The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Dutch oven vs bread cloche

powerdog's picture

Dutch oven vs bread cloche

Has anyone compared the same recipe baked in a DO vs a cloche? I have a cast iron DO, and I've read somewhere that the advantage of the cloche is that it's porous inside and somehow distributes the steam better. But I"m having trouble understanding how different it could be, given that with the glazing outside they're both impermeable.

HansB's picture

I have and use both the Lodge Combo and Le Creuset DO and an Emile Henry cloche. I cannot tell a difference in the bakes. The cloche is easier to use as it weighs about 25% of what the DO does.

MichaelH's picture

I have had the same experience as have you, in addition to the Sassafras cloche and use whichever one is the beast size at the time.

hreik's picture

as a dutch oven.  I find putting the risen loaf into the dutch oven a burn risk which I don't enjoy.  Just my 2 centimes.

powerdog's picture

This is what I'm trying to figure out: 

Currently baking multigrain sourdough with approx 450 g flour. From my 5.5 qt DO I get a loaf that's about 8" round and maybe 3.5" high. The rise and texture are very good. But I'd like a bread that's higher and I'd be fine with it being less wide. 

I don't measure flour by volume, but I'm sure I use more than the 3 c. that the EH cloche seems designed for. Maybe twice that much.

Staub DOs that are smaller than mine seem to be just slightly narrower but more notably shorter. This wouldn't help much, especially if the loaf hit the lid. 

There's an EH potato/bread pot that's fairly narrow and tall, but it's hard to tell how much dough it could hold. 

So I'm thinking now of either having my bread go into the oven "naked" or making larger quantities of dough. Reluctant to give up on a covered baker, but so far nothing I've seen really has the right dimensions. 


sirrith's picture

Have you looked at the lodge combo cooker or double Dutch oven? Both can be turned upside down so the shallow part is on the bottom, makes it easy to load the dough and you never have to worry about breaking them. 


You could also use an inverted hotel steam pan on top of a baking stone (I do this for non - boule loaves). 

powerdog's picture

The dimensions of the combo cooker look like they might be about right.