The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

A simple suggestion ...

  • Pin It
BROTKUNST's picture
BROTKUNST

A simple suggestion ...

I use my LaCloche and my long "Italian" clay bakers with preference for the first 12-15 minutes of baking ...they don't work though for loaves that are simply larger than these shapes (e.g. 3lbs Batards).

I tried using the cover of our stainless turkey pan the other day and the result was just perfect. The cover fits in a diagonal on my baking stone and allows for the covered (ovenspring) baking of quite large or small boules, batards, baguettes.

With that experience (that stainless steel works just as fine as clay) in mind  I will design and build a custom stainless cover for my baking stone so that I will have the maximum space available for the ovenspring phase.

I thought I share this tought with you because most everybody (?) has a turkey roaster pan in the house.

BROTKUNST

subfuscpersona's picture
subfuscpersona

I'm experimenting also with using the lid (or bottom) of an old-fashioned turkey roaster so here goes...

> do you always use a baking stone? or do you ever use a baking sheet?

>  is oven always preheated?  - (wondering if you use the cold oven start method discussed here baking with roaster lid on top)

>  do you keep the lid on the same amount of time regardless of loaf shape or dough weight?

> do you presteam the oven in any way before the bread goes in and the lid goes on? or does the dough itself provide sufficient moisture when covered during initial baking?

Thank you so much... 

 

BROTKUNST's picture
BROTKUNST

The following statements are true for the clay bakers as well as the stainless steel covers:

- the oven is pre-heated to 500F, preferably with the cover

- the interior is steamed intensively once just before baking

- smaller loaves are covered 10-15 minutes, larger loaves 15-20 minutes (1.5lb ~ 15min)

- after the lid is removed I keep the door cracked open and increase the temp. ~5%

The goal is to allow for the maximum ovenspring but to bake the loaf in a dry environment as soon as that ovenspring has been accomplished.

I hope this information will be helpful to you.

BROTKUNST

Note: The second/third loaf usually does not have a perfectly pre-heated cover - just because of the baking schedule and the fact that I have only one oven. The stainless cover has the advantage that it heats up faster. Keep this in mind ... a 'cold' Cloche will create a 'cooler' environment in the first few minutes until the hot baking stone heats the interior of the Cloche.

subfuscpersona's picture
subfuscpersona

If anyone wants to try this, large, rectangular turkey roasters appear at times on eBay and are quite reasonable. The lid and bottom on mine are each a little over 4" high and the lid (but not the slightly larger bottom) fits pretty snugly into a standard half-sheet jelly roll pan (if you don't want to bake on a stone).