The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Dutch Ovens

Nilsmasters56's picture

Dutch Ovens

Hello all!

Just bought Flour Water Salt Yeast and it is honestly a great book. I am however having a bit of a problem on the dutch oven front, Ken specifies a 4 quart oven as optimum for his recipes and I really can't seem to find one to ship to the UK, there only seem to be 5 quarts. I was tempted to just go for a 5 quart but Ken does say that there is a lower rise and fewer openings to be expected from a 5 quart, i don't really want to invest 50 odd pounds in something that wouldn't get me the better result. Has anyone else had any luck finding a 4 quart model or does anyone know to what extent the slightly larger model would affect the bread? Any help would be much appreciated!



DavidEF's picture

I haven't read the book, and I'm not yet an expert baker, so excuse my ignorance. Is there any reason you couldn't just scale the recipes up 25% to fill the larger dutch oven?

trailrunner's picture

I have been baking in DO's for several years. I do all of my bakes in them even though the formula doesn't call for it. It simply takes the place of baking with steam on an open stone. That said, one of my DO's is a 7.5 qt and the other is 5qt. The bread doesn't know what size pan it is in :)  I shape the loaves and let rise one hour in baskets on the counter  and then  retard  in the fridge. Next day I take them out of the fridge only  after the pots have preheated for 30 min at 500. I then remove the loaves from their baskets and score and immediately place in the hot DO and cover, place in 500 oven, lower temp to 460 and bake with the pot covered for 15 min. Uncover for 15-20 min. I do ALL formulas this way whether it is called for or not. it works on all of them. The dough doesn't come in contact with the sides of the pan and they hold their shape well due to the chill of the dough. I would get the 5qt without hesitation. If his formulas don't hold up to the transfer to the pot without collapsing then perhaps you will want to retard  and bake them straight from the fridge. Good Luck. c

Donkey_hot's picture

5 qt works just fine.

Nilsmasters56's picture

Ah good, i think i'll go for the 5 quarts then, it's great to be reassured would have been worrying about that for a while otherwise. Thanks a lot for the replies and I'll tell you how it goes!