The Lodge 3.2-Quart Cast-Iron Combo Cooker Is the Best Baking Tool

Scoring a tour The modernist food kitchen near Seattle is catnip for food writers like me. Not only do they have all the toys, they have industrial versions of all the toys: rotov machines, blast freezers, steam ovens, you name it. But what i remember most A few years ago i visited In between all of this was a plain-Jane Samsung home oven. The head chef of the modernist, Francisco Migoya, opened his door and pointed to a cast iron pot in the middle of it, which was so dark, it did not reflect any light.

Amidst this stupid gadget treasure, he said something like this: That forty dollar pot? This is the best tool that you can buy to make good bread at home.

Thanks to that utensil and a near-perfect recipe, I now make fabulous bread loaves twice a week. It is not a brag. The bread I make has almost no skill on my part. I was just fortunate to have what you can get by combining the right slope and the right tool for the job. While the Internet is full of people who are passionate about sour rotis, they put an end to it (it’s a whole process), you can make an excellent loaf with little time and almost zero effort.

Photo: Katrin Ray Shumakov / Getty Image

Lodge 3.2-Quart Cart Iron Combo Cooker (Aka “LCC 3”) where magic happens. It is a curious animal. In addition, the “lid” is also a pan, and at the bottom is a large sauce pot. Place the former on top of the latter and you’ve got a Dutch oven that, with its two handles, looks like a baby with a sideways ball cap. Flip it so that the skeleton is down and you have a perfect pot for baking bread. The loaves I made have a deep dark crust and a beautiful, springy interior, known as a crumb. If I bought what I made in a fancy bakery, I would be 100 percent satisfied every time. $ 50 price (only) $ 40 on Amazon) And weighing in at 13 pounds, the combo cooker is so cheap that I sometimes give it as a gift, unless shipping is free.

I like that a big part of it is the recipe that makes it shine: Jim Lahey’s no-need bread, something that got a big boost The couple Of Mark bitman in stories new York Times, Then amaze forever His own book And Modernist bread. Instead of requiring a lot of kneading or mixing, time grunt works. Combine flour, yeast and salt, then add water and mix until it becomes known as a “shaggy mass”. After this, paste it on the counter overnight. In the morning shape it into a ball, let it rise again a bit, then place it in a preheated lodge and bake. When I’m on my game, manual labor takes about 10 minutes. By waiting it to grow overnight, you allow it to strengthen the gluten in the dough and to develop flavors from fermentation yeast, a technique known as both autolysis and sleeping.

There are still a lot of magic tricks left when you switch on the pot. One of my favorites is that with the flour in it, it becomes a steam oven, A fetish item Between Bakers and Chefs. With the pot’s relatively tight seal, steam released from the dough is trapped inside, which helps transfer heat to a particularly efficient dough. This is effectively a very stable little oven inside your larger one, and keeping the steam inside allows the surface of the loaf to stretch during baking so that the interior can grow as it cooks.