The Fresh Loaf

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trials with aluminum vs cast iron

ifs201's picture

trials with aluminum vs cast iron

I have been baking at my parents' home where I have access to one Le Creuset DO and one vintage aluminum DO. Bake after bake, the loaf baked in the aluminum DO has inferior rise and oven spring. Heat retention really does make a difference (at least that's what I have been finding). Both of these loaves are 50% whole grain and followed the exact same fermentation process, but the loaf on the right has superior spring. 


DanAyo's picture

Thanks for sharing your findings.

A couple of questions.

  1. Are each of the doughs identical in weight? If so, what is the total dough weight?
  2. Would you place each pot on scale and then tare it out. Then fill each to the top with water? Please let us know the water weights of each pot. This weight will allow us to compare the volume of each.

I am wondering if one pot was very different is size from the other. Barry, “aka BarryVABeach” believes that the smaller the vessel in relationship to the volume of dough, the better the oven spring. It makes sense to me.

I would expect the Cast Iron to take longer to heat up and also longer to regain lost heat. And the exact opposite for the aluminum vessel.

Your test interest me...


JerryW's picture

I too had guessed that the cast iron would take longer to heat up, but a quick web search shows that the specific heat capacity of iron is HALF that of aluminum, so the fact is just the opposite of expectations (for the same weight of pot, of course).  So another relevant question is the weight of each pot...

ifs201's picture

The aluminum pot weighs almost nothing. I plan on measuring volume and getting back to Danny (busy week), but the pots are roughly the same size I believe. Both are probably around 5 quarts.