Baking Bread in a Big Green Egg

A couple years ago I talked about my experience with baking bread in an outdoor grill. One solution to baking yourself out of your own home during the hot summer months. Recently, Breadtopia reader Marianne Preston posted a photo of her success using a Big Green Egg to accomplish the same thing. Since the bread looked so good, I asked her if she wouldn’t mind ellaborating on how she did it. Read her account below.

Thanks very much, Marianne. Great job!

Bread Baked in a Big Green Egg

Bread Baked in a Big Green Egg


My bread baking experiment in the Big Green Egg was only my 4th attempt at using the Egg.  We had just bought it the previous week.  It’s is pretty easy to regulate the temperature in the Egg once the Egg’s ceramic has had a chance to reach the appropriate cooking temperature.  I’ve found that it’s best to start to close off the air entering the bottom damper door and the air going out the daisy wheel top as the cooker is approaching the correct temperature.  It’s harder to reduce the temperature because the ceramic holds the heat so well.  Even when you open the Egg to put in the bread or to remove the cloche, the temperature returns to baking temperatures within a couple of minutes (assuming the Egg is properly preheated)–without adjusting the damper door or the daisy wheel.

When baking in the Egg, it’s recommended that you use the Egg’s plate setter (http://www.biggreenegg.com/setters.html) or make your own version using firebrick.  Here’s a link to the firebrick configuration:
http://www.nakedwhiz.com/firebricks.htm
The firebrick acts as an additional heat sink as well as a shield for the pizza stone which is placed on top of the brick.  If you look closely at the picture I posted you might be able to see the way I had it set up.

I was aiming for a temperature of about 500F.  I made the mistake of increasing the airflow after I loaded the bread into the Egg and the temperature crept up to 550F.  Should have left it alone.  I used no-stick aluminum foil under the loaf (Alcan Slide) instead of parchment paper.  After 20 minutes, I removed my terracotta pot as well as the foil and baked for an additional 15 minutes.  I should point out that this was a recipe from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day and was a smaller loaf than the ones you usually post on your site.  I wanted to start “small”.  :)  The loaf was great although the bottom did get a little too dark, but I managed to scrape off the burnt parts.  Next time I will try to leave the aluminum foil in place and/or try to keep the temperature at 500F.

From my experiment it looks like you bake the bread at the same temperatures as in the kitchen oven for about the same length of time.  And, you pre-heat the pizza stone for about 30 minutes.  Obviously, using a live fire is a little less precise and requires a little more attention, but I think it’s well worth the effort. I’ll certainly do it again.

Marianne

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

alex keenan July 15, 2013 at 11:29 am

I have baked alot of bread on different grills including the big green egg. You need plate holder or fire brick to protect your pizza stone from cracking. I also use parchment paper to make it easier to put dough on pizza stone and to keep bread from burning.
When grilling I like to modify the basic recipe of
5 cups high gluten flour
2 cups water
1 table spoon salt
1 table spoon yeast.

I use my bread maker to mix the dough using the dough setting.

I tend to add beer, V-8, herbs, ground spices, etc. to basic recipe. So long as it does not require special handling like meat, eggs, or dairy.
If I add liquid I reduce water, if I add dry I add water.

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Ross Maehl January 10, 2010 at 12:46 pm

Nice cook

Ross

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JB January 9, 2010 at 5:30 pm

I made some bread today in the Big Green Egg using my version of indirect heat with inverted bread pans, I have some photos on flikr , Thanks for looking!

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JB January 1, 2010 at 9:56 am

To answer the question about getting the Big Green Egg wet when cooking or baking, I can tell you first hand it doesn’t hurt the Big Green Egg. I was out baking the other night in the rain, and had to use an umbrella over the BGE to keep the rain from coming in the top vent. I have had the BGE for over 2 years and cook in the rain and snow. Unfortunately it is not under cover, but still looks near to brand new. I have a few pictures of my BGE on flickr, search for ottophokus

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Marianne December 13, 2009 at 4:01 pm

Hi Tobin,

Sorry about the confusion. I don’t have a nice la cloche baker like the ones Eric sells on this site. I used a baking stone and covered the shaped and proofed dough with a terracotta flower pot. I plugged the pot’s drain hole with a piece of crumpled aluminum foil to retain the moisture. After baking for 20 minutes, I removed the flower pot and finished baking the bread uncovered.

Marianne

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Ross Maehl December 13, 2009 at 1:51 pm

Tobin,
The bread is in the bottom of La Cloche Clay Baker the top is off. I hopr this helps http://breadtopia.com/store/round-la-cloche.html

Ross

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Tobin Clark December 13, 2009 at 10:26 am

Re: Baking Bread in a Big Green Egg. I was understanding this recipe just fine until “remove the cloche” –what is that? Then later it says something about removing terra cotta pot. I don’t see a terra cotta pot illustrated or mentioned earlier in the recipe. I see the bread sitting on the pizza stone without anything else. Advice?

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Ross Maehl November 17, 2009 at 12:28 am

While I had the Egg up and going I baked some Cranberry Orange Bread
That was vary good I’ll bake some for the holidays
Recipe: http://www.joyofbaking.com/breakfast/CranberryOrangeBread.html

Ross

[img]DSC_0039.JPG[/img]

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Ross Maehl November 17, 2009 at 12:23 am

I baked this Almost No Knead bread 450* dome on for 30-min. then 15-min with dome off, much better than the one I did on Saturday at 500* and 450*

Ross

[img]DSC_0020.JPG[/img]

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Ross Maehl November 16, 2009 at 10:49 am

I baked this Almost No Knead 11/14/09 I was vary tasty, I’m going to bake some more today

Ross

[img]th_DSC_0019-26.jpg[/img]

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Ross Maehl November 10, 2009 at 5:09 pm
Chuck McCabe November 10, 2009 at 1:42 pm

I would like to know how to cook Ezekiel dough bread on my Big Green Egg? Suggestions/Coments?

Chuck (334) 300-6840

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Sheila Durrant November 1, 2009 at 4:20 pm

I have made bread many times in our Big Green Egg. I think you will find there is no need to add moisture to the egg, and I certainly wouldn’t try it, in case of damage. The egg loses no moisture, and the crust that develops is as crisp as anyone could desire. My only problem, is that the only time I can take time off gardening to bake bread is in the winter, when it is mighty cold out there. I try to choose a sunny day when I decide to use the BGE, but at 40 below, it still does an awesome job on the bread (I tried one at 40 below, the first year we had the egg. Now I stick to 20 below and above.)

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Breadtopia August 5, 2009 at 5:23 am

Hi Dino,

I’d check with the manufacturer on that one.

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Dino Matelli August 4, 2009 at 9:10 pm

I just purchased a BGE but have not used it as of yet. I enjoy baking at home as well as at work, now I can’t wait to try it in the Egg. I was wondering, if I am making a loaf of bread in the Egg can I spritz the inside with water to create steam or will have an adverse effect on the Egg such as cracking?

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Big Green Egg July 30, 2009 at 12:10 pm

I saw this and was wondering if I should attempt on mine. Also I believe they have some recipes for the Big Green Egg on http://grillkitchens.com.

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Amy K July 21, 2009 at 4:01 am
Amy K July 21, 2009 at 3:58 am

Check out Artisan Bread in 5 min a day website for many recipes and methods for baking bread and other delicious bread items on the grill. Jeff and Zoe are devotees of grill breadbaking.
AK

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