Carla's Pot Baking Adventure

carla's picture
carla

Last week I embarked on a series of pot bakings - from the half white flour and half wholewheat (which is my "whitest" bread) to the 80% spelt freshly milled wholemeal with added 10% freshly milled rye wholemeal and out of "Angst" a bit of white supermarket flour (about the last 10%).
This last one is the one I have uploaded for you to look at today.

I used my now seasoned white wheat sourdough (the old rye feels a bit neglected lately) to rise it and lots and lots of water.
I guessed the hydration to be at least 80%, probably more, just have a look at how he flattened out when I let him out of his bowl to play!

I mixed the dough up in the evening, let it sit on the kitchen table over night (at about 15-25 degrees), the folded and played with him all morning and baked at lunchtime, thinking he might get too sour if I leave him any longer.

So here is the pot - a thinwalled stainless pot I aquired a long time ago to make mayself some sort of bain-marie and which languished in the back of the cupboard.

[img]http://www.sourdough.com.au/gallery/d/5683-2/DSCN1946F.jpg[/img]

The soft dough for the pot bake being folded in the bowl...

[img]http://www.sourdough.com.au/gallery/d/5685-2/DSCN1658F_001.jpg[/img]

The soft dough after several folds in the bowl - now out in "the open"...

[img]http://www.sourdough.com.au/gallery/d/5687-2/DSCN1947F.jpg[/img]

...and contained again safely for its final proofing!

[img]http://www.sourdough.com.au/gallery/d/5689-2/DSCN1949F.jpg[/img]

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carla's picture
carla 2006 December 2

On the peel:

[img]http://www.sourdough.com.au/gallery/d/5691-2/DSCN1920F.jpg[/img]

baking in the oven, at about half time, the lid just came off:

[img]http://www.sourdough.com.au/gallery/d/5693-2/DSCN1921F.jpg[/img]

The finished product still in its pot:

[img]http://www.sourdough.com.au/gallery/d/5695-2/DSCN1924F.jpg[/img]

... and out of the pot cooling down:

[img]http://www.sourdough.com.au/gallery/d/5697-2/DSCN1926F.jpg[/img]

cut after 5 hours of cooling down - still VERY soft! See how the bottom half is squeezed together!

[img]http://www.sourdough.com.au/gallery/d/5699-2/DSCN1931F.jpg[/img]

Sliced pot bread - I am a pot baking fan now!

[img]http://www.sourdough.com.au/gallery/d/5701-2/DSCN1954F.jpg[/img]

Crumb shot pot bread - 80% spelt wholemeal freshly milled, 10% rye wholemeal freshly milled, 10% supermarket white wheat flour. Fantastic taste, crumb and crust!

[img]http://www.sourdough.com.au/gallery/d/5703-2/DSCN1955F.jpg[/img]

Check out bigger pictures in my [url=http://www.sourdough.com.au/gallery/v/user/brotcarla/?g2_page=4][b]gallery[/b][/url]

TeckPoh's picture
TeckPoh 2006 December 2

From this, we can really see how steam is good for bread for the first baking part.

Pab
Dom
Carla

Who's next to be converted? Jeremy and Mick (and Bill, I suspect) are hard nuts to crack. Guess it's going to be me...will try soon.

Jeremy's picture
Jeremy 2006 December 2

Nope, I am a purist won't give in, gonna do a levain tommorow in a banneton and in the hearth of my ofen! It's a fad, I hope, otherwise we aren't going to challenge ourselves and follow a tried and true tradition! Besides do you think that Sullivan street bakery bakes in Creusets all day long?

Ta, Jeremy

carla's picture
carla 2006 December 2

Ah well - take it or leave it folks.
Just wanted to make your day - but if it is not your piece of cake I can delete the post ??

Pab's picture
Pab 2006 December 2

Wouldn't describe myself as a convert but I will certainly use the pot method from time to time. It adds to the repertoire of recipes and techniques...

Best wishes

Pab

SourDom 2006 December 3

have been at work, so couldn't contribute to this thread.

lovely looking loaf Carla!

There are several reasons why I think that baking in a casserole gives better results for the home baker than almost any other method available to us. I'll post them in the thread that I started two days ago when I get a chance.

cheers
Dom

Jeremy's picture
Jeremy 2006 December 3

Sorry about my opinionated opinion, just a road traveled becomes habit, I think what I mean scince I just polished two bottles of wine and hit some pear william from Germany, I mean that doing this cuts out all good practice in baking the way our forefather bakers taught us and in keeping with tradition I regelate this pot method for those who find the true art too time consuming or perhaps too difficult, so be it I am getting hammered and may sound offensive, but who can deny the dough interacting with the human element and being at one with the masa(dough in Spanish), sorry I am a chauvinist in that sense, forgive me! Tomorrow I will think damned did I write this crap?

jeremy

northwestsourdough's picture
northwestsourdough 2006 December 3

I will use a pot, I went out and bought a nice heavy cast iron pot, I like trying new things with sourdough, pushing the limits so to speak. I have baked in the baking bowls, but not with a heavy lidded pot, can't wait to try!
Teresa

bethesdabakers's picture
bethesdabakers 2006 December 4

Pab, you've got to be joking. Jeremy's my mate. He'd have been on the elderflower cordials after that and laying a new carpet in the morning.

Am I right, big boy?

Mick

matthew 2006 December 6

Jeremy,

Sullivan St bakery probably have steam injection of some sort in their oven . Home bakers have a variety of techniques for generating steam in the oven (I'm sure that you have your own tried and true technique), I'm convinced that cooking bread in a pot like this is, too a large extent, another steam generation technique (while at the same time generating a nice even heat all around). Steam is a traditional baking technique so I don't see that experimenting with different ways to generate it is abandoning tradition or somehow taking a short cut. If people think that baking their loaves this way gives a better result than when they baked them by their normal method then all power to them I say!

Regards
Matthew

Jeremy's picture
Jeremy 2006 December 6

Matthew and friends!
Well I think of it more as a shortcut, less to do with steam which initially and only once or two shots should do and even some won't require it, I feel that for myself and perhaps others sort of loses the fundamentals in practice, which should make someone a good baker! If it floats your boat by all means do it, I feel free in saying that I will not partake, bread is to enjoyable to put on the fast track of life! Enjoy and wait for it! Jim Lahey saw something that would be appealing, I still find the process of "true" baking much more worth the time and effort as well as training!

Ta, had my say!

matthew 2006 December 6

Jeremy,

Can I clarify a definition here? When I refer to baking I am refering to the stage in the process where the bread is actually in the oven. I'm not sure how tipping into a pot rather than onto a stone is a short cut?

If your concerns are around the pre baking stages of the NYT article then I can understand your point of view a bit better. But I'm afraid if it's just the pot vs the stone then I don't agree, but if we all agreed with each other 100% of the time life would be boring wouldn't it?

Enough from me.

Matthew

carla's picture
carla 2006 December 6

Jeremy you seem to have overlooked that both Dom and me are not using that original yeast recipe that was published in the NY Times, but are making a high-hydration bread-dough with sourdough which we knead initially, then fold and shape and let rise in a banneton - just as you would do.
Then instead of sliding it onto a stone or baking tray to bake we slide it into a hot pot with a lid. - And that is all the difference to your baking style.

The results are tremendously different to baking free or in a baking tin, especially for my wholemeal and whole grain breads.

[img]http://www.sourdough.com.au/gallery/d/5702-1/DSCN1955F.jpg[/img]

Without the pot I have never had such nice open structures in the crumb before. Remember this is 80% spelt wholemeal freshly milled, 10% rye wholemeal freshly milled, 10% supermarket white wheat flour.

Fantastic taste, crumb and crust!

Here you can see how fluffy the crumb really is:

[img]http://www.sourdough.com.au/gallery/d/5698-1/DSCN1931F.jpg[/img]

The top half of the bread is squashing the bottom half somewhat drastic. I would have never achieved this with this flour mix even in a convential bread tin - let alone baked free!

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