Before turning in last night, I prepared a bread dough – again using my sourdough monster – so it would be ready to bake this morning. This is a no-knead loaf, and is loaf #3 from this starter. I’m using standard grocery store bread flour, nothing fancy.
Previously I did the final short rise with the dough wrapped in a towel coated with a mix of flour and corn meal. I recently bought some finer corn meal and this time I coated the towel with just the fine corn meal with no flour.
I again slashed the surface of the dough with a serrated knife, but this time the dough did not accept the slash in the same way. The last time the slash really opened up the surface. This time the dough seemed to close right up over the slash. Maybe the consistency of today’s dough was a little different, I’m not sure. Perhaps it should be ever-so-slightly less wet? Over time, I’ll experiment some until I get a good understanding of what changes to the dough do to the final product.
I baked this loaf just a couple minutes less with the lid off than the last one so there is less of the chestnut colour on the surface (30 minutes lid on + 13 minutes lid off). Still the crust looks to be nicely developed. I’ll let it cool, run some errands and cut it open for a sandwich later on.
The other day somebody asked me if I grease or coat the Dutch oven in any way before putting the dough in. I don’t. The loaf itself has some coating – as I mentioned I’ve used a cornmeal and flour mix and also straight-up cornmeal. I’m also going to try wheat bran in the future. I do pre-heat the Dutch oven with the lid on to 500F.
Since I’ve started baking bread at high temperatures, I’ve noticed the orange colour of my Dutch oven has darkened a little. I’m sure those enamels are not intended for such high temperatures. I’m going to keep an eye open for a cast iron pot and lid with no enamel for bread baking.