An understatement would be to say that sourdough bread’s rise to fame has taken the baking world by storm. Baking sourdough bread is an exact science. However, a Dutch oven is an absolute must for producing the best possible sourdough bread.
Dutch oven baking traps steam and maintains a tender crust as the dough rises. The key to tasty sourdough is found in this method. Choosing the finest Dutch oven for sourdough bread is not a simple task, that much is certain.
The best Dutch ovens are heavy-duty, but they’re also versatile enough to be used for other cooking tasks like braising, stewing, and slow roasting. If you’ve been thinking about getting into baking but don’t know where to start (or if you’re just not satisfied with your current methods), then this guide will help you make an informed decision when it comes time to buy the best Dutch oven for bread!
What Is A Dutch Oven?
Dutch ovens are heavy-duty pots with lids that are ideal for browning meat and vegetables before reducing their temperature and cooking them slowly on the stovetop or in the oven for braising. It’s also handy for cooking pasta and making soup. It’s a common ingredient in baking bread. Well-known names in cookware include Le Creuset and Staub, but other notable manufacturers include Lodge and Cuisinart.
Dutch ovens are similar in appearance to stockpots, but they have larger bases and somewhat shorter, thicker walls, which allow for greater browning and caramelization of contents and hold heat effectively. In addition to having two short handles on each side (instead of one long handle like conventional pans), this allows for more even and stable carrying both into and out of the oven.
Type Of Dutch Ovens
Dutch ovens come in two types: outdoor and indoor. Outdoor Dutch ovens are used over a fire or wood coals, while indoor Dutch ovens are used on modern stovetops. The main difference between the two is that indoor Dutch ovens have a flat bottom, while outdoor Dutch ovens have a rounded one.
Outdoor Dutch ovens are made of cast iron and can be used over a fire or wood coals. This type of Dutch oven is ideal for cooking outdoors because it retains heat well. They are also versatile and can be used to cook a variety of dishes, such as meatloaf, chili, or apple crisp.
Indoor Dutch ovens are made of enameled cast iron and come with flat bottoms so that they can be used on modern stovetops. It is ideal for cooking indoors because it doesn’t require an open flame or coals to get hot enough to cook food properly; instead, it gets hot quickly thanks to its enamel coating (which prevents food from sticking).
Why Use A Dutch Oven For Sourdough Bread?
If you’re into making sourdough bread, you’ve probably thought about getting a Dutch oven. And if you haven’t, we’re here to tell you that—if you want delicious thin, crispy crusts and light airy crumbs—you need one.
Dutch ovens are ideal for baking sourdough because they produce an atmosphere that is almost identical to that of a commercial oven.
A Dutch oven is ideal for making sourdough because the steam it holds as the dough rises helps maintain the crust tender even as it grows in size.
The dough will not expand as much or rise as much without steam; the crust will form too quickly, preventing oven spring.
Covering your baking vessel when baking sourdough ensures that the whole loaf bakes at the same rate and doesn’t become too crusty at the top.
If you like a crispier, more browned top, you may always cook it uncovered for the last few minutes of baking.
Unlike commercial yeast, wild yeasts need additional nutrients and moisture to fully activate when baking.
Your Dutch oven provides the ideal atmosphere for your dough to rise and bake: very high temperatures and a little bit of steam.
The Top 9 Best Dutch Ovens For Bread
1. Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Signature Oval Dutch Oven
The outside of this Dutch oven is enameled, which means it will look great on your countertop and be easy to clean. The sand-colored interior enamel of this Dutch oven makes it easy to see how your food is cooking without having to lift the lid.
It comes with a tight-fitting lid, so you won’t have to worry about steam escaping while your food cooks. It also has ergonomic handles that are easy to grasp, making it simple to transfer from the stovetop to the oven or table.
It can be used in the oven up to 500°F, making it an ideal choice for baking bread that requires higher temperatures than other baked goods typically do.
|Item Weight||15 pounds|
|Product Dimensions||11 x 16.9 x 7.3 inches|
Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Double Dutch Oven
The Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Double Dutch Oven has all the features you need to be successful, and it’s under $50!
The lid that converts into a skillet means that you can use your Dutch oven for baking and then turn it into a skillet to cook things like eggs or bacon on top of the stove. Another feature of this product is its loop handles, which make it easy to hold when you’re pouring out hot food. The handles also stay cool, so you won’t burn yourself during use.
One thing that could be improved about this product is its size: at five quarts, it might be too small for some recipes. However, if you’re just making bread, then this size will work perfectly well!
|Finish Type||Non Stick|
|Item Weight||13.13 Pounds|
|Product Dimensions||11.15 x 10.7 x 5.55 inches|
Tramontina 80116/025DS Covered Dutch Oven
What makes a good Dutch oven? First off, it needs to be sturdy, because you’re going to be taking it with you everywhere. The Tramontina Covered Dutch Oven is made of stainless steel and has an oven temperature of up to 260°C, which means that it can handle anything you throw at it—and then some.
It comes in a variety of sizes, from 1.5 quarts to 8 quarts, so there’s a size for every occasion. And if you don’t feel like cleaning up after yourself? No problem! The Tramontina Covered Dutch Oven is dishwasher safe (just make sure the lid isn’t in there).
|Finish Type||Stainless Steel|
|Item Weight||4.43 Pounds|
|Product Dimensions||12.75 x 6.5 x 9.75 inches|
Amazon Basics Enameled Cast Iron Covered Dutch Oven
I have been using the Amazon Basics Enameled Cast Iron Covered Dutch Oven for over a month now, and I have to say that it is one of the best Dutch ovens for bread that I’ve ever used.
It’s made of cast iron and has the ability to distribute heat evenly and consistently throughout your food, so you’ll get a nice crust on your bread every time. This pan also has side handles so that it’s easy to hold in one hand as you pull it out of the oven.
The item by Amazon Basics is cheaper than a French pan, but it performs just as well! The lid fits snugly on top of the pot and keeps in moisture while you cook, giving you a soft and chewy interior when you’re done.
|Item Weight||13.06 Pounds|
|Product Dimensions||13.54 x 11.02 x 4.72 inches|
Cuisinart MultiClad Pro Stainless 6-Quart Saucepot
The Cuisinart has a lot of advantages over other Dutch ovens. It’s light enough to carry around without feeling like you’re carrying a tank—but heavy enough to feel sturdy and well made.
The handle on this model is particularly nice because it doesn’t get hot when you’re cooking with high heat or in the oven (unlike some other brands).
The lid fits tightly, which makes it easy to seal in moisture while baking bread and other foods.
This version is also oven-safe up to 550 degrees F, which is great for those who want to make their bread in the oven instead of on the stovetop.
And finally, the Heat Surround Technology provides even heat distribution throughout the pot, which allows you to sear meat or sauté vegetables quickly without having to move them around too much or stir constantly—so everything cooks evenly!
|Item Weight||5.55 pounds|
|Product Dimensions||12.99 x 10.43 x 6.1 inches|
Lodge EC6D43 Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven
The Lodge EC6D43 Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven is one of the best Dutch ovens for bread that we’ve ever tested. It’s a great value for the price, and it should serve you well for many years to come.
We particularly loved its enamel coating, which meant that even after hours at high temperatures, our bread was still perfectly baked on the inside. The smooth glass surface made it easy to monitor the baking process without having to open up the oven door, so we could be sure our bread was perfectly browned.
It’s worth noting that this model does not have a lid lifter or utensil holder (but those features can be found on other models).
Overall, this model is a great choice if you’re looking for an inexpensive Dutch oven that will keep your bread warm while you prepare dinner or other dishes in your kitchen.
|Item Weight||13.5 Pounds|
|Product Dimensions||13.25 x 11.6 x 6 inches|
Emile Henry Ceramic Bread/Potato Cooker
The Emile Henry Ceramic Bread/Potato Cooker is made from clay and has a spherical shape, which helps retain heat inside the pot and give you a consistent temperature throughout the whole process. It is made of clay, so it’s durable and long-lasting—and it’s also non-porous, so it won’t absorb any odors from food.
We love the design of this pot—it’s simple yet elegant, making it perfect for serving dinner to guests or bringing it to your next potluck. It can also be used on BBQ grills, so if you want to cook something other than bread or potatoes in it, go right ahead!
|Item Weight||5.2 pounds|
|Product Dimensions||9.4 x 9.4 x 6.3 inches|
Uno Casa Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven
The Uno Casa Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven is the perfect choice for anyone who wants to make delicious bread without the hassle of a traditional oven.
It’s made from high-quality materials and features a black satin enamel finish that looks great and makes cleanup easy.
The lid is stainless steel, so it won’t rust or tarnish over time as some other lids might. Plus, the silicon potholder provides an extra level of protection against hot handles and pans when you’re taking them in and out of the oven or stovetop.
The trivet mat set also helps keep your countertop clean by providing a place to rest hot pots so they don’t leave marks on your countertop or table surface.
|Item Weight||13 Pounds|
|Product Dimensions||14.7 x 12 x 5 inches|
Crock-Pot Artisan Round Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven
The Crock-Pot Artisan Round Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven comes in three different sizes: 3-Quart, 5-Quart, and 7-Quart. It has 12 colors to choose from—including red, blue, green, black, and white—so you can match your kitchen decor or stand out with a bright color.
This cast iron dutch oven can fit a regular size loaf of bread and has handles that are large enough to hold on to even when wearing oven mitts. It’s oven safe up to 450°F so you can use it for baking cookies or roasting meats alike.
|Item Weight||5.65 Kilograms|
|Product Dimensions||10.25 x 5.5 x 10.75 inches|
How To Pick The Best Dutch Oven For Bread
Choosing the best Dutch oven for bread can be a difficult task. You have to take into consideration several factors such as material, shape and size, safety, ease of use, handles, and time of cooking. You also need to consider design and color as well as the cleaning process and lifetime warranty.
If you want to know how to pick the best Dutch oven for bread, keep reading!
The best materials for a dutch oven are cast iron, enameled cast iron, and stainless steel. Hard-anodized aluminum is less expensive, but it doesn’t conduct heat as well as the other materials, so the crust of your bread won’t brown as much.
Cast iron retains heat well and can be used on any stovetop surface (gas or electric). However, it can be heavy to lift and clean.
The enamel keeps the pot from rusting but may chip if you drop it onto a hard surface or scratch it with utensils (like metal spatulas).
Stainless steel tends not to retain heat, as well as other types of dutch ovens, do—so keep this in mind when deciding whether this type of product will work best for your needs!
Oven Safe Temperature
While many dutch ovens are oven-safe up to 500°F (260°C), you might be surprised to hear that you don’t need to cook your bread in an oven that hot. In fact, the best dutch oven for baking bread only needs 220°C (428°F) enough.
Round-shaped Dutch ovens are the most common, and they’re also the best for making bread. The round shape allows you to put more dough in the oven at once, which means you can get more bread out of a batch of dough.
Ease Of Use
The best Dutch oven should be easy to use. It should have handles that are comfortable and easy to grip. The handles should also be heat resistant so that they do not get damaged if they come into contact with high temperatures. The lid should fit tightly on top of the pot so that no moisture escapes while cooking food inside it.
Time Of Cooking
If you want to bake bread in the Dutch oven, then you need to know how long it takes for the dough to rise. Some brands take longer than others while some take less time than others. This will help you determine which brand will work best for your needs.
The price of a Dutch oven varies depending on its quality and features. You can get an affordable model for around $50, but if you want something better then expect to pay upwards of $100 for it.
Can You Bake Bread In Enameled Cast Iron?
Enameled cast iron pans can be used for baking bread or cakes, but they won’t last as long as their uncoated counterparts. You shouldn’t bake anything acidic (like tomato sauce) in an enameled pan because it can damage the coating over time. If you do want to bake with an enameled pan, make sure you use a recipe that doesn’t call for acidic ingredients.
What Size Dutch Oven For Sourdough Bread?
For most recipes, we recommend a 5-quart Dutch oven or larger.
If you are making sourdough bread in an 8-quart Dutch oven, use 1 cup of starter. If you are using a smaller pot, use less starter; for example: if your pot is 1 quart in size, use ½ cup of starter. This will give you enough leavening to get your loaf going but not too much that it will overflow your pot during baking.
What Size Dutch Oven For Tartine Bread?
The answer is simple: a 6-quart Dutch oven will work great! You’ll only need one lid, so you can use it on any size pot. And if you don’t have a lid that fits perfectly yet, now is the time to invest in some new ones!
The truth is that any size Dutch oven will work just fine for making this bread (even a small one). But I personally prefer using my 8-quart Le Creuset because it holds more dough and has plenty of room for adding ingredients like whole wheat flour and nuts when mixing the dough. The larger pot also helps keep the temperature more consistent throughout the baking process.
While you may be interested in the best Dutch oven for bread, there are a number of excellent cookware options available. Our top picks should offer several years of service and be reliable enough to use on a daily basis. Again, these picks are not universal: you’ll likely have your own favorites depending on your intended use. Even so, we think that any one of our top picks will give you years of dependable service, whether you’re cooking for a large family or entertaining guests in your home on a regular basis.