The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Going Dutch !

ElPanadero's picture

Going Dutch !

Figured it was time I tried a bake in a dutch oven.  We have a Le Crueset pot but it is wide and shallow and thus not suitable.  After hunting around I figured I could use this steamer pot which was sitting in a cupboard.


Seemed ideal, plenty deep enough, round and with a lid.   Turned out to be really good.   The proofed loaf dropped in smoothly with parchment paper and the loaf rose very well.  I think I'll be using this pot quite a lot from now on !

The loaf I made was loosely based on Chad's Tartine Country Bread, however I wanted more wholewheat than his 10%.   I used a wholewheat starter and I also had a bag of Malthouse flour to hand (a blend of wheat, rye and flaked malted grains) so I threw some of that in as well.  So plenty of wheat in this loaf.  Hydration was about 70% and the crumb came out pretty well.

White Bread Flour - 350g

Wholewheat Flour - 100g

Malthouse Flour50g

Water - 330g

WW Starter (@100%) - 100g



Autolyse (F+W+Y) - 30min

Added salt then rested - 30min

Stretch+fold every 30min for 2hrs

Shape and banneton

Retard in fridge overnight - 12 hrs

Rest 45min at room temp then baked 15 mins lid on, 25-30 mins lid off

I made a similar loaf to this last week and baked on a stone and it came out much flatter as the dough spread after being turned out.  The Dutch oven approach clearly offers side support and produces a nicer looking loaf imo.





David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

I use the Lodge Combo Cooker myself.  If I were using a big pot like this, I might consider cooking on a stone/cast iron pizza pan and simply using the pot as cover. If it trapped the steam as well (it might not but since steam rises I figure it probably will) it might provide more oven spring to bake on a hot bottom and save you the trouble of lowering the loaf into the pot.

Nice looking bread!

Floydm's picture

Looks really good. That is my go-to technique too.

CAphyl's picture

ElPanadero:   You must be so pleased!  Very nice bread.  I just got a Dutch oven to try. I have a covered baker, but I wanted to try the Dutch oven as so many TFLers swear by them. You have to love that crumb you achieved and height with the higher ww content.  Congratulations and thanks for sharing.  Best,  Phyllis

Kiseger's picture

EP, this looks great. Am a big fan of the DO, one thing that I tried recently which worked well was to spritz some water on the bread just before putting the lid on, a little bit of extra steam seems to give a little kick to the spring. Add a crumb shot when you can, but this is a great loaf, nice scoring!

ElPanadero's picture

for the comments. Yes I was really pleased how this came out. Looking back at the recipe my wheat content here must be around 30-35% so well pleased with the crumb. I will now gradually up the wholegrain content and the hydration and see where that takes me.

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

I think it is safe to go right to 50/50 on the whole grain/AP scale and you will still have pleasing crumb. Conventional baking wisdom always said that you can go up to 50/50 without changing the adversely impacting the bread. Obviously, we know that it is possible to go higher than that, but the 50/50 rule was, I believe, always intended as a fail-safe for the masses. :)

dabrownman's picture

Like David I too like to invert the bottom of the pot over the bread that bakes on the stone.  Easier and seems to work as well but  don't use such a deep pot.  The crust and crumb came out really well.  Hearty and healthy too! Well done and

Happy baking

Mebake's picture

Lovely boule of sourdough , EP! clever of you to make use of a steamer pot as a baking oven. How much heat will the glass lid be able to withstand before it shatters?

all the best,