I have to admit when Emile Henry asked if I wanted to try this new covered loaf pan, I was a bit skeptical about the claims they were making. It’s a gorgeous loaf pan, but would it really bake a bread with a perfectly crisp, shiny crust on the top and bottom, just because of the holes in the lid and on the bottom of the ceramic baking vessel? Well, I’m here to say I was wrong to judge without trying, again. Just as I was wrong about the crock pot baking great bread, this loaf pan really does bake a fantastic loaf. The crust is thin and golden brown, without having to add steam or remove the cover during baking. It’s all about the holes! You can see the same loaf baked in a regular loaf pan at the bottom of the post and see for yourself just how well it works.
I used Red Star Platinum yeast to mix up this raisin walnut bread dough, and I loved the results with this loaf.
Raisin Walnut Bread:
3 cups lukewarm water
1 tablespoon Red Star Platinum Yeast
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 cup whole wheat flour
5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (Gold Medal or the like. If you use King Arthur or other high protein flours, you may need to add up to a 1/4 cup more water)
1 cup raisins
1 cup walnuts
2 teaspoons cinnamon
In a 6-Quart Round Storage Container add the water, yeast, salt, flours
walnuts and cinnamon.
Mix with a Danish Dough Whisk, a wooden spoon or a stand mixer.
Let the dough rise for 2 hours and then you can use it right away or it can be stored for about 7 days.
Pull out a 2-pound piece of dough, about half the dough in the bucket.
Quickly shape it into a smooth oval.
Generously grease and flour the base of the bread baker.
Place the dough into Bread Loaf Baker.
Cover and let rest for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. This will depend on what else you have going on and how chilly your kitchen is.
Preheat the oven to 450°F.
Uncover the loaf and use a Pastry Brush to paint with water.
Because this baker has a lid it traps the internal moisture of the dough, almost like a Dutch Oven, to create a shiny, crisp crust. Since it has the small holes, the crust will also color nicely during the baking without having to remove the cover.
Bake for about 45 minutes. If you open the lid and it is not yet golden brown, let it bake another 5 minutes.
Let the bread cool in the baker for 5 minutes
Turn the loaf out of the pan after 5 minutes and then let cool completely.
After you’ve enjoyed some of your bread you can slip it back into the baker to store it on the counter.
Since the cover has holes the loaf won’t get soggy, but it is protected enough to keep the bread from staling as quickly. It also happens to keep nosey puppies from the counter.
Here is the loaf baked in a regular loaf pan. You can see that the crust is pale and dull looking in comparison. It was still as tasty, but without the trapped steam the loaf just wasn’t as appealing. You’d have to add steam to the oven if you were to bake it in this style pan.
Lesaffre Yeast Corp. (Red Star) provided samples of yeast for recipe testing, and sponsors BreadIn5’s website and other promotional activities