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Dutch oven bread

 
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I know I am pushing the season, but does anyone have experience baking bread in a Dutch Oven on an open fire?  Any tips? It is something I would like to try this winter.
 
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Use coals rather than open flames. Easier to control & gives more consistent results. I use a slightly moister dough compared to baking bread in an indoor oven. Larger loaves seem to work a little better than small ones.
 
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Years ago...when our boys were young and we took long tent camping trips on the river and we always brought the dutch oven and a big big 50# bag of whole wheat flour and some bulk bread yeast.  

As Mike says, use coals...so it was necessary to have a fire burn for awhile to get enough coals to last long enough for baking a big loaf .  It seems like we moved a pile of coals to the edge of the burning fire (and then still had the main fire for cooking other things and more coals if necessary)...made a nice bed of coals to set the oven on (it had feet) and then added more coals to the lid which had a rim that held them in place.  I think I remember using the ash scoop to move the coals around? We probably had a shovel along too though for other things.....

We rarely used the dutch oven at home because we had a wood cook stove and other iron ware that worked better on the stove surface.

On a side note, I always blamed my cataracts on cooking over smokey fires...campfires, roasting peppers....etc.
 
John F Dean
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Thanks Mike and Judith,

I have used a Dutch Oven before ... many years ago ...unpredictable results. I figured I would take advantage of the site for a primer. My wife has been the primary bread baker, but I figured I would give it a try in our fireplace when the weather cooled.
 
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Dutch Oven No knead Bread is probably the most simplest recipe I've ever cooked, it hardly takes 5 minutes to prepare everything, though you probably need to follow some instructions, I found here best and simplest way to make this, here. https://tasty.co/recipe/homemade-dutch-oven-bread
 
Mike Barkley
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It takes a bit of practice but if you want super predictable results wrap the oven in aluminum foil & bury it in the ground under a big bed of coals.
 
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There's a system out there for controlling the heat of the dutch oven called the Dinwiddie Ring Method. A good write up on it is here: http://www.susquehannaironmasters.com/temperature-control.html
 
John F Dean
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Hi Mike,

I was planning on doing this in the fireplace this winter.
 
John F Dean
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Hi Pearl,

This article is interesting. Thanks.
 
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Pearl Sutton wrote:

There's a system out there for controlling the heat of the dutch oven called the Dinwiddie Ring Method.

Hmmm.. so how can we adapt that to work with actual wood coals?

We have a wood stove and I've always wondered if once it was a bed of coals, could I put my Dutch Oven in to bake or cook something. Mine is a glazed over iron, not straight cast iron, which scares me a little.

I do make a No-knead Sourdough bread in it if people want my recipe. I have Rye sourdough babies that I've been using for several years now and I'm rather pleased with myself that I haven't managed to kill them! I've recently tried several alternate recipes that use the starter, but every time #2 Son has said, "I like your bread better".
 
John F Dean
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Hi All,

If you take the article Pearl posted down to it's most basic level, it says more coals equals more heat.  Not the most extreme concept.  The trick is to estimate how much is needed. This article did point the way as to how to do that.  My approach that I intend to run with is to estimate how much coals equals a charcoal brick.  With this approach, the article takes on much more value.  Yes, it is still guessing ... but less so.
 
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