The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Dutch oven

Baker rmt's picture
Baker rmt

Dutch oven

I’m new to the Dutch oven world but have made some nice artisan loaves of bread. I do know they are temperature sensitive and have since learned that you have to put them in a cold oven and warm it with the oven. My question is, can you place a few ice cubes in the Dutch oven to bake bread without ruining the vessel? Wouldn’t that be a shock to its very hot state and cause damage? I’ve recently read some baking tips to put a few ice cubes in the preheated Dutch oven between the parchment paper and the Dutch oven. I’m a bit afraid to try it for fear I’ll damage my new pot. 
Thank you in advance for your response.


Petek's picture

What type of Dutch do you own? Cast iron (enameled or not?), ceramic, or something else?

barryvabeach's picture

Sally,  it did not damage my cast iron Dutch Oven .

tanyclogwyn's picture

Hello Sally:  Surely the point of the ice is to humidify the oven so that the loaf does not crust over too quickly thus inhibiting the oven spring.  The point of the DO method, as I see it, is that the use of the lid keeps in the moisture in the dough for the first half of the baking, removing it to allow the fully risen crust to become pleasingly brown.  So no ice in the DO!  BTW if you don't have a silicone sling for lowering the dough into the DO do get one - its the most brilliant device & limits the burns!

I have a British cooker called an AGA, now adapted to electricity.  Running in the background at 160-80 deg,  I put the DO in the oven and turn up the heat to 220 degC.  Temperature reached, in goes the dough (usually 500-600 grams of flour, 73% hydration), 20/25 mins with lid on, and then about the same with it off.  My DO is a French product named Staub.  Old fashioned - all iron & no enamel, 40 years old and going strong.  The only downside is that it makes excellent boules but no good for batard-shaped loaves.

Best wishes, Tom


Another Girl's picture
Another Girl

You can simply brush or mist the shaped dough with water last thing before loading into the DO.