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Old 04-23-2002, 03:56 AM   #1
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Baking bread in Cast Iron Pot

Maws suggested a Barbecue thread, and also mentionned baking bread in her cast iron pot in her ground fire.
OK Maws, Here is 'Your' BBQ thread; and I have a question . . .
I do Large Quantity BBQ, crazy amounts for various events, and most are spit-roasted items. I am wondering if I can do Bread in an Iron Pot while I'm doing the BBQ. I use lump charcoal on a sand base and have a technique for very limited amount(s) of fire for the spit-roasting BBQ.
Might you supply some suggestions including Pot Size(s) and Weight(s), any specifics for internal coating(s), Suggestions for times - and types of fires if possible, top-of-pot fire required (?), and of course - Personnal Recommendations for recipe(s).
I have a couple of Dutch Ovens and would really like to include a 'Pot of Bread,' if only for my supper at one of the BBQs. I am sure this would create even more interest and enthusiasm.
Finally,
David

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Old 04-23-2002, 04:39 AM   #2
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baking bread in a dutch oven is easily doable if you are a master dutch oven cooker. This project isn't for beginners of baking or fire/coal dutch ovening, it takes a lot of experience and know how about both. too little time and you have a sticky mess inside, too hot or too long and you have burnt the bread. Since this is just a hit or miss learning experience give it a try with a short baking time at high heat bread recipe also look for one with a fairly high water content or add 15% to 25% more water as the steam will help prevent buring and provide a wonderful crust, and stick with the same bread recipe until you get a feel for it.
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Old 04-24-2002, 11:59 AM   #3
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Bread & Barbecue - Hi Finally - Only read your new posting now. Let's get baking. I'll explain the way I do it. I use a flat bottomed cast iron pot - a useful size for bread will be about 4" deep and 12" in diameter at the rim. If you have soft soil around the bbq area, dig a hole into which this will fit.

Now make a strong fire in the hole. We use wood. If using charcoal briquettes (I don't know what you would call this, but you'll understand), burn for at least hour. Then remove charcoal and only replace a few small pieces for heat at the bottom of the hole. (Sounding complicated?)

When you're ready to bake, place the pot in the hole - I use a few small stones to lift the base from the ground. Take some more small pieces of charcoal or coals and place on the lid. Keep feeding if these coals die down - also replace at the bottom. But remember, the hole is hot and will retain its temperature quite well. One hour at least before your lift the lid to check. Usually this time is just right for a pot that size.

Without the hole you can easily perch the pot on warm coals, lifted by small stone, bricks or a metal stand and add some more coals to the lid. It also works well.

As for the bread: your usual and favourite loaf, with yeast. Sourdough will do very well. I usually estimate amounts - but roughly, for this size: l kg bread flour, 3 - 3 cups water, 1/2 packets of dried yeast (the instant one), salt and a few tablespoon olive oil or melted butter. T o this you can add to taste: sundried tomatoes, cheese, fried onions, chopped herbs, nuts, etc. But start off with the plain one.

What I do, after all this, is merely add the water slowly to the flour and yeast and salt, with the oil, and stir until a messy but workable consistency. Then knead until smooth and elastic (keep on adding small amounts of flour to keep the dough smooth). Cover in bowl with plastic wrap (cling film) until dough has doubled in size, knock down and place in pot which has been sprayed with oil. In a well seasoned cast-iron pot this is enough. Leave - lid on - until the dough is well risen, but not touching the lid.

Place in hole or on fire with lid on and proceed.

I adapt to larger pots merely by "guessing" amounts. A good way is to pour flour in the empty pot till it is half full. This amount is enough for a bread that will completely fill the pot. Then just add yeast, salt and water until you've got your consistency..

If I sound like a Greek, please send me a message and I will try to explain slowly (!) and clearly. OK? It sounds complicated, but really isn't. I find it is easier to overcook (Burn!) the bread by plying the pot with too many coals, than to undercook it. I keep on testing the heat by holding my hand over and alongside the pot.

Alternatively: visit us at our home in South Africa and we can attack the bread together!! Greetings. Maws.











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Old 04-24-2002, 04:04 PM   #4
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Maws:
Thank you for the suggestions for BBQ Bread. I will do it until I get it right!!!
Following your suggestions even further, I will supplement the breads based uppon the Primary BBQ: Lamb, a rosemary bread??? Beef, maybe an onion bread?? . . .But what to prepare for Roast Pig??
Anyone got suggestions?
thanks,
Finally,
David
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Old 04-24-2002, 05:23 PM   #5
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mmmmm....good question. I'm just brainstorming here so be gentle with my suggestions!;)

Will there be a bbq sauce on the pig?

cheese and jalapeno bread
oregano bread
basil/oregano/with chunks of roasted garlic

I'll keep thinking.
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Old 04-25-2002, 01:26 AM   #6
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barbque

elf, good suggestions!

If roasted without bbq sauce....

garlic/sun dried tomato
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Old 04-28-2002, 12:56 PM   #7
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barbecue

I was sure I had replied to this, but perhaps I could not submit my reply. In any case, sage is wonderful with pork and I'd probably chop up a handful of fresh sage leaves and add it to the bread dough. But all the mentioned suggestions sound delicious too.

Maws
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Old 04-28-2002, 03:11 PM   #8
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maws,

Well, thanks for the offer to visit - we've all got reservations, get the extra beds ready, we're on our way - I WISH!!!!!! I love being around people passionate about cooking like I am. We're such a fun bunch!!!!!
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Old 04-28-2002, 04:13 PM   #9
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If you wanted to go for a real Texas style to your bread for a Barbque, how 'bout a sourdough....or even more Texas....cornbread....perhaps a Mexican cornbread, using a non-sweet cornbread batter and adding chopped green chili's, drained mexican corn, and of course, colby-jack cheese. Whether it's barbeque beef, chicken, or pork, we serve pinto beans, cole slaw, and corn bread!
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Old 04-28-2002, 05:22 PM   #10
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Norma,

Sounds a lot like North Carolina barbeque gatherings! Pinto beans, cornbread, slaw - YUM
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