No-Knead Overnight Sourdough Update
I wanted to share a tiny revelation I had when baking this bread. The recipe itself has not changed so please take a look at the original post. This post is a sourdough update that will make a difference to your baking experience.
What has changed is how I use the cast iron pot. Literally, turned things upside down! I had seen a very, very nice bread baking pot on the Internet, but the price was far more than I wanted to pay … and it was sort of like this one. This particular pot has a ‘lid’ that can be used as a frying pan. Okay … but I realised it could also are the base of the ‘bread baker’. This has been a great improvement in the making of this bread. Most specifically, a safety improvement.
One of the challenges in baking bread in a Dutch Oven is dropping the dough into a cast iron pot that you’ve just spent 45-60 minutes pre-heating in a 500F oven! Hot?? Most definitely! By putting the dough on the upturned lid, you will avoid burns. Same for removing the baked bread. No reaching into the ultra hot pot!
Offset the handles
In order to easily get what is now the lid off, I offset the handles so that it’s safer and easier to manoeuvre. I like to take the top off after baking for twenty minutes so the loaf can brown. Best to do it while it is still in the oven. Then continue baking for another twenty minutes until it’s nice and brown and has an internal temperature of 98C/208F.
The bread needs to come out of the cast iron pot as soon as it’s done. The crust will be nice and crunchy with a good chew. When the bread sits in the pot too long after baking the crust will soften up a bit too much.
Sourdough update on a budget
If you’re already using an existing cast iron Dutch Oven, please be very careful. If you’re considering buy one, please take a look at this one. I highly recommend it. I’m not going to link to the very, very expensive bread baker, but I’m sure you can find it easily enough. The idea is great, the price is not.
I have these nifty parchment circles meant for baking cakes, you can easily use a sheet of parchment. The paper means easier cleanup, which means easier baking! This dough is not one that you can shape and handle, it’s quite wet and is scooped into the bowl for shaping before it goes into the oven. Once the pot is hot and ready, the dough is inverted onto a piece of parchment paper (and scored) then dropped into the pot. Moving this dough on the ‘lid’ of this particular pot is much easier and safer.
If you have this pot already and have tried this, please leave a comment and let me know what you think. Even if you don’t have the pot and are making sourdough any other way, I’d love to hear from you. If you’d like to see other posts like this sourdough update, would like to hear that too.
Here’s a link to an article in the Scientific American website on the science of sourdough. Some very interesting reading. It was written fairly recently and relates to the interest in baking sourdough during the pandemic.
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