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Oct 3, 2007 12:09 PM

(Another) Bittman Bread Question - size of cast iron pot

I'm determined to try this recipe after all the attention - but my largest cast iron pot (or appropriately heavy pot) is 5 quarts - will it work?

Also - I bought Fleischmanns Instant Yeast but it also says "Quick Rise" - are these two differents kinds of yeast or is this OK - I've always used Active Yeast.


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  1. Your 5 quart pot will be fine. Mine is only 3 quarts and I get a lovely high, round boule out of it.

    1. I think you bought exactly the right kind of yeast. I had always used the non-instant active dry yeast before, but the Bittman recipe calls for the instant Rapidrise stuff. That's what I used and had great results.

      1. In Bittman's followup article to his original one about the Sullivan-Lahey bread, he says that the best size pan is a 3-4 quart one rather than the original larger size. I agree. Also, Bittman said that both instant and rapid-rise yeast are fine. Good luck. I love this bread and had to stop making it as the lbs. were creeping on. But it so easy and so impressive that I make it for guests. Have high-quality butter (I use Plugra) and great preserves on hand to serve with the bread when it's hot out of the oven, or some quality oozy-goozy perfectly ripe cheese. Oh my oh my.

        2 Replies
        1. re: maria lorraine

          This is so easy to do once you are in the groove of it. I had a nice rhymn going where I was starting one loaf rising just as we were finishing one. But I had to stop making it too because I loved it as a substrate for really good butter. Cholesterol readings. May be inspired now to make a loaf for fun.

          1. re: maria lorraine

            Yeah, I wish he'd written the follow-up before I requested the large-size Le Crueset for Christmas. I was getting these really (really) flat loaves until I broke down and bought a 5 qt dutch oven.

          2. I hate my oven.

            Bottom of loaf was burned - due probably to many factors - my oven temp is really variable; it can't hold a temp so the bottom element comes on and off alot - I've read elsewhere about people who pretty much dispense with the cooking time with the lid off - anybody try that?

            Also - I haven't tasted it yet but I fear it's going to taste like smoked bread - my well seasoned cast iron pot was smoking like crazy.

            Also - it didn't rise enough - probably due to the fact we keep the house cool - I realized the house was only 61F so put the dough under a light for the second rise (couldn't use the oven because I was cleaning it before the high heat!) time I'll rise it in the oven with the light on.

            And next time starts in about 2 hours - get back on the horse Elizabeth!

            1. Anyone know if there's a link to this recipe?

              2 Replies
              1. re: bite bite

                Here it is


                And the video on You Tube is good too


                Second batch is mixed - used less water this time too....and a little less salt