The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Do you finish your baking outside the Dutch oven?

Miller's picture

Do you finish your baking outside the Dutch oven?

I came across a recipe for sourdough where the process was to bake the loaf inside a pre-heated Dutch oven for 17 minutes and then remove the loaf and bake it on the oven rack for another 23 minutes until fully baked. Is this a technique that you use? I don't actually have a cast iron Dutch oven, but a casserole dish that can be used in the oven. Anyway I tried it and the result was very good.

Here's a recent example.

BaniJP's picture

I haven't baked in a Dutch Oven or similar in a long time since I switched to long breads instead of round ones. But I remember sometimes taking it out of the pot after oven spring to allow even browning. I had a feeling in the pot it was browning unevenly, but also might have been just that the pot was really cheap.

In the end it didn't make any difference in terms of flavor, crumb or oven spring, mostly more even browning.

tortie-tabby's picture

I've been thinking about trying this too. My rationale is that using the rack might cook the loaf better from the bottom if the DO or baking stone loses heat during baking. But now that I think about it I actually think the DO/stone would be better at conducting heat into the bread). Maaybbe if the loaf is really dense and enriched (like this date walnut sourdough I tried to make) then placing the bread onto a rack would make sense as it would help moisture evaporate out.

Another advantage of finishing the bake on a rack is that I only have one DO and I can rotate breads out and bake multiple loaves at once. Though that requires a bit of oven temp management and maybe tin foil to prevent burning.

idaveindy's picture

I do everything outside the dutch oven, including the baking process from start to finish.

It's much too small for me to get inside it.

My dough, on the other hand....




stays in the dutch oven until the baking is done. ( After the first 30 minutes, or so, of the bake, the lid comes off.)


ifs201's picture

I usually do 25 minutes in the DO with lid on, then 10 minutes in DO with lid off, and then finish the bread outside of the DO. I am more likely to use this method when baking a bread that has a high likelihood of getting a scorched bottom (breads with anything oily or with sugar content). I also find you can get a more even color on the sides of the loaf by removing it from the DO.

Sarah Owens, an amazing baker and cookbook author, recommends removing the bread from the DO to prevent burning the bottom. 

Miller's picture

I too have noticed that my bread bakes no longer have a scorched bottom if I finish baking them on the oven rack.Now it's not difficult to slice the bread either warm or after it has completely cooled down.

BreadLee's picture

Only when I think it may burn.  Usually only bread with sugar etc in them.  

gerryp123's picture

My usual procedure is:

Preheat an electric convection oven to 500F, with covered DO (Cast Iron or Alum) inside

After about 45 min reduce temp to 450F, place loaf inside DO, and begin bake

After 20 min remove DO cover, reduce temp to 420F and bake for another 20 min 

Remove DO from oven; remove bread from DO and inspect.  Check for interior temp of about 205F.  If bread needs more baking time, back into oven without DO for a few minutes.

Bread rarely needs more bake time out of DO.  Bottom and sides just right.  Perhaps due to convection circulation that evenly heats all.