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

If you watch the Lahey/Bittman original videos, enamel dutch ovens are used. Pretty sure they go on to say that, virtually, any covered, oven proof pots can be used.