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Nov 16, 2006 04:23 PM

Lahey's No Knead Bread - Pot Help?

I only have one super large LC pot - 8.75 quarts. From reading other posts this sounds like it'll be too large. What sizes have people used and what was the result been? I assume a smaller pot will be ok, it'll just rise higher when baking?

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  1. Nope. That's what I'm using too. The first loaf turned into a high, tight little boule with the singing crust in that pot. The second one came out more ciabatta-like but just as delicious.

    There were many differences in the second loaf and I don't know which accounts for the change. I increased the salt in the dough to 2 tsp. I added a big handful of walnut halves to the dough. And the oven temp (I'm doing this on my BBQ) was only 350 when the dough was ready (finding the right stack of tiles and the right setting for 450 degrees has been tough!). I put it in with the relief fold/seam on the bottom. No matter — the texture is very good and the flavor much better.

    2 Replies
    1. re: rainey

      Oh ok - cool. Thanks. My little bread baby should be growing at home right now! Can't wait until I get home!

      1. re: HaagenDazs

        I know! The waiting is really fun. You can do other stuff yet you know that the bread is getting stronger by they minute as it sits in the bowl.

    2. I've baked it in a huge lecruset pan that was WAY too big and then had to do it in a small lecruset. Both adapted fine to the pan. When the NYT article said it's hard to screw up this recipe - they weren't kidding. I've done it with white flour and wheat and with wheat mixed with wheat bran and they have all been amazing. I also couldn't get to the baking on the second batch - so it rose for about 24 hours - still perfect. The next batch I make I want to try and carve an intitial in the top like some of the better Parisian bakeries do....any suggestions for that?

      My only prob with the recipe is that my dough sticks to the dish towel quite a lot even though I flour it. I will figure out how not to set it on the towel on the next batch.

      Good luck.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Annabelicious

        I'd say just a sharp knife for your initial. Some other folks mentioned putting the dough in a oiled bowl for the 2nd rise instead of a towel. I think I heard that, but it's hard to sort through hundreds of posts! Anyone try that yet?

        1. re: Annabelicious

          I let mine rise in a lightly oiled bowl for the short rise and avoided the whole towel problem. Worked just fine.

          1. re: missclaudy

            I did the bowl thing as well and it worked just fine. A real plus as far as I'm concered, no messy towel to deal with and since it was such a blob, it formed into a ball on it's own by using the bowl.

        2. Carve initials in the top--what a nice idea--I suppose a very sharp knife would be best--razor sharp and manouverable, like an Xacto knife. Practice first, baking I'm sure will change shapes and depths of cuts! All sorts of lovely tops could be done with a few slashes.

          7 Replies
          1. re: blue room

            Thanks for the tips. I will try a sharp knife. I'm going to also try a big sharp knife on an angle. I think a wider cut might have more holding power.

            1. re: Annabelicious

              You *do* realize you're going to have to reach into a 450 degree pot to do this, no? If it's something you've just gotta do, then I'd recommend going to a beauty supply and getting a folding razor with a 4" blade and a handle. Then only using a new utterly sharp one, make a single, quick, authorative cut at a 45 degree angle from perpendicular. It would be good to work out what this intial looks like as a single, perhaps script-type, stroke with a minimum of angle.

              You could save this touch for a conventional bread you rise on a peel and slide into the oven.

              1. re: rainey

                Folding razor is a great idea. I'm actually going to try not "flipping" the dough and carving on the smooth top side before I drop it in the pan....we'll see.

                I've read a few blogs on this's a hot topic around the world apparently...I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who felt the article was inspiring.....anyway, I've noticed that some feel the dough has a great crust and crumb but lacks flavor. Some are adding more salt....thoughts?

                1. re: Annabelicious

                  I increased the salt to 2 tsp on my second loaf and added a generous handful of walnut halves and green onion. The flavor is much better but the loaf is much flatter. There are *many* reasons why it could be flatter — the one I'm most inclined to believe is I baked it at 350 degrees on my BBQ (hey! the dough was ready even if the BBQ wasn't).

                  Experiment on!

                  1. re: Annabelicious

                    I added more salt (I used 2 tsp), and it was perfect.

              2. re: blue room

                Carve Bittman's and Lahey's initials into the bread.

                1. re: missclaudy

                  Well, of course. One must pay homage. It was great of him to share this with the home cook.

              3. I don't want to insult anyone, but just in case, be sure you are using just **1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons** water. That equals 1 5/8 cups. My dough was not so gloopy that it stuck much to the floured towel, and I'm puzzled that many people are having that problem.
                I often blow it when arithmetic is I thought I'd remind.

                1 Reply
                1. re: blue room

                  In the video, the amount was cut by 2 tablespoons, and Rose Levy Beranbaum confirmed it's an improvement. See the thread

                2. If anyone is looking for a bargain Dutch oven, check,