The Fresh Loaf

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Best oval banneton size for Lodge 9-inch cast-iron combo cooker?

rhapsodyindrew's picture

Best oval banneton size for Lodge 9-inch cast-iron combo cooker?

Hi folks, after years of (often fairly successfully) proofing my loaves just lying flat, I'm getting into bannetons. I also am starting to accept that no home oven steam strategy is going to work nearly as well as baking in a Dutch oven, so I'm using my terra cotta tiles less and less and my cast-iron combo cooker more and more.

The combo cooker is great, but it also obviously constrains my loaf size. I bought a 9-inch round banneton and that works well with the combo cooker (whose flat bottom surface is also 9 inches), but now I want to get a couple of oval bannetons so I can bake better batards.

Given the diameter of the combo cooker (9 inches across the flat bottom, and about 9.5 inches at the rim), am I stuck with this small oval banneton (8.75 inches long at the rim)? Or do you think I can get away with using the regular-sized oval banneton (10 inches long at the rim)? Also, if the Breadtopia products aren't the best option, I'm very open to other recommendations.

Thanks for any thoughts! D

idaveindy's picture

I love my Lodge 3.2 qt combo cooker with the long handles.  I can invert the pot, or the lid, over the banneton, and flip them over together, and the dough plops right in.

If you shop at Amazon, there are so many sizes, so many sellers, that you can usually get the exact size you need.

Amazon sellers advertise by outside dimension, not inside dimension.  (some give both.)  So allow .5" to .6" difference between inner and outer.

Example, my bannetons are 8.5" outer/8.0 inner diameter, and 9.6" outer/9.0 inner diameter.

I use the 8.5/8.0" banneton for baking in the pot.  And I use the 9.6/9.0" banneton for baking on the lid. Perfect fit both ways.

If you can't find the exact size, go smaller. Else the proofed bread will spill over the sides of the hot cast iron, and you'll have a mess.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

fold the oval proofed dough one third over or in half using a narrow rolling pin or broom handle.  You would deflate slightly the dough using the stick and fold one part over the other and then into the pot.  This is a traditional fold for an Italian Altamura bread loaf.  That would make the oval shape round for the pot.