A couple of years ago, the bread world was a-twitter over Jim Lahey's no-knead bread. I've hung with it ever since, although an oven that hot is something I generally forego in summertime. But we stopped by Salame Beddu this week and picked up some confit, which really deserves good bread. Nothing against the increasingly good artisan bread available in this town, but here was my excuse, and the temperatures the last few days, plus a dead furnace gave me even more incentive.
The recipe is here. But as I thought about it, I also muttered about the difficulty in moving the dough from the towel to the pre-heated Dutch oven. I do have a pizza stone in the oven now. Maybe something with that.... I began to Google.
So here's what I ended up doing. After the first rise, I took a large sheet of parchment and sprayed it with oil. I put it in, or actually on top of a good-sized mixing bowl. (I don't know the size, but if I made up a 2-layer size cake mix with a handheld mixer, this bowl is the size I'd use; does that help?)
I greased a large flexible scraper and loosened the dough from the sides of the bowl it had been rising in. I then greased my hands, picked up the dough, and turned the edges under a couple of times to shape it a little, and placed it on the center of the greased paper, and the dough and paper fell into the bowl. I covered the bowl and let it do the second rise.
When it was time to preheat the oven, I made sure the pizza stone was on the correct shelf, and I put the Dutch oven in to preheat, too. Be sure that the Dutch oven will lie flat if you turn it upside down, because we're going to use it as what's called a cloche, a cover for the baking bread.
The rise done, I removed the Dutch oven, carefully set it on the stovetop, lifted the parchment paper and dough out of the bowl and placed it, paper and all, on the baking stone. I inverted the Dutch oven and placed it over the dough and set the whole thing to bake as usual. I removed the cloche/Dutch oven after 30 minutes, and completed things.
The results are much handsomer than what I'd been getting, and I'm going to keep doing it this way. The parchment doesn't burn, although it gets very crisp, and the dough doesn't stick to anything. I'm thinking you could use the non-stick coated aluminum foil, but the flexibility of the parchment seems superior to me.