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Experiments with Sourdough Pot Baking

After my Christmas loaves, I made up a batch of Basic White Sourdough and added a 1/4 cup of cracked wheat which had been soaked in hot water instead of the cornmeal. Without the cornmeal, the dough bulk fermented much quicker and I shaped the loaves and put them into small banneton baskets again. This time I made three loaves and they were a bit over 1.5 lbs each.

Here are the loaves in their baskets:

3 loaves

Here is one of the loaves when it was ready to pop into the oven:

proofing done

This dough didn’t take as long to proof as the dough with the added cornmeal. It wasn’t as sour as a result, but a very good loaf in it’s own right. I used a flexible plastic cutting board as a peel to get the dough into the preheated cast iron pot. I then put on the lid without spraying any water as a result of the prior experiment showing that the initial drying of the skin of the loaf created a better outcome with the slashes. It was also true with the pot baked loaves. They came out better without the early spray of water which I was giving the dough just before putting on the lid. Here is one of the loaves still in the pot:

bread in the pot

All of the loaves came out great with very nice crusts:

first loaf

second loaf

third loaf

All three together:

three loaves together

closeup

Here is the crumb:

crumb

It seems that if you spray the dough immediately with pot baking or with stone baking, you don’t have as nice of a blooming of the slashes. It was very interesting finding this out and another one of those instances that make sourdough baking so much fun!

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1 Comment

  1. Erin Smith Erin Smith
    September 16, 2013    

    These look lovely! I would love to try your recipe. I am new to sourdough and want to learn as much as I can and bake a lot with it. I love your website!

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