Alternative baking methods

Different baking methods

Traditionally, we bake the bread at home in a baking tin. However, there are also other possibilities:

1 - Baking on a bread baking stone.

This is made of chamotte stone. This is a refractory brick that can store and release heat well. It is best to take a stone that is not too thin. A pizza stone is only half a cm thick. Too thin to give a loaf sufficient heat. Look for a stone that is at least 3 cm thick. Place your stone in the oven before you preheat it. Too sudden changes in temperature can cause the stone to break. Then count on preheating for half an hour. If you want to clean the stone, do not immerse it in water. It will absorb water and at the next firing this water will turn into steam and this can crack your stone. It is better to clean with a slightly damp cloth. To protect your stone, you can cover it with baking paper.

2 - Baking in a Dutch oven.

This is a cast iron cooking pot with lid. Let the cooking pot without lid preheat in the oven. This will take up to an hour. Then carefully remove it from the oven, be careful, it is piping hot. Then place your risen dough on a baking paper in the pot. Place the lid on and put it in the oven. Let it bake for half an hour. Remove the lid and continue baking for another 15 to 20 minutes. You can also bake this in a barbecue where you can easily control the temperature. If you are very adventurous, you can also try baking your sandwich over a campfire.

3 - Bake under a dome.

This consists of a bottom and a bell jar made out of baked clay. The outside is glazed, the inside is not. The main advantage is that you do not have to preheat the pot. Sprinkle some flour on the bottom, put your dough on it, place the bell jar and let the dough rise for an hour. Preheat the oven to 230 degrees. Place the base and dome in the oven. Bake for 45 minutes. Because the pot is still porous inside, it will absorb the excess moisture and the bread will become nice and crispy.

A few more tips

1 - About the rising of your bread:

If you want to bake a loaf of bread on the stone, in the Dutch oven or under the bell jar, you have to round up the dough very well. Make sure that your dough is not too soft. If you have not yet mastered the process of rounding, let your dough rise in a wicker proofing basket. You can also place a kitchen towel in a glass bowl and let the dough rise in it. Then sprinkle plenty of flour in both the basket and on your towel. This prevents the dough from sticking in the mold. To slide the dough into the oven, take a piece of baking paper. Turn the proofing basket or bowl over and gently slide the dough onto the paper. With a shooting board you can now slide the baking paper with the dough onto the brick.

2 - For a really rustic shape

For a really rustic shape, you can sprinkle the dough with flour just before baking. Do this through a sieve. With a sharp knife you can then make an incision in the dough. At that point, the dough will then tear at the oven rise. If you are a bit artistic, you can even carve a nice pattern in the dough.