The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Is it necessary to heat up Dutch ovens with oven?

Thalia0503's picture

Is it necessary to heat up Dutch ovens with oven?

hi guys, I just have a quick question and really need your advices! Is it absolutely necessary to heat up the Dutch ovens pans as the oven is heating up? Or Can I just put them in with the bread? I find it kind of a tedious task taking out a hot pan to put it back in, so was just wondering what exactly would the results if I didn’t heat it up and also if I would get a crust? 


Danni3ll3's picture

improved oven spring with the hot pots when I experimented. It was nothing outstanding.  Really it’s up to you. 

HansB's picture

No need at all. I use the Lodge like you have. I do let the top heat up while I preheat the oven. But it is so much nicer to place the dough and score in a cold bottom. I noticed no difference in the bake at all.

barryvabeach's picture

Thalia,  there have been numerous posts on this issue, and most find little to no benefit when tested side by side.  On the other hand, it looks like you are using a combo cooker.  On my combo, I don't preheat in the oven, but I often put both parts on the stove top with the burners on for a minute or two which gets them up to around 400 F.    If you don't already have a set,  these gloves are great   I have a pair of the woven high heat gloves, and while they feel fine when I first pick up a cast iron pan to take it out of the oven, within less than a minute, the heat soaks through so quickly I am hurrying to put down the pan.  The ones I linked to have a waterproof coating and some lining inside which is fantastic.  It feels like I can hold the cast iron all day without feeling the heat.    So I preheat the top and bottom on the stove top,  put on the gloves, tip the dough from the banneton  onto the lower part, put on the top part, and into the oven with no worries about getting burned.  When it is time to take off the top part, put on the gloves, and again no worries.  BTW, the gloves are also great for wet stuff -  i steamed some corn on the cob with the husks still on,  put on the gloves and have no problem getting off the husks and the silks 

Tommy gram's picture
Tommy gram

I always thought the cast iron had to be hot or the dough would stick tenaciously to the pan, especially if doughball goes in cold. Sometimes I drop the dough right into the cast iron pan from the fridge and even at 530 degrees it will sometimes have a corner stick that takes spatula jabbing and probing to remove wihtout breaking the crust of the loaf.

If you made the bread pictured without preheating the pans then thats a bona fide news flash. But what does it cost to preheat the pans, is it just the discomfort of handling the hot pans, cause the oven has to heat up anyhow, right.

pcake's picture

you could put parchment paper in the bottom of the dutch oven to avoid sticking.