No knead bread baking question
Mar 6, 8:25 AM EST
Hi FOOD52 and friends,
Please help! The internet is full of contradictory “advice” on a dilemma I have when baking no knead breads. Recipes frequently say to bake the bread at 450 degrees (or more) and often include instructions to preheat the empty Dutch oven type pan as the oven is being heated. Cast iron - no problem. But what about enamel cast iron? Or what about a beautiful new, blue BK steel enamel dutch oven? Many bread bakers say they’ve done high temp, empty, preheating of enamel cast iron with no problems and no damage to the enamel. But there are also stories of ruined pans. Manufacturers (Staub, Le Cruset, Milo, BK and even Lodge) do not provide consistent answers. And their customer service folks are not prepared to help with this question, either. A spokesperson for Sur la Table said that the enameled dutch ovens they sell can all withstand being preheated while empty. Yet Staub and La Creuset customer question resources have widely varying answers about their own product lines. BK wasn’t totally sure, either. Milo hasn’t yet answered my email question.
Have people successfully preheated enamel Dutch ovens by adding some water to the pan as it heats? Or is it better to avoid any kind of high heating without actual food products inside the pan? Or is it best to just use only non-enamel Dutch ovens for high temperature, empty preheating?