The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Preferred method of baking? Dutch oven v out on a stone?

Anthony Power's picture
Anthony Power

Preferred method of baking? Dutch oven v out on a stone?

Made 2 sourdough loaves this morning from same batch of dough and baked the 2 loaves using different methods. The dough is tartins country loaf, 77% hydration with 10% blend of ww/rye

One did overnight proof in a banneton basket and the other in a pyrex cassarole dish.


Preheated the oven to 240c with a stone on bottom(floor) and another stone on lower rack

I tipped the loaf from the banneton straight onto the floor of the oven and i transferred the loaf from the pyrex to another preheated pyrex the same size. 

Im looking forward to cutting into these but can see lovely ear on the pyrex baked one whereas the stone baked (in the hottest part of oven) didnt get as big of an oven spring. 


Whats everyones preferred method?


Anthony Power's picture
Anthony Power
Gary's picture

 Anthony your loaves are heavenly. 

   I have no preferred method and find I get great results in the various ways we can use our home ovens to bake bread.  But if I had to choose my most enjoyable method for many other reasons besides the outcome I would choose baking bread outside in my camp dutch ovens using coals from the fire.

Anthony Power's picture
Anthony Power

Thanks Gary! Ive still so much to learn and can do better, but i am v.happy with whats coming out of the oven these days! 

I have a wood oven in the garden that ill be looking forward do doing something like you said!!

BobBoule's picture

Both your loaves are so beautiful! My favorite method is using a dutch oven because it consistently gives me the results I enjoy.

Edo Bread's picture
Edo Bread

Favorite home method. Ceramic bread cloche's picture

Antonio, that's the most stunning A/B comparison I've seen on TFL in some time.

At what temperature was the "overnight proof"?  Refrigerator?  Room?

Don't discount the effect of the very different vessels in which you overnight proofed the two: breatheable brotform vs sealed pyrex.  Almost daily evidence on TFL shows that it's possible to get a crumb like your stone-baked loaf in a DO (or pyrex) baked bread (cf Danielle's weekly six).  So your baking methods are unlikely to be solely responsible for this striking difference.  Any other variable you've forgotten to mention?  Can you tell a difference in flavor between the two?

Both are great looking breads.  Win win.  Thanks for sharing this interesting result.


Anthony Power's picture
Anthony Power

Thanks Tom.


I did a 4 hour rise where dough was about 26c then divided and shapped. 

First went into floured banneton and covered with a cloth. Second went into pyrex lined with baking paper and pyrex lid put on. Both went into fridge for 10hours overnight.

Before baking the loaf from the banneton had a firm skin on it whereas the pyrex loaf was still moist from the condensation trapped. Maybe this is a major factor in the results. 

The banneton/stone baked loaf definately had a better sweeter taste.. both where good though.'s picture

"First went into floured banneton and covered with a cloth. Second went into pyrex lined with baking paper and pyrex lid put on. Both went into fridge for 10hours overnight."

This has me thinking.  The cloth-covered banneton could breathe.  CO2 produced by slow overnight fridge fermentation could easily find its way out through the cloth.  On the other hand, the lidded pyrex was comparatively air-tight, trapping released CO2 in the vessel.  Accumulation of released CO2 is one of the Usual Suspects accused of limiting sourdough fermentations, along with simply running out of carbs to ferment.  You can demonstrate this by simply stirring down a matured starter culture and returning it to your incubator, proofer or wherever you incubate it.  It will grow up again, demonstrating (or at least consistent with the hypothesis) that its arrest the first time was mediated by excessive CO2 accumulation and not running short of "food".

I routinely bake only one big loaf at a time, so I won't try to reproduce your A/B comparison.  But next week I will cloak my banneton'd dough in a linen couche for its overnight fridge retard, rather than in the gas-impermeable plastic bag that normally encloses it.  This is one variable I've never thought to explore.

Fun!  Thanks!


Anthony Power's picture
Anthony Power

Im going to bake the same loaves this weekend.. ive just gotten a second banneton so ill keep conditions the same right up the bake.. then try the different methods for myself

placebo's picture

I place a boule on a baking stone and then cover it with the (pre-heated) lid of my cloche. It's just like using a dutch oven, but it's a lot more convenient. After about 20 minutes, I remove the lid to allow the crust to brown.