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Mar 4, 2010 02:03 PM

No knead bread with no dutch oven

Hi all,
I am going to attempt to make the no knead bread that is on the NYT site this weekend. MY question to you, oh wise chowhounders, what to do if I have no dutch oven?
I do have oven safe pots and pans (a wide, deep skillet and a large saucepot) would this be a suitable sub?
Do you have any suggestions or variations that worked for you? Thanks!

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  1. Shape the sticky dough into a parchment paper shaped in the pot you intend to use. Set it aside. Make sure your pot and cover handles are protected or, as I did when demonstrating for my DIL, remove them and seal holes with aluminum foil. Place shaped loaf in hot pan and cover.
    Should work, did for us.

    3 Replies
    1. re: wolfe

      Good luck. I have no answer for you, BUT I am new to Chow and can't figure out how to post on MYCHOW. Forgive my audacity, but I am unable to get decent crumbs (bubbles) with my Lahey bread despite many religious meticulous attempts. Any suggestions?

      1. re: wolfe

        Excellent, thanks! My handles are also oven safe, so I should be good there, would you recommend tenting tinfoil tightly over the pan if the lid does not fit?

      2. I cook my NK bread in a pyrex bowl and cover with aluminum foil as right now I'm lacking a dutch oven or an oven-safe pot.

        1. I've made no knead bread in both a cast iron dutch oven and a pyrex casserol dish with a lid and it came out great both ways. I like the CI no knead recipe.

          5 Replies
          1. re: lesliedm3

            Thanks for all the great feedback! Using a Pyrex, wouldn't it shatter at 450-500? That was my concern.

            1. re: TofuNofu

              I used to use pyrex and wondered about this. I sent an e-mail to the company and asked. They said they don't recommend heating the pyrex empty, especially at that temperature for that long. I also worried about a relatively cold dough in a hot pyrex. That said, I probably had the best results in my little casserole, though the lid was not that tight fitting. I bought a Lodge cast iron dutch oven from Costco for about $30 and have used it since. FWIW, I have had a pyrex baking dish explode on me and would avoid it again at all cost.

              1. re: chowser

                Thanks chowser, I think that I will err on the side of NO explosions :)
                I am starting to think that the dough, on a piece of parchement, into the oven, on a pizza stone with a pan underneath with water in it, maybe that would work?
                I was watching the Artisan bread in 5 min a day video and they did the water thing. Would that be a good substitute?

                1. re: TofuNofu

                  It would--but one thing with the no knead dough is that it's supposedly higher in hydration so it steams in an enclosed vessel. I have baked it in different types of pots (from an All Clad stew pot to a cheap stock pot from Target and they've worked, although it discolored the All Clad lid).

                  Artisan bread is good bread--what about sticking with that if you're going to use that baking method. The key is to create the steam to get the crust. When baking regular bread, I pour hot water into a cast iron pan that I heat up when heating the oven, with tiles like the pizza stone. I don't think it gets the crust as crisp as the enclosed pan but it's still good.

                  1. re: TofuNofu

                    I am wondering if without the pan you might end up with a crusty foccacia. Please report back.

            2. Here's a thought - since making this myself recently I wondered about other variations:

              If you have a baking stone, if you can move the dough to the preheated stone, and then cover it with a round s/s mixing bowl (of course large enough to accommodate the loaf.) The bowl would heat instantly to allow for the steam issue, and you wouldn't have to spend the money for yet another pc of cookware. S/S bowls are pretty cheap and multipurpose, of course. To remove the bowl afterwards, just use a metal spatula to lift one end.

              Fellow hounds, would this work? I wonder if warpage would be an issue...

              1. On another thread, someone recommmended baking the bread in a tagine, but that's not common equipment outside of Middle Eastern cooking. Another contributor's alternative was an unglazed clay bulb-forcing pot, inverted so the bread is baked on the pot's saucer, covered by the inverted pot.