Cast iron pots do bake bread. Cuisiland’s oblong pan for batards on the left and a plain 4-quart round pot for boules on the right.

Yes, I do not have the space for a large commercial bread oven in my cottage. Nor do I have the intent to run an industrial baking operation. I bake two excellent ~850g loaves in a pair of Dutch ovens in my regular, electric kitchen oven.

And so, I call it all a pico cottage bakery. That works just fine for me for now.

However, it does not get much better when it comes to Dutch-oven baking and bread with nutrition, aroma, taste, and texture. With a sour, tangy aroma and taste, a finer, tighter crumb, and an amazingly chewing crust, the bread takes its flavor from the levain and its color from the wheat grain husks.

Why Dutch ovens? Because they seal in the steam naturally released from the wet, high-hydration dough at the beginning of the baking process. The steam helps keep the loaf’s crust from setting too early in the pot. The crust would harden too soon without the steam, preventing the loaf from properly rising. We do not want a flat sourdough loaf.

The crumb is void of huge holes, thank you. Any melted butter, soft cheese, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, or other spread won’t drip through onto my shirt and pants. And thanks to the long fermentation method used, this bread will keep longer without going stale. Even after days stored in the breadbox, it is still great when toasted or reheated for 5 to 8 minutes in the oven at 375° F (if it lasts that long).


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *