A Dutch oven is an ideal environment for bread baking by stimulating a steam-injected oven used in artisan bakeries. Steam from the wet dough is trapped inside a pot which helps the dough rise and form a crispy crust with a tender interior. A Dutch oven is exceptional cookware. It provides a constant temperature than a regular oven, helping the overall baking process.
The breadmaking process can be different according to the condition. If you are using a recipe that requires kneading the dough, you don’t necessarily need to preheat your oven. Preheating your Dutch oven will aggressively increase your baking temperature, which is not good for kneaded dough.
Can You Preheat Enameled Dutch Oven?
Preheating is not needed to achieve a good-tasting loaf. If you want to preheat your bakeware empty, you can do so—but it is unnecessary in the baking process. Aside from that, it is time-consuming. It will be a challenging task to place your dough carefully without touching the hot pot.
Placing on high heat
Do not preheat your enameled Dutch oven while it is empty. This will produce extreme stress on the food due to its high temperature. If placed longer, the enamel will exceed its capacity, and it will start cracking and shedding. Overheating your cookware will damage not only your food but also the utensil itself.
Tip: Cook your food under medium or low heat to regulate the pan’s temperature. This is doable for frying and searing. Set your temperature on high only when you are boiling a pot of liquid or reducing your stock.
Preheating an empty cookware
Preheating your enameled Dutch oven on high heat can heat the surface too fast, burning the food. Coated cookware is not good for preheating since its coating cannot endure extreme temperature conditions. Since it is enameled, there is a high chance of leaving cracks and fissures on your cookware.
In baking, placing a no-knead bread while the Dutch oven is hot can be complicated. There is a high chance of scalding your fingers and hands while placing your wet dough. Once through, you will realize the preheated Dutch oven doesn’t improve any properties for your Dutch oven method.
Tip: Pour oil or a slice of butter in the pot before heating it—set your flame up to the medium setting. Do not place an empty enameled pot inside a hot oven. If you want to preheat your oven, consider using the traditional Dutch oven (non-enameled) to prevent such an incident.
Can Le Creuset Dutch Oven Be Preheated Empty?
Le Creuset brand is one of the world’s leading cookware known for their enameled cast-iron cookware that comes in an array of colors. For years, Le Creuset has used to create multiple recipes with just essential cookware. Aside from that, the Le Creuset Dutch oven can also be used to create the best-tasting bread.
You can use your cookware to ferment the yeast for your dough until it utilizes starch. This starch is converted into simple sugar, which is the key to producing artisan-level bread. Le Creuset prides itself on producing the ideal cooking vessel that can work like a steam-injected oven. Their enameled cast iron is known for producing exceptional distribution and retention of heat.
Another additional feature of this product is using the Dutch oven itself as a container for the second rise of your bread. The second rise is a baking terminology that describes the chemical reaction between the yeast and the other components (lipids, sugars, starches).
The reaction produces simple sugar that provides the brown texture from the outside while keeping it inside. After raising your dough, you can reuse your Le Creuset Dutch without re-washing it. Another method you can use is placing the Dutch oven inside a cold oven and allowing it to rise and preheat your oven and pot at the same pace.
According to the Le Creuset website, here are some of the tips that you may want to consider in creating your bread:
- Use the round or oval Le Creuset Dutch oven. The dough tends to be wet and loose so that it will take the pot’s shape and size. Oval-shaped cookware will release traditional oval shape bread. Round cookware is ideal for creating bread for soups.
- You can use the Dutch oven’s lid to cover your dough while it is rising. If you want to see it rise, you can use cling wrap instead. It can keep the moist and humid environment that is ideal for your dough.
- The best way to identify if your dough is through is by checking its internal temperature. At 200°F/93°C, the bread should be brown enough for it to be considered cooked.
- Please do not cut the loaf while it is still hot to prevent it from being gummy and hard to chew. Allow the dough to cool on a cooling rack for 30 minutes before slicing your bread.
Enameled and Iron Cast Dutch Oven Are the Same Situation?
Technically, there are two types of cast-iron: the enamel-coated and the non-enameled variant. The traditional cast iron is made with pure material and without coating. This works perfectly on almost every cooking surface. However, due to its abrasive texture, the non-enameled variant is not suitable for glass stoves and induction cookers.
Modern technology created this second variant of cast-iron cookware, the one covered with enamel. Enamel provides better texture by evening the roughness of the natural cast-iron while adding its nonstick properties. Unlike the non-enameled variant, this one can be used without the need to season it.
In the world of breadmaking, the two can be used for your baking needs. However, using the non-enameled variant provides a better option compared to the modern Dutch oven. Enameled cast iron is not suitable for extreme baking conditions, and it can damage your pot. Enamel can crack within the surface and could be ingested.
The non-enameled Dutch oven is the best material to use for breadmaking. Necessary measures like constant seasoning and preventing your oven from corrosion must be done to maintain your cookware quality. If done perfectly, this cookware can last for years.
Picture from amanda