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No knead bread in a braising pan?

I made a no knead bread the other evening in a dutch oven as instructed in the recipe, but I find the round shape less than optimal for slicing. I have a cast iron le creuset braising pan that would allow me to shape it more loaf-like. Is it too shallow to use for the bread?

asked by Catherine 8 months ago
5 answers 534 views
23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added 8 months ago

No-knead crusty bread relies on the tight cover of the dutch oven to retain steam..which helps develop that great crust. If your braising pan has a heavy lid, go for it. I have more than once thought I might be able to get the same effect on longer loaves by covering dough on a stone with an upside down heavy rectangular baker. Handle placement would be critical as you uncover the bread toward the end of baking and you need to move fast with really hot and heavy pans. To facilitate fast movement on the front end of the process, I do the final rise on parchment paper so I can pick up and place the dough with that. Good luck!

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added 8 months ago

Thanks! It does have a heavy lid. I think I'll give it a go next time I do the bread.

695013bb 6175 44d4 9967 d3fa0ab27033  stringio
added 8 months ago

It would help to compare the volume of the pans; since you've made the recipe before you should have an idea of how completely it filled the Dutch oven. If you're uncomfortable checking the volume of the saute pan by eye or by arithmetic, you could fill it with water and pour it into the Dutch oven; that should give you a good basis to compare.

B3038408 42c1 4c18 b002 8441bee13ed3  new years kitchen hlc only
AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added 8 months ago

How are you slicing your boules? The best way, I respectfully suggest, is to cut the first slice, rotate the loaf 90 degrees and slice again, starting the second slice at the place where the first one's cut meets the rest of the crust on the perimeter. Then alternate. Each slice is close in size to the one you just cut.

That said, sure, go for the braising pan (assuming the capacities are not too far off), as long as the lid domes nicely over the top and tightly fits. You need a fair bit of space above the dough not just for oven spring, but also to contain the steam that helps in baking the bread and giving it a nice crust. Please let us know how it turns out!

Cheers, AJ ;o)

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added 8 months ago

The oven spring is my concern. The lid seems to have a decent dome. Now I just need to make some soup or stew so I have an excuse to make some homemade bread to go with it :) Good thing the weather calls for miserable for the rest of the week!