Bread baked in a cast iron pot
The baked bread, right out of the oven, smells beautiful and... sings. Every time the bread cools, I bend over it, smell it and listen... This soft crackle and wonderful smell is real magic... I smell, listen and think about baking another loaf.
For me, the best home-baked bread is the pot bread. Crispy and golden crust without the use of steam is one of the advantages of baking bread in a cast iron pot. We can also bake this bread on a hot pizza stone, but I still recommend a cast iron pot, because it is an investment for many years.
The proving time of the dough is approximate. It all depends on the strength of the leaven and the temperature in the kitchen. This should be checked as proving time can vary from person to person.
As an example I will give you a schedule according to which I prepare bread:
07:00 - mixing the grout
17:00 - autolysis
17:30 - kneading dough
18:00 - submission
18:30 - folding
19:00 - folding
19:30 - folding
20:00 - board rest
20:30 - loaf forming, basket, proofing in the fridge
07:00 - 12:00 - baking
Ingredients for 1 loaf
15 g of leaven
70 g of water
70 g of type 750 wheat flour
350 g of common wheat bread flour, type 750
150 g of whole wheat flour
350 g of water
8 g of salt
10-16 hours before kneading the dough for bread, mix all the ingredients for the leaven in a bowl, cover and leave at room temperature, for me it is a kitchen counter.
Add all ingredients for the dough, except salt, to a large bowl. Mix only to combine the ingredients, cover the bowl and set aside for about 30 - 45 minutes until autolysis. One of the purposes of autolysis is to saturate the flour with water before kneading the dough.
At the end of the autolysis, sprinkle the dough with salt and knead it for about 2-3 minutes in a mixer with a hook or for 5 minutes by hand. Cover the bowl and set aside in a warm place for initial fermentation for about 2.5 hours. During fermentation, fold the dough three / four times with an interval of 30 minutes.
How to fold bread? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6hzjGX33Jeg
30 minutes after the last folding, gently slide the dough onto the capital sprinkled with flour and leave the dough for about an hour. After this time, form the dough into a round or oblong loaf. Place the loaf into a basket covered with flour (or e.g. a bowl lined with linen cloth and also sprinkled with flour). Cover the basket with e.g. a linen cloth and put it in the fridge for about 10 - 16 hours.
Before baking, heat the cast iron pot in an oven for 45 - 60 minutes at 250 ° C. Gently put the loaf on baking paper, cut it with a razor, for example.
Remember about protective gloves!
Put the cut bread (together with baking paper) into a hot pot and bake it for 20 minutes at 250 ° C with a lid. After this time, remove the lid, reduce the temperature to 210/230 ° C (the temperature depends on the oven) and bake for another 20 minutes. Cool the baked bread on a wire rack.
Enjoy your meal!