The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

37.8°C oder wie ich das Topfbrotfieber bekam – how I got infected with the pot bread fever

Foodzeit's picture

37.8°C oder wie ich das Topfbrotfieber bekam – how I got infected with the pot bread fever



Bread baked in the "dutch oven" (?)

A while ago all the food bloggers suddenly started to bake bread in a roasting pot. The baking result was being compared with the bread that is being baked in the Manz oven (semi-professional bread baking oven for the ambitious amateur with humidity function). The bread made in the pot received very good reviews on all sides, but I was sure of myself and my advanced baking skills so I told myself that I am resistant against this phenomena, my crust and my crumb are near to perfection, I don’t need all of this. But that was yesterday.
Tonight I slept badly and most likley some tse-tse fly must have slipped under my moskito net. She must have happily devoured my blood as a great thank you she left me with an infection. When I woke up this morning to pop my retarded bread in the pot, little did I know that about 50 minutes later I will be having the pot bread fever. Even if the bread got a little burnt on the outside (I will put some work on finding the right timing and the temperatures). But anyhow, it already is decided that I will abuse my roaster more often in the future to bake bread in it.
So I am happy and I want to thank Zorra from the blog and Sandra from Snuggs kitchen, who are organizing the bread baking day and who had the great idea to ask for bread that is made in a roaster. Without them I would have not been infected; an infection that I would not miss for anything in the world. Now I am curious who else got infected with the same infection after this BBD.
Here now the recipe of my specially created bread for this bbd. I decided to go with a rye bread mixed with some whole wheat flour, featuring walnuts and some grated Pran Padano cheese, which I left in the fridge overnight for some retarded fermentation in order to intensify the flavors.


Finished bread in the breadbasket
  • Sourdough
  • Rye Flour 153.33 g
  • Water 153.33 g
  • Sourdough starter 15.33 g
Mix everything together to smooth dough without any clumps inside and let it rest in a covered bowl at 24-28°C for 12 – 16 hours (please also compare the timing below). After your sourdough is ready, don't forget to take some starter away and keep it in the fridge for your next bread.

Nut piece  
  • Walnuts 50 g
  • Rum 50 g
Crush the nuts in pieces, add the whole seeds. Roast those pieces / seeds in a pan and the put them in a ceramic bowl. Pour liquid it over the nuts / seeds. Let the nuts / seeds soak for 4 – 16 hours in the water.

Main dough
  • Sourdough 322.00 g
  • Nut piece 100.00 g
  • grated gran padano cheese 50.00 g
  • Rye Flour 357.78 g
  • Whole wheat flour 127.78 g
  • Water 307.78 g
  • Salt 12.78 g
  • Dried yeast 2.46 g 
Start Duration
  • Mixing bread ingredients (not the salt and the sourdough) 0:30 h
  • Mix ingredients + salt + sourdough. First rise (stretch and fold every 40 minutes). 2:00 h – 2:30 h
  • Pre shaping the bread and resting 0:30 h
  • Final shaping the bread + proofing (rise to a double) 1:00 h
  • Pop everything in the fermentation basket and pop it in the fridge for overnight retarding 12:00 h
  • Pre heat the oven and the roasting pot inside at 260 degrees Celsius
  • Pop the bread in the preheated roast, close the lid
  • Lower the temperature every 15 minutes for 10 degrees Celsius
  • After 30 minutes, open the lid of the pot
  • After 20 more minutes of baking, take the bread out and let it cool down
Bread slices cut open with crumb view


Isand66's picture

Great looking bake.  Your crumb looks nice and open and this must taste great.


Foodzeit's picture

it does actually taste very good, a bit like the wood fire oven bread from my childhood that I used to love so much. Inside is soft and fluffy and the outside crackling and great. the dutch oven fever (is that the right word?) got me :)

dabrownman's picture

Pot baking one of the great ways to make bread and no extra steaming required!  You will have to play around with your pot to get the color you want on your bread.  I'm down to 20 minutes lid on and 5 minutes off and then remove the bread from the pot and finish on a stone.

Don't forget the clay bakers too!  We love the Romertopfs and the Chinese clay sand pots (make sure you soak them for 24 hours) and all you have to do is plug up the steam release hole with a piece of wet chopstick.  Pyrex posts also work well too.  With those you proof in the oiled pot, over turn the Pyres and dough on a hot stone using the Pyrex as a cloche. 

Pots make making as easy as pie - not really but it sounds good!

Your rye bread is about as good as it gets.  If you leave the commercial yeast out and let the dough proof the appropriate amount longer I think the flavor and sour will improve some too.  Love the cheese in the mix - perfect for a rye bread.

Happy baking  FZ. 

Foodzeit's picture

Is not available here, I was looking for it upon my arrival in China for some home baking. But a clay pot sounds like a very good idea, they are available at a bargain here. Got to try that once. But for now, I will have to spend some time with my roaster. Like you said, the bread is indeed it is as good as it get, but I will try and follow your indicated timing for a less dark color of the crust, and I will try to play around with different sizes of breads as well. Many thanks for your indication. I will have to leave out the part with the stone as I don't own a stone, I have to always bake without one... 

For the commercial yeast, It's ok with me, I always will put a pinch in, just to make sure. I left it out a few times before but the crumb was not thanking me for it. I wish I had fresh yeast here but they don't sell it and I was not yet able to get around and produce some YW, following your recipe. And I think the commercial yeast is not influencing the taste too much, the lovely cheese, like you mentioned, and the natural sour are overpowering everything with the taste of lovely natural taste, a full success indeed.

Mebake's picture

Excellent looking bread, with a lovely dark crumb! Pot baking is really convenient and gives great results, i've witnessed it first hand. well done!


Foodzeit's picture

Thanks a lot for the endorsement of my crust :). It really tastes as lovely as it looks and pot baking has been adapted in my kitchen from now on. I think for a private baker that is not on a commercial scale this one is so far the best method to get perfect results. I yet have to try the clay pot method mentioned by dabrownman, but so far the pot method wins in simplicity as there is no soaking in water required...

Foodzeit's picture

I am sorry, I am not having a Manz oven at all but some bloggers did have one and compared the dutch oven with the results in a Manz oven. I actually have a Chinese version of a Pizza oven with the name Verly...

I think I would rather go for a Kolb or something else if I would have to buy an oven with steaming function.