Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Sourdough baked in my Dutch iron pot

I found an interesting recipe online that used my sourdough starter and the no-knead artisan bread technique. Had to leave the dough mix out overnight to 'ripen'.
This was the first time I have tried baking the bread in a covered cast iron Dutch oven. They say it traps the dough's moisture as steam and thus produces a wonderful crisp golden crust. Using the covered pot means you don't need to use the baking stone or a steam pan.
Luckily, in my basement I still had an old 6 quart pot I bought for $8 in a garage sale about 15 years ago- perfect size for a round loaf! I love the name on the lid- the "Drip Drop Baster".
I let the 2 round loaves rise for 2 1/2 hours after shaping, each on their own piece of parchment sprinkled with corn meal, sprinkled with more corn meal, and then covered with a kitchen towel.
After heating the oven for a good 30 minutes with the cast iron pot inside to heat up too, I quickly picked up a loaf by the parchment sides and laid it in the pot, parchment and all, and then firmly put the lid on and baked at 450F for a half hour. Then I removed the lid and let it brown and finish for another 15 minutes.
I did one loaf at a time, since there was enough dough for two nice sized loaves.

I must say the crusts turned out better than any bread I've ever made before. Beautiful golden and crispy. The bread has a pleasant medium sourdough tang (my husband does not like it too sour), and inside the texture was perfect as well- lots of stretchy gluten 'chew' and nicely dispersed small air holes.

Fabulous bread, and well worth keeping an active fed sourdough starter in the fridge and also worth mixing the batch of dough the night before- especially if I make the two large loaves which will last about 3 days for us. I will definitely be making this bread regularly.

1 comment:

  1. your photos and descriptions are great! They are very helpful to the beginner who is struggling with this process. Too bad i can't smell your website