The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Which cookware do you use?

dannydannnn's picture
dannydannnn

Which cookware do you use?

I've been using my Le Crueset but it's making all kinds of scary sounds when preheated empty and I feel like it's probably not the best tool for the job. I've been looking at the combo cooker but honestly it feels like a recipe for burning myself with that super heavy top...

With the dutch oven I just use a parchment sling and I never risk any burning.

Anyhow, just looking to get people's thoughts. Should also mention that I much prefer batard over boulle...

andykg's picture
andykg

i use a baking steel and an enamel roaster as a cloche

Benito's picture
Benito

I use my Le Creuset dutch oven to bake batards.  For baguettes and boules I use a baking steel and no vessel.

If I had a larger kitchen with more storage I would buy a Challenger Bread Pan.

dannydannnn's picture
dannydannnn

That Challenger Bread Pan does look interesting. But with all due respect to Jim, at $300 for a piece of cast iron it's highway robbery and out of sheer principle I will never buy it at that price. At that point I might as well invest in a steam oven, like the recently announced Anova which looks very promising.

Hopefully Lodge can come out with something similar.

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

Here's a batard shaped cast iron covered cooker, 16" x 8", 6 qt, at Amazon, from Bayou Classic, $53 incl shipping.  Exterior height is 6".

https://www.amazon.com/Bayou-Classic-7477-Griddle-6-Quart/dp/B004EWLCUW?tag=froglallabout-20

The top is a flat griddle, not domed. High ratings and good reviews on Amazon. 91% liked it. 9% reported casting or seasoning defects

It's foreign made, but HansB here on TFL recently wrote they were satisfied with their Bayou Classic product(s). http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/60822/challenger-bread-pan-has-anyone-tried-it-other-our-own-trevor-wilson

Benito's picture
Benito

It used to be much cheaper.

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

Uneven heating (and cooling) can be a cause of clicking/creaking sounds.

One way to help even up the pre-heating is to uncover the dutch oven (but still heat up the lid.)  That will also let the d.o. heat up faster since more surface area is exposed to the hot air.

if your oven uses mainly the lower element to heat, put a cookie sheet or baking stone on a rack one space below the rack upon which the d.o. sits to shade it from direct radiant heat.  Though that may require a few more minutes of pre-heat.

If your d.o. sits directly on (in contact with) a metal  pan/cookie-sheet, that might even increase uneven heating.

Elsiebake's picture
Elsiebake

I've recently purchased the oval cast iron pot by Bayou that idaveindy mentioned above, and i show it in this video (just skip to 13'30" or so)

https://youtu.be/uz3Ky6FW4nA

I'm very happy with it so far! I could not bite the price of the Challenger pan!

cpetkanas's picture
cpetkanas

your video is beautiful. can you kindly tell me the interior dimensions of the lid--the useable space

BobBoule's picture
BobBoule

I have been using my Le Creuset Dutch Oven for many years, in fact my first Le Creuset was already over 30 years old and it worked so well that I got a new one that was bigger so I could bake bigger loaves, it works great for me.

I don't use parchment paper at all, I pre heat the dutch oven and its lid in the oven at the same time, I simply lay the lid on the rack next to the dutch oven (so the dutch oven is uncovered) and preheat it.

After 45 minutes of preheating, its ready, (I live at high altitude so I need the dutch oven be as hot as a volcano so I get good rise from my loaves) but it never makes any sounds at all.

It does make a little bit of noise when I put the dough into the screaming hot dutch oven, but it only lasts two or three seconds, then its perfectly quiet.

My loaves come out fine and my enameled Le Creuset looks fine.

barryvabeach's picture
barryvabeach

I use the combo, but don't preheat the top part, since I want the top of the loaf to stay moist and encourage oven spring, so I don't see a huge danger working with it.  Do get good gloves.  I like these  - they are tricky to get on and off after using them a while , but are much better insulated than the fabric gloves.  https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B078WDR6DR/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

dannydannnn's picture
dannydannnn

Btw, not sure if this is also an issue with cast iron, but with the Le Crueset heating on empty it also smells really bad throughout the entire house.

Benito's picture
Benito

Danny that is so strange.  I’ve been using my Le Creuset dutch oven for baking bread for over 1.5 years.  I’ve never had a strange smell or heard weird noises when it is heating up for an hour at 500ºF.  I always heat it with the lid off with both in the oven.

dannydannnn's picture
dannydannnn

Ok well I guess that leaves me with 2 options...either the smell is occurring because I pre-heat it with the lid on, or it's coming from the baking steel on the bottom rack.

dannydannnn's picture
dannydannnn

Just to confirm Benito, you're using the enameled Le Crueset right?

Benito's picture
Benito

Yes it is enameled Le Creuset and I’ve used it for tons of non baking things as well like stews, roasts etc.  It gets a ton of use and just keeps going.  I haven’t replaced the handle on the lid, I know they say not to go over 450 or 475ºF with the black handle but I see no evidence of melting or damage to the handle either.  

I’m really not sure why you have the smell and noise.

BobBoule's picture
BobBoule

Le Creuset is lined with porcelain so it doesn't smell. I have several Le Creuset and I have never run into any smell at all.

I'm going to guess that it needs a really good cleaning, because something invisible is on it.

Can you post a picture of it?

Where did you buy it?

Was it new?

Second hand?

Yard sale?

Did you wash it with warm soapy water the very first time you used it?

dannydannnn's picture
dannydannnn

Purchased directly from Le Crueset. Only had to replace the handle. I've had it over a year now, it's been washed numerous times and apart from a few small stubborn stains is generally pretty clean.

BobBoule's picture
BobBoule

Then it should never smell at all. It must be something else in the oven that smells.

I preheat my oven to 500º F every time, and preheat the ditch oven along with the lid at the same time, there is absolutely no smell (I've been doing that for many years).

You can get all the stains out, contact Le Creuset (I don't want to rely on memory) and they will tell you how to get those stains out. Mine is many years old and looks like new (I do get a stain on occasion when I don't realize that I splattered something on it but they all come clean).

dannydannnn's picture
dannydannnn

So I think the other suspect is the baking steel I have on the bottom as insulation. But...once I put the dough inside the dutch oven the smell goes away...

So not sure what to make of it. Maybe it's the smell of bread overpowering the odd smell :)

BobBoule's picture
BobBoule

The smell of bread baking is extremely powerful and most certainly overwhelms the smell of everything else we are cooking.

I did have that same thing happen to me a few years ago. I have a cast iron sheet (the same as a baking steel) in my oven all the time and the source of the smell was eluding us.

So one day hone I was actually thinking about the smell (at a mont when I was not actually cooking anything) I turned the oven on to self clean, incinerated the gunk that was on the cast iron sheet (yes we had true to clean it but its impossible to clean) and any particles that had also stuck the the sides of the oven.

That took care of the smell permanently, we literally have not experienced that weird smell in years, so maybe you are experiencing something similar.

Copernicus21's picture
Copernicus21

because of the increasing marketing material Anova is pumping out wrt to its Combi-oven.. any thoughts? 

https://anovaculinary.com/anova-precision-oven/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bMiCCZt4P3M

Benito's picture
Benito

Wow that sure looks interesting.  I wonder how well it really does bake bread, it has no lower heating elements and instead uses a rear of upper heating element.  So as they show you would bake the bread on a cast iron skillet so that should be hot, but would the bottom crust bake evenly with the heat source coming only from the back?  I guess you’d need to rotate your bread pretty often to get even browning, maybe more so than in our traditional  ovens.

dannydannnn's picture
dannydannnn

I almost pulled the trigger on one of these when they announced it, but decided to hold off for reviews. I'm always wary of 1st gen products. It does look very promising though, and I could sure use a replacement to my gas oven which I absolutely despise. I also like gadgets that aren't "single-use" and this seems to fit the bill.

barryvabeach's picture
barryvabeach

Benito, the way I read it, it does have a bottom element, but it is only 700 watts, and IIRC, they say that you can't use it alone to cook.  I have a combi that I use for bread, and don't think it is ideal because it only has a rear element, and the fan is always on.   I had hoped it would cook without the fan, but that is not an option on mine. 

Benito's picture
Benito

Ok Barry I may have missed the info on the lower element thanks. 

gerhard's picture
gerhard

and a no name Dutch oven. I have a pizza stone slide the dough on parchment into the oven and cover it with the upside down pot. I have always been afraid to load the loaf into a hot pot so I went this route.

cpetkanas's picture
cpetkanas

if anyone has a bayou classic 6 qt cast iron oval fryer with griddle lid 7477 I would be very very grateful for the precise  interior dimensions--the useable dimensions--of the lid, as the company is unable to provide this information. Cordially christopher petkanas