The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Best way to preheat cast iron dutch oven

tlmcca's picture
tlmcca

Best way to preheat cast iron dutch oven

I hope this hasn't already been asked and answered but I was unable to find the question via search. I just got a Lodge 5 quart DO and I'm planning my first bake with it. I found what appears to be a good tutorial here describing the process but I have a question about the author's method of preheating. The article states to preheat the DO with the top and bottom separated. No mention is made about why this should be.

Since my eventual plan is to get a second DO so I can bake two loaves at the same time the extra rack space required to preheat as described makes my plan difficult. So my question to my baking family here is does anyone see an advantage in preheating as the article describes?

Thanks,

Terry

Cinnabon's picture
Cinnabon

Hi Tim:

I have a Lecreuset Dutch oven and what I do is heat the Dutch oven and lid together for 1 hr prior to my bake.  I preheat the oven to 500F.  As soon as the loaf is put into the Dutch oven, I quickly spritz the loaf with purified water 5 times and cover with the lid. The moment it's in the oven, I reduce my temp to 450F and bake my loaf for 15-17 min, then take the lid off and bake another 15-20 minutes until its golden brown and of course when the bottom tapped knocks hollow!  I have tried it the other way as you described and found no difference except almost dropping my lid on the floor.

I prefer to pre-heat the Dutch oven and lid together as one!

Cheers!

HansB's picture
HansB

I don't heat the bottom(top) at all. I makes it much easier to work with it cool when placing the dough onto it. There have been discussions about pre heating. You can actually bake with a cold DO and get a good bake. So do whats best/easiest for you.

Camarie's picture
Camarie

Does it look like THIS?
tlmcca's picture
tlmcca

 

Cinnabon's picture
Cinnabon
  1. Hey Tim!

Lodge is a great Dutch oven! Really the only difference with mine to yours is mine has a thick enamel coating! Other than that they are cast iron!

i have baked without a pre-heat but found the spring wasn’t as high as with the pre-heat! Whatever works for you is what matters!

Cheers!

Camarie's picture
Camarie

They all look good & cook good, but I like the one that I have better. Less of a chance of your hands being burned by

Steam when you open the lid!

BobBoule's picture
BobBoule

The reasons that I separate my kid and dutch oven i ssd that they preheat quickly. With the lid off I can preheat in 20 to 30 minuets, with the lid on I use two preheat 45 to 60 minutes.

If you have two racks you can move the extra rack to be below the rack that holds the two dutch ovens, then place the lids separately on the lower rack.