Bread baking in a Dutch oven: The best way to bake no-knead bread

Making crispy, crusty, golden loaves of bread at home has never been easier. It all starts with bread baking in a Dutch oven (lidded pot), the perfect vessel for making artisan-style loaves. The steam that’s created inside the pot miraculously transforms the dough, ensuring the bread’s crust will shatter into delicate shards with each bite. The best way to produce steam inside a lidded pot? It’s simple: preheat the pot.

Gently slipping risen yeast dough into a searing hot pot and adding the lid creates steam. In turn, this results in bread with a crackly crust and a glossy surface that’s beautifully blistered with bubbles.

We’re no strangers to baking with steam, but our excitement about this classic method has been rekindled. The arrival of Emile Henry’s Bread and Potato Pot, a unique Dutch oven, has us eager to bake!
Bread and Potato Pot via @kingarthurflourWhile this pot is often used in France to make perfectly cooked potatoes, it’s also a game-changer when it comes to bread baking in a Dutch oven. Some bread crocks can’t withstand the intensity of being heated empty and are bound to crack when nothing’s inside. However, this pot is part of Emile Henry’s flame line, which is known for its durability and high-heat resistance.

You’ll see why we love bread baking in Dutch oven like this — the loaves that come out of it are just a beautiful as they are delicious.

How steam leads to beautiful loaves

When the Bread and Potato Pot is preheated empty, it becomes a miniaturized version of a professional steam-injected oven. The heat is distributed more evenly than in a conventional oven, and the steam transforms the dough in a few magical ways.

When unbaked dough, with all its interior moisture, is put inside the hot pot, precious humidity is captured in the form of steam. The steam keeps the crust soft longer, so it can continue to expand during the early stages of baking. The result is a lofty loaf that looks like it came from the bakery down the street!

Bread baking in a Dutch oven via @kingarthurflourIn addition, the steam hitting the bread’s surface gelatinizes some of the starches there, which swell and become glossy, creating a crust with subtle, attractive luster.
Bread baking in a Dutch oven via @kingarthurflourAlso thanks to steam, any slashes or “scores” made in the risen dough open up beautifully during baking. They form “ears,” or crisp ridges that add crunch and an artisan-style look to your voluminous loaf.

Loaves baked with steam taste as good as they look, too.

Steam’s moisture keeps the surface of the dough cool for a longer amount of time as the loaf bakes, which allows enzymes (from the yeast) to continue reducing the starches in the flour to simple sugars.

“Simple sugars” might not sound delicious, but trust me — they are. These sugars caramelize and create the golden crust and irresistible flavor of a perfectly baked loaf of bread.

Getting ready to bake

Intrigued? Let’s show you how it’s done!

First, choose your recipe. No-knead bread recipes are particularly well-suited to this method, as they’re typically wet doughs that release steam when they come in contact with the hot pot (plus they’re easy to make and delicious, too).

I used the quintessential No-Knead Crusty White Bread recipe to put this pot to the test, but you can use practically any bread recipe that makes at least two pounds of dough. (Look for recipes that call for at least four to five cups of flour.)

Bread baking in a Dutch oven via @kingarthurflourPrepare the recipe as written, which often includes a 24-hour (or longer) rest in the fridge for no-knead dough; be sure to plan ahead.

Bread baking in a Dutch oven via @kingarthurflourWhen you’re ready to bake, measure out a two-pound ball of dough. If you don’t have a scale, it should look like it will fill the base of the Bread and Potato Pot most of the way.
Bread baking in a Dutch oven via @kingarthurflourShape the dough and let it rest on a floured kitchen towel or piece of parchment paper with the seam side up, covered, while it rises. (You can also use a brotform if you want to make some fancy rings on the surface of your loaf.)

Preheating the pot

To ensure you get a burst of steam when the dough is put inside the pot, it should be preheated empty for about 30 minutes. Start preheating your pot roughly 30 minutes before your rising dough is ready to bake.

Keep in mind the temperature of your kitchen will make a difference in how quickly the dough rises. The No-Knead Crusty White Bread dough can take anywhere from one to three hours to rise; in my cool Vermont kitchen, I usually let it rise for at least one hour before preheating the pot for 30 minutes, giving the dough a total of a 1 1/2 hours to rise.

When your dough looks like it will be ready in 30 minutes, put the Bread and Potato Pot (both the bottom and the lid) into the cold oven, and set it to 450°F (or the temperature your recipe calls for).
Bread baking in a Dutch oven via @kingarthurflourHalf an hour later, the dough should be risen and the pot should be thoroughly preheated. Carefully remove the hot pot from the oven, taking care to place it on a neutral surface like a cooling rack, wooden board, or kitchen towel. (Avoid contact with anything cold, such as cold water or a cold surface; this may cause the pot to crack.)

Ready to bake

Apply a gentle coating of vegetable oil-based non-stick spray and sprinkle in some semolina flour or cornmeal. (Be careful during this step — the pot may smoke slightly when prepared.)
Bread baking in a Dutch oven via @kingarthurflourSlide your hand under the towel or piece of parchment paper and turn the dough over into the pot, seam side down. You can gently shake the pot from side to side to help the dough settle evenly in the bottom.
Bread baking in a Dutch oven via @kingarthurflourDon’t worry if your dough doesn’t look picture-perfect here; it will turn into a beautiful, golden loaf as it bakes.

Make a few slashes in the top of your loaf (a lame works well for this), and then put the lid on. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes; remove the lid and bake for another 5 to 10 minutes, until the loaf browns fully.
Bread baking in a Dutch oven via @kingarthurflourRemove the loaf from the oven and let it cool completely on a rack before slicing.
Bread baking in a Dutch oven via @kingarthurflourBeautiful crust? Check. Open crumb? Check. Yeasty flavor? Check.

Bread baking in a Dutch oven vs. on a baking sheet

I was stunned by the impressive looking loaf I pulled out of the oven the first time I used this method. I yelped with joy and declared it the best-looking loaf I had ever made! But then I wanted to find out, was it really the wonders of preheating the Bread and Potato Pot — or just this much-loved, no-knead recipe?

To see if there was any difference, I baked a second loaf (same recipe, same amount of dough, same length of time in the fridge) but baked it on a baking sheet instead of in the Bread and Potato Pot.

Bread baking in a Dutch oven via @kingarthurflour

The loaf on the left was baked on a baking sheet while the loaf on the right was baked in a preheated Bread and Potato Pot — same recipe for both loaves.

The side-by-side comparison shows that bread baking in a Dutch oven (and preheating it first) is the key to making an artisan-looking loaf. More steam is created inside the preheated Bread and Potato Pot than when water is poured into a pan in the bottom of the oven, one trick for making crusty bread. Plus, regular ovens vent, so it’s difficult to maintain a moist environment if you don’t use a covered baker.
Bread baking in a Dutch oven via @kingarthurflourWhile the crumb was similar, the height difference and crust color of the bread baked in the Bread and Potato Pot made it a more appealing loaf.

A preheated Dutch oven captures a burst of steam, resulting in a perfectly baked loaf. Click To Tweet

Using other pots for baking bread

While the Bread and Potato Pot is perfectly suited to this preheating method, other pots in your repertoire may be able to produce similar results.

You can try using a 4- to 5-quart heavy covered pot, like a cast iron Dutch oven. Some Pyrex and ceramic Dutch ovens might also stand up to the task, but you’ll want to check the manufacturer’s recommendation about preheating empty before giving it a try.

Dutch oven baking beyond white bread

The wonders of this pot aren’t limited to No-Knead Crusty White Bread — you can try one of the delicious variations of this recipe if you’re looking to make bread that’s a little more exciting.
Bread baking in a Dutch oven via @kingarthurflour
No-Knead Harvest Bread, No-Knead Crusty Whole Wheat Bread, and No-Knead Chocolate-Cherry Pecan Bread are also great choices when it comes to bread baking in your Dutch oven: the possibilities are endless when you use this simple preheating tip.

There’s so much to love about the Bread and Potato Pot — it can turn anyone into a bread baker. If you give this method a try, you’ll say goodbye to store-bought bread in no time.

Share your experiences and best tips for bread baking in a Dutch oven in the comments, below.

Thanks to fellow employee-owner Seann Cram for taking the photos for this blog.

Kye Ameden
About

Kye Ameden grew up in Fairlee, Vermont and has always had a love of food, farms, and family. After graduating from St. Lawrence University, she became an employee-owner at King Arthur Flour and is a proud member of the Digital Engagement Team.

comments

    1. Kye Ameden , post author

      Diane, gluten-free dough more often resembles batter rather than dough that can be shaped into a loaf — that might make using this technique a bit more tricky, but you’re welcome to give it a try. If you find you get good results, please let us know. We’d love to see your success. Good luck! Kye@KAF

    2. Pauline Lowery

      I would like to try this during a campfire Dutch oven cook off in my cast iron pot. It might not be as easy to regulate the temperature after the lid is off for the last ten minutes. It is beautiful.

    3. Betty Goccia

      Diane, My daughter-in-law makes gluten free bread for my grandson and son. If you try your recipe would you let me know how it works? I’d love for them to try it.

    4. The Baker's Hotline

      The Cloche Bread Baker we carry is more sensitive to changes in temperature, Jeannie, so we wouldn’t recommend pre-heating it empty. Instead, you can allow your dough to rise in your covered baker and transfer the whole thing to the oven to bake, as we describe in Method #4 of this related blog article. Mollie@KAF

    5. Dolly Wilson

      I do a lot of GF baking and experimented with this with fairly good results, although the recipe needs more tweaking. I added egg and extra baking powder but it still didn’t rise to quite what I wanted. (More yeast and slightly less liquid next time). I’ll be working on that some more. The crust did turn out really wonderful though. The dutch oven worked like a dream in that sense. My husband was thrilled as he says he’s never really had crusty GF bread before. More detail at glutenlessliving.wordpress.com/2017/03/17/crispy-crusty-gf-bread-in-a-dutch-oven-adventures-in-snow-day-baking/

  1. Maria

    Beautiful loaves! Since you mention that the no knead bread is especially well suited to this method because it is a wet dough, if I want to bake a regular bread recipe (not no knead) in a Dutch oven, would it be best to use a little more moisture than usual?

    Reply
    1. Kye Ameden , post author

      Maria, the wetter the dough, the more steam will be created inside your preheated pot. The more steam, the more your slashes will open and the resulting loaf will be more crusty. You can give this method a shot with practically any bread — you’ll just see more pronounced results with recipes that have a higher hydration. Happy baking! Kye@KAF

    1. Kye Ameden , post author

      The preheated pot should be lightly greased with a vegetable oil-based non-stick spray (I like using our Everbake Pan Spray) right before the dough is added. I also recommend sprinkling a bit of semolina flour or cornmeal into the bottom of the sprayed pot to act as another buffer between the pot and dough. Thanks for reading and happy baking! 🙂 Kye@KAF

    2. Amy Reese

      I have tried dutch oven bread in a pan without anything in it (forgot) and it didn’t stick – I think the steam in the pot probably has something to do with keeping it from sticking. (I will say that I use a Pyrex – so it’s a very smooth glass surface) I like to preheat the dutch oven with oil in it, though, because it gives the bottom a very pleasing crust. I definitely prefer oil over flour or cornmeal.

    3. Cathy Dellinger

      I e been doing this in my Le Crueset for years and never bothered putting anything in the pot other than the dough. It has come out effortlessly. I love that KAF no knead crusty artisan bread. I make the smaller boules which are wonderful. And the Beauty and the Baguette class is a blast!!

    4. Doris Mc Collester

      I usually form my dough and set it on Parchment and sink it into my dutch oven with parchment , never sticks and comes out beautiful .

    5. Dale Rhoda

      Instead of oil & semolina, I use a piece of parchment paper with several slices from edge toward the center to help it conform to the shape of the pot…works like a charm and there’s no smoke from hot oil…

    6. Steve Mills

      I’ve used this method for nearly 5 years now using an inexpensive cast iron dutch oven that has never seen oil other than its first seasoning. Bread never, ever sticks. I give credit for this idea to Ken Forkish and his book “Flour, Water, Salt, Yeast”.

  2. Miles Archer

    I made this bread today and it’s the best loaf I’ve ever made. It’s the first time I got both the crust and crumb the way I like it.

    I used a Le Creuset pot and the no knead recipe.

    The only problem is that my wife wouldn’t let the bread cool off enough before she tore into it.

    Reply
    1. Kye Ameden , post author

      What wonderful news, Miles! I’m thrilled to hear that you too made your best looking loaf yet. It’s a rewarding feeling opening up the lid to reveal the beautiful loaf inside, isn’t it? Thanks for giving this a shot, and perhaps next time you’ll have to bake when your wife isn’t home…happy baking! Kye@KAF

    2. Barbara

      So there’s no problems preheating your enameled cast iron? I have both Lodge and Le Creuset and worry about that.
      Thank you.

    3. The Baker's Hotline

      It’s a valid concern, Barbara, as not all pots tolerate heat in the same way. We’d recommend checking the manufacturers’ recommendations before giving it a try yourself. Mollie@KAF

    4. Chau Tran

      I usually bake Cast Iron Dutch Oven Bread. No oil cooking spray. Oil will make the bottom bread becomes very thick & dark color.
      Baking temp.: 500°F.
      Baking time: 30 mins.
      No need to open the lid & bake more for browny surface because it was nice & evenly color.
      Bread result very brown, shiny, thick & cripy crust. Moisture crumb.

  3. sandy

    No-knead breads also bake well in a dutch oven using the cold oven start. In the past I did pre-heat the oven and the kettle, but pulling out the heavy really hot kettle and getting the dough into it and then getting the whole thing back into the oven was scary for me. Now I get the same results by putting the dough into the pot lined with parchment, letting it do its final rise there with the lid on. When it is time to bake, I put the pot with the lid on in a cold oven set the temp for 435 and the timer for 50 minutes. After 50 minutes I take off the lid and let the loaf get browned for 10 to 15 minutes or so. The other thing I do when I want a long oval loaf is to use the same method in a small roaster pan. I line with parchment, let let the dough rise in the roaster with the lid on, and then bake as above. The roaster gives the bread a nice shape and keeps the steam in for a nice chewy crust.

    Reply
    1. Kye Ameden , post author

      Thanks for sharing your method with us, Sandy! Some of our recipes do call for using the cold start method, which is great if you don’t have a pot that can withstand the intensity of being heated empty. However, if you do have a pot that’s more durable, you might want to give preheating a try. We also did side-by-side comparisons using these two methods, as we were always more impressed with the loaf made in a preheated pot. It’s something worth trying! Kye@KAF

    2. sandy

      Thanks for the reply but I have done both – pre-heating and cold start. For me I didn’t see any really great difference between the two.

    3. Dianne White

      I’ve used this baking method but used bread maker in dough cycle. Left it in bread maker until dough well risen….over side of container. Use very wet dough, pours rather than keeps shape. Carefull pour into hot Dutch oven and put on lid. Unbelievable results.

    4. Janet

      i always wondered about whether or not to use a spray on the pot. I have had excellent results by doing the second rise in the cast iron pot and putting it in to the hot over with the lid on. nice shiny crust.

  4. Patrick Gallagher

    In the description it is recommended to preheat the vessel for thirty minutes. How then do you bake in a cold oven as described?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      That would be a trick, wouldn’t it, Patrick? We’re suggesting here that you skip the cold oven start, baking the loaf for 25 to 30 minutes with the lid on, then removing it and baking for another 5 to 10 minutes, or until the loaf is fully browned. Mollie@KAF

    2. sandy

      If you are curious and interested in the cold oven start for bread there are several King Arthur Flour blog postings you may find interesting. “Artisan Sourdough Bread Tips: Part 3” posted on 10/15/15 is a good one to start. There are several others too. “Your Long Covered Baker” posted on 6/6/15 also describes the technique. The KAF blog postings tend to describe using cold oven starts if you don’t have a heavy pot that can withstand being preheated empty. I bake cold oven start with my cast iron dutch oven because I get the same results as preheating without the extra preheat time and don’t have to worry about lifting a hot pot in and out of the oven any more than necessary. Also, there is a lot of discussion about cold oven starts on the internet in the many bread baking sites and blogs there. You may want to check those out too. Cold oven starts may not be for everyone, but it is an alternative that is interesting to try and works very well for me.

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      We’re glad you checked, Phyllis! The manufacturer does not recommend pre-heating this product empty because of the greater risk of thermal shock and breakage. It can, however, be used with a cold oven start or traditional pre-heated start to bake no-knead bread. Just be sure not to put more than 2 lbs of dough into the baker at once, or it won’t be able to be covered and may even overflow the pan. Hope this helps! Mollie@KAF

    2. Sara S

      I used to use a round pot, with the method described in the recipe (placing proofed dough into the hot pot). The bread came out great, but I wasn’t happy with round loaves. I’ve been using a clay baker for a while – proofing dough in the baker overnight in the refrigerator, taking it out of the fridge while the oven preheats for an hour, then baking. The bread comes out great and it’s easier than transferring dough into a hot pot.

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Your baker’s instincts serve you well to suspect the lid needs to come off, Bonnie. We recommend baking with the lid on for 25-30 minutes, then removing the lid and baking for another 5-10 minutes or until the loaf is fully browned. Mollie@KAF

  5. Marci in CO

    Can you recommend any adjustments for high altitude? I live at 8000 ft and my no-knead breads rise only about 2/3 as much as they should (both in a Dutch oven or directly in the oven). Initially they rise quickly, but later fall. The bread is denser but none the less tasty. I have not attempted preheating the pot; could that possibly help?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Baking at high altitude can be tricky, Marci. Since we aren’t at altitude ourselves here in VT, we haven’t tested this recipe for specific adjustments, but we do have a handy High Altitude Baking Guide that will walk you through some of the adjustments you may want to make. You’ll notice that the biggest difference is that things tend to rise more quickly at altitude, and proofing times will need to be adjusted accordingly. What you’re describing sounds like a result of over-proofing, so it may be that simply reducing the proof time and/or altering the technique will help. Please visit the guide for more detailed instructions. Mollie@KAF

    2. Lori in CO

      Marci in CO, I’m also in Colorado at about 5500 ft. and my suggestion would be to let your bread proof overnight in the refrigerator. I place my sourdough (without added yeast) loaf in a round medium Pyrex bowl lined with parchment paper to proof. Then I preheat my oven with the dutch oven in the oven from the start and continue heating the dutch oven for about 10-15 minutes after the oven has come to 450 degrees F. I then transfer the parchment paper and all to the hot pan, quickly slash the loaf and brush it with water. Put the lid back on and back into the oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Then I remove the lid, return to the oven until browned and cooked through (about 196 degrees). I usually get a great oven spring from bread allowed to proof in the refrigerator vs on the counter. You’re a lot higher than we are – hope it works for you!

  6. Gilbert Merritt

    I leave the bread on the parchment paper and just gently lift it into the pot using the parchment as a sort of sling. It does not deflate the bread as much and also provides a non-stick surface. Let the parchment edges hang out, close the top over the parchment and bake. The parchment will tolerate 470 to 490 degrees but it gets very brittle. Be careful lifting the bread out of the pot.

    Reply
    1. Valery

      I’ve been using that method for years with my sourdough loaves. Works best for me. I’ve been baking sourdough for over 30 years, and this by far, is the best method, especially for the no-knead bread.

  7. Sallie

    Can you adjust this baking to two, 2 quart pots, and have smaller loaves? I made the Choc. Cherry loaf and it was huge!! More than we can eat before it goes stale. I would like to freeze the second loaf

    Could you cook half the recipe in the 4.5qt pot and then cook the second half of the recipe in the same pot ?
    Just brainstorming here.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      We love brainstorming, Sallie! If you do have two, smaller Dutch ovens, you could definitely split the dough in half and bake two, smaller loaves. You could also bake them both in the 4.5 qt pot, just keep in mind that the dough won’t have the support of the sides to encourage it to rise up, so you may end up with slightly shorter, wider loaves (like you could if shaping and baking on a baking stone or sheet). Another option would be to make the larger loaf, as written, and simply freeze half of the loaf, cooled and well-wrapped, for later use. We hope one of these adjustments works for you! Mollie@KAF

    2. Sallie

      Thank you, thank you!!!! All good suggestions.
      I use your golden focaccia recipe and cook it in three cake pans. I have fresh bread for more than one meal. Take it out of the freezer and put it directly into the oven on low 30 minutes before we eat and we have crispy bread to go with dinner

  8. Annamarie

    We have the Emile Henry Baking and Dutch Oven that you sell, that we use for No Knead bread, but have never preheated it. Your site formerly recommended the cold start method. Do you know if this pot can be preheated? Do you think it would make a difference with this pot? Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Kye Ameden , post author

      Annamarie, we’ve updated the test kitchen tips part of the product page for the Dutch oven to ensure you that while you can let the dough rise right in the pot, you can also try preheating the pot empty if you like. Either method will give you great success! I personally love the results of the preheating method, so I urge you to give it a try with your pot. The crust is incomparably beautiful and crispy! Kye@KAF

  9. Mary Pritchard

    I have another version of an Emile Henry Dutch oven also sold by KAF, and promoted for baking bread. It was my understanding that this version should not be preheated to the 450 degrees. Is that true? Can I use the earlier version of the red Dutch oven with the pre heating strategy as described here??

    Reply
    1. Kye Ameden , post author

      Mary, if you’re asking about this Dutch oven (it’s also sold in black), then you can also preheat it empty. It is oven safe up to 930 degrees F as well. If you have another version of this pot, we encourage you to call the Baker’s Hotline at 855-371-BAKE(2253) so we can do a bit of further investigating to ensure you get the right information. Kye@KAF

  10. EHP

    I gather from one of the comments above that a Le Creuset dutch oven will work with this method. Is that correct? If so, what size dutch oven is appropriate for this recipe?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      For a 2lb chunk of dough like this (keep in mind that this is not the whole batch of Crusty No-Knead White Bread), we’d suggest using a 4 or 5 qt Dutch oven. We’d also recommend double checking that the manufacturer states that the pot can be preheated, as not all are tolerate the thermal shock well. Mollie@KAF

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Lisa, any 4-5 qt Dutch oven will work in much the same way. Just be sure to check that Le Creuset supports preheating your pot empty, as this isn’t recommended for all products. Mollie@KAF

  11. Bonnie

    I have a cast iron Lodge dutch oven. Would I be able to use that for this recipe? I was wondering because the lid is not rounded like the potato pot…would it not allow the bread to rise as well?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Bonnie, as long as your Dutch oven holds at least 4 qts, it should be large enough that your dough won’t reach the lid (even a flat one) in any kind of detrimental way. If it’s a cast iron pot, then it should be safe to pre-heat empty, but if it’s enameled, be sure to check if Lodge recommends this technique before trying it out yourself. Mollie@KAF

  12. Michelle Cook

    I am trying the No-knead Amaranth honey loaf this weekend. it calls to put the loaf & pan into a cold oven then heat to 450. Can I use the above technique on this recipe?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Michelle, this technique can be transferred to all sorts of no-knead recipes, but we always like to suggest making a recipe as written the first time around. This way you’ll know what you’re working towards and how various factors in your kitchen may affect the process before making any changes. If all goes well, feel free to give the pre-heated pot technique a try (with an appropriate pot) the second time around. Mollie@KAF

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      The parchment sheets we sell on our site are safe for a single use up to 500 degrees, so it would be fine to leave it under the loaf while baking if you prefer. If you’re using another brand, be sure to check on the maximum baking temp, as some may not tolerate this high heat quite as well. Hope this helps! Mollie@KAF

  13. Jane

    I have been looking for a new pot for my bread baking, and this just might be the right one. I have always thought my Le Crueset and Lodge Dutch Ovens are just too big (and too heavy). The thought of a clay pot has always intrigued me. Breadtopia swears by their Emil Henry 4.2qt clay dutch oven. Now I just have to get up the nerve to order. In addition, the bread recipe is mouth watering. Thanks, KA, for making me a better bread maker!

    Reply
  14. Sheryll

    I have been using several recipes for baking bread in the dutch oven and we are enjoying wonderful bread. When heating the dutch oven, should the lid be on the pot or off to the side? I have been putting the lid to the side as well as putting the dough in the pot still on the parchment paper. The crumb on my bread is not as fine as your pictures and it seems heavy and almost wet after the baking. I’m wondering if my heating method is causing this. Any ideas?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Sheryll, we generally preheat our pot with the lid on, but we wouldn’t expect that preheating it with the lid to the side or transferring the parchment paper to the pot would lead to the results you describe. We’d suspect that they have more to do with the dough itself and would encourage you to give our free Baker’s Hotline a call at 855-371-BAKE to chat with one of our bakers about possible causes and solutions. Mollie@KAF

  15. Teresa Butler

    I find this method intriguing. I wonder if my very heavy stoneware bean crock would work. It is thick-walled stoneware and has a lid. Makes the most wonderful baked beans. The crock is taller than it is wide. Don’t know if that would make a difference.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      We find your question intriguing too, Teresa. Not having attempted this ourselves, we’d suggest checking with the manufacturer to see if the crock can tolerate this kind of heat, especially empty. The shape of the container will affect the shape of your bread and potentially how quickly it bakes, but if it’s one you think you’d like, we wouldn’t let this factor hold you back. Mollie@KAF

  16. CA Celiac

    Following up on Diane’s question (and Kye Ameden’s reply), I’d like to extend a friendly *challenge* to KAF to adapt this technique to gluten-free bread recipes!

    KAF is increasingly a great resource for people who must avoid gluten in their diets (those of us with celiac disease), so why not take on this challenge for devoted KAF fans and home bakers?

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel

      Our test kitchen bakers and research and development team have tried very hard to make good, crusty gluten-free bread — and thus far, we simply haven’t been able to nail it. We’ve been working on it, off and on, for a couple of years. I just wanted to assure you, and all of our GF bakers out there, that this has been very much front-burner, but we’ve run out of things to try, and aren’t willing to post any recipe that’s not at least fairly close to the goal: a true crusty bread, sans gluten. So — all I can say at this point is, we’re sorry we can’t help you right now; but we won’t give up. PJH

    2. CA Celiac

      I’m replying to PJ Hamel’s reply to my comment-
      Dear PJ (and KAF), thank you so much for your diligent efforts to create a delicious, crusty gluten-free bread recipe for people who must avoid gluten! I send my sincere gratitude to you. I was a strict devotee of KAF’s All-Purpose flour (the best!) for over 15 years, and used your cake flour, baking books, and many of your other products, too. When I was diagnosed with celiac disease 18 months ago, one of the things that helped me through my grief about not being able to bake (and eat) the same way anymore was finding gluten-free KAF products and recipes. Thank you, and keep up the good (wheat-based and GF) work! I and others like me deeply appreciate that you are not giving up.

    3. PJ Hamel

      Have you tried our Measure for Measure flour? It’s not the silver bullet for yeast applications, unfortunately, but boy, it’s REALLY great for all kinds of other things, from muffins and cake to cookies and scones and pancakes and… Thanks for your kind words; we’ll keep pushing on the holy grail of GF, that crusty bread… PJH

  17. Jean Colson

    I simply cannot cut slices into my dough prior to baking — I cannot afford a lame like you sell, but I have very sharp knives and bought a razor-blade tool I keep just for cooking/baking — but my dough (KAF No-Knead Bread recipe) after three days in the fridge doesn’t “rise” but seems to slump & widen. I’ve just put my first LeCrueset dutch oven attempt so, perhaps I’ll be pleasantly surprised when I open the pot but….I’m not holding my breath that a single slash will be visible.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      We hear you, Jean. Slashing can seem deceptively simple. We find it important to apply quick, even pressure and to cut decisively–any sort of hesitation in the stroke often leads the blade to catch in the dough. It is also generally more difficult to slash over-proofed or otherwise slack dough. While it’s normal for the Crusty No-Knead White Bread to spread more than rise, you may find that it helps to apply more pressure while shaping, resulting in a slightly tighter dough (even once fully proofed). It may also help to check out some of the baking skills videos we offer on our site, and/or to give our free Baker’s Hotline a call at 855-371-BAKE to talk technique with one of us directly. Mollie@KAF

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Mary, for 2 lbs of dough, we’d recommend using a Dutch oven that holds at least 4 quarts. With a pot of this size, you can feel assured that the dough will fit nicely inside, even with a flat top. Do be sure to check with the manufacturer that the pot can be pre-heated empty, as not all Dutch ovens can be used in this way. If you’re unsure, you may want to try using the pot without pre-heating, as described in some of our other no-knead recipes, like this one. Hope this helps and happy baking! Mollie@KAF

  18. Terry Nelson

    Hi,
    I live in the mountains at about 5800 feet. Are there any high altitude adjustments that need to be made to the recipe, baking time or temperature?

    Thanks, Terry

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi Terry, you may want to make some adjustments to rise times, baking temp, etc. when baking any yeast bread at high altitude. Take a look at our High Altitude Baking Guide for more detailed suggestions about what you’ll want to consider adjusting. Mollie@KAF

  19. Love Baking

    I make this bread regularly for my family but recently I made a bread where I added about a quarter cup brown sugar to the dry mix, a handful of walnuts, dried cranberries and pupkin seeds and then followed the recipie as usual.

    Baked the loaf for 20 plus an extra 15 uncovered and my husband can’t stop complimenting me on this bread. Delicious!

    Reply
  20. Richard Robbin

    In the very last photo on the far right there is a loaf that looks like it is covered in
    Flour and designs on it. The slices thru the dough baked amazing. How is that
    Achieved?

    Reply
    1. Kye Ameden , post author

      Richard, that loaf was left to rise in a heavily floured brotform (also known as a proofing basket or banneton). The rings of the basket leave that pretty impression, creating a stunning look! Kye@KAF

  21. Theresa Holewski

    Thanks for this sharing this baking method, I love baking bread. I purchased a cloche on a clearance sale(it didn’t come w/instructions) so not sure what to do with it, pls tell me this will be a great use for it. Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Kye Ameden , post author

      Hi Theresa, the answer to your question depends on which kind of cloche you purchased. If it was the one we sell, then it’s not designed to be preheated empty. If it was made by another manufacturer, you might want to check with them before baking with it for the first time. (Look on the bottom for a manufacturer’s stamp.) Kye@KAF

    1. Kye Ameden , post author

      If this is the pot you have, then yes Willem! That pot can be preheated empty as well, so you’re welcome to use the same approach. That pot is slightly larger than the Bread and Potato Pot, so you can consider adding a bit over 2 pounds of dough to ensure it fills the pot nicely as it bakes. Happy baking! Kye@KAF

  22. Cheri

    For Gluten Free Bread. You need to use a recipe that has gelatin or pectin in the gluten free flour mix. Also, a high protein GF Flour, (quinoa flour), gives the bread more structure. The bread mixture comes out very close to dough instead of batter and your bread will turn out perfect.
    One would never now it is Gluten Free.
    Ive been baking 8 years gluten free. My son has Celiacs disease.

    Reply
    1. Pat

      Leonor you share your exact recipe with us? I have a neighbor that is gf and would love to try this .
      Thanks
      Pat Taylor

  23. Alice Seiber

    I am wondering what the comparison results were between a hot cast iron (like Straub) and the French stoneware bread pot? So appreciate all of the information you provide and the quality products that you have in your catalog.

    Reply
    1. Kye Ameden , post author

      Thanks for asking, Alice. The Staub Dutch ovens aren’t recommended for use with the preheating method as they may crack if heated empty. You can either put them into a preheated oven with the dough inside or use a cold start method. I found the results to be more dramatic (think deeper scores, more eye-catching luster, crispier crust) when using the preheated French stoneware than the cold start method. However, some bakers prefer the later and have fabulous results with it too. Bottom line: you’ll have to choose what look and texture you prefer most. You can’t go wrong! Kye@KAF

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Sharifah, as we mention in the article, “some bread crocks can’t withstand the intensity of being heated empty and are bound to crack when nothing’s inside”, so to be safe, “you’ll want to check the manufacturer’s recommendation about preheating empty before giving it a try.” Mollie@KAF

  24. Ginger

    Greetings. I just received my 4.2 Quart Artisan Bread Baking Crock and Dutch Oven and want to start off right. Using this lovely method in in keeping with the one detailed in my new Jim Lahey book, but seems to conflict with the suggestion on my crock’s product page that your test kitchen raises the dough in the crock and then puts it in a preheated oven. Has your opinion on this changed with more testing? I want to do it correctly. I once had an unfortunate experience with preheating an expensive pizza stone so I’m afraid to crack my beautiful new pot. 🙂

    Reply
    1. Kye Ameden , post author

      Hi Ginger, great question! You’ll see that on the product pages for the Dutch ovens, we now say that you can let your dough rise right in the pot and put it into a preheated oven OR you can preheat the pot empty if you’d like to create a burst of steam. We’ve found that both methods work well and produce lovely loaves of bread–you can experiment for yourself and see which approach you prefer. Happy baking! Kye@KAF

  25. Mark Schiffner

    I’ve made the no-knead recipe several times and it always works great. I’d like to try this method, but I wanted to make sure I have to refrigerate the dough for two hours after it rises, as the no-knead recipe calls for. The description above almost makes it sound as if I can make the dough, let it rise then use it right away. Thanks for your help!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Thanks for checking, Mark. Yes, you’ll still want to follow the recipe instructions for the dough, refrigerating it for at least two hours, ideally overnight, before shaping, rising, and baking. The text about this is nestled between a couple of captivating photos, so we can see that it would be easy to miss. Hope this helps to clarify! Mollie@KAF

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Before you do, Barbabra, you’ll want to check with Romertopf to see if they recommend preheating the pot empty. Not all pots can withstand the intense heat as well, and much better safe than sorry. Mollie@KAF

  26. Nicki Martin

    Thanks for all the info on attempts at gf artisan bread. I am going to give it a shot. A question : how do I use a brotform? Do I need a liner? GF bread friendly?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      A brotform can be a great addition to your baker’s toolbox, Nicki. To get the lovely rings shown in the pictures here, you would flour your brotform well and use it without the liner. Some bakers prefer to use a liner with theirs, as it makes clean up easier and better ensures against sticking, but the trade-off is that you lose the lovely pattern. As for using it with gluten-free breads, all of the gf recipes we’ve developed tend to produce something that’s more like batter than dough, and would be too wet to do use with a brotform (our gf breads generally need to be risen and baked in loaf pans). If you’ve had success with other, stiffer gf bread doughs, then by all means give it a shot. Mollie@KAF

  27. MB

    I’d love to use this no knead recipe for wheat or ancient grain, oat breads ? This is possible and is a recipe available? Thanks MB

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      MB, we have a variety of other no-knead recipes available on our recipe page, including this one for No-Knead Oat Bread, and this one for No-Knead Harvest Grains Bread. As we mention in the “tips from our bakers” in the original recipe here, “you can absolutely make up to half of the total flour whole wheat, either our Premium or white whole wheat flours. Add an additional 2 teaspoons water per cup of whole wheat flour to prevent the dough from being too dry.” Hope this helps to get you headed in a heartier direction! Mollie@KAF

  28. Arthur Black

    Very nice article. The side by side pictures comparing results with the closed pot versus a loaf on a sheet in a steamed oven were quite interesting.

    For my Dutch oven setup, I’ve had good luck with the Lodge LCC3 Cast Iron Combo Cooker, Pre-Seasoned, 3.2-Quart. It has a shallow pan plus a matching deep pan. I use the set with shallow pan down. Makes it easy to add the loaf to the hot pan. This Lodge pan set does have the drawback of being moderately heavy.

    I let the loaf do its second rise overnight in the refrigerator. Resulting loaf seems to have a nicer dome shape than doing second rise at room temperature. In the morning, I preheat the oven, with pans, to 500 F for an hour. I place the loaf on a piece of parchment paper cut in a circular shape, then slash the loaf. I then gently slide the loaf/parchment off the peal into the hot pan set on the counter, by gently tugging on one corner of the parchment. I lower the oven temperature to 450 F, bake covered for 20 minutes then another 25 minutes uncovered. The bread recipes I’m using are no knead high moisture content. I’ve gotten good results with this approach.

    Reply
  29. MB

    Thanks Mollie ! I’m excited to see how it turns out ! Heartier and healthy that’s my aim ! Your team is amazing and always so helpful.MB

    Reply
  30. ens

    Appreciate all the discussion on process, pots and methods but I have yet to figure out how to store the bake if not eaten immediately. Love it when it’s just fresh from the oven but turns to a brick very soon which makes too hard to serve later. What am I missing?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      We wish we could say that there is one fail-safe trick, Eileen, but the reality is most homemade breads are at their best within a few hours of baking. When it comes to storage, there’s a bit of a trade off between maintaining a crust and keeping the bread from hardening. Keeping your bread exposed to air (whether out on your cutting board or in a paper or vented plastic bag) will help to maintain a crispier crust, but the bread will toughen up more quickly. Storing your fully cooled bread in a sealed plastic bag will keep it from toughening up so quickly, but the bread will tend to soften and lose its crispy crust more quickly. A third option (one we’re particularly fond of) is freezing a portion of your loaf. Once fully cooled, wrap your loaf (or individual slices) up tightly (we like plastic wrap and a ziplock bag) and freeze. When you’re ready to serve the remaining bread, simply move it to the oven to thaw and crisp back up. Option four (probably our favorite) would be to share the joy of fresh baked bread with a friend or neighbor, thus ensuring it’s fully enjoyed before it even has a chance to try to stale. Mollie@KAF

  31. Susan R

    I have been making my sour dough artisan bread in my dutch oven for about a year now and I love it! It has the best crust and the most wonderful flavor especially since I bought your sour dough starter. The flavor has improved so much! My question has nothing to do with the bread but your oven mitts. I have tried to find them on the website but can’t. Can you please tell me where I can get some like that? My husband has the ove gloves, but his are really big. These look like they would fit better…plus they are red. 🙂

    Reply
    1. Kye Ameden , post author

      Good eye, Susan! These oven mitts are some of my favorites; they’re super heat-tolerant but also flexible. Our Merchandising Team has picked up an almost identical pair that will be sold through our website and in our store in April. We hope you’ll check back in with us then. Kye@KAF

  32. Brevian

    I’ve used a preheated Lodge 4qt cast iron dutch oven – preheated, no surface treatment – for years with great results, understanding the steam benefits but without thinking beyond that. Reading article and Q&A has me wondering what might happen putting dough in loaf pans and placing these inside a pre-heated large lidded roasting pan (enamelled metal, not ceramic) in the oven would do? Could I trap the steam in the smaller container and get those benefits in a loaf-shaped form? Thoughts?

    Reply
    1. Kye Ameden , post author

      You’re welcome to give it a shot and see what the results are, but we think it would be similar to when dough is put into a hot oven and then spritzed with water (a technique commonly used by bakers trying to create steam). The results are typically a crust that’s more robust than a regular, unsteamed loaf. However, we don’t think you’ll see the same amount of oven spring or opening of the slashes that accompany using a preheated Dutch oven. To achieve those truly spectacular results, the bread baking vessel itself also needs to be hot. Happy baking! Kye@KAF

  33. KEE

    Hi, my bread baked in a Le Creuset Dutch oven comes out perfectly…except for the burnt bottom crust! I’ve tried a cold pot and lower rack to no avail. Any ideas? Thank you!

    Reply
    1. Kye Ameden , post author

      Try putting your Dutch oven on a baking sheet (or even two, doubled up). This will provide another layer of heat insulation and protect the bottom from overbaking. It should work! Kye@KAF

  34. Paula Reutershan

    Could I use my German clay pots–one glazed and one unglazed inside–to make this bread? They are more rectangular in shape instead of round. Also we soak the the top and bottom in water, and we put them into an unheated oven for cooking. I haven’t checked to see about the pre-heating empty stage for this recipe.

    Reply
    1. Kye Ameden , post author

      Paula, we encourage you to check with the manufacturer before attempting this method with your pots. We’d hate to have them break on you, and we can’t vouch for their durability since we don’t use them ourselves in the test kitchen. If you’re unsure, it’s best to play it safe and only put the pots into the oven when they’re filled with dough. Good luck! Kye@KAF

  35. Phyllis

    I’ve tried no-knead bread several times in my Staub Dutch oven but my crust was usually burnt by the end of the baking time. Interior bread was very good but had to cut off crust, especially the bottom. I thought initial baking temp of 400 was high. Should I lower it due to cooking in cast iron?

    Reply
    1. Kye Ameden , post author

      Phyllis, black cast iron pans do tend to create a darker crust on your loaves so you may want to turn the temperature down by 25 degrees F if that’s not the look you’re going for. Also, if you’re not already doing so, try keeping the lid on your Dutch oven on for longer next time. This should help protect the crust from browning too quickly. Also, use an instant read thermometer to check for doneness. Depending on the kind of bread you’re making, it should read anywhere from 190-205 degrees F (call the Hotline for more details). As soon as you get into that zone, you can remove the bread from the oven even if the baking time hasn’t completed. Hope that helps! Kye@KAF

    1. Kye Ameden , post author

      SH, we’ll share similar tips with you that we gave to other bakers looking to use aluminum. If it’s a relatively thick pot (about the same as cast iron), then you won’t need to change the baking temperature or time much. Since it doesn’t have teflon in it, you’ll need to thoroughly grease your pot and also consider sprinkling the bottom and sides with a bit of cornmeal or semolina flour to prevent sticking. Also, make sure the knob on the top of the lid is oven-proof. Happy bread baking! Kye@KAF

    1. Kye Ameden , post author

      Sounds like there might be some confusion, Paul. The method shown in this blog includes preheating the bread baking crock in order to create a crispy crust. Another alternative approach includes putting the dough into your pot and when it has nearly finished rising, you put the pot with the dough into a cold oven and set it to the baking temperature. With this method, the pot preheats slowly with the dough inside and create an even bake. Some bakers prefer one method over the other–you’ll have to try both to see which you like best! Kye@KAF

  36. Kevin

    I will be participating in an outdoor dutch oven cookout this spring (Charcoal on top and below) and was wondering if you had any hints/comments…

    Reply
    1. Kye Ameden , post author

      Wow Kevin, what a fun baking challenge! While we don’t do much outdoor baking here, we think you could use a similar approach shown in this blog post to ensure your loaf turns out perfectly crusty. Preheat your pot (a cast iron Dutch oven might be the best choice for your purpose) by burying it in a layer of hot coals. Be sure to thoroughly cover the lid too, and let it heat adequately (at least a half hour). When your pot is at hot as you can get it and your dough is risen, gently slip it into the pot and over with fresh, hot coals. Don’t open the lid until you must — you don’t want the steam to escape until the very end. Have an infrared thermometer on hand to have an idea of how hot the coals and pot are, as well as an instant read thermometer on hand to test the loaf for doneness. (190-195°F for a standard loaf of white bread is sufficient.) Good luck in the competition and happy baking! Kye@KAF

    1. Kye Ameden , post author

      Great question, Danny. We’ve actually explored this topic in depth in another article on our blog called, “Convection or no,” which you might want to check out. Using the convection setting can help achieve that artisan-style-loaf look, so if your oven has that capability, you’re welcome to use it. Keep in mind that this often makes the oven run a bit hotter than it otherwise would, so you should check for doneness a bit early. Happy baking! Kye@KAF

  37. John Beamish

    I’ve made the no knead recipe a number of times pre-heating a cast iron Dutch Oven. It makes fabulous bread. My problem is that the crust ends up like leather. It is a bit crusty but almost impossible to chew it is so leathery. Is there any way I can change the procedure to get a crusty outside but not so chewy?

    Reply
    1. Kye Ameden , post author

      John, the leathery crust might be a result of the recipe or kind of flour you’re using (the protein content might be a bit too high). We’re also curious to hear about the color of your crust. Is it dark and overbaked? Try using all-purpose flour to make up the majority of your dough, and leave the lid on for the majority of the baking time to prevent the crust from getting tough. If this still doesn’t give you the result you’re looking for, you can brush melted butter over the dough right before it goes into the oven to help keep it soft. Lastly, make sure the dough is well covered when it’s rising; otherwise, it can dry out and get tough. Good luck! Kye@KAF

  38. Diana Wilson

    I have the “Cloche Bread Baker with Handle” from your website store. Could this be used in place of a dutch oven for baking the no knead dough? Can you tell me if it will handle the high temperature preheating? Your recipes are awesome!!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi Diana, the cloche is a great vessel for making bread, but it isn’t designed to be preheated empty. It can be placed in a warm oven or in a cold oven (with the dough in it), up to 500 degrees F. Leaving the lid on to cover your dough will help capture steam. Give it a shot using the No-Knead Crusty White Bread recipe and the method shown here–just skip the preheating step. If you have any questions, you can always call the Baker’s Hotline at 855-371-BAKE(2253). We’re here to help! Kye@KAF

  39. doced

    I’ve prepared no-knead loaves employing all the methods described above and all result in aesthetically pleasing results, more or less, though the pre-heat produces the superior, crisper, thicker crust, if you prefer it. However, though the loaves have the look of professional bakery products, they certainly do not have comparable flavor, as they are bland and pretty much character-less. I’ve experimented with different types of yeast, more, then less, salt, including several varieties of it, as well. I’ve also tried adding various herbs, cheeses, and vinegars. Those flavorings are then dominant, but the bread itself, well, it’s still bland. I must wonder if there’s some “secret” ingredient that imparts the warm and comforting flavor missing from home-baked loaves. Is it malt, perhaps?

    Reply
    1. Kye Ameden , post author

      Doced, you may want to try adding some malt to your dough, but likely all you need a bit more time. A slow, cool fermentation is often the key to developing the deep, yeasty flavor you’re looking for. Try refrigerating your shaped loaves overnight or use recipes that allow for a multi-day rest in the fridge (like our No-Knead Crusty White Bread recipe). The other key ingredient may seem simple, but it’s not to be underestimated: salt. Be sure you’re using enough salt and you can even try increasing it slightly to better suit your tastes. This is often the best way to bring out the natural (delicious) flavors of the wheat and yeast. Good luck and happy baking! Kye@KAF

    1. Kye Ameden , post author

      Nancy, if your Dutch oven is made from thick aluminum then you can assume it will bake similarly to cast iron (since cast iron’s main difference isn’t in conduction but in how long it holds heat). If it is a relatively thin pot, you may want to lower the baking temperature slightly and check for doneness early to ensure the loaf doesn’t burn. Happy baking! Kye@KAF

  40. Meg Watson

    I tried this technique in my Dutch oven, removing the knob & stuffing the hole with aluminum foil. Used the white bread recipe suggested & it turned out great! I’m thinking of ordering this pot though because I think it’s a more appropriate size than my Dutch oven. Thanks!

    Reply
  41. Peter f. Morelli

    I love baking bread ,I use only king Arther flour. I’m always interested new ways and techniques to bake bread . I have never used the bread and potato pot ,need more info.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Sounds like you might appreciate chatting with one of our bakers on the Hotline, Peter! Give us a call if you’d like to learn more: 855-371-BAKE(2253). Kye@KAF

  42. Joan

    My Emile Henry potato pot directions for use says to not heat the base of the pot without any ingredients in it. Is that only for stovetop use?I can always start with a cold oven use, but I don’t want to lose the “artisan loaf” feel. The pot in your pictures looks exactly like mine. Help.

    Reply
    1. Kye Ameden , post author

      Good thinking to ask, Joan! It’s true that you don’t want to heat the base of your pot empty on the stovetop, but it can go into the oven empty. The reason for this is because when you’re working on the stove, the heat is very localized and intense where the flames come in contact (or are closest) to the base of the pot. When it’s in the oven, the entire pot can heat up slowly at the same rate. Don’t worry, you can go ahead and use the preheating empty method with your Emile Henry Bread and Potato Pot. I did it many, many times when testing out this pot. You’ll love the results! Kye@KAF

  43. Angie

    My husband and I tried this recipe today. Easy to make, we did have problems removing the loaf from the parchment paper to the cast iron Dutch oven. Next time I will use more flour on the parchment paper and cover with a damp towel instead of plastic wrap. The results of the finished product were amazing. Saving this recipe. We did not even give it a chance to cool before diving in.

    Reply
  44. Retha Lemon

    I purchased KAF Sourdough Started back in December and have had so much fun baking with it. It is a wonderfully active starter and I recommend anyone interested in working with sourdough to get some from you. That being said, I think I will try putting a loaf of sourdough into my Dutch Oven following this tips here and see what happens.

    Reply
  45. Barbara Grella

    No knead crusty white bread.
    I have to tell you I just took my bread out of my Dutch oven and it is perfect. I made the dough 4 days ago and kept it in my cold garage. Today I finally baked it in a preheated oven in a cold Dutch oven. I was nervous that it would go over so I weighed out 2 pounds and scattered a bit of cornmeal on bottom. Took out the loaf and immediately put the second batch in. Both are perfect, very pleased, even my slash isn’t tooooo bad. Thanks for great taste and great artisan crust.

    Reply
  46. janet m

    I have tried this recipe twice and at the suggested baking times my loaves came out damp. Is my starting dough too wet, do I need to increase the baking time? I do like the crust.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Janet, it sounds like you might want to try two things; first make sure you let the dough rise for long enough. Often times dough that is gummy or wet is under-proofed. Another factor to consider is how long the lid is left on your Dutch oven. Try removing it five minutes earlier to see if that helps. The steam is key in the initial parts of baking, but then you want to remove the lid to let any excess moisture evaporate. Kye@KAF

  47. AnneC

    How does this Bread and Potato pot compare to the Emile Henry cloche you used to carry? I don’t see that item on your website at this time. Is this a replacement or does it offer a significant difference to the cloche? Thanks.

    Reply
    1. Kye Ameden , post author

      Thanks for asking, Anne. We do still offer the Cloche Bread Baker with Handle, which is another great option for bread bakers looking to capture elusive steam. This bread baking crock is great for either placing in a preheated oven or for using the cold start method. It’s not suitable to preheating however, as shown in this blog. If you want to try putting your dough right into a hot pot, you’ll want to use the Bread and Potato Pot. It’s a bit more durable and heat-resistant than the cloche, able to withstand heat up to 930°F. This pot is also a bit more versatile, as you can use it on the stove top to make stews, roast potatoes, and more. Both are great options! Kye@KAF

  48. Joe Lovell

    Do you heap the coals on top of the Dutch Oven? Or use a thin layer? Do you set it directly onto coals for the bottom,. or do you have a spider to keep it off the coals?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      The more heat, the better, Joe, so place the pot directly on the coals and heap them on top. You want your make-shift oven to heat up to 450°, and that’s hard to get with coals, so be sure to have an instant read thermometer on-hand to check your bread for doneness that way. And have fun experimenting! Mollie@KAF

  49. Lckansas

    I’ve used the no-knead white bread recipe, and let it raise in a parchment lined bowl before placing the raised loaf still in parchment into the pre-heated 450 degree dutch oven. I baked the loaf for 30 minutes, removed the parchment paper, and took the lid off to cook for another 15 minutes. It was a lovely golden brown, caramelized and crunchy on the outside, softer on the inside, and everyone who has tried the bread just loves it.

    Reply
  50. KarenR

    Hi, I bought a Dutch oven specifically to make bread like this, and I think maybe the problem is it’s too big? Because my bread rises pretty well, but I don’t get that pretty rounded boule. It fits the contours of the pot, so it ends up like this: \—/
    Any way to avoid it? (It’s a 5-quart)

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      It’s a worthy investment, Karen, and we’re confident you’ll be able to get the results you’re looking for. A 5 qt Dutch oven should work perfectly for any recipe that makes roughly 2 lbs of dough–typically this will be one that uses at least 4-5 cups of flour. If you’re attempting to use a smaller batch of dough, you may simply need to scale the recipe up to fit the pot. It’s also worth noting that while no-knead doughs like this do tend to settle out more than rise up once shaped, they typically spring up nicely in the oven. If this isn’t happening, it could be a sign that the environment isn’t quite warm enough and that it may help to turn your oven temperature up and/or pre-heat your pot for longer. Hope this helps! If you’d like to troubleshoot further, consider giving our free Baker’s Hotline a call at 855-371-BAKE. Mollie@KAF

  51. hl

    I am not seeing any whole grain only doughs mentioned. Would this method work if we need to avoid white flour, even if it is bread flour?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      We haven’t developed a 100% whole wheat, artisan-style, no-knead bread ourselves, which is why you don’t see one mentioned here, but this technique can be used for pretty much any no-knead recipe of an appropriate size (2 lbs of dough or 4-5 cups of flour is about right for the pot we use here). Feel free to give it a try with your favorite 100% whole wheat version! Mollie@KAF

  52. Charlotte

    The No-Knead Harvest Bread says to bake it in a cold oven but this article states that it’s a good candidate for the Dutch oven method which would be in a preheated pot and oven. So, which method would work best? I’ve got a batch sitting on my counter overnight tonight so I’m hoping that someone answers this first thing in the morning. Thanks! 🙂

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      We may have missed the window here, Charlotte, but the good news is that either way should have worked beautifully. For a more detailed comparison of different ways to incorporate steam into your baking, take a read through our companion blog article. Hope it helps! Mollie@KAF

  53. RobinP

    Do you have a rye, marbled rye, or any other bread recipe with something interesting added to the dough that would work in this?

    Reply
    1. MaryJane Robbins

      HI Robin,
      We have many great artisan-style recipes that are excellent for baking in a Dutch oven. Try using “rustic”, “hearth” or “artisan” as your search words on the recipe site. MJR@KAF

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Carolyn, you’ll want to check the manufacturer’s recommendations about pre-heating your pot empty. Some clay bakers can withstand this kind of intense heat, while others can’t. Better safe than sorry! Mollie@KAF

  54. David W. Green

    The recommended final temp for this recipe is 190°-195°F.
    After 25-30 minutes of baking.
    Should this temp be achieved before the final 5 minutes of baking with the lid off ?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Your loaf will bake differently in a Dutch oven than it does on a stone, David, so try not to worry about the timing matching up exactly. With the Dutch oven method, your loaf should reach this temperature at the end of the bake, David, not by the time you take the lid off. Mollie@KAF

    1. MaryJane Robbins

      Yes, you can do this in a Dutch-oven. You’ll want to keep an eye on the baking time in case it bakes a bit faster. MJR@KAF

  55. Renee

    I do have a question: I had been doing the no-knead artisan bread in my Le Creuset oval Dutch oven with great results (30 minutes of ore-heating etc.). About a month or so ago I bought a lidded stone baker and have used that as well for the same recipe. It’s good but there is a noticeable difference in texture. The bread baked In the stone baker is more “spongy,” for lack of a better word. Any thoughts on why that may be the case and how that might be fixed?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Great experiment from your test kitchen! The difference in baking pan material is now evident from the cast iron to the stoneware using the same no knead recipe. It will be interesting to try a recipe written just for the stone baker to see if those baked results are less spongy. You can find these recipes at the “related recipes” box on the product web page. We all look forward to the results from your test kitchen! Irene@KAF

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Rae, you’ll want to check the manufacturer’s recommendation about pre-heating the pot empty. As we mention in the article, different pots tolerate this kind of extreme heat differently, and we’d rather you be safe than sorry. Mollie@KAF

  56. Mary

    I’ve made a couple of loaves and my family says it’s the best bread they ever had! My only question is about rising. The loaf didn’t seem to rise at all after I put it in the Dutch oven. Is that normal?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      We’re thrilled to hear about your fantastic results, Mary! The dough should rise two times: once as a large mass of dough and the second as a shaped loaf. Once it’s fully risen and it goes into the preheated pot, it won’t rise too much more. If you’ve slashed the dough, it should pick back up again (this is called “oven spring”). If it doesn’t, you can try reducing the rising time slightly so the yeast will have more rising power left to expand the loaf in the oven. I hope that helps! Kye@KAF

  57. KarenR

    Thanks for your comments on 3/9 (see above). I had another try, and just can’t get it right. Here’s a pic
    http://imgur.com/a/XT4uo
    I’m using the artisan recipe – 6 1/2 cups of flour. Oven is 5 qts but it’s a Gibson Elmington (CrockPot licensed its name to Gibson) and I’m not positive it’s oven safe if empty so am not risking it. The dough rises to the very top of the pot by the time I put it in the oven so it would definitely seem like it’s sized right. But it won’t round up.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      To finish round, the loaf needs to be shaped round! Pre-shaping or tightening the loaf will help, and this video will show you how. Another culprit in the flat-top baked bread might be over rising, so be sure to use 60 minute rise time as your guide before the bread goes into the oven. Bear in mind there’s always oven spring – the last rise once the dough hits the heat of the oven! Happy Baking! Irene@KAF

  58. KarenR

    For what it’s worth, I’m very happy with my dough. I get wondrous Italian loaves when I use the shaped elongated twin-loaf pan for that type of loaf – and I’m thrilled with them – just wanted to branch out.

    Reply
  59. Branka Klinec

    I love your red gloves. I have a pair of mitts that are well used and need to be replaced, especially when you are taking out hot 500 degree pans.
    What kind are they I love that they are gloves and not the mitts.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      They really are fantastic gloves! We’ve decided to pick up a pair of heat-safe gloves that are almost identical to the pair shown here, and they’ll be available in the Shop section of our website in the spring. We hope you can make do with what you have until then. Happy baking! Kye@KAF

  60. Patricia DiMercurio

    I first heard of the no knead bread recipe baked in a Dutch oven a few years ago. I didn’t have a Dutch oven and didn’t want to make an expensive investment for something I’d probably only use for bread. I bought a cast iron Dutch oven that was on sale for $15! I followed a recipe that was originated at a New York bakery.
    Man! Was I impressed! I did a happy dance right there in the kitchen. I’d been searching for that elusive crusty/chewy loaf forever. Never really got close no matter what recipe or method I used. I now also own a beautiful Marquette Castings 6 qt. Dutch oven, but still use my ol’ cast iron one for my bread so I don’t mess up the pretty white enamel interior on the new one. I sure am going to check out other recipes using other flours or add-ins like seeds/cheese, etc. Thanks KA.

    Reply
  61. Diana

    I do this every time I make my Irish Soda bread. Comes out great, just need t9 remove lid last 10 minutes of cooking. Before I did it in a Dutch oven I would use 2 cake pans.

    Reply
  62. David Perlman

    Two comments:
    First, I have been preheating my KA cloche empty for years without a problem. As I recall, when I purchased it, the instructions said it was OK to heat it 450 before putting in the bread dough.
    Second , if you are handling a pot from an keen at 450, ditch those oven mitt and get a pair of welders gloves. They cost less, protect better, and allow better control of your hands. They may not be pretty but prettiness should be a non issue at that temperature.

    Reply
  63. David Perlma

    Two comments:
    First, I have been preheating my KA cloche empty for years without a problem. As I recall, when I purchased it, the instructions said it was OK to heat it 450 before putting in the bread dough.
    Second , if you are handling a pot from an keen at 450, ditch those oven mitt and get a pair of welders gloves. They cost less, protect better, and allow better control of your hands. They may not be pretty but prettiness should be a non issue at that temperature.

    Reply
  64. V Maroldi

    The top of the bread looks perfect but the bottom burned a bit. How can I avoid this? Lower temp to start or less time? I’m using a lodge cast iron dutch oven.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Try putting your Dutch oven on a baking sheet before putting it in the oven. This will provide another layer of heat insulation and should keep it from burning. Happy baking! Kye@KAF

  65. Jim

    Perfect and delicious bread. Came out like our artisanal bakery; and about 1/4 the cost. This will now be my go to bread. Baked it in my Staub Dutch oven. Follow directions to a t.

    Reply

Post a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *