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Jul 10, 2010 09:10 AM

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?

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  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!
       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:

                    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!