Baking Bread (part two)

Before I get back to the bread, there is one piece of hardware that is absolutely required (besides an oven). You need a cast iron pot. For me its a Lodge pot that cost all of $27 from Amazon. You can use a Le Creuset pot, but its only going to get black from the baking so why fight it. Lodge is also much, much cheaper (ding, ding, ding, winner!). The only maintenance this pot requires is the occasional wipe down with a little olive oil.

So its been about 14 hours (anywhere in the 12 to 18 range is good) and what’s pictured above is the result. This ends the first rise.

For the second rise, you must transfer the bread onto a tea towel. Prep the towel by scattering a fair amount of wheat bran, cornmeal (my choice) or additional flour onto the towel.

Using a spoon, scrapper or hands slowly work the dough onto the towel. Don’t beat it up. It will fall onto the towel as you work it out with the spoon.

I must confess I gave it a bit of shape for camera esthetics, but in general this is the result.

Cover with the towel and set it aside for another 60 to 90 minutes.

At the 30 minutes into the 60 to 90, set an oven rack in the lower third position, set the covered cast iron pot on the rack and set your oven to 475°.

This ends part two.

~ by Genevieve on 2011.06.18.

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