The Best Dutch Oven for Bread Baking
Since nothing comes close to freshly baked bread with melting butter, it would be good to bake bread at home instead of buying it from the supermarket. Luckily, you can effortlessly bake fresh bread at home, thanks to the Dutch ovens’ invention. Perhaps, you think you don’t have sufficient time to bake. Well, it’s totally wrong as this oven needs a negligible time from your end.
So, if you’re looking for the finest Dutch oven for baking loaves of bread, look no more because we’ve some outstanding options for you! In this review, we have assembled a list of the leading Dutch ovens in the market, all of which are perfect for bread baking. By choosing any of the Dutch Oven described below, you’ll soon be baking loaves of bread like a pro!
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Merely put, it’s a cylindrical, heavy pot that encompasses tight-fitting lids. Usually designed with cast-iron, most of these ovens incorporate enameled surfaces, which further add durability and strength to the pot. Other Dutch ovens in the market come with a ceramic interior plus an enamel coating.
One of the Dutch oven’s leading characteristics is that they offer constant and even heating from multiple areas of the pot. Well, this is what makes these tools versatile and useful to handle a couple of tasks, such as braising, making roasts and bread baking.
Top 5 Dutch Oven for Bread Baking
1. Lodge Dutch Oven with Loop Handles
As one of the finest American-made cast iron cooking utensils, Lodge products assures unparalleled quality. With products from Lodge, natural easy-release finish, even heating, durability and versatility are assured. Lodge doesn’t only make cast iron. Instead, it makes products that bring people together.
The truth is that this Dutch oven from Lodge is every cooker’s dream. The oven comes with a lid that effortlessly converts to a 10.25-inch skillet. Additionally, it has a domed cover to offer space for no-knead bread recipes, roasts, stews and soups. Attached with loop handles for easy control and lifting, it offers exceptional heat retention and distribution for even and consistent cooking.
The oven is multipurpose as you can use it for baking, searing, broiling, sautéing, frying, grilling and braising. You can safely use on the grill or stove, in the oven or even over a campfire. As you can see, the Lodge Cast Iron Dutch Oven is designed to last for several decades of cooking. For an effortless-release finish that enhances its usage, the oven comes pre-seasoned with oil.
When it comes to cleaning this cookware, you can safely wash it with warm water and mild soap, if needs be. Afterward, dry it thoroughly with a paper towel or even lint-free cloth. Finally, oil the oven’s surface with a light layer of your cooking oil.
- The perfect cookware to sauté, sear, simmer, bake, braise, fry and roast
- Unmatched in even heating and heat retention
- Seasoned for an easy-release and natural finish that enhances with use
- Exceptionally durable for decades of cooking
- 5-quart capacity
- The double handles make it simple to use
- Affordable pricing
- Offers incredible performance compared to the expensive brands
- Not dishwasher safe
- The handles may break after continuous use
2. Emile Henry
Designed from Emile Henry’s inventive refractory ceramic, the Emile Henry oven guarantees a beautiful presentation and an evenly baked crust on your bread. With this oven, you can easily bake a bakery-worthy artisan that has a soft interior. The domed lid and refractory ceramic create the ideal humidity level during cooking to get a cracklin, dry exterior.
Since the oven has some ridges on the bottom section, the dough will not stick. On the other hand, the handles on the lid make it easier to handle the cookware. Since its inception in 1850, Emile Henry has designed a wide range of top-rated ceramic cookware in France. In addition to embracing a ten-year warranty, this oven is designed from natural materials. Regulated production, without waste, is always part and parcel of the manufacturer.
A compact storage is guaranteed with this oven because the base fits perfectly inside the lid. Besides, the tool is dishwasher safe and comes with a recipe book. Another incredible thing about the manufacturer is that it only offers natural, shock resistant, and durable products, and this Dutch oven is not an exception.
The oven is designed from high fired Burgundy clay. Generally, this natural clay is unmatched when it comes to heat conduction and retention. Additionally, the oven is designed with an exceptional process to produce a durable and strong product for everyday cooking.
Emile Henry is resistant to any potential mechanical shocks. When using the item every day, you’ll find there’re several opportunities to bang a set of plates or a dish. Since this Dutch oven is resistant to shocks, you can safely use it in a restaurant, where shocks are common.
All dishes need to endure wide variations in temperatures. You can directly take this Emile Henry oven from a freezer to a hot oven of over 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
In most cases, any cookware experiences aging effects due to exposure to heat, sharp instruments and dishwasher. Nevertheless, this Dutch oven is expressly resistant to strong detergents and dishwasher.
- Designed with natural materials
- Designed from high resistant ceramic
- You can use it in high temperatures of up to 515 degrees Fahrenheit
- Makes wonderful bread
- Dishwasher safe
- Small handles
- Not sufficiently large for a big family
3. Staub Cast Iron Round Cocotte
The Staub Cast Iron Round Cocotte is unmatched for slow-cooking vegetables and meats to tender perfection. Besides, it’s perfect for simmering soups and hearty stews. The pot heats evenly all through because it boasts incredible heat-retaining qualities. The inventive lid comes with tiny spikes on the interior that constantly releases condensed moisture back onto the meals, resulting in flavourful results.
The oven’s exceptional matte black enamel interior plus the self-basting spiked lid assure perfect braising and browning for flavor-enhanced food. With its attractive enamel finish, every piece transitions stunningly to the table from the kitchen. From sumptuous suppers to comfort food, every meal is exceptional when prepared via Staub.
Certainly, the world’s top-rated chefs prefer using this Dutch oven. The oven’s incredible durability makes it an ideal tool for daily use in prestigious restaurants and gourmet home kitchens. Made to last for several decades, you can pass this cookware from one generation to the other.
Basically, this 4-quart cocotte is ideal for cooking a meal for a small family of four. The oven is incredibly versatile such that it may never leave the stovetop. It also comes in the right size for easy maneuverability. Use it to braise poultry, meat, vegetables and bread baking.
Black Matte Enamel Interior
Besides being unmatched when it comes to slow-cooking vegetables and meats to tender perfection, the oven incorporates a black matte enamel interior that guarantees extraordinary browning. The cast iron construction, on the other hand, offers excellent heat-retaining qualities. With this, the pot heats evenly all through. The clean-up process is also easy thanks to the easy release enameled surface.
Designed to last decades and decades, the Staub cocotte can be passed from one generation to another. It’s sufficiently durable to endure everyday use in the kitchen thanks to its exquisite enamel finish and fine quality. When it comes to serving your family members and guests, you can use it to serve the meals straight from the kitchen to the dining room.
Self-Basting Spiked Lid
The tight-fitting and heavyweight lid is made to retain a lot of moisture. The inventive lid also comes with tiny spikes on the interior, which constantly emits condensed moisture back onto the meal for a rainforest effect. Compared to the conventional lid, the unique design in this cookware effectively distributes moisture. With this, your meals will not dry out when braising it for long periods.
Made by the Best
Proudly designed by one of France’s leading manufacturers, this amazing 4-quart cocotte is part of the popular Staub enameled cast iron series. Situated in Northern France, the company prides itself on having staff who are fiercely proud of what they do. In addition to taking a week to design, a single Staub cocotte is handled by more than twenty employees from start to finish.
- Dishwasher safe
- You can heat it to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
- It has a nickel steel knob for easy and comfy handling.
- Exceptional interior matte finish that leads to excellent browning
- Quite costly
- The handles need an enhancement
4. Le Creuset Enamelled Cast Iron Round Dutch Oven
First, this iconic oven is indispensable in the kitchens of professional chefs and home cooks alike. Popularly known for its durability and strength, this oven is ideal for slow-cooking, roasting and braising, thanks to its incredible capability to maintain consistent and even heat. The best thing about it is that it does not require any seasoning and it’s ideal for both oven and stovetop use.
Since 1925, this round Dutch oven has been known for its durability and strength. Since it’s cast individually into sand molds and then hand-inspected by French artisans, every piece from Le Creuset represents an iconic heritage. It continues a tradition of authentic and lasting design.
Le Creuset is mainly focused on empowering and inspiring people worldwide to make joy via cooking. From the first enameled cast iron cooking utensils to stainless silicone and stoneware, the manufacturer has truly grown to provide cookware across various categories and materials that assure the right tool for the right task.
The incorporated enameled cast iron is a robust and remarkable material that performs perfectly with modern needs for meal preparation and cooking. Whether you opt to slow-cook a casserole, stir-fry, bake a cake or sear a steak, there’s a shape that’s suitable for you. When it comes to high-temperature searing or slow cooking, cast iron performs faultlessly.
The best thing about Cast iron is that you can reliably use it on any heat source, including induction and with any grill or oven. It also comes with the capability to retain heat effectively, facilitating the use of low heat settings in oven and stovetop cooking.
Adaptable to Many Heats
You can use the oven on any heat sources, such as electric solid plate, gas, radiant ring, induction, vitro-ceramic glass, as well as the ovens fired by oil, gas, wood, or coal. In order to optimize the pan’s efficiency, it’s essential to match its base size with that of the stovetop heat zone. Besides, this feature prevents damage to the handles and overheating on the pan sides.
Easy Clean-up Process
When it comes to cleaning, it’s advisable to let a hot oven cool for a couple of minutes before washing it. While the oven’s enamel is made to be the most reliable in the industry, you should avoid plunging it straight into cold water because thermal shock may occur, leading to enamel loss or cracks.
- Large handles that guarantee a perfect grip
- Incredible heat retention and distribution
- A large composite knob that ensures temperatures of up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit
- Long-lasting and colorful exterior enamel that ensures cracking and chipping
- Available in several colors
- Easy to clean
- Perfect size for bread baking
- You need to cove the knob with a strong foil to endure excessive heating
- Limited warranty
- Quite pricey
5. Crock Pot Artisan Dutch Oven
With an artistic enameled finish, this oven is a masterpiece on your table. It embraces cast iron, which retains and evenly distributes heat. It also comes with a self-blasting lid that creates a constant basting environment. The stainless knobs and oversized handles offer a strong grip to enhance mobility. It perfectly works on ceramic, gas, electric, and induction cooktops.
The Crock-Pot Artisan allows you to use any convention or conventional oven to broil or bake. Besides, the cookware and stainless knobs are oven safe up to temperatures of 500 degrees Fahrenheit. When it comes to cleaning it, hand wash is recommended to keep the pot’s integrity in order.
- Easy to clean
- It’s available in a variety of colors
- The enamel appears ugly after the tear and wear
- It chips easily
How to Use Dutch Oven for Bread Baking
Baking bread in this cookware isn’t something you may have come across, but believe me; you’ll be truly astonished. The result is something you may have never seen in your life. Here, you’ll find a recipe that will help you bake great bread.
If this is your very first-time baking bread this way, keep in mind that it can take some time to perfect the art of bread baking in this oven. So, if you run into any problem, adjust for the next time. The trick is simple; practice, practice and practice!
- Four cups of all-purpose flour
- 1½ teaspoon of sea salt
- 2 cups of warm water
- 1 teaspoon of dry yeast (one packet)
- Put the yeast in water, mix and then leave for five minutes. Ensure you have a light foam on the top of the water as it shows the yeast is fully activated. Use your hands to thoroughly combine the all-purpose flour and salt in a large bowl. Create a hole in the middle and then empty the water & yeast mix into it.
- Use your hands to mix the dough. The dough needs to pull away from the bowl’s side. Add some flour in small portions if it fails to pull away. Leave the dough for one and half hours to two hours until it doubles its size.
- After the dough has risen, uncover it and poke a couple of holes. At this stage, the dough should deflate. Starting from the outside to the center, fold the dough again. Cover it again and leave it for 1.5 to 2 hours.
- The dough is ready when it doubles its size. Take away the dough from the bowl and place it on a lightly floured surface. Begin working on the dough by severally folding it into a ball. To complete the ball and ensure it has a smooth top, clasp the sides underneath.
- Put your dough ball in a clean bowl covered with flour and olive oil. Cover your dough and then leave it for another hour to double in size. In the meantime, preheat the Dutch oven. Ensure you preheat the oven up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Place your Dutch oven inside. Let it heat for about an hour as the dough rises.
- After an hour, carefully remove the oven and place the ball of dough inside. As a precaution, place a parchment paper below the Dutch oven since it’s not enameled. Cover the oven with its lid and bake it for forty-five minutes at a heat of 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the oven’s lid with roughly 15 minutes to go. Basically, this leads to an attractive golden-brown coating.
- When it’s done baking, remove the oven and cautiously tilt the bread out of the crock. Let the bread cool for about 10 minutes before cutting and letting the Dutch oven to completely cool.
Factors to Consider Buying a Dutch Oven
When looking for the finest Dutch oven for bread baking, you’ll face a couple of options. The factors to consider comes down to whether you’re buying an enameled oven or just a clean cast iron Dutch oven which needs seasoning. All in all, here is are the things you need to keep in mind when buying a Dutch oven:
Cast iron – if you’ll be using this oven to bake, it’s important for you to buy the cast-iron Dutch ovens. The best thing about cast iron is that it can endure the high heat used in preheating the Dutch oven. Based on the recipe, you may need to preheat the oven up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
The heavy cast-iron Dutch oven also offers great heat distribution and retention, making it the crème de la crème Dutch oven for bread baking.
Enameled cast iron – opting for an enameled cast-iron oven for bread baking is often a matter of personal choice or preference. In addition to making it difficult for bread to stick on the inside, an enameled interior is also less likely to blacken. Well, these are the reasons why most bakers prefer using it for baking slices of bread.
Nevertheless, most enamel cannot endure the high temperatures used when baking loaves of bread. Thus, it’s essential to make sure your Dutch oven’s temperature has the ability to range and adjust the temperatures to protect the enamel against any potential cracking.
Shape and Size
Before buying an oven for bread baking, you need to consider its size. Basically, a Dutch oven smaller than the amount of dough used will limit the bread as it rises. In the process, it not only makes the interior dense but also burns out the exterior. On the other hand, an oven that is too large will make the bread wide and flat. After that, it makes it fail to attain the ideal height.
The serving size and capacity determine the oven’s size. Therefore, you need to consider how large you’d like every loaf of bread to be as well as the number of servings you need to make. It would therefore help if you checked a particular recipe to determine the number of servings it recommends.
While you can easily bake your bread in a round Dutch oven, using an oval Dutch oven produces a classic bakery bread shape. If you need artistic bread shapes, buying an oval Dutch oven is the wisest decision.
You don’t necessarily need to be a skilled baker to prepare Italian or French loaves from the comfort of your home. With the top 5 fantastic Dutch ovens for bread baking, as mentioned above, you can truly enjoy a fresh slice of bread without having to leave your house. Besides, the best thing is that you can use them to make other different recipes, such as braising, grilling and steaming.