Cast Iron Combo Pumpernickel Photos

I’ve tried many breads now, and this one, despite its being a hybrid of conventional and wild sourdough, remains a staple in our household. I mostly baked it in a loaf pan, but I read about cast-iron-combo bread baking technique and always wanted to try it. We purchased the combo a couple of weeks back, and today I tried it for the first time in its bread baking capacity.

Sourdough Pumpernickel Baked In Cast Iron Combo

Cast iron combo is basically a medium size Dutch oven with a tight fitting lid which doubles as a skillet. You can use them together, separately, or upside down, which is how the bread is baked — you place the ready-to-bake loaf in the skillet-lid, cap it with the Dutch oven, which serves as a dome.

Because the cast iron parts are tightly fitting together, the air and steam don’t escape, so the natural moisture of the bread dough serves as a pressurized self-steaming mechanism inside the air tight cast iron. The steam raises the bread nicely for 20 minutes or so, after which the dome needs to be removed to allow the bread to brown and crisp nicely. That’s it. No boiling kitchen towels in a roasting pan, no spraying, no getting steam in your face. The only thing you need to remember is to put the combo in the oven as it heats up, and of course, be careful with the scorching hot cast iron.

The recipe itself is really irrelevant — I am just trying to demonstrate the bread after baking it this way. You can bake virtually any sourdough this way and get spectacular results. Read up on Tartine style breads, or no-knead sourdoughs, or try Peter Reinhart’s spectacular books.

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Categories: Baking, Better Than Storebought, Bread, Cool Stuff, Cravables, Fermentation, Traditional Nutrition, Well Worth The Effort

Author:Eat Already!

I am a cooking and writing addict born and raised in a cosmopolitan city on the Black Sea coast. Currently my interests include, but not limited to gardening, traditional nutrition, raw milk, fermentation techniques, books by Sitchin, Weston A. Price ideas, artisan bread making, anything handcraft, and many other, quite random, things. I believe in making things from scratch, in unpretentious dishes, visually un-altered food esthetics. I believe in reporting on daily cooking endeavors, not just on special occasion dishes. I believe everyone should learn how to cook at home because it's a great way to connect with your loved ones without saying too much, with your heritage without becoming an archivist, and with the world without learning languages...

5 Comments on “Cast Iron Combo Pumpernickel Photos”

  1. June 5, 2013 at 4:27 pm #

    I have a covered clay container, rectangular with round corners, that I use in much the same way. By preheating it, the bread never sticks, but it gives it a good surface to ‘grow’ as it bakes. :)

    • June 5, 2013 at 4:29 pm #

      Awesome, I never thought of clay. Will definitely try that some day… Thanks, Shari!

  2. June 6, 2013 at 12:23 pm #

    What a great idea. I had never considered baking this way. Thanks Yuliya and Shari.

  3. June 7, 2013 at 6:24 pm #


  4. May 13, 2014 at 11:48 pm #

    I use a flower pot from Home Depot atop my baking stone. I covered the hole with an eye nut and large washer.

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