HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


No Knead Bread in a brand new Le Creuset - do I need parchment?

My LC oven is practically brand new; I received it at my wedding in early June and have used it once to make Moroccan Chicken with Preserved Lemon and Olives. (A stellar dish, by the way!) Today I'm planning on baking no-knead bread in it to take over to my parents' for dinner.

Because the oven is so new, will I have a tough time removing the bread from it? Should I use parchment or will it be okay?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Yes, yes, yes.
    Use parchment. Refer to Cook's Illustrated's version.

    1 Reply
    1. re: monavano

      Alrighty, parchment it is! I'll have to pick some up in a bit here; I bake cookies exclusively with my Silpats now, and never use parchment anymore. And yes, I'm definitely sticking to the CI recipe. :) Thanks!

    2. I've never need parchment for NKB

      7 Replies
      1. re: white light

        Parchment makes handling the dough and finished loaf MUCH easier and more importantly, greatly decreases the chances of burning yourself on the pot. I use a double layer of parchment because it is scorched and brittle at the end. Doubling it lessens the amount of paper that crumbles away as you lift the baked bread out of the pot.

        1. re: greygarious

          Thank you so much for the tip on double layers! I'm going to do this as soon as I get back. Off to the store now.

          ETA: By the way? Thank you for pointing me in the direction of this recipe! I don't think I ever went back and told you as much, and I'm sorry. Life's been crazy!

          1. re: greygarious

            So do you have a good bit of overhang? And does the parchment go into the pan before you dump the dough in? Or do you lift the dough w/the parchment and place it into the pan?
            I've made this bread several times, never used parchment, but I like the idea of easier loading of the wet dough into the hot pot.

            1. re: nomadchowwoman

              After the first rise (12-18 hrs) you knead the dough and place it in parchment lined skillet (10 inch or so). Spray top of dough ball with non-stick (Pam etc), cover loosely with plastic wrap and proof for 2 hours.
              Here's where the parchment helps. You lift the dough via the parchment into a 500 degree heated dutch oven, allowing the ends to hang over. Place lid on and bake.
              When done, you lift the baked bread out via the parchment paper.
              It's genius. So yes, overhang is needed and dependent upon the size of your dutch oven. Be generous.
              I usually use my parchment that the bread baked in to wrap the bread and keep it on my counter for a few days.

              1. re: nomadchowwoman

                Yes, No (it gets its final rise in the parchment, which is set into a skillet or baking pan to maintain the diameter). Yes.

                1. re: greygarious

                  Thank you both; I'll be using parchment paper the next time.

            2. It won't be hard to remove it w/out the parchment but I find it much easier to put it in the pot w/ the parchment.

              1. Doubling the parchment on the bottom is a great idea, although I've never had breakage (maybe my brand holds up better?). I just made my umpteenth loaf of CI ANKB yesterday and the bottom was a tad overdone, so a bit more protection is good. Still, one hell of a loaf of bread.
                Good luck and report back!
                ps..an instant-read thermometer is also very helpful. I find that my loaves are done 7-10 minutes before the max. recommended time.
                210 degrees and a hollow thump does the trick. Another trick-for the second rise (about 2 hours) is to proof it in the oven with just the oven light on. My loaves expanded HUGE! with great, lovely consistency.

                1 Reply
                1. re: monavano

                  Along the lines of it being done early, I've been lowering the temperature 25 degrees about 15 minutes before it's done so it doesn't get too dark.

                2. Jadore- can you share your recipe for the Moroccan Chicken- or tell me where you found the recipe? Sounds excellent! Thank you!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: momoore

                    Hi, momoore! I follow this recipe here: http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/moro...

                    I've been making this one for years, and it's the best out of all the ones I've tried. Epicurious has two nearly identical versions of one another, but neither of them is as good as the one I just linked you too. One of the Epi ones calls for plain lemon zest, when you really need preserved lemon to make the dish sing. If you can't get preserved lemon, get the best Meyer Lemon you can and be careful to include the zest only; if the pith gets in there, the bitterness might overpower the dish.The other version lacks all of the traditional spices (ground cumin, ground ginger, and cinammon) that helps the chicken take on an earthy, but exotic quality. The simply recipes version I gave you is honestly my favorite one, especially because the chicken gets even better as it sits. Sometimes I add in a bit of chili, because I love all things spicy, but in my opinion you can make it as is and still have a beautiful meal. Enjoy!

                  2. Man i would not use a brand new Le Creuset for this. Too nice a pot and just too hard on it. Go to the thrift store and spend a few bucks on a corningware casserole dish that you can be rough with thats what I use for my no knead.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: rezpeni

                      You know, I was really worried about blistering my pot too, but there's not a mark on it. I mean, maybe if I baked bread in it constantly, it would start to wear out, but so far so good. I do however have a good Emile Henry casserole that I might try next time around, just to experiment.

                      1. re: Jadore

                        I say this cause I had a generic non creuset enameled cast iron that developed hairline cracks in the enamel from doing no knead in it. I'm sure creuset is better constructed, but really I can't bring myself to risk screwing up a pot I spent so much on (my real creuset) making 20 cents worth of flour and water in :)

                      2. re: rezpeni

                        I bought a lodge cast iron dutch oven because I thought the NKB was over the long haul going to be too "harsh" for my LC.

                        I learned the parchment paper trick here on this board and heartily agree that it makes the transfer to the pot MUCH easier.

                      3. I did the double parchment trick and my loaf was beautiful! I was so worried I'd ruined it the recipe, but when I finally pulled the bread out of the oven, my jaw dropped open. It was utterly golden, rustic looking, and smelled heavenly. Thank you for all of the tips and advice! My family and I REALLY enjoyed it, and both my mother and mother in law begged me to show them the recipe as soon as we finished dessert. I'll be making more of this fantastic bread in the future. (My husband is like, "How 'bout tomorrow?")

                        6 Replies
                        1. re: Jadore

                          It really touches all the senses, doesn't it? I love the low whistles sound it makes when it first comes out of the oven and starts cooling.

                          1. re: Jadore

                            I had the same reaction after my first loaf. Suddenly, I was a magician! If I'd owned a spinning wheel, I'd have grabbed some straw and started spinning gold. If you didn't try the CI recipe, using beer and vinegar, I urge you to give it a go for a more flavorful loaf. You won't taste either, but they shortcut a more tangy dough development.

                            1. re: greygarious

                              Do you know in which issue (even year) that recipe appeared?

                              1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                December or January, I think 2007-2008 but it's all over the web and this site. Cook's Illustrated Almost No-Knead Bread 2.0. One link is in the discussion list below this thread.

                            2. Why do you want to keep your Le Creuset pristine? I think aging and browning will increase its overall flavor and efficiency.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: pdxgastro

                                No, you misunderstood. Because my LC was so new at the time, I was afraid my bread would stick.