I want to attempt to make bread in my Dutch oven. Most of the recipes that I have found say to warm your Dutch oven up before putting the dough in. I have found a few recipes that say you don't have to warm it up first. Why should you warm it up first, and will it make a big difference in the bread? And what breads are best for baking in a Dutch oven?

  • 1
    Related, but not a duplicate: cooking.stackexchange.com/q/43537/45428
    – senschen
    Commented Apr 18, 2017 at 18:46
  • I'd say the "why warm it up" part of this question seems like a duplicate of that previous question, though the conclusion there is far from solid. The "what breads are best" isn't a duplicate, though.
    – Cascabel
    Commented Apr 18, 2017 at 19:03

1 Answer 1


The point is you are actually using the dutch oven as the oven itself here--so you warm the dutch oven for the same reason that you would pre-heat your conventional oven: you want the bread to immediately go into the hot oven, instead of slowly raising the temperature.

With a hot dutch oven, you get the "oven spring" that you would get from putting the loaf into a hot oven, and the dutch oven traps the steam that the bread gives off, so it helps keep the crust soft while the bread expands. This is a great way to bake bread at home in ovens that don't have steam injection.

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    You might find the linked question interesting. The assertion from one of the testers at America's Test Kitchen is that this isn't really a big deal.
    – Catija
    Commented Apr 18, 2017 at 23:45
  • That makes since I never thought of it being like an oven. I read a lot of America's Test Kitchen articles I will check that out.
    – GJ.Baker
    Commented Apr 19, 2017 at 1:02
  • @Catija, I did find that interesting, but not convincing; indeed, the test done by the OP in that question suggests that pre-heating does still help
    – kevins
    Commented Apr 23, 2017 at 13:50

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