Baking Bread in a Dutch Oven

CA Kate z9

Posters on the new thread on Dutch Ovens talked about baking bread in one. then someone else mentioned that it is preheated. Could someone(s) explain this type/method of bread baking?

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annie1992

Kate, the recipe I tried called for making the bread, letting it rise (I used a piece of parchment), and then "dumping" it into a hot dutch oven or other similar pan, then replacing the lid and baking the bread. I had some trouble transferring my risen dough to the dutch oven without compromising the risen dough, so I just lifted the dough with the parchment paper, placed the whole thing into my hot dutch oven, replaced the lid and baked it.

I now just heat a cast iron griddle in the oven and transfer the dough to that hot surface, still leaving the parchment paper as a "sling" to move the dough. I remove it after baking.

I didn't see a lot of difference between the crust on the loaf baked on the griddle and the one baked in the dutch oven and just find the griddle easier to "navigate", so that's the method I use most of the time when baking a rustic type loaf.

Annie

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lindac92

Here are directions to the method I use....the bread is wonderful!! Very soft dough...but rises and creates a wonderful crust.

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, whisk flour, salt and yeast until well mixed. Pour in warm water and use a wooden spoon to stir until a shaggy dough forms. The mixture will be wet and very sticky to the touch.

  2. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place 8 to 18 hours until dough rises, bubbles and flattens on top.

  3. Heat oven to 450°F. Once oven is preheated, place a 6-quart Dutch oven (with cover) in oven 30 minutes before baking.

  4. Punch down dough. Generously flour a sheet of parchment paper; transfer dough to parchment and, with floured hands, quickly shape into a ball. Place dough on parchment paper and sprinkle top lightly with flour. Top with a sheet of plastic wrap and let rest 30 minutes.

  5. Carefully remove Dutch oven from oven and remove lid. Uncover dough and carefully transfer to Dutch oven, with or without parchment paper beneath (if bottom of Dutch oven is not coated with enamel, keep parchment paper beneath dough). Cover Dutch oven and return to oven.

  6. Bake bread 45 minutes covered, then another 10 to 15 minutes uncovered until dough is baked through and golden brown on top. Cool slightly before slicing.

  7. Recipe created by Girl Versus Dough.

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lindac92

Oops!!

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for shaping
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp RED STAR Active Dry Yeast
  • 1½ cups warm water (about 110-115°F)
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biondanonima (Zone 7a Hudson Valley)

The point of the Dutch oven is to trap steam, thus mimicking the effects of baking in an actual steam oven. Steam helps to create an exceptionally light and crispy crust on baguettes, etc.

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CA Kate z9

Thanks! I was wondering why one would even do this, but that has been answered too. I don't bake much bread anymore, but, maybe, an experiment is in order. ;-)

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l pinkmountain

I tried it with a closed dutch oven, and get just as good results putting a pan with some ice cubes on the bottom rack of the oven . . . YMMV.

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CA Kate z9

I pinkmountain: I do this when making French Bread; haven't tried it with other kinds.

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agmss15

My baking wood-fired oven building neighbor vouches for this method. I haven’t tried it yet but have been gifted some lovely loaves. I tend to be making pizza or pita outside in my WFO for a gathering or small loaves inside for one.

Here is one of his books. I think this is the one that discusses this method. https://www.amazon.com/Bread-First-Beginners-stuart-silverstein/dp/1500314080/ref=mp_s_a_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1549220134&sr=1-7&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_QL65&keywords=stuart+silverstein&dpPl=1&dpID=51I2ddERxGL&ref=plSrch&dpPl=1&dpID=51I2ddERxGL&ref=plSrch

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l pinkmountain

I've tried a lot of methods--clay oven, pyrex casserole, cast and enameled pot, baking sheets, baking tins . . . my biggest issue with the closed pots is what Annie describes - the bread deflating upon transfer. You can use a cold pot . . . or keep working the other methods. I just got tired of lifting the dang thing in and out of the oven. I inherited a baking stone which is also why I relegated the cast iron pot to soups and stews.

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l pinkmountain

I know Ann, I futzed around with it for a while and I just don't have your knack so gave up for something that works for me. I watched all kinds of videos online about transferring so obviously it can work but for whatever reason I haven't had luck with it. Does not mean the OP will not be able to do it. It's a great idea for some.

Here's a King Arthur Flour baking team exploration of the cold dutch oven method. They say it works, but not as well as using a pre-heated one. Frankly their test loaf looks pretty good to me and mirrors my results. https://blog.kingarthurflour.com/2017/07/05/baking-in-a-cold-dutch-oven/

But not as fab as Ann's.

I have the same problem with slashing my loaves. I don't care how many videos I watch where it works for them, mine always deflate. I found out you can bake bread without slashing and still get a good product in the end.

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Jim Mat

A while ago, No Knead Bread was much discussed. Are the posts in Dutch Oven referring to NKB. I tried the New York Times version, Mark Bittman’s version and ATK. I liked the sour flavor in the ATK version, similar to San Francisco sour dough.

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louiseab Ibbotson

Jim, that’s really interesting. I’d really love to try that ATK recipe but I can’t find it without giving my credit card info. Don’t want to do this. I know it says you can cancel any time after the free trial, but I’ve done this before on other sites and it’s not that easy.

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writersblock

Try this link:

https://www.americastestkitchen.com/recipes/9076-almost-no-knead-sourdough-bread?sqn=jJUyCV8/EqHC79mY9QX/zgJjvA7y7iKiHXB1yPjytF8%3D%0A

ETA If it doesn’t work, I got there by searching for their YouTube video about it and following the link in the description.

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louiseab Ibbotson

Thanks writersblock the link works but can’t open the sourdough starter recipe link doesn’t work without the signup. Is it just a regular starter that I can find another recipe for?

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