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Nov 10, 2006 05:33 PM

Bittman's No Knead Bread~Question about pot to use?

I don't own a Le Crueset, and all I have is a cast iron skillet. Alot of Pyrex, but nothing large enough. I do have a stainless steel 8qt. which is actually on the heavy side. My question is about the lid. It's glass with a s.steel handle. Would it be safe to use this to the temp of 450 degrees? Since the ingredients are so cheap, the worst case scenario would be to just throw it out if the final product didn't turn out.

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  1. Bittman mentions pyrex in the recipe, so I think it'd be ok.

    1. The stainless steel pot itself would probably be OK but I wouldn't risk the glass lid. I have two of the same type of pots (mine are Dansk) with the glass lids with a metal handle. I was told when I purchased them not to use them in an oven over 350 degrees as the lids are not Pyrex.

      If in doubt I would contact the manufacturer. No sense in loosing your lid to high heat. I dropped one of mine, it shattered all over the place like a pane of glass and I have not been able to find a replacement.

      2 Replies
      1. re: gozz37

        Can Pyrex glass bakeware take 500 degrees???

        1. re: ChowFun_derek

          Don't know about 500 - I do have a pyrex pizza dish that I've used in the oven up to 450 with no problem. My other pyrex has been used at lower temps (350-400).

      2. A cast iron dutch oven would work just as well as a enameled Le Crueset pot. Mr Bittman is using the pot as a mold, and the extra heat energy that the enameled cast iron has will aid crust formation, so a cast iron dutch oven will do the same job in a admirable and less expensive way.
        Pyrex is not to be used at over 400F, or you risk cracking it.

        5 Replies
        1. re: Kelli2006

          (I think the OP has a cast iron skillet, not Dutch oven.) Is there such a thing as a cast iron loaf pan? With lid? If this bread is as great as everyone says I'd like to have options with shapes and sizes. I am starting mine today (as soon as I can draaag myself away from this machine.) I'll follow the original recipe for 1st try. I wonder if this bread is making waves in bakeries too, or just here?

          1. re: Kelli2006

            Since a poster above says that Bittman mentions Pyrex in his article/video as a vessel for the bread, somebody should write to the Times to let him know of this serious problem! I'm sure he'd want everybody to know about possible craking.

            1. re: Kelli2006

              450 degrees is perfectly safe provided you avoid thermal shock.

              Pyrex is common in laboratory equipment, where the safety rule is not to exceed the strain point of 959 degrees F.

              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                You must pre-heat the Pyrex, and drop the wet room temperature dough into it--that might cause it to break the glass?

                1. re: blue room

                  I'm steering away from pyrex because I think that is enough of a temperature difference to cause the 'thermal shock' to which Robert Lauriston refers.

            2. I have never seen any loaf(besides a Pullman) pan with a lid, but cast iron is available in many variety baking shapes. I have a few class and ceramic baking pans, so they are definitely available.

              The bread that Mr. Bittman is describing is just a extreme example of the poolish method, and that is how the best rustic European breads are made.

              1. I also don't have a dutch oven (in any form), but really wanted to try this recipe.

                I ended up used my pyrex deep dish pie dish and cocoon-ed it in heavy-duty aluminum foil. I used two sheets of the really long aluminum foil and once I added the bread dough, I crimped the two edges together to get it as sealed as possible. Also, I baked at 450 degrees, which is the temperature on the recipe.

                I think I did ok considering I didn't have one of the key tools (the dutch oven) for this bread recipe!

                A pic of the outside:

                A pic of the inside:


                1 Reply
                1. re: virtualfrolic

                  I also thought of using aluminum foil and a simular container. Thanks for posting the pictures. It looks like it was a success!!!