my problems using dutch ovens...
I have several concerns about using dutch ovens.
1. LOTS of parchment paper. Is anyone concerned about using reams of paper for each loaf? I feel bad about setting my loafs on small rounds of parchment - then re-using them as long as they hold up. One day, I hope to get good enough to bake without the parchment.
2. How to deal with that HOT pot! Getting the loaf out with crumbly paper from the hot pot - or do you leave it to cool down? ...See #3.
3. I like to bake 8 loafs in one oven heating. I don't have that many dutch ovens - or oven space. So using baking stones & a pan of lava rocks on the bottom of the oven means I can bake 4 loafs at a time.
4. Note: I recently discovered SOAPSTONE! The only U.S. quarry is off Rte 81 in Virginia. We went there & bought 3 huge stones for $150 - we cut them into 9 stones & gave several to friends. They bake better than ceramic baking stones - but are very heavy to handle. The guys at the quarry swear by using them on the grill. If you buy online - the soapstone will be from Brazil (if you care about such things).