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Old 01-13-2018, 02:28 PM   #1
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Dutch oven breads, aka no-knead breads

My latest sub-obsession is Dutch oven breads. I made one yesterday and it came out spectacularly. By accident. The recipe I followed called for 84% hydration. I realize more hydration is necessary to create the steam that creates that lovely crust, but it seemed a bit excessive. I followed the recipe, however (except I changed out the fruit and nuts), and found I had to add a lot more fluid to make the dough even semi-workable.

I checked out several other recipes on the web. Most of them call for 50% hydration, which seems a bit dry. And another recipe I found called for a whopping 94% hydration! Cook’s Country says that 68% hydration is maximal. I downloaded a couple of books on Dutch oven cooking, but they’re very camp-centric, and deal more with the number of charcoals to put on top of the Dutch oven’s lid. (Camping, to me, is having to stay at a Holiday Inn Express and not the J.W. Marriott).

Here’s my bread. Even if it was a fluke, I’m very proud of it!

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Old 01-13-2018, 03:32 PM   #2
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This is the book by the originator of no knead bread:

https://www.amazon.com/My-Bread-Revo...dp/0393066304/

Our local library has it.

Lahey's basic bread calls for 75% hydration, which is what I use.
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Old 01-13-2018, 09:56 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tenspeed View Post
This is the book by the originator of no knead bread:

https://www.amazon.com/My-Bread-Revo...dp/0393066304/

Our local library has it.

Lahey's basic bread calls for 75% hydration, which is what I use.
This looks like exactly what I need! I splurged and ordered a copy on-line. My hubbie’s gonna kill me! Meh, he’ll get over it. And what a sorry comment on my current circumstances that I consider twenty bucks to be a splurge, lol!
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Old 01-16-2018, 05:48 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tenspeed View Post
This is the book by the originator of no knead bread:

https://www.amazon.com/My-Bread-Revo...dp/0393066304/

Our local library has it.

Lahey's basic bread calls for 75% hydration, which is what I use.
I just my copy in yesterday’s mail. I really like it, as I go through the different recipes, I notice that hydration fluctuates with different kinds of bread. The basic is 75%, but some are at 87.5%, and a few are at 100%! Mr. Lahey doesn’t give any reason for the fluctuations, nor does he ever say, in a general way, which categories of bread, or which ingredients require a higher hydration. As a textbook, it falls short, although the first chapters have a lot of great information, and the recipes are top-notch. Thanks for the suggestion!
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Old 01-16-2018, 07:16 AM   #5
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On another site, a Dutch company was asking for input about a new bread baking Dutch oven they are producing. They asked about functionality. I told them to send me one and I'd evaluate it for them. No reply and no oven. Imagine that!
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