For the past six months I have been using Lodge combo cooker cast iron for baking my usual loaf of sourdough bread and I am loving it!
Compared to my previous favourite way of baking bread using pizza steel, it makes baking routine simpler because in the first half of the bake I do not have to tend to a tray beneath the pizza steel where I put water just after launching my bread dough onto the pizza steel to produce moist environment (steam) so the dough has a chance to expand – without steam crust would form quickly, preventing the dough to expand and thus burn while the inside of bread, the crumb is not baked. I still bake using pizza steel because it allows me to bake bigger quantity of bread and different shapes, not just boules, but not on a weekly basis.
Another advantage of combo cooker are its physical properties/dimensions.
- It is just the right size for 1 kg of dough, so the steam from the dough is trapped inside the dough and not lingering in the top of the oven.
- It consists of a skillet and a deep skillet and together they act as a dutch oven. I can transfer the dough from proofing basket directly onto skillet without the need of using pizza peel and parchment paper.
- I can bake on higher temperature throughout the entire bake and not worrying to burn it. Higher temperature means better oven spring and nicer coloring of the crust.