As bread baking gets better with new recipes popping out every day, so does your concern about the ingredients used, especially the additives, and how they can possibly affect your health. So, if you want a way to cook your own healthy bread at home, it is time to get the best size dutch oven for bread. But first, let us define what a dutch oven is and what it does.
What is a Dutch Oven?
A dutch oven is a versatile, heavy-duty pot that comes with a lid and is made with either of two types of cast iron; bare cast iron or enamel-coated cast iron. You can use a dutch oven to bake your sourdough bread, cook stews, soups, brown meat, and cook all types of veggies.
A dutch oven for making bread needs to be durable and withstand high temperatures in the oven. Also, it will need large handles so you can get a good grip when wearing oven mitts, while the lid also needs a sturdy knob that will be easy to hold. Additionally, the best size for a dutch oven for baking bread has a capacity between 5 quarts and 7.5 quarts to have enough room for your bread to rise, form, and crust.
With that in mind, we have compiled this list of the five best dutch ovens for bread baking between 5 quarts to 7.5 quarts. Read on to find which is best for your baking needs, and later, a guide on baking your best bread using a dutch oven.
1. Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven for Bread-Baking
- 45% larger handles that provide a sure grip, even with oven mitts
- The superior heat distribution and retention of le creuset enameled cast iron
- An advanced sand-colored interior enamel with even more resistance to wear
- A larger composite knob that withstands temperatures up to 500ºF
- Colorful, long-lasting exterior enamel that resists chipping and cracking
This Le Creuset is your best size dutch oven for bread made with enameled cast iron to retain heat for even bread baking. It is a 5.5 quarts round dutch oven and one of the smallest dutch ovens you can use for baking.
Coming in different assorted colors to complement your kitchen, the dutch oven is heavy and durable, with wide handles that offer a great grip even when you wear oven mitts. The sand-colored interior makes baking easy, and with enough room to allow rising and forming, your result will be a healthy piece of bread for your whole family.
The lid is heavy as well, which is a bonus when baking, and it also comes with a composite knob that, according to the manufacturer, will withstand high temperatures of up to 500°F. However, some home bakers recommend covering the knob with foil to prevent any damage.
2. Cuisinart Chef's Classic Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven for Bread
- Cast Iron Construction Provides superior heat retention and even heat distribution
- Porcelain Enamel Exterior Strong, durable finish in rich colors complement any kitchen decor;...
- Porcelain Enamel Interior Ideal for cooking; surfaces do not impart flavors or absorb odors
- Extreme Versatility Induction stovetop compatible; stovetop, oven and broiler safe
- Dishwasher Safe Convenient maintenance and easy cleanup
When you want to bake a bigger bread in a dutch oven, this Cuisinart is the best dutch oven to use. It is a 7-quart, round oven that comes with a heavy lid that preserves the moisture and flavors as you bake. In addition, it is an enamel-coated oven to distribute heat evenly for the best baking.
As a 7-quarts model, it comes with ample room to allow you to bake bread rolls without worrying they will stick to the walls. It also comes with large handles for good grip even when wearing oven mitts, and the lid also features a sturdy knob for easy handling.
The dutch oven comes in many different colors to complement your kitchen, and with a porcelain interior, it is a non-stick dutch oven for all your cooking needs. In addition, it is compatible with all stoves and comes at an affordable price.
3. Tramontina Enameled Cast Iron Covered Dutch Oven for Bread Making
- From Kitchen to Table: Rich enameled finish and versatile shapes offer elegant kitchen to table...
- Versatile Shapes and Sizes: Perfect for baking, or traditional slow simmering favorite recipes to...
- Stainless Steel Knob: Solid cast construction is extremely durable and oven-safe.
- Oven-Safe and Compatibility: Compatible with gas, electric, ceramic glass and induction cooktops....
- UPC - 016017123366
This best size dutch oven for bread is an enamel-coated dutch iron with a heavy lid for the best baking experience. Coming with a capacity of 5.5 quarts, you will bake healthier bread at home without too much hassle.
The oven comes with large enough handles to grip with oven mitts, and the sturdy knob atop the lid is also long enough for good grip with covered hands. The heavy cast iron dutch oven comes in a rich Majolica Red color that gives an antique vibe.
It allows ample heat distribution and retention and is easy to clean. It is also oven safe as it can withstand high temperatures of up to 450°F, and the heavy lid also covers perfectly to prevent moisture loss.
4. Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Dutch Oven
- One Lodge Pre-Seasoned 5 Quart Cast Iron Double Dutch Oven
- Lid converts to a 10.25 Inch Skillet
- Loop handles provide secure control
- Unparalleled heat retention and even heating
- Pre-seasoned with 100% natural vegetable oil
Unlike the other enameled cast iron dutch ovens on this list that you can only use indoors, this pre-seasoned cast iron dutch oven is ideal for indoor and outdoor baking. Additionally, it is more durable as the pre-seasoned, heavy-duty cast iron is unlikely to chip or crack with good maintenance.
When baking your best bread, you will appreciate both the loop handles on both the oven and the lid. In addition, it is a 5-quart pot that is enough for breaking rolls of bread. The round oven can withstand very high baking temperatures, and you will also need to preheat it in the oven for best results.
When you want to bake your best sourdough bread yet, you can first season the interior with healthy vegetable oil, and for even better results, you can line the interior with parchment paper, so your dough does not stick to the walls.
It is an affordable dutch oven you can also use for cooking stews and other slow-cooked meals. In addition, you can use it indoors or outdoors and on different cooktops, including induction cooktops.
5. Combekk Enameled Cast Iron 6.3 Quart Dutch Oven with Thermometer
- Precise Thermometer shows temperature for cooking control
- 100% recycled material, controlled sources with origin stamped into each piece
- 40 Year Warranty
- Reliable even heat distribution with no hot spots
- Great for all heat surfaces
If you need a versatile dutch oven for your cooking and baking, look no further than this model, which also has a rich history behind it. It is made from recycled railway rail, and once molded into the round shape, is then covered with a PTFE-free enamel finish so it won't easily stain, crack, or chip.
It is the best size dutch oven for bread with a 6.3-quart capacity which makes enough room for baking all your types of bread. Additionally, unlike other models on this list, this oven comes with a side-mounted thermometer so you can adjust your baking temperatures.
It distributes and retains heat evenly and features large handles that make handling when wearing oven mitts easy. The heavy lid preserves steam and flavors and also features a sturdy, easy-to-hold knob for safe handling.
The dutch ovens come in three color options and also with a 40-year warranty.
What Factors Should You Consider When Buying the Best Size Dutch Oven for Bread?
The time has come to buy a dutch oven you can use for baking and cooking other meals, but you don't know the features that make one the very best. Not to worry, these are crucial features your baking dutch oven needs to make your bread making a success.
The best size dutch oven for bread has a capacity of between 5 quarts to 7.5 quarts. This size makes enough room for your dough to rise, form, and crust without being too pressed by the walls or the lid.
The shape of your dutch ovens also plays an important factor when baking. When you get down to baking, you can only bake bread that will match the shape of your dutch oven. It is best to go for round or oval shapes as these support different types of bread.
As seen from the reviews above, dutch ovens are mostly made with heavy-duty cast iron. However, there are two types of dutch ovens, those with an enameled coating or those pre-seasoned with vegetable oils. Wondering what the difference is?
The pots made with pre-seasoned cast iron are also called bare cast iron dutch ovens. This oven will be pre-seasoned by the manufacturer with vegetable oils. Occasionally, you will also need to season with oil or line the surface with parchment paper before baking.
On the other hand, enamel-coated dutch ovens are also made with cast iron but coated with a metal or ceramic core. Thus, the oven will not require seasoning and is also dishwasher safe. However, compared to bare cast iron dutch ovens, the enamel is more prone to chipping, cracking, or staining, thus less durable.
A bare cast iron dutch oven is more durable and more affordable but requires more maintenance compared to enable coated dutch ovens.
d) Handling and maintenance
While material, size, and shape are three factors that can make or break your baking experience, you will need to consider how to take care of your dutch oven when and after baking.
Firstly, you need to understand the cleaning process. Most bare cast-iron ovens can only be washed by hand, while you can toss those with an enamel coating in the dishwasher.
Also, consider the handles and how large they are so you can find a good grip even when wearing oven mitts. The lid also comes with a knob or side handles and should also be easy to grip. Finally, the lid needs to fit the pot perfectly so you can cover it to preserve moisture and allow better crusting.
How to Bake the Best Bread in a Dutch Oven
If you want to make the best sourdough bread using your dutch oven, these are tips that can help you get started in no time.
- Choose a recipe. You can choose a no-knead recipe of choice.
- Prepare all your ingredients and allow time for the dough to rest; most recipes will require at least 24 hours for the dough to rise. You can store it in the fridge for the best results.
- When your dough is ready, you can follow your recipe's instructions and shape it. You can then rest it on the counter or parchment paper as you preheat the dutch oven.
- Preheat your pot for at least 30 minutes. It is best to give the pot 30 minutes before your dough is ready to bake, so ensure you thoroughly read your recipe instructions. For best results, put the empty, covered bread baking pot into the oven and set the temperature to 450°F.
- Carefully remove the lid and apply a thin layer of vegetable oil to the pot. Careful, as the dutch oven is hot and could smoke as you prepare, add some flour and then transfer the dough.
- Try to even out the top of the dough; you can sake the pot from side to side or even slash out some dough.
- When the dough looks even, pout the lid back on and transfer the pot into the oven,
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes with the lid on, and then remove it. Bake the uncovered dough for another five to ten minutes so your bread can brown.
- When your bread is ready, remove the pot from the oven, then place the bread on a cooling rack and leave it before you can slice.
What is the Difference Between Baking Bread in The Best Dutch Ovens and Baking in Regular Ovens?
The difference between using a dutch oven like the Le Creuset dutch oven and a regular baking tin with a baking sheet is the steam produced. More steam, especially when making sourdough bread, helps to form a better, artist-like crust.
When you preheat a regular oven, most moisture is lost as it is designed to vent. On the other hand, you can harvest most steam when preheating a le Creuset dutch oven when it is covered.
If you want better results with a dutch oven, you can pour some water into a tray at the bottom of your oven. That way, you will have a lot of moisture to allow your loaf to form a better crispy crust.