The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Dutch oven size

RichieRich's picture
RichieRich

Dutch oven size

I currently have 2 cast iron dutch ovens. 1 is a bit over 4 quarts and the other is a bit over 7 quarts. Trying to decide which one to use on my next bake.  The recipe has 400 grams of water the usual bit of yeast and 1 1/2 cup water. Recipe says it makes a 1 1/2 pound loaf/round loaf forget now the term.

My question, I guess, is the dutch oven suppose to help support holding the shape of the dough or does the dough sit out in the middle of the dutch oven the dough does what it wants?

Old Baker's picture
Old Baker

I recently started to bake in a Dutch oven and have two.  Love the results.  They are about the size of yours.  I bake smaller loaves and use the smaller oven.  In your case, I'd go with the larger one.

The dough sits in the middle of the oven and does not reach the sides.  If it did, I don't think that wouldn't be a problem.  The loaf might have "straight" sides, but so what?  Do a couple of loaves using both ovens and see what happens.

The issue I had at first was how to transfer slack dough into a pre-heated oven without destroying the shape and getting burned.  I now put a piece of parchment paper over the dough in the proofing basket, then quickly flip the dough over onto the counter top, and use the paper as a sling to lower the dough into the oven.  The paper might turn brown and brittle, but it won't burn.

RichieRich's picture
RichieRich

Thank you for your comments. I'll give your suggestion of trying both a go.

Old Baker's picture
Old Baker

I did a bit more investigation and see that my smaller Dutch oven is 5.5 quarts and the larger is 7.25.  I use the smaller one for my bread, since I bake loaves that weigh about 650 gm (1.5 lb).  That's about the size of yours.  So I now suggest that you use the smaller oven.  BTW, my finished loaves are about 7-8" in diameter.  The bottom of the oven is 9" in diameter, so the bread does not reach the sides.

RichieRich's picture
RichieRich

Thank you again for your input.  I have now baked the same size loaf in both DOs.  No real difference. The dough wasn't supported on the sides of either one.