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Cast Iron artisan bread, fast and good

 
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Hello Lovelies,

I just wanted to share a video of a bread recipe that has now become a daily bake for our family. It resembles the basic artisan crunchy crust breads that we envy and desire...ooooooo....artisan breeeeead. You can easily tweak this one. I don't have a proper cast iron(CI) dutch oven, so I used a CI pot and skillet as a lid. I put some aluminum foil over the pot to help with the seal.
By tweaking, I mean the water ratio as shown in the video (recipe is in the viewer comments as the link in the description is incomplete). But it's basic structure is:
3 cups    Flour
2 tsp       Dry yeast
2 tsp       Salt
1.5 cups Water*

* add tbsp of water until your specific flour/dough resembles the consistency of that shown in the video.

I add either a tbsp honey or molasses, spices, herbs, cocoa powder depending on the flavors I want to end up with.
My girls' favorite is one where I use molasses, cocoa powder, and cardamom. It goes with honey and butter for their between-meal snacks. And the flavor pairs well with mild cheeses and jams.

I also proof and develop the gluten by folding the dough 3 times like I do with sour dough bread. It is SO worth it. If you use a simple all purpose flour, then I recommend you bake it to a blond crust and not the typical toasted brown.


IMG-20211212-WA0004.jpeg
Cocoa cardamom bread
Cocoa cardamom bread
IMG-20211209-WA0007.jpeg
Cast iron bake
Cast iron bake
IMG-20211209-WA0015.jpeg
Honey wheat
Honey wheat
 
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Location: central california - zone 9a
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That is a really beautiful bread! I've been working on making Sourdough rye lately and half the time it turns out great and the other half it barely rises at all. I haven't tried rising/baking in my cast iron, so I'll definitely try that. Thanks!
 
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Location: 5,000' 35.24N zone 7b Albuquerque, NM
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Great video - thank you Tavonna!

Tiffany, the sourdough rye doesn't rise as much as plain unbleached white flour but these tips help me:
1. Add a pinch of dried ginger per loaf. The natural sourdough yeast loves ginger and perks up the loaf.
2. Use some organic unbleached white flour in your rye bread since rye doesn't have gluten to stretch and rise.
3. Make sure that your water is not chlorinated.
4. Let sourdough rise in fridge for 2-3 days after your counter-top rise. This enables the sourdough to digest the flour.
5. Preheat your cast iron pot as shown in the video (don't let your bread rise in that). Put your loaf in the HOT pot.

One more new trick for shaping the moist no-knead loaves: put 2 bricks on long edge in the center of a turkey roaster (I use enameled steel) and preheat with the pan. This allows the baker to make crusty long loaves (batards) as a change up to the round loaf.
Happy Baking!
 
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This sounds like something I would like to try. Thanks!
 
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I'm planning to start a sourdough starter this weekend and take some with me when I visit my sister after Christmas. I don't think she has a cast iron skillet so I'll take mine.
Wish me luck!
 
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I've tried artisan bread in my cast iron dutch oven and the ease of making it and the taste are both great. BUT the crust is so hard that I can barely chew it. I really need to figure how to get the inside the same - which is near perfect - but not have the crust so hard. I've tried covering it with a cloth as it cools. That helps a bit, but it is still too hard.

Or is it supposed to be really hard? I know it is supposed to be "crusty", but so hard that you can't chew it doesn't seem to be right.

Thanks for any suggestions!
 
L Kroeker
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What if you gave it a brush of fresh butter? That would soften the crust.
 
Amy Gardener
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I've tried artisan bread in my cast iron dutch oven and the ease of making it and the taste are both great. BUT the crust is so hard that I can barely chew it.  


Great question, Rosemary Michael! Put your lid and pot separately in the cold oven as you preheat to at least 475F or hotter (500 works well for me). Drop the moist loaf into the super hot preheated pot and put that lid on fast! Bake for a shorter period of time than with a cooler oven (35 min plus more if you're high altitude). The oven spring will give your loaf great rise and the crust will be thin and crispy. If your crust is still thick, raise the oven temp higher next time - your oven could be off a bit.
To hold the heat when you open the oven, put several bricks inside during the preheat (I line the bottom of my oven with 8 one inch thick bricks).
 
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Thanks Amy Gardener for the tip about baking in cast iron in a HOT oven.  I can't wait to try that. Lynn.
 
Amy Gardener
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Just remember that the super hot oven applies to sourdough breads without milk or sugar which burn. Follow recipe recommended temps if you're making sugary breads.
 
Rosemary Michael
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Thank you for the information. Now I just need to get my sourdough going again!
 
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The bread looks so delicious. I'm definitely going to make some and appreciate you sharing. I'll play around and tweak it some to see what I can come up with.
thanks so much for sharing!

Tavonna Nira Strømsengbakken wrote:Hello Lovelies,

I just wanted to share a video of a bread recipe that has now become a daily bake for our family. It resembles the basic artisan crunchy crust breads that we envy and desire...ooooooo....artisan breeeeead. You can easily tweak this one. I don't have a proper cast iron(CI) dutch oven, so I used a CI pot and skillet as a lid. I put some aluminum foil over the pot to help with the seal.
By tweaking, I mean the water ratio as shown in the video (recipe is in the viewer comments as the link in the description is incomplete). But it's basic structure is:
3 cups    Flour
2 tsp       Dry yeast
2 tsp       Salt
1.5 cups Water*

* add tbsp of water until your specific flour/dough resembles the consistency of that shown in the video.

I add either a tbsp honey or molasses, spices, herbs, cocoa powder depending on the flavors I want to end up with.
My girls' favorite is one where I use molasses, cocoa powder, and cardamom. It goes with honey and butter for their between-meal snacks. And the flavor pairs well with mild cheeses and jams.

I also proof and develop the gluten by folding the dough 3 times like I do with sour dough bread. It is SO worth it. If you use a simple all purpose flour, then I recommend you bake it to a blond crust and not the typical toasted brown.


 
Tavonna Nira Strømsengbakken
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Location: Norway
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The overly crunchy crust is why I bake it blond. I increase the temperature to the ones in the Binging with Babish, Sourdough video recipe.

Also, I made a beer bread by over fermenting and doing no folding, direct to loaf shaping and final proofing before placing in the oven. Most of the alcohol was gone, and it tasted great with cheese and meat. My guy loves it. I'm going to do it for a beer sampling event.
20211216_022218.jpg
Beer bread
Beer bread
 
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