An experiment with bread: the iron pot!

bread in the iron pot

Hello everyone! Let me share with you this novel way of cooking bread: using an iron cast pot. I never knew about this method until I accidentally stumbled upon a recipe last week. Well, I never! Cooking bread in a pot? With a lid on? I was intrigued…. As it happens I do possess an iron cast pot by Le Creuset (which hardly ever sees the light of day) so what better way of putting it to good use? As you know I LOVE bread and I have been baking my own for months now. I am getting rather good at it, modestly speaking, but I’m still looking for new ideas all the time. This particular method is truly great as you end up with a lovely crusty loaf which is crispy on the outside and lovely and soft on the inside. I’ve never quite achieved this level of perfection before. Before I made this loaf I was worried it would stick to the pot but no: it just lifted out leaving the pot absolutely clean. I followed James Morton’s technique (the Scottish young guy who was in the Big Bake off programme). Apparently he loves cooking bread using iron pots. And if it’s good for James it’s good for me!

INGREDIENTS

300 gr. strong white flour

100 gr. spelt flour

100 gr. rye flour

10 gr. salt

a knob of soft butter

1 tbspoon honey

15-20 gr. fresh yeast (or 7 gr. dry yeast)

320 gr. tepid water

1 ladleful of sour dough (optional)

METHOD

Combine all ingredients and knead until you have a soft ball. Leave covered for a couple of hours (until double in size). Knock back and form into a tight ball. Place it in a proving basket and put it in the fridge.

Put your pot in the oven at 250C for 20 minutes to preheat.

Then score and slid your loaf into the scorching pot. At this point the bread will not look much bigger than when you put it in the fridge. But worry not. It will have a spectacular second rise in the pot..

Cook for 20 minutes with the lid on , remove the lid and cook for another 20 minutes with the lid off. I turned the oven down to 220 degrees at this point as I didn’t want it to burn.

 

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