November 15, 2021 at 4:30pm

I was intrigued to see that it is not critical that the dutch oven be preheated, and as I am using only graniteware I decided not to preheat. I had made two batches of a 'greek village' dough with 2/3 all-purpose flour and 1/3 semolina. One had had an overnight fermentation, mostly on the counter, the other a much longer one of a few days mainly in the refrigerator. It, the latter, was going to go into the dutch oven. I sprayed the top of the dough lightly and also the inside of the lid, and put them into a preheated 450 oven. At about 30 minutes I removed the lid and the loaf browned. Oven spring was less than it might have been and my slash could have been wimpy.
Now a question has occurred to me. Since the lid isn't preheated, wouldn't it actually insulate the top of the doughslightly until it reached temperature? Would it be better to put the bottom of the Dutch oven with the dough in, wait 10 minutes, spray it lightly and replace the lid for 15 minutes --and then remove it for top browning? Using this method, I would have a pan of very hot water on a rack lower down the dutch oven.
Thank you for your extremely helpful and detailed article.

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