The Best Cast Iron Dutch Oven for Bread Baking

A few weeks ago I recommended to a friend to try and bake their bread in a dutch oven. A week later I got this photo below back from him of this beautiful sourdough loaf along with a text message saying ” you have changed my baking life forever “. I was so happy to hear this response from him.

If you are interested in buying a cast iron dutch oven for baking bread? Here are a few things to look for that may help you choose the right one, but before all that here is my ultimate choice for the Dutch Oven:

Having experimented with a number of iron pots and baked a wide range of bread in them, my choice for a slow cooking pot bread dough is the Landhaus Professional Enameled 6.2 Quart  Cast Iron Covered Dutch Oven (check the price on Amazon). It is big enough to bake a large loaf of bread in it, and the cast iron holds the heat and distributes it evenly for the perfect bake and overall it has great quality for a good price.

Why I Chose the Landhaus Professional Enameled 6.2 Quart  Cast Iron Covered Dutch Oven

There are a few features to the Landhaus Professional Enameled 6.2 Quart  Cast Iron Covered Dutch Oven that made it easy for me to choose it.
First of all size, 6.2 Quarts. You can prepare a large loaf of bread, and yet it’s not too big if you want to simply make a small yummy loaf for yourself.

Bakes the bread evenly

It retains high heat and distributes it evenly for a perfect bake. Perfect for slow cooking in the Oven (safe use up to 450 °F or 232 Celsius)

Quality of materials and shape

This  Cast Iron has 4 layers of the enamel coating. Most Dutch ovens in this price range only have 2 or 3 layers. The lid fits perfectly for a tight seal so it keeps the steam inside which as you know is super crucial for the development of the rise and the crust. In addition, there are no toxic coatings to worry about.

It has large handles. Large handles are important for stability and good grip when moving the hot dutch oven from the oven to your counter in order to load the bread. Lastly, a perfectly flat bottom which is important as well to prevent a lopsided loaf at the end that is thinner and darker on one side.

Cleaning:

I like to bake bread, but I don’t like to clean up. There is nothing more annoying than cleaning a bottom of a pot that has dough stuck to it that won’t let go. The Landhaus Professional Enameled Cast Iron is a Non-Stick Alternative – it has four coats of enamel. This finish aids even heating and can release food with no scraping. For me, this is a double gain: one for the aesthetics of the bread, the bottom of the bread is released unharmed, smooth and beautiful. The second bonus, not much cleaning. Usually, a bit of water and a wipe down with a rag should do the trick.

Weight – it’s heavy! ( but has Wonderful feel in hand)

At 13 lbs. 13 oz. Dimensions: 13.5″ x 11″ x 7.5″ .
This may be the only drawback but is common to most iron pots on the market. I usually try to turn a disadvantage to an advantage. The advantage of the weight, in this case, is that the chance that the pot will fly off my work surface from a wrong move on my part or some sort of distraction is almost impossible to imagine.

Versatility

For me, it’s about the bread but if you invest in quality cookware its good to know that this cast iron pot is very versatile and can be great for other purposes like cooking, frying, saute, braise and more. you can use it on gas,
induction, glass-ceramic and electric stovetops/cooktops.  Note:
Do not use in microwave ovens, outdoor grills or over campfires.

What About A High-End Dutch Oven?

If you got the money and your not afraid to use it then Le Creuset Signature Enameled Cast-Iron 7.25 Quart it a great choice ( check it out on Amazon ).
The perfect splurge.

The true original crockpot that set the standards for all and the one which all other companies are trying to copy. The shape, the color but they never get to the quality of metal, enamel and paint on the pot.

There is no dispute that the famous French brand
Le Creuset which began operating in 1925 is a code name for uncompromising quality. The pots are cast individually in sand molds, then hand-inspected by French artisans, so it is not surprising that home-bakers and professional chefs choose this pot as an essential part of their kitchen arsenal.

The brand’s iron pot can serve you for many years. My father, a professional baker, and a great cook has had his Le Creuset pot for over 25 years now and it is still good as new!

The heat is distributed slowly and evenly over the entire pot, the smooth interior enamel makes nonstick, no staining, easy to clean and use.

To be honest, the only disadvantage of this pot is the price. Not everyone will spend that much on an iron pot, especially when there are very good alternatives in the market at a much lower price, so to each their own.

Try to put this on your birthday wishlist or ask for it as a wedding gift.

What About a Dutch Oven on a budget?

If your budget is limited, this pot: the Bruntmor, Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven Casserole Dish 6.5 quart (check the price on Amazon), can be a choice good for you.

Its lid fits tightly and does not let the steam run out and it does as well as the other pots I’ve listed here.

Note: Sometimes, when you put it in the oven, the pot can change its color and after it is removed and it cools, it returns to its original color. So do not be alarmed it’s normal for this pot: a changing colors pot “ha ha”..

There is a bit of drawback as this enamel coating is not as thick and the metals are not as heavy so this pot will not last you as long as some of the more expensive ones, but it will do the job quite well.

How to Keep and Maintain Your Dutch Oven?

Don’t scratch it

If you drop your Dutch oven, drag it across the countertop, or scratch it with a metal cooking utensil, you risk compromising the enameled finish.
It is best not to use metal cooking utensils that may scratch the pot and use a wooden or silicone tool instead.

Clean it properly

If baked food is stuck to the bottom of the pot simply boil 2 cups of water and add 3-4 tablespoon of baking soda, let the baking soda bubble away for a few minutes and then scrape the stuck-on dough or food off using wooden or plastic/rubber spatula.

Even if some of the manufacturers say the pots are dishwasher safe, I can’t say I recommend it. Use the old methods for cleaning this one: some soap and water will do.

Store it Properly

Since this is an iron pot, always dry it and place it in a moisture-free place so that it does not rust.

Conclusion

At the end of the day it all depends on your budget but if you were to stop me on the street and ask me ” Hey which dutch oven should I buy for baking bread” I will always answer back Landhaus Professional Enameled 6.2 Quart  Cast Iron first. Only because it is the best quality for the best price.

I hope this helps you make up your mind. Go out there and get yourself a dutch oven for your bread. Trust me, it will change your life.