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Old 11-05-2015, 08:24 AM   #1
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Need Advice - Dutch Oven Bread

I made my first dutch oven bread yesterday, following the NYT recipe. The results were astonishingly good, considering the amount of work involved and my complete lack of baking skills. However, it wasn't quite as good as what I can buy at the local bakery. Specifically, it was a little too moist, and it didn't have the flavor that the bakery bread does. After 45 minutes (total) of baking time the bread was at 210 F, so I'm pretty sure I didn't undercook it.

The recommendation from Seriouseats is to refrigerate the dough for a couple days after rising to allow it to develop more flavor, which I'm going to try next. If I cut back a bit on the amount of water, will it reduce the moisture of the finished bread, or am I just going to make lousy bread?

Any words of wisdom from experienced bakers would be appreciated.

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Old 11-05-2015, 09:28 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tenspeed View Post
...The recommendation from Seriouseats is to refrigerate the dough for a couple days after rising to allow it to develop more flavor, which I'm going to try next. If I cut back a bit on the amount of water, will it reduce the moisture of the finished bread, or am I just going to make lousy bread?

Any words of wisdom from experienced bakers would be appreciated.

You didn't do this? I'd definitely try this the next time. The extended time in the fridge should make a big difference in the flavor (as you noted).

Don't change two variables in the same recipe. Change one and see what happens. Change the second variable in another try.
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Old 11-05-2015, 10:39 AM   #3
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Did you use the 1-5/8 cup called for in the recipe? If you'll notice in comments, there's one that says original recipe called for 1-1/3. Never tried this bread before but I think I will. It certainly got raves.

ETA, the 1-5/8 vs 1-1/3 is WATER.

Edited again. The recipe I was looking at was the one from the NY Times, not the SeriousEats one.

http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/11376-no-knead-bread
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Old 11-05-2015, 10:47 AM   #4
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I've made this bread several times. Need to start it again Yes, the longer you refrigerate the dough, the more flavor it develops. If I remember correctly, the master recipe makes four loaves and you can keep it in the fridge for up to two weeks.

Double-check the amount of flour, as medtran suggested. And maybe next time, remove the lid from the pot a little sooner during baking.
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Old 11-05-2015, 02:24 PM   #5
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Subbing in a half cup to a cup of whole wheat or rye for an equal amount of white flour adds a lot of flavor.
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Old 11-05-2015, 02:47 PM   #6
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Isn't it bad for enamelled cast iron to get that hot empty?
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Old 11-05-2015, 03:23 PM   #7
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This is my favorite description of how to make this bread: http://steamykitchen.com/168-no-knea...revisited.html

Kayelle and Dawg, if a four-year-old can make it, so can you!
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Old 11-05-2015, 03:24 PM   #8
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Isn't it bad for enamelled cast iron to get that hot empty?
I remember reading that somewhere, but millions (I think) of people have done this. My pot doesn't seem any worse for wear.
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Old 11-05-2015, 03:31 PM   #9
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Some instructions call for 30 minutes covered and 15 minutes uncovered, others call for 15 minutes covered and 30 minutes uncovered. I split the difference and took the cover off halfway through the 45 minute baking cycle, figuring I couldn't be too far off. Otherwise, I followed the NYT recipe, including the 1 - 5/8 cup water.

While reading various instructions I came across the recommendation that you put the dough on parchment paper to make it easier to put it in the DI without burning yourself. That worked out well, as a 450 F DI is HOT! Not being a baker, I didn't realize that not all parchment paper is rated at the same temperature. The roll I bought from Amazon is only good for 420 F, so I had to get another roll that is good to 450 F.

I made a batch of dough today, and will put it in the fridge tomorrow for use on Sunday. I'll be trying a rye version soon.
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Old 11-05-2015, 03:46 PM   #10
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I know I've had good results with the instructions from Steamy Kitchen, which say to bake 30 minutes covered and 15-20 minutes uncovered. And yes, using parchment paper makes a huge difference!

This is the source I was thinking about when I referred to the recipe making four loaves: http://www.artisanbreadinfive.com
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Old 11-05-2015, 03:48 PM   #11
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Tenspeed, thanks for the heads up about the parchment paper. I also didn't realize that there were heat ratings. I just checked mine. In tiny letters, next to the serrated edge of the container, it says that it's rated for 400F. Aargh! No wonder it gets dark when I use it when I'm roasting vegis.
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Old 11-05-2015, 04:10 PM   #12
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Isn't it bad for enamelled cast iron to get that hot empty?
From the searching I've done, it seems that heating the pot empty on the stovetop can cause damage, but heating it in the oven does not. I guess it's the direct heat that is the problem.
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Old 11-05-2015, 04:36 PM   #13
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From the searching I've done, it seems that heating the pot empty on the stovetop can cause damage, but heating it in the oven does not. I guess it's the direct heat that is the problem.
That makes sense, as you will get a temperature differential on the stove, where you won't in the oven. The instructions from Lodge say not to heat an empty DI (which shows that not all guys don't read instructions, but may not necessarily listen to them!). I'm also thinking that if you heat an empty DI and then dump a gallon of broth in it, you will thermal shock the DI, which is why they say "Don't do it!".
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