The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Bottom of crust too thick

hydestone's picture

Bottom of crust too thick

I am using a 5qt lodge cast iron dutch oven to make my bread.  In general, the results are great...from just about the top of the bottom crust.  No matter what I try, I can't seem to prevent the bottom of the crust from becoming too thick.

I've tried a variety of things on the bottom...parchment paper, crinkled up aluminum foil, putting a sheet pan underneath, etc.

My next move is going to invert the dutch oven, so that I am putting the dough into the shallow skillet part of the dutch oven and then drop the deep part on top.  But I am thinking of only preheating the deep portion in the oven.  I'd proof the loaf, put it on the room temperature skillet (top or dutch oven), put that in the oven, and then put the preheated deep part of the dutch oven on the skillet.

Will this kill the oven spring or will the heat from the deep portion be enough?

Another option would be to preheat a baking steel and the deep portion.  Then do the above procedure, but it would be placed onto the steel, so get some quick heat transfer for oven spring, but maybe not some much so that the curst doesn't get so thick.

Thoughts on the above or any other suggestions?

I love the lodge dutch oven...but wondering if I pull he trigger and put a le creuset on my christmas list.  The feedback I've received is that they don't burn the bottom as much as a dutch oven.


idaveindy's picture

The topic has been dealt with at length:

Bon appétit.

bread1965's picture

I've used both and prefer the Lodge combo cooker over creuset for one reason - ease of loading in the dough. I heat both sides in the oven and load the dough on the shallow end. That way you don't have to drop/place dough into a hot pan with taller sides and risk getting burnt.

The way I solved this was to place a thick large pizza stone on asecond rack on the net level below the combo-cooker rack. It acts like a heat shield and the bottoms don't burn or get too thick. I pre-heat at 500 and bake at 450. Works like a charm.

Benito's picture

Another option to dealing with a thick bottom crust is to take lift the partially baked bread carefully out of the dutch oven and complete the baking directly on the oven rack.  I find that it helps to have placed the dough into the dutch oven with parchment paper that way you can pick up the loaf using the parchment to remove it since the crust won’t be fully hardened yet and picking it up may dent the crust.

gerhard's picture

It seems according to his experiments the preheated cast iron isn’t really what is important for oven spring, looks like the even high humidity that the smaller cavity of the cover provides is the essential part.