Sourdough - in a self-styled Dutch Oven
It's Sourdough day again.
Today, I'm using my vesion of a Dutch Oven.
Strictly speaking, a Dutch Oven is a thick-walled cast iron cooking pot with a tight-fitting lid. They've been used as cooking pots for hundreds of years. Many cultures have their own versions: In English speaking countries (except for the USA), they're 'casserole pots', In French they're cocottes. In Japan, they're tetsunabe; in the Balkans, a sač; In South African, they're potjiekos; in Spain, a cazuela, and in Australia, a Bedourie oven.
In the Netherlands, you'd think it would be called a Dutch oven, but it's not. It's a braadpan or a sudderpan.
Originally, they were a cauldron shape, with three legs and a handle so that the pot could be suspended over a fire.
I'd love a proper Dutch oven, but they command a king's ransom in specialist shops and on the internet. Instead I've adapted a cast-iron casserole dish. It's not even a Le Creuset, it's a copy I bought far cheaper years ago from Carrefour in Calais.
The important thing is that the handle on the lid has to be oven-proof or it has to have no handle at all. You could also use a Pyrex or borosilicate casserole dish with a flat lid. Try and find one where the sides are straight rathr than curving in towards the bottom of the pot. Straight sides means a better shaped loaf. By the way, the heavier the pot, the better. Alumunium pots do not tend to distribute the heat evenly.