The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

dutch oven

svar's picture

dutch oven

I am writing from India, having recently read about using Dutch ovens to make certain kinds of bread.  I wanted to order one (from amazon, as it can be shipped conveniently) and am unsure about which one to order.  The two options for me are:

1) A 5 quart Dutch oven (Lodge Logic Dutch oven with loop handles)

2) A combination of a 3 quart deep skillet and a 10.25" shallow skillet/lid (Lodge LCC3 Logic Pre-Seasoned Combo Cooker)

I would just need to make a medium loaf (for 2-4 persons) and my oven is small.  I am not able to find the external dimensions of either of these pots anywhere.  Would greatly appreciate any input on this.

Occabeka's picture

Hi svar

If your oven can accomodate a 14" by 16" oven stone, the Combo Cooker should fit nicely.


ehanner's picture

The Lodge Combo-Cooker is 10.5inches across the diameter and 16.5 inches including the handle and lifting handle. The height of the two units combined is 4.75 inches. I put it in diagonally on a shelf, without a stone.

The combo cooker works well for round loaves of 2 pounds. While all the Lodge cookware comes "pre seasoned", I suggest doing a seasoning when you first use it. The internal seasoning will dry out but is not necessary for baking breads. There is no need to keep it seasoned as it will just burn off at the heat levels needed to bake. If you intend to use the CC for other cooking (frying, braising etc.) it will need to be seasoned again for such use.

Another interesting thing I have discovered is that there is NO NEED to pre heat the CC prior to loading the dough. The crust will color just as well either way and it is much safer to load cold. You may have to extend the cooking time by a few minutes. Hope this helps. I use my CC frequently and enjoy the results.


swtgran's picture

The combo cooker will give you lots of versatility in cooking many, many other things.  It may become your most used cookware.  Terry R.

subfuscpersona's picture

as have several prior posters.

You mention that

I would just need to make a medium loaf (for 2-4 persons) and my oven is small.

The combo cooker should work well for bread where the final dough weighs from 1 & 1/2 pounds (.68 kilograms) possibly up to 2 pounds (.9 kilograms). (I am relying on ehanner's post that the combo cooker "works well for round loaves of 2 pounds").

I don't know what kind of bread you wish to bake, but you might check out my post Baking Bread in Cast Iron - No Preheat Method

While you may know this already, FYI, in the US, a cast iron "dutch oven" (of which the Lodge combo cooker is a example) is often classified by the amount of water the pot will hold. For the Lodge 3 quart combo cooker, this means that the pot will hold 3 quarts / 2.4 litres of water if the pot is filled to the brim.

Hope this helps. Best of luck to you in your baking

svar's picture

Many thanks, everyone, for your replies.  It's a big help and I will order the CC.  It's also good to know that preheating is not essential, which makes it easier to handle (and saves on my fuel).  I'm grateful to all of you and glad to have discovered this site, as, being in India, I have so far relied mostly on books (and my taste buds!) to guide me.

Davidkatz's picture

I've actually noticed that it take my oven a longer time to heat up with my cast iron pot inside.

I usually use it for slow cooking, so I never noticed the issue.

I just raise the concern after you wrote that your oven is small.



svar's picture

Thanks, David, for your comment.  I realize I will probably have to experiment a little once I get the combo cooker, monitoring my oven temperature and so on.

I also had a related question on recipes.  Though I have posted this in the 'book' forum, I thought this might not be an unreasonable place to ask as well- I had initially thought of getting the Dutch oven because I read Tartine Bread(Chad Robertson) and wanted to make it.  I have not yet begun on the starter (as I travel a lot and am trying to figure out how to keep it going).  

Meanwhile,  during my amazon search I discovered 'My Bread' by Jim Lahey- quite different, but still using the Dutch oven.  I was wondering whether to order this book as well or if there are any other books people might recommend.

(Subfuscpersona, I have read your method and am suitably encouraged to begin).