Baking Bread in Heat Waves
Jul 31, 2010 | From the kitchen of Rose
Tomorrow's August and if it's as hot or hotter than July has been how are you going to feel justified heating up the whole house in order to have home-made bread for your height of the season tomato sandwiches or BLT's?
I've been meaning to try this technique for years and this current intense heat-wave finally spurred me into action. I was stunned and delighted by how easy it was to transition from indoor oven to outdoor gas grill.
I have a Weber Summit with 4 burners which makes it possible to turn off the two center burners to avoid blackening the bottom of the bread. I'm reasonably sure that this method can be adapted to any 4 burner gas grill but have my doubts about the charcoal grill as it's close to impossible to get hot enough to make this bread effectively.
Here's the basic method using my adaptation of the "No Knead Bread" Here's the link to the recipe if you haven't already printed or saved it.
Use heavy duty pot holders, preferably mitten-type that protect your lower arms.
Place the covered cast iron Dutch oven on the grill racks and preheat it along with the grill for 20 minutes. The grill will be about 550˚F/285˚C after 10 minutes but the Dutch oven requires an additional 10 minutes. Set a trivet or heavy duty rack alongside the grill.
Remove the pot lid (I set it back on the grill). Transfer the Dutch oven to the trivet and close the grill. Allow the Dutch oven to sit for about 1 minute to cool slightly. (I checked with my infra-red thermometer and it was 475˚F/245˚C.) Transfer the bread to the Dutch oven, cover with the lid, and set it back on the grill racks in the center of the grill. Work quickly so the heat does not escape or dissipate. Turn off the two center burners.
Bake as usual for 20 minutes. (My grill with center burners off maintained 450˚F/230˚C during this 20 minute period.) Remove the pot lid and continue baking for 10 minutes. (The grill was now 440˚F/225˚C.) Remove the bread from the Dutch oven and set it directly onto the grill racks in the center of the grill. Continue baking for 10 minutes. Turn off the burners and allow the bread to sit in the covered grill for 10 minutes.
This basic technique will probably work with a charcoal grill for breads that require lower temperatures. If you've already tried baking bread in your grill do report back!