Big Green Egg bread baking

I fired up my Big Green Egg on Saturday, expressly to bake bread.  Two different breads, made from the same dough:  the Country Sourdough from Amy’s Breads, made into  a (flattish) boule and turned into multi-seeded twists

Well, technically, it wasn’t exactly Country Sourdough, as the printed recipe calls for pumpernickel (rye) flour, and I used white whole wheat instead.  (For whatever reason, retail stores in my immediate area don’t carry rye flour.)

So how do you bake bread in a Big Green Egg?  Fill the grill up with charcoal, light it, and put in the platesetter (a ceramic heat deflector used when cooking indirectly, for you non-Eggheads).  Set a baking stone on top, bring the Egg to the desired baking temperature, then allow all of that ceramic mass to heat for 30 minutes or so before putting your bread atop the baking stone.  It’s (almost) as easy as baking indoors, except that the kitchen doesn’t get hot.  Breads baked in an Egg are almost indistinguishable from those baked in a gas or electric oven:  no charcoal/smoky/grilled flavor, thanks to the indirect heat.  Almost, except the Egged breads usually have a thicker, crunchier crust.  One tip:  upper crusts of Egg-baked breads can be a tad too light for my taste, so I usually flip the loaves over a few minutes before they’re done.  Direct contact with the stone browns a too-pale crust quickly.

Back to the seeded twists:  Amy’s Breads included a neat shaping technique that delivers interior and exterior crunch and flavor, and it can be applied to any dough.  Simply pat & stretch dough into a rectangle and spread a mix of seeds (I used black and while sesame seeds, poppy seeds, and a few fennel seeds) on top.  Fold the dough rectangle like a business letter into overlapping thirds.  Next, coat the outside of the folded dough block with more seeds, then divide the dough into equal sized strips.  Stretch each strip and twist once or twice, then place on a pan. just barely touching, to proof.  Voila–seeds on the outside, seeds on the inside, and a decorative twist.  (Optional extras:  a sprinkle of kosher salt, a tiny bit of olive oil brushed on top.)

Don’t these twists look good enough to eat?  I just had one for breakfast, slightly warmed in the toaster oven, though the twists would be nice alongside a bowl of soup or salad.

(And a big Thank You to all Veterans on this Memorial Day.)

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4 thoughts on “Big Green Egg bread baking

  1. I have also noticed that I have a hard time getting a golden upper crust on egged breads. I’ve been thinking about preheating the baking stone to the proper temperature, but then opening the vents and bringing the temp up 50-75 degrees once the bread is in the egg. Thoughts?

    • I haven’t tried bumping up the temperature to increase browning, but I’m already baking fairly large loaves at 450-500 degrees, so I’d be concerned about overly browned bottoms. As I understand it, getting the breads higher into the dome will help with top-browning. I’ve noticed this with pizza–if cooked directly atop the platesetter, it will burn on the bottom before the upper crust colors and/or the cheese melts. Whereas nice top-browning of crust & cheese are achieved IF you raise the baking stone up to the felt line or higher–like if you put the stone directly atop a grid raised to the felt line. Or, try the lazy/easy solution–as I describe in the above post, just flip the loaf over to brown the tops

  2. Try separating the ceramic pieces (plate setter and baking stone) if the bottom of your bread gets too brown. Use the plate setter with feet pointing up, cooking grid on plate setter feet, then baking stone on the cooking grid. Make sure all the ceramic pieces are added to the grill right after starting. Bring the grill to your desired cooking temp and hold there for 30 minutes before you start baking. You can even use fire bricks under the baking stone to position it higher into the dome.if you desire.

    • Thanks for the input. I’ve used firebricks to get good top browning on pizza, but I’ve pretty much quit baking on the egg unless I’m lighting it for something else. It isn’t easy to produce steam, to monitor the color of the loaf, etc, while baking inside theEgg. My gas oven indoors yields better and more consistent results, though pita and naan work better in the Egg.

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