The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Hmmm...Challenger Pan side-by-side test

chelseasf's picture

Hmmm...Challenger Pan side-by-side test

I was excited for my first bake in the Challenger Pan. I baked one loaf of oat porridge sourdough in the Challenger and an identical one in my Emile Henry bread&potato pot. 

I knew the Challenger loaf wouldn’t be as tall because there are no sides to constrain it, but I didn’t expect this kind of difference. Also, the Challenger loaf is slightly burned on the bottom, a problem I’ve never had with the Emile Henry. 

Maybe porridge bread wasn’t the best thing to test with - clearly, neither loaf has great oven spring. I will try again with a regular loaf.  Who knows, maybe the crumb will be better in the flatter loaf - we will see once I cut it. But any other thoughts here? @jimchall?

headupinclouds's picture
chelseasf's picture

Crumb seems quite good for a porridge bread. Surprisingly, I give a slight edge to the shorter loaf (Challenger) - the other one has more of a dense feeling in the middle.  A bit hard to tell from the photo (and with my messed up slicing job!)

HansB's picture

It seems that burned bottom using the Challenger is quite common.

idaveindy's picture

If I understand correctly, E. H. dutch ovens are enameled inside and out.  

The layers of enamel slow heat transfer.  Therefore, if your pre-heat temperature, and baking temperature, and baking time are "dialed in" for the enameled pot, it could be too hot and too long for a non-enameled cast iron vessel. 

IOW, the baking temp and baking time probably needs to be different for the two appliances based on their differing material and differing heat transfer characteristics.  Not much different... I'm guessing just a minor tweak.

Edo Bread's picture
Edo Bread

This is a nice side by side of something I comment on here a lot. I find it really interesting that so many people that get so excited about a brick or clay oven, then decide that cast iron pans make more sense than clay. People using metal seem to have more issues with burning. And according to a Serious Eats article, cast iron is terrible at heating evenly. Other than unbreakable, I have yet to see an advantage.