Baking comparison: Stone with steam & Dutch oven
In this video, we are comparing two identical loaves of sourdough baked in different settings. One is baked in a Dutch oven, and another is baked on a baking stone with steam injected. Check out the video on the next post to see the result.
Using Dutch oven is the simplest way to bake sourdough at home, and here is how it works: Proofed loaf is scored and placed in a preheated Dutch oven. Cast iron retains a lot of heat and provides a quick heat transfer to the dough. At the same time, the moisture evaporating from the surface of the dough is captured within the Dutch oven, and prevents the skin on the dough from forming. Under this condition, the dough rises quickly (this is called oven spring), which lasts for the first 5-10 minutes of the baking. The lid of the Dutch oven should be removed once the oven spring is completed so that the crust can brown.
There are some limitations to baking in Dutch oven. 1) number of bread being baked at the same time, and 2) shape of the loaf. Baking stone + steam allow you to bake more loaves at once. You can also make different size and shape of bread.
Please see our previous post "Role of steam & How to set up home oven with steam" to see our oven set up with baking stones.