Baking Bread in Le Creuset – French Oven Makes Great Bread

Baking Bread in Le Creuset – French Oven Makes Great Bread

Baking bread in Le Creuset enameled iron casts is a privilege for any home baker. It has been a dream come true for me after searching many different methods to achieve a true artisan looking bread at home. Alternative methods do exist, but nothing comes close to the final quality that Le Creuset delivers. You may try to use a baking stone which makes perfect pizzas, or try spraying your bread with water prior to putting it into oven. I tried every other way but everything changed when I discovered the talented French ovens. That’s when I started to bake like a pro at home.

How to Use Le Creuset to Bake Bread?

The following tips and tricks will help you to get the best out of your Le Creuset pan.

As with all Dutch and French ovens; this one must also be warmed before using for bread baking. You need to be careful not to throw it into a very hot oven as it may get damaged. Rather, put it in the oven and let it slowly warm up as the oven gets hotter.

It is designed for slow cooking; if you overheat it, then the food will sure stick and no enamel coating can help you with that. Keep in mind that you can also use it to keep your food cold. French ovens are perfect for serving cold dishes, and you can even use them in the freezer

If you are a passionate homemade bread maker, then you will need a system which provides the following features in order to bake a professional level bread. Le Creuset gives all these and more every time you put your bread dough in it.

  • Steam: It is necessary for that ultimate crispy golden crust. The starches around the scored areas on top crust get gelatinized with the steam. This in return adds to the crispiness of to the crust and also improve the overall color significantly. Another important benefit is that it provides extra rise by preventing an early developed crust.
  • Sustainable heat: High quality heat retention is mandatory in order to bake the inside of the bread thoroughly. Otherwise, the final product will not be chewy and soft. While the crust is getting crispier with steam, the inside remains soft and cooks well with heat retention.

Here is the best Le Creuset models for you; you can make all kinds of quality bread at home with these. The heating, coating, temperature, and handles quality are all at the same level. You can choose the best size and shape that works the best for your bread recipes.

 

Le Creuset Signature Enameled Cast Iron – 5 ½ Quart Round French Oven

Sale
Le Creuset Signature Enameled Cast-Iron 5-1/2-Quart Round...
  • 45% larger handles that provide a sure grip, even with oven mitts. Heat...
  • The superior heat distribution and retention of le creuset enameled cast...
  • An advanced sand-colored interior enamel with even more resistance to wear
  • A larger composite knob that withstands temperatures up to 500ºF
  • Colorful, long-lasting exterior enamel that resists chipping and cracking

The Signature Le Creuset is the first choice when it comes to creusets for baking bread at home. It will make perfect sourdough, or any other artisan style round bread. All Le Creuset French ovens come with extra-large handles on the side; big enough that you can even grip easily with oven mitts.

The secure fitting lid enables it to trap the steam effortlessly, which will give you the flawless golden crust. Use it with confidence on all heat surfaces. It cooks well and cleans easily with soft brush. Soak in warm water for 15 minutes if there are any stuck food residues.

Features:

10 x 10.8 x 4 inches

Weighs 11.46 pounds

 

Le Creuset Signature Enameled Cast Iron – 5 Qt Oval

Sale
Le Creuset Signature Enameled Cast-Iron 5-Quart Oval French...
  • 45-percent larger handles that provide a sure grip, even with oven mitts
  • The superior heat distribution and retention of le creuset enameled cast...
  • An advanced sand-colored interior enamel with even more resistance to wear
  • A larger composite knob that withstands temperatures up to 500-degree F
  • Colorful, long-lasting exterior enamel that resists chipping and cracking

This oval Le Creuset cast iron is good for both oval bread and for cooking delicious Turkeys on thanksgiving! Made in France according to the provisions of California Proposal 65, which is the highest standard for cookware safety. All Le Creuset products are completely lead free. Its capacity is 5 Quart, and has superior heat retention and distribution. Top knob can withstand temperatures up to 500°F. It comes in multiple colors.

Features:

13.1 x 12.3 x 5.6 inches

Weighs 11.8 pounds

 

Le Creuset Enameled Cast -Iron 2 Qt – Rectangular

Le Creuset Enameled Cast-Iron 2 Quart Pate Terrine, Marine
  • Even heat distribution and superior heat retention
  • Durable, nonreactive sand-colored interior enamel
  • Colorful, long-lasting exterior enamel resists chipping and cracking
  • Gas, electric, ceramic, halogen, induction, oven & outdoor grill
  • Limited Lifetime warranty

If you are fancy of oblong breads, then choose this one. The elevated sides will give you the shape you are looking for. It is great for both Italian and French style artisan breads. The domed lid is perfect for steam. It is coated with durable, nonreactive sand-colored enamel. Remember, Les Creuset models will never absorb any odor, and they are all very easy to clean and maintain.

Features:

5.8 x 14.4 x 4 inches

Weighs 6.57 pounds

Why Is It Advantageous to Use Le Creuset in Baking Bread?

In comparison, using a baking stone can solve many issues with home baking but still lacks to provide the powerful steam needed to colorize and expand the outer crust of the bread. The exceptionally good-looking French oven will not only make your bread’s inside uniformly baked with its extra heat retention ability, but you will also get similar effects as if you were using a baking stone.

The final result will be a wonderful bottom crust, and the cooled down loaf will spring back when you press with your finger. Enamel coating also helps to release your bread easily when thoroughly cooked, which is another plus if you don’t like your bread stuck to the Dutch oven.

We all know that attaining a golden crust is the hardest thing when baking at home. Le Creuset makes it easy with its tight closing lid which keeps the moisture within the pot. The steam that builds up inside is sent back from the lid to the bread.

French oven allows you to add steam naturally while baking which is one of the crucial elements for Artisan style bread baking. It is a great way give extra rise to the bread. Our goal is to keep the crust moist and soft so that it continues to expand. Both Dutch and French ovens create this wonderful environment thanks to the trapped steam inside.

Best Le Creuset Bread Recipe

Here is a great bread recipe to use with your Le Creuset cast iron. It is a wet dough formula which will produce the necessary steam while baking.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of bread flour
  • 1 cup of whole wheat flour
  • 1 package instant yeast or 1 ¼ package active dry yeast
  • 1 cup of water
  • ½ cup of lukewarm water
  • 1 teaspoon of olive oil (you can substitute with any oil type such as canola, avocado, etc.)
  • 1 teaspoon of salt

Directions:

  • Add your yeast into ½ cup of lukewarm water, stir and wait for a minute or two.
  • Blend all your dry ingredients in a bowl.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients.
  • Use a spatula to stir and continue until everything is well incorporated.
  • Continue to fold with the spatula for 5 minutes.
  • Cover up with towel and let the dough rest for 1 hour.
  • Then fold the dough with the spatula from the corners to the center for about 5-6 minutes.
  • Throw it in the fridge for 24 hrs. with the bowl covered with a towel.
  • Take the dough out and wait till it comes down to room temperature. Press it down gently by folding, let it rest another 15 minutes.
  • Dust the countertop with some flour and put the dough on it. Shape your dough anyway you like. Put it upside down into the banneton basket if you prefer. Then transfer the dough along with the parchment paper to a bowl so that it retains the ball form. Let the dough rest till the Dutch oven get preheated.
  • Preheat the French oven at 450°F/230°C for 45-60 minutes.
  • Hold the parchment sheet from the sides and transfer it together with the dough into the Dutch oven. Don’t forget to
  • Score the bread with a razor-sharp knife.
  • Close the lid and put the Le Creuset into the oven.
  • Take off the lid after 20 minutes and continue to bake for another 25 minutes.

Tips: You might have to adjust the water amount depending on the humidity level in your kitchen and the water absorbing quality of the flour used.

What Is The Difference Between a French Oven and A Dutch Oven?

A French oven is basically an enamel coated Dutch oven. Both are very popular for baking bread at home, but it is easier to release the bread from the French oven due to the enamel coating. Check out the best Dutch ovens for baking rustic bread at home.

It is Not Only For Baking

Le Creuset is great for bread baking but you can also make delicious and tender meat with the braising effect. It is highly versatile; just great for roasting, braising, marinating, baking and more. Slow cook, and develop deep flavors to delight your family and friends. If you are searching for a fantastic casserole that will make everything you cook more delicious, then search no more.

In Summary

Cast iron specialist Le Creuset makes amazing pots that provide excellent features for optimized slow cooking. The company has been in the cookware business since 1925. You can use these smart French ovens for baking wonderful bread with effective steam and even heat distribution.  Feel free to use them on all heat sources. You will sure be amazed with the final results.

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Linda is doing her PhD in Engineering, while trying different bread recipes from all over the world. Luke is taking care of Pat and blogs in his spare time @ The Bread Guru. Pat likes to help and try out new recipes everyday. We are the perfect team!

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