Why Is My Dutch Oven Bread Burning On The Bottom
When baking bread in Dutch ovens, you sometimes end up with a burnt bottom on your bread because the material of the oven cant withstand high heat. If the enamel on the Dutch oven cant withstand more than 400 degrees F, the bottom will start to blacken and burn your dough there. Le Creuset bread ovens have a heat rating of 500 degrees F.
Already have a Dutch oven? Check out why they are so good for making bread: Best Dutch Ovens for Making Bread: Complete Guide
Baking Bread In A Le Creuset Dutch Oven
Give me a savory recipe or an idea for any savory meal, and Im on it! But if you ask me to bake a dessert, I would do my best, but not with the same confidence of creating a savory dish. So for the past couple of years, Ive been on a mission to challenge myself with baking projects, in order to alleviate the fears Ive had about baking.
What I love most about creating savory dishes is that I can take a recipe and make it my own. Ive always been comfortable with adding a touch of this, removing a bit of that, substituting this for that and for the most part, its worked out. But that’s not the same for baking! Seeing a pastry chef in motion is like watching a great composer. The preciseness of each ingredient is like a composer discovering that one perfect note.
In the past couple of months, Ive experimented with Bundt pan cakes, loaf pan cakes, layer cakes, pecan bars and making a pie dough that contained apple cider vinegar.
All to some surprisingly fantastic results! But it was baking a loaf of bread that surprised and thrilled me the most.
Bread protein structures, or gluten, are normally developed through lots of kneading. The Dutch oven technique requires no kneading as gluten develops throughout the rising process. Allowing a long fermentation of the dough helps to trap even more gas which creates the breads volume and, at the same time, developes organic acids which imparts a wonderful flavor to the bread.
Caring For Enameled Coated Dutch Ovens
These dutch ovens are by far the easiest. They are already non-stick so in most cases can be cleaned out and dried with ease. If they do get tougher stuck-on food or stains just allow them to soak in hot, soapy water and it will easily wash off. Do not use an abrasive pad as it can scratch the inside.
When cleaning enameled-coated dutch ovens, allow them to completely cool down before running underwater. Going from extreme heat to cooler temps can cause them to crack.
Some are even dishwasher safe but I always recommend hand washing if you can.
Allow to completely dry and store in a cabinet, on a shelf, or right on your stove. My larger dutch oven lives on my cooktop, always ready to go. They can also be stacked but just be sure to use trivets, towels, or other pot separators as a buffer so they don’t chip or scratch.
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When To Select A Raw Cast Iron
Raw cast iron dutch ovens are best used on or in extreme heat. They are the preferred pot for outdoor camping and cooking over a fire. An enameled dutch oven will not hold up well for that style of cooking.
While seasoned cast iron dutch ovens can still make most of the dishes listed above, some acidic foods are hard on the pot and it can be a little more difficult to clean at times.
So if outdoor cooking is something you are interested in, a cast iron dutch oven is the right way to go. If you are looking to make more soups and stews you could lean more towards enamel coated.
Cast iron is, however, a great option for baking bread.
Is The Le Creuset Bread Oven Worth Buying
Weve long been fans of Le Creusets enameled cast-iron cookwareits well designed, durable, and beautiful to boot. Their Dutch oven has been our favorite for decades, and we also love their skillet and braiser. So when we heard that Le Creuset had come out with a specially designed enameled cast-iron bread oven, we were intrigued. And we werent the only onesweve come across it a ton while scrolling through our social media feeds since it was announced.
Did we need this new toy? And could it compete with the Challenger Bread Pan, which weve already found to be a truly valuable piece of equipment for serious bread heads?
Well be publishing a new comprehensive review of different dedicated bread ovens soon. But with all the hype about Le Creusets bread oven, we wanted to give you a sneak peek at our findings based on what weve observed so far.
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How To Bake Bread In A Dutch Oven
Baking bread in a dutch oven is really simple. This section will just go over baking bread. Please see my sourdough bread post for the recipe and instructions to make the dough.
The most important step in baking bread in a dutch oven is preheating. The pot itself needs to be extremely hot so that it can create steam the moment the lid is secure.
Once your dough is done rising it’s time to get the dutch oven ready.
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 500 degrees and place the empty dutch oven inside.
Step 2: Heat for 30-45 minutes so the pot is extremely hot. Use caution and care when handling. Cast iron retains heat well and the pot itself will be scalding.
Step 3: Reduce oven temp to 450 degrees Fahrenheit .
Step 4: Remove bread from the proofing basket or bowl onto a piece of parchment paper. Seam side down. Score the dough. This allows more water to escape and helps the bread rise.
Step 5. Remove the lid from the dutch oven, carefully lower the bread inside, put the lid back on and bake.
Step 6: Remove the lid and continue to bake for another 25 minutes. Or follow the recipe you are using.
Step 7: When done baking, remove the pot from the oven and carefully lift the bread by the parchment paper. Take it out of the dutch oven and place it on a cooling rack, then allow the bread to finish cooling while on the rack.
What We Didnt Like About Le Creusets Bread Oven
Though there was plenty we liked about the bread oven, there were certainly some drawbacks.
- Its not quite as versatile as some ovens. Because of its domed cloche-like shape, you can only make round loaves . Batardsthe longer oval-shaped loaves that many bakers preferjust wont fit properly.
- That compact size has a downside. While we were able to bake up to a kilogram of dougha fairly standard baking size, and one we use for most of our sourdough recipesthe loaves fit pretty snugly. Wed prefer a little more wiggle room. If you bake smaller loaves, though, itll be fine.
- It has a raised logo on the base. The words LE CREUSET and three concentric circles stand up in relief from the base. We found this to be a fairly annoying bit of, well, brandingeven when you use parchment, the circles imprint darkly on the bottom of the bread, as if scorched by an electric coil. We like Le Creuset, but not at our breads expensewed rather turn out loaves with flat, evenly browned bottoms.
- It’s expensive. If you bake a lot of bread, it may be worth investing $290 in this bread oven–it’ll certainly last a long time. But that cost is still a significant investment for many home cooks.
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Preheat Dutch Oven & Bake
Right before you pull the dough out of the bowl, place the dutch oven into the oven and preheat it to 450 degrees F. Placing the artisan bread dough into the warm dutch oven results in a golden-brown crispy crust. When the oven is preheated, carefully remove the heated dutch oven from the oven, spray with cooking spray and put the dough inside.
Straight To The Point
Le Creuset recently launched a fancy, enameled cast-iron, bread ovena pot specifically designed for baking crisp, crusty loaves of bread. I tested it out to find out whether it’s worth the nearly $300 sticker price. But, first, some background.
By now, most people who make bread at home already know that baking a rustic loaf is best done in a heavy, covered Dutch oven-style pot. Baking under a cloche is as old as the hills, but it was popularized in recent years by Jim Lahey and Mark Bittmans 2006 New York Times no-knead bread recipe and Chad Robertsons 2010 book, Tartine Bread.
For those unfamiliar with the baking method, heres why it works so well: Lean breadsmeaning those without a large amount of fat from eggs, butter, or oil in themneed to be surrounded by steam for the first half or so of the bake for best results. The steam serves to promote good oven spring for a tall, open-crumbed loaf, and to produce a thin-shelled and shiny crust. After a while, the steam is removed in order to let the crust brown and crisp up.
Enter the Dutch oven. Instead of baking the bread in the open, you preheat the empty pot and lid in the oven, add the loaf, cover it, and return it to the oven. After half an hour or so, you remove the lid and continue baking the bread until it is sufficiently browned.
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Letting The Dough Rise
Once the dough is mixed, just cover it with a kitchen towel and let it rise in a warm-ish spot for two or three hours. It should double in size at least.
If your house is cold, I recommend turning your oven on for a few seconds, turning it off, and placing the bowl in the warm oven with the door closed to trap the heat in.
If youre using your oven to cook something , you can leave the bowl on top of the stove- the vented heat at the top will help it rise well.
You can also get some really hot water in a mug or glass measuring cup, stick it in the microwave, and place the bowl next to it. Shut the door to the microwave- this will trap the warmth and steam inside.
If your house is warm, you can just leave it out.
If its warm outside, you can leave the bowl outside.
More Homemade Bread Recipes
If you are ready to take the plunge and make more bread recipes, check out some of our favorites:
- No holiday is complete without a batch of these Homemade Dinner Rolls !
- This Homemade Pretzel Breadis my husband’s favorite food ever, and everyone who tries it is obsessed!
- We make this whole wheat breadfor BLTs and just for sandwiches throughout the week!
- Try these homemade hamburger buns – they’ll change burger nights forever.
- For sweet breads, try these homemade cinnamon rolls , and this Povitica!
If you make and love our recipes, it would mean so much to me if you would leave a comment and rating! And don’t forget to follow along with us on , , , and – be sure to tag @joyfoodsunshine and use the hashtag #joyfoodsunshine so we can your creations!
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How Le Creuset Bread Oven Works
The Le Creuset bread oven evenly distributes and retains heat by trapping and circulating steam inside. And you can get this moist effect without having to compromise a crisp crust on the top of your bread during the baking process.
The lids shape effectively optimizes the bread rising process as the domed lid traps the steam inside. With an easy-to-clean matte black interior enamel and ergonomic handles, the brands signature stainless steel knobs the Le Creuset Bread Oven makes it effortless to bake like the experts at home.
Its low-profile base with rings is designed to create even marks and browning on the loaf of bread inside. You can use this bread oven to create various baked goods, including:
- Different types of bread
What Its Made Of
As previously mentioned, this bread oven is designed using high-quality cast iron. On top of that surface is the enamel coating, which is made from porcelain. On the ovens enamel interior, is black satin enamel, which is similar to the coating youd find on frying pans, woks, or casserole dishes.
Because of its finish, you can easily clean the surfaces of this oven and even pop it in your dishwasher.
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What Is A Bread Oven
First, a little about bread ovens. As the name suggests, theyre dedicated bakeware that you use specifically for making bread. They can be made from a variety of materials but are most often made from cast iron, which does a great job of retaining and radiating heat onto the dough as it bakes. They also have tight-fitting lids, which trap steam, ensuring that your bread expands properly and gets a crisp, crackly crust.
You can always use a Dutch oven to make bread. But weve found that if you also use that Dutch oven for other purposes , any traces of fat left over from cooking will polymerize in the high heat used while baking bread, discoloring the cooking surface unpleasantly. And it can be a pain to load bread dough into a preheated Dutch oven, as you can burn your arms on the Dutch oven’s high walls in the process.
How To Serve An Artisan Bread Loaf
Im a big fan of eating the bread smeared with salted butter and drizzled with honey, as pictured above. But this homemade bread would be delicious
- Served sliced with a basic olive oil and balsamic bread dip, as a side to your favorite Italian pasta recipe .
- Used to sop up the sauce from classic shrimp scampi.
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No Knead Bread: Ingredients & Substituions
It only takes 4 ingredients to make this drool-worthy artisan bread. And I don’t recommend making any substitutions.
- All-purpose flour. You can replace up to 1 cup of the flour with white whole wheat flour, but I don’t recommend making any other changes. This dutch oven bread is best when made with all-purpose flour.
- Sea salt. I recommend pure, fine sea salt for the best outcome!
- Yeast. Active dry yeast is the best choice for this no knead bread recipe, however you can use rapid rise yeast but you will still need to let it rise overnight.
- Water. Make sure to use warm water . It should feel warm to the touch but not hot.
- Optional mix-ins. If you’d like to create fun varieties, try mixing in parmesan cheese, fresh herbs, roasted garlic, etc.
Can I Use Another Kind Of Flour
I used all-purpose for this crusty artisan bread, but you can use bread flour if you like.
You can also use part whole wheat flour I recommend substituting 1 cup of the AP flour with whole wheat. A 100% whole wheat loaf has not been tested, but it might work.
I havent tried using a gluten-free flour mix for this and therefore cannot recommend it. Heres a gluten-free artisan bread that might be helpful for you!
And finally, you should never substitute a non-flour flour, such as almond flour or chickpea flour, for AP flour. Those wont work with this bread.
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Preheating The Dutch Oven
You want your Dutch oven to be good and hot for baking the bread so it gets a chance to crisp up properly on the outside.
About 30 minutes to an hour before you want to bake the bread, place the Dutch Oven, with the lid on, on the center rack of your oven and turn your oven on to 450 degrees F. Once it reaches 450, keep preheating the Dutch Oven for about 20 minutes.
Be very careful when handling the hot Dutch oven, as its very heavy and gets searing hot.
Can I Freeze It
The bread stays good at room temperature in a plastic bag or airtight container for about 2 days, and it will get staler as time goes on. Any longer than 1-2 days, and you should freeze it.
You can freeze the loaf whole if you like- youll just need to leave it out for about 12 hours before you can slice into it.
Or, you can slice it before freezing, which enables you to take out one slice at a time for toast or sandwiches.
Here are some tips for freezing:
- Store the whole loaf or sliced loaf in an airtight bag, squeezing out as much air as possible. This will help prevent freezer burn.
- Wait until its COMPLETELY cool before storing, especially if youre slicing it before, as the slices may stick together if you dont.
It should stay good for 2-3 months in the freezer if stored properly.
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The Best Way To Bake No
Making crispy, crusty, golden loaves of bread at home has never been easier. It all starts with bread baking in a Dutch oven , the perfect vessel for making artisan-style loaves. The steam that’s created inside the pot miraculously transforms the dough, ensuring the bread’s crust will shatter into delicate shards with each bite. The best way to produce steam inside a lidded pot? It’s simple: preheat the pot.
Gently slipping risen yeast dough into a searing hot pot and adding the lid creates steam. In turn, this results in bread with a crackly crust and a glossy surface that’s beautifully blistered with bubbles.
Were no strangers to baking with steam, but our excitement about this classic method has been rekindled. The arrival of Emile Henrys Bread and Potato Pot, a unique Dutch oven, has us eager to bake!While this pot is often used in France to make perfectly cooked potatoes, its also a game-changer when it comes to bread baking in a Dutch oven. Some bread crocks can’t withstand the intensity of being heated empty and are bound to crack when nothing’s inside. However, this pot is part of Emile Henry’s flame line, which is known for its durability and high-heat resistance.
You’ll see why we love bread baking in Dutch oven like this the loaves that come out of it are just as beautiful as they are delicious.
How steam leads to beautiful loaves
Getting ready to bake