|Walnut and Hazelnut Country Bread|
|Sesame Country Bread|
Making bread in a cast-iron Dutch oven allows the home baker to replicate the burst-of-steam environment, similar to that available in a commercial deck oven. The extra moisture produces a crusty, not chewy, exterior of the country bread. I have made different varieties of Chad Robertson's Tartine country bread using this technique. They all turned out well, and wildly more successful than any techniques I have used previously. What I cannot describe fully in this space are the smell and the sound of the bread singing that crackling bubbly delights fresh out of the oven!
I have developed an even better and safer technique: the inverted Dutch oven, as described in the pictures below. The dough is loaded on the preheated lid which sits atop a ring mold in the oven. It is easier to load the dough this way because the lid is shallower, as compared to the pan. Cover the bread dough with the preheated inverted pan on the lid. This way, your figures are safely out of harm's way, not having to put the dough inside a hot 500°F pan.