The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Dutch Oven

xabanga's picture
xabanga

Dutch Oven

Hello,

I've been meaning to make a no knead bread next for a long time (and hopefully next weekend), but I don't have a dutch oven. I've been meaning to buy one for months (for both baking and regular cooking) but I've been hesitant as to what size to buy. So my question is: what size is your dutch oven? and which size would you recommend for a dutch oven... I've been thinking 5 or 6 quarts.

Please let me know what your opinions are? Thanks! 

demegrad's picture
demegrad

I have the lodge 5 quart with original finish, works great for everything.  It really the perfect size/diameter for making the no-knead bread, but when making soup I frequently wish it was slightly bigger, but if it were I'd probably make more soup and be in the same situation.

 

demegrad

http://www.demegrad.blogspot.com

AnnieT's picture
AnnieT

I have used the 5qt Lodge dutch oven but prefer my stainless steel 4 qt, not for the size but because the bottom crust was too dark in the cast iron one. I also had good results with a wide dutch oven shaped flower pot ( made in Italy) using a piece of parchment paper over the hole and the lid of my dutch oven as the cover. I still have the smaller one to bake the half recipe now and again. I always proof the dough in a parchment lined banneton so that I can gently lower the loaf into the hot pan without getting burned. I also recommend using an instant read thermometer to be sure you don't get gummy crumb from underbaking. Hope this helps, A

pjkobulnicky's picture
pjkobulnicky

... Le Creuset. Even though that is what the original NYTimes article showed being used and even though I use one it is a poor choice because:

 

1. They are very expensive

2. The lid handle does not like to be heated above 400F

3. The intense heat will discolor the white enamel interior very quickly

 Save the Le Creuset for other oven to table uses.

There are other ones now on the market for half the price and with a lid handle that is the same material as the rest of the oven. I'd recommend an indestructable, non-enameled Lodge and maybe set the oven on a stone to keep the bottom a tad cooler. Six quarts is about right. Be careful with clay flower pots ... they can have heavy metals in the clay if not designed for food use. Also, breads, especially from wet doughs, can stick to untreated clay like superglue.

 

Paul Kobulnicky

Baking in Ohio

Oldcampcook's picture
Oldcampcook

I have a 12 inch Dutch Oven which is way too big for the no knead recipe.  The dough spreads too much.

I then bought a smaller Lodge which I now use.  I believe it is an 8 incher. I, also, use parchment paper.

I use both the preheated oven/pan method and the cold start method and can hardly discern any difference.  And as clumsy as I am, I no longer worry about burning my pinkies.

I also use an instant read thermometer and try to get about 205 internal temp.  My first loaves were gummy when I cut them and I think that was simply from not letting the bread cool. 

rcornwall's picture
rcornwall

You would be amazed what you can find at your local thrift shop. I stopped by the local salvation army not to long ago and found a 6 qt. cast iron dutch oven with lid and handle in mint condition for only $5.00. I also found a 3 qt. copper pot with brass handles in perfect shape for only $7.00. I would try there first, but to answer your question a good 4-6 qt. is about the right size for what you probaly want.

rcornwall

xabanga's picture
xabanga

Thank you for all of your replies. I will first check out a few thrift shops and see what they have.

AnnieT's picture
AnnieT

I wish we had those sort of prices in our local thrift stores! I check all the time and the last dutch oven I saw was in need of re-seasoning and was marked at $27.00. Ouch. A

xabanga's picture
xabanga

I checked thrift stores today and they did not have dutch ovens. Their other baking and cookingware were in such bad shape that I would not touch them with a 10 foot pole (let alone cook/bake in them!) Looks like it's going to be walmart or macys.

Oldcampcook's picture
Oldcampcook

I bought my 8 inch Lodge at Academy Sports for 28 bucks.  I had bought two 12 inchers at a farm sale for 20 each, so i cried at the retail price!

suave's picture
suave

I use a no-name 5 quart enameled dutch oven I picked for $40 at Target.  Works like a charm.

Oldcampcook's picture
Oldcampcook

Is the one you bought the green one that I have been looking at?

suave's picture
suave

Nope, mine's red, I've never seen a green one there. They do not stock more than one it seems, so if it's gone you either have to ask them to get a new one or wait however long it takes them to reorder.

Oldcampcook's picture
Oldcampcook

Thanks, I think I remember seeing a red one, also.  In fact, stopping by Wally World on the way home tonight to get more flour, so will double check.