The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Save energy by baking bread on top of the stove in a Dutch Oven

NicksCB4's picture

Save energy by baking bread on top of the stove in a Dutch Oven

In an attempt to save energy I am planning on using a cast-iron Dutch oven on top of the stove for bread baking, rather than lighting the oven that is.

Does anyone have tips on how to use the top burners / stove top rather than the oven?

Questions include:

Should I bring the Dutch oven up to temperature before loading the dough, or should I start from cold?

How can I work out the temperature of the Dutch after the bread is loaded?

Do most recipes work as well as each other, or do higher / lower hydration recipes work better?

Are baking times generally shorter or longer?

Tips, Tips, and more tips please!!!

 Thanks :)

idaveindy's picture

Closest thing that I remember seeing here is this, but he finishes it off in a counter-top toaster oven in order to brown the top:

I remember a video on youtube where a guy does what you mention.  He uses a skillet, the top of which matches the bottom of the dutch oven. That keeps the dutch oven from having direct contact with the burner, and directs heat (via conduction) up the sides of the dutch oven.

So try searching youtube, as it's been done before -- sort of.

If I remember correctly, he flipped over the loaf in the DO to finish browning it.  

I think I linked to it from a comment somewhere on TFL. But I can't find it with just a quick search.

But your question has been asked here before, so if you search TFL deep enough, you can get more tips.

Here's another post with links to more:

Good luck.

clazar123's picture

We had a TFL poster that "baked" all manner of bread with no oven but I can't remember their name. They lived in Asia and did remarkable bakes on a stovetop-they didn't even have a toaster oven.

Anyone remember this poster?

idaveindy's picture

But he did have an oven (eventually), even if only a countertop.


clazar123's picture

That is exactly who I was thinking of!!!

PalwithnoovenP | The Fresh Loaf

justkeepswimming's picture

I found a couple of ideas that sound interesting, see what you think. There's this wikiHow article:

And this one uses a slow cooker:

Let us know how things go!


Sugarowl's picture

I've made bread in the slow cooker on low before. I had a small roasting pan rack that fit inside and and poured some water in it just to the top of the rack. My 8x4 pan fit in my 6qt oval slow cooker just fine. I combined my last rise and bake in one fell swoop. It worked fine. It also made the kitchen smell good all day. I wish I could remember how long I cooked it for.

The Crock Pot brand used to make a pan set specifically for making cakes and breads in it. But if you found one now it would be from the 80s (I think?). It was called a Bread N Cake Bake Pan.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

 it is worth your while to fold a small towel and place it carefully on the top to insulate the pot. Be careful to keep corners and ends of the towel on top to prevent the towel from catching fire and burning.  Using an induction stove top is less worrisome and even more efficient and you could possibly cover the pot with insulating cardboard while it bakes the bread. 

other notes.       This is a good one, forget the rock. Rock is more apt to roll off and crack the stove.  Very expensive lesson that one. Forget the stupid rock.  Place folded towel on top of lid.  

And here is one to enjoy:

....with a grand finale in a mini oven!!!   :)

idaveindy's picture

Nick, please keep the forum apprised of your efforts.  And please remember that failures can be as educational as successes.  I'm looking forward to seeing your efforts.

rondayvous's picture

Pancakes, cornbread, pita, flat bread, tortillas, have been made on the stovetop for eons. I like using my tools for the things that make life simpler.