Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Bread Undercover/No-Knead

The most common method of baking bread using the no-knead is baking in generic Dutch ovens or Creuset Dutch ovens. The problem with these is the high sides that make it difficult to transfer the dough to the Dutch oven.

I've discovered that by transferring the dough to the upside down cover and then inverting the Dutch oven over the dough makes everything much easier.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Soap Stone Hearth

 Soap stone slab sit on firebrick floor
Soap stone is used for the hearths of some pizza ovens because soap stone is a very dense, heavy material that absorbs lots of heat. This is ideal for something that should be baked very fast, like pizza. For bread baking, a soap stone hearth is probably not a good idea because there is a very good chance the bottoms of your breads will burn before the interior gets baked.
Anyway, a friend gave me a soap stone slab, and I placed it right on top of the firebrick floor to check it out. What happened was that the intense oven heat caused the soap stone to spall (chip/flake). I had heard that soap stone might spall, but I had to try it for myself. Perhaps there are different grades of soap stone, and perhaps a different grade would perform better. I don't know. Is there anyone out there who has had experience with soap stone?