Done! The challah baked up beautifully in about 30 minutes.
- The soup can DOES need to be dusted with flour since the bread stuck a bit on the bottom of the can. The seasoning on the Dutch oven didn’t allow any sticky spots so it doesn’t need to be dusted with flour, but the can does. Thankfully, the sticky part was limited to the bottom of the inside of the hole and didn’t damage the exterior of the bread.
- I don’t like the four-braid in the 12″ Dutch oven. It is too busy and I don’t appreciate the lovely texture of the four braids as well as in the 16″ Dutch oven. A regular three-strand braid will look better and will be the one we use in the hands-on baking class this weekend.
- The 30-inch braid was too long. Next time I will make them thicker (3/4 of an inch) and shorter, about 25-inches. I hope it will give the bread a bit more room to spread out and also rise up taller.
- To prevent over-baking and drying out the bread, I removed this from heat when the Thermapen gave an instant reading of 185 degrees Fahrenheit. This is lower than the recommended 190 degrees and it worked just fine. (Side note: Check out what King Arthur’s gadget review of the Thermapen. I love how they call it “The Rolls-Royce of thermometers!”)
- Next time I bake this, I will roll the strands of bread in the sesame and poppy seeds and see how it turns out. I’d love to see the variation of color and texture inside the bread as well as on top.
- I didn’t use Kosher salt (just plain ole table salt) to sprinkle on top and really missed those lovely big crystal chunks! Never again!
The bread turned out beautifully! The texture was soft, moist, and no big bubbles inside. My better-half and I enjoyed a slice with left-over home-made strawberry jam before he took the remaining loaf and jam to the office where it disappeared quickly.
I learned several important things during this test-run and am better prepared to lead the hands-on class at the Dutch Oven Gathering (DOG) this weekend. I will take my Cannon to the class and try to capture some good images of the folks who participate in the class as well as the bread they bake. I hope they are all inspired to bake bread in their camp Dutch ovens at future DOGs.
If you bake this recipe, please let me know how it turns out! I hope you love it as much as I do!