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Need advice re Hertzberg/Francois bread in Dutch oven


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Need advice re Hertzberg/Francois bread in Dutch oven

greygarious | Apr 29, 2008 12:37 PM

Although I am an adept cook, I've managed to live 58 years before tackling yeast dough. For my "virgin" loaf, I have the whole wheat variation of CI's Almost No-Knead loaf rising at the moment. I used the dip-and-sweep measure method, with just-opened bags of KA flour, which may have been too settled, because it took a lot of elbow grease to mix it enough to get up the dry flour on the bottom of the bowl. I do have a scale, and in the future will weigh the flour. It took 12 hours to double in a cool room. I will bake it in a 6.5 qt Dutch oven. This loaf will be larger than I need - I will need to freeze or give away some.

I have two other Dutch ovens: a 4-qt enameled cast iron (Martha Stewart K-Mart) and a 4-qt cast iron Lodge, well-seasoned from decades of goulash and pot roast. Can I either make a half-recipe of the CI bread in one of these, or make a full recipe, baking half right away and refrigerating the other half for a few days? If so, what will be the changes, if any, in timing and/or oven temp?

I have the NY times Hertzberg/Francois recipe, and might get the book because I like the idea of baking small amounts as needed. Can their recipes be baked in a Dutch oven? It sounds easier than peel, stone (I own neither), and cornmeal.

Thanks in advance for your input.

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