The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Size of baking vessel in relation to loaf

Connacht454's picture
Connacht454

Size of baking vessel in relation to loaf

Hi All,

I've baked boules with a lodge 5qt combo cooker up until now, and now I want to get into baking batards.

I have a Baking Steel Griddle (18" x 14") and have incoming a Granite Ware 18-Inch Covered Oval Roaster (15" x 11" x 4") that I intend to use upside-down as a lid. My brotform/banneton for batards is 10" x 7", and fits about a 1kg loaf, which is my average sized bake. So far so good.

My question is this: is the large 15" x 11" x 4" volume of the baking vessel in any way detrimental to baking such a small loaf at around 10" x 7" x ~3" (1kg, 80% hydration)? Does the volume of the baking vessel need to be smaller to effectively keep the steam close to the loaf during the initial cover-on bake?

- Dirk.

rgreenberg2000's picture
rgreenberg2000

I use an enameled roaster that has the same dimensions, overturned on my baking stone.  Works great for my batards (same size as yours) as well as my boules. My usual loaves are about 1,100g.

Rich

Connacht454's picture
Connacht454

Great to know, Rich. Do you find your batards flattening out on the stone once you put it on?

rgreenberg2000's picture
rgreenberg2000

....but I sure did when I started.  I practiced a lot, watched a lot of videos, and practiced some more.  Ultimately, I got to the point where my pre and final shaping of my batards (and boules) was proper enough to hold the tension and shape when removed from the banneton.  I made a lot of flying saucers when I started.....I just called the flatter batards ciabatta, and nobody seemed to mind! :)

Rich 

Connacht454's picture
Connacht454

Rich, another question for you. Do you find your oven spring on your loaves hit the roof of your roaster? I am concerned 4 or so inches as the height of the vessel is a limiting factor for oven spring.

rgreenberg2000's picture
rgreenberg2000

I've got 1" more in depth than you do, but I'd be pretty happy if I had that kind of spring!! :)

Rich

wally's picture
wally

The 4” roaster cover is probably ok for a 1K loaf but nothing larger. If you have a pan with boiling water within, no problems. Remove after first 10 minutes of bake. If you go for larger bâtards you’ll need to find another work around.