The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Dutch Oven baking - coated vs. uncoated, effect of size?

yy's picture
yy

Dutch Oven baking - coated vs. uncoated, effect of size?

I'm looking into buying an oval dutch oven specifically for baking bread, so I was wondering if there was any experience on this forum that I could benefit from. I have two questions on my mind:


1. What effect does an enamel coating have on the crust vs. an uncoated cast iron dutch oven? I know that uncoated DOs tend to scorch more easily, but does a coating affect other attributes of the crust, such as how thick it is, or how crispy it is?


2. For purposes of steam enclosure, obviously the right sized DO is optimal (i.e. not too small for the loaf, but not so big that it almost negates the effect of the steam being trapped). If I were to bake a 1.5 lb batard, would there be a significant difference between, say, a 7 quart capacity and a 9 quart capacity DO in terms of how well the loaf could expand?


Please feel free to bring up any other factors I haven't considered. Thanks!

Occabeka's picture
Occabeka

Hi yy,


That bread scorches when baked in a DO is a function of the temperature it was baked in and the duration of the bake. Whether or not the DO has an enamel coat does not affect the internal temperature at all.


If you refer to the bottom of the loaf, there is the additional factor of how close the dough was to the surface of the DO. Most people who use DOs will use corn grit or baking paper to prevent scorching here.


Occa

flournwater's picture
flournwater

+1 for Occa's comment ....


I use a well seasoned cast iron Dutch Oven and never had a scorching problem, with or without corn meal or parchment.  I prefer simple cast iron over Dutch Ovens with enamel or other coatings because the coatings can be tempermental, fragile in some respects, and prohibitively expensive IMO.

Gunnersbury's picture
Gunnersbury

I have both an enamel-covered cast iron and a regular Loge cast iron dutch oven. With all other things equal, the Lodge scorches the bottom of the loaf. (I use parchment paper always.)