The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Baking without a dutch oven

Elsiebake's picture
Elsiebake

Baking without a dutch oven

I have been experimenting with different methods of creating steam without using/buying a dutch oven, knowing that the dutch oven method really is the best and most hassle-free (no lava rocks, towels etc.) way to bake artisan style breads at home. I just didn't want to accumulate another single-use kitchen item to add to my already cluttered kitchen. So far, I've been happy with emulating the dutch oven method using the inside of a slow cooker and a deep ceramic casserole dish - both of them covered by a cookie sheet or upside down metal bowl for the first 20 minutes. I've been getting those pretty ears this way every time. (The foil is there to close any gaps when I put a cookie sheet or bowl on top.) 

Comments

Blazingarrow's picture
Blazingarrow

I’d like to give this a go! Are you preheating the ceramic dishes or putting them in cold? I’ve had very little success trying to get the same results as a dutch oven. I do have one made of cast iron but it weighs about 7kg on it’s own and sometimes my back is too sore getting it in and out of the oven.

Kate

 

Elsiebake's picture
Elsiebake

Thanks for the comment! I do preheat the containers beforehand (maybe 15-20min), but I don't preheat the metal sheet or bowl that cover on top. I know what you mean about the weight of the cast iron... Happy Baking!! 

Sjadad's picture
Sjadad

Beautiful loaf. However, a Dutch oven is not a single use item. Besides using it for baking bRead, it’s great for slow simmered sauces, braises, and stews. 

Elsiebake's picture
Elsiebake

Thank you for your comment. I do realize that a DO has way more uses other than baking breads.... but ever since I went vegan, I have rarely needed to slow cook or braise anything for hours like I used to do with tough cuts of meat.... I see your point, though. I may invest in one someday!