At the Table

Dutch Oven Love

My sourdough starter (who still needs a name…Betty? Polly?) was at work here again today; making the same loaf as last week (here).  As much as I am in love with the flavor of this recipe, the color of the crust just wasn’t doing it for me last time.  Maybe I shouldn’t be so worried about how my bread looks, but there you have it.  Yesterday’s no-knead loaf had an awesomely dark, reddish-brown crust, which I really wanted to replicate with the sourdough boule.  I got to thinking that maybe the cast iron dutch oven was the miracle worker, and when it came time to bake the bread, I preheated my trusty Lodge pot inside the oven (40 minutes, as usual).  Bread went in, and…

Dutch oven sourdough boule

Look how beautiful that is!  I guess dutch oven baking is good for more than just no-knead breads.  It’s a little lumpy on the side from where I dropped my razor blade mid-slash, but the color is so nice.   I took the lid off for the last 10 minutes of baking, to get the top nice and brown.  I’ve got some ideas for how to improve the shape (maybe bake it on the stone with cast iron inverted over it, to avoid those wrinkled parchment lines), but this might be how I bake all my “artisan” loaves now.

Just for reference, this is what the last loaf looked like.  It was baked on a stone with a steam tray on the top rack. Huge difference!

Homemade Sourdough Boule

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