Straight to the Level
If prefer to (or want to) bake rectangular loaves of sourdough bread, we advocate the Pit Boss 6-Quart Forged Iron Roaster with Lid. It is reasonably priced and created from forged iron (learn: glorious warmth retention).
When my sourdough baking interest turned a ardour challenge, I knew I wanted to improve my gear. The round Dutch oven I had been utilizing was advantageous, however loading my bread dough into the deep partitions of the blazing sizzling pot felt precarious. Whereas many bakers remedy this concern through the use of a combo cooker with the deep aspect because the lid, I needed one thing to accommodate larger loaves in longer shapes. Artisan bread-specific forged iron pans have been too costly for my funds, so once I stumbled upon the Pit Boss 6-Quart Forged Iron Roaster, it was as if I manifested it to satisfy my wants.
Bread requires steam to assist it rise to its full potential, and forged iron is the easiest way to supply constant steam in a house oven. When the lid is on, the remaining moisture within the dough creates a skinny layer of steam that settles on the floor of the bread. This steam helps gelatinize the starches within the dough, permitting it to stretch whereas springing as much as its full top. Not sufficient steam, and the crust begins to set and brown prematurely, stunting the oven spring. Because of this most bakers are restricted to shaping their bread to match the form of the bakeware they’ve at dwelling, however I wasn’t able to choose spherical boules as my solely choice.
The Pit Boss roaster is lengthy and slender, and I can simply match two side-by-side in my oven, permitting me to bake two rectangular loaves at a time. As somebody who eats bread each morning for breakfast, depends on it for lunch, and eats a whole lot of sandwiches, I want longer loaves. Rounded boules are nice for slicing off hunks to pair with a cheeseboard, but it surely’s simply simpler to pair slices from an rectangular loaf. I discover this to be extra perfect.
In relation to utilizing the Pit Boss, the twin use lid is the important thing design ingredient. The shallow aspect makes it straightforward to load dough in and retains it uncovered on the edges, so it’s straightforward to attain with a bread lame. The publicity additionally helps the loaf brown extra simply when the bread’s absolutely risen and the lid is eliminated.
It’s not an ideal piece of apparatus, nonetheless. At 20 kilos, it’s fairly heavy. I’ve to retailer each of mine within the basement, and lugging them up and down the steps may be tiring. And whereas the Pit Boss roaster arrives pre-seasoned, I’ve discovered that it’s not as effectively developed because the manufacturing facility seasoning that comes on our favourite forged iron skillets. And since it is created from conventional, non-enameled forged iron, it needs to be seasoned and maintained.
Nonetheless, at its value level ($53 at time of publish), I’m completely happy to place in a little bit extra elbow grease for actually glorious bread.
Why do you bake sourdough bread in a Dutch oven?
The heavy forged iron partitions and tight-sealing lid on a Dutch oven assist create constant radiant warmth that helps bread bake evenly. The lid traps steam rising off the bread dough’s floor, which settles again onto the dough and creates a gelatinized layer of starch. This gelatinized layer permits the dough to stretch whereas rising, serving to it spring to its full top. It additionally permits for deeper caramelization, making a crispier crust.
What measurement Dutch oven is finest for baking bread?
Whereas a 5-quart Dutch oven is greater than sufficiently big to deal with most traditional sourdough breads, in the event you bake a whole lot of bread, think about a combo cooker just like the Pit Boss. Its low slides help you simply load, rating, and unload bread.