Best-selling Dutch Oven: The Lodge 5 Quart Cast Iron Dutch Oven
Baking super crusty bread at home has never been easier thanks to the versatile Lodge 5 Quart cast iron Dutch oven. There is a reason why this item is the best-selling cast iron cooker. It is made by the family owned company Lodge, which has been in the iron cookware business for over 120 years. That is quite a long time to perfect any business! Lodge’s 5 Qt Dutch oven simply has every feature you need to make marvelous loaves at home.
How Do You Make Crusty Bread at Home?
Dough preparation techniques and balancing the ingredients are both crucially important for gluten development in the bread dough but steam baking makes all the difference in the final product. Achieving adequate steam without a Dutch oven is nearly impossible if your baking at home.
Why Should I Bake with A Dutch Oven?
The compact size of the Dutch oven makes use of the bread’s own moisture and traps it inside. The steam keeps the crust soft which allows the bread to expand further. It also gelatinizes the starches on the bread dough, creating that glossy exterior. All these are essential to accomplish crusty bread formation during baking.
Another benefit of using a Dutch oven is that it requires wet dough recipes. You mostly use a no-knead formula and that is like the least demanding recipe ever when it comes to dough preparation.
One of the best features of this amazing Dutch oven is that it is pre-seasoned with 100% vegetable oil, no chemicals or synthetic coatings ever used. The company states that the seasoning will even get better in time with more usage. What you get is nearly a non-stick surface without any harmful effects. This Dutch oven is more durable than non-stick pans.
The heavy lid is domed and it sends moisture back to the pot. It creates the necessary environment to bake those crusty loaves by trapping the steam inside during baking. This is another important feature especially for baking quality bread at home.
Heat is distributed evenly from the bottom through sidewalls and the heat retention is perfect. Feel free to use this flat-bottomed Dutch oven on all heating surfaces except for the microwave. It is suggested to use on low to medium heat for optimal performance.
Soap and detergent should never be used with this Dutch oven. It is not dishwasher safe. Hand wash only with hot water. It is suggested by the company that you should rub the inside of the Dutch oven with a thin layer of vegetable oil after each use.
Great for baking, boiling, cooking, braising, roasting, simmering and more.
Made in US by Lodge, founded in 1896.
12.56 x 10.43 x 6 – with lid
12.56 x 10.37 x 4.56 – without lid
- 5 Quart capacity.
- Pre-Seasoned with 100% vegetable oil.
- Versatile; sear, braise, simmer, sauté, fry, roast and bake.
- Even heating and advanced heat retention.
- Flat bottom, cast iron.
- Wash by hand, not dishwasher-safe.
- Weighs 13 pounds
Use No-Knead Dough in Your Dutch Oven
Dutch oven produces the best bread with the no-kneading method. Learning how to bake bread in a Dutch oven requires experience with wet dough formulation. Crusty bread recipes usually call for easy stir-together dough foundation, you do not have to knead them too much. If you want to bake a crispier bread then add more water to your recipe and cut down the oil and sugar. You also have to ferment the sticky dough a bit longer.
The dough will be wet but do not add extra flour. This type of dough will not be kneaded but be folded. Folding is basically working out the dough in order to develop gluten. And gluten adds strength; great for loftier and better textured bread. Artisan bread producers do knead their dough very little anyway.
Is No-Knead Dough Possible?
Well, we should say minimum folding instead of no-knead and it is used widely by the professional bakers all the time. You just bring the ingredients together and mix with a spatula just a few times and fold during fermentation. The folding process is repeated at least three times in order to develop gluten.
Common folding techniques:
- Bowl fold; fold inside bowl with wood or plastic spatula
- Letter Fold; take the dough out of bowl and onto the flour dusted work surface. Use a spatula and try to form a letter shape by folding from the corners.
Bread baking is a beautiful art in itself. It just takes you to another world where you only concentrate on the dough. In order to do that properly, you need to have a steam efficient bakeware at home. Let’s put it this way; you can’t make good crusty bread without steam, and you can’t create quality steam without a Dutch oven at home! If you are a bread fanatic like me then you should get one of Lodge’s fantastic dutch ovens and enjoy making amazing rustic bread loaves.