The 6 Best Dutch Ovens For Bread

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Best Dutch Ovens For Bread
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Baking bread in a Dutch oven results in beautifully-browned loaves with crisp, crackly crusts and airy centers. The best Dutch ovens for bread function like a compact oven, and though they appear basic in their design, not all Dutch ovens are created equal. Below are some things to keep in mind when purchasing the best Dutch ovens for bread baking.

What Criteria To Consider

To accommodate most recipes for a round boule loaf, look for a Dutch with a capacity between 5 and 7 quarts. Anything smaller and the loaf won’t have enough headspace to rise, and in larger pots, dough can spread out to create a flat versus lofty loaf.

Heavy, thick-walled Dutch ovens are best for bread-baking. Thick walls translate to better heat-retention, which is critical for getting even browning on your loaf. A Dutch oven of at least 10 pounds is ideal, and since this weight can make transporting it in and out of the oven a challenge, make sure it has handles for easy lifting.

Some Dutch ovens come with clear glass lids, but for the purposes of baking bread, you should avoid these. A solid lid with a heat-proof knob will provide maximum heat retention during baking. And speaking of heat, seek out a Dutch oven that is able to withstand high temperatures of 400 degrees Fahrenheit or above.

Shop The Best Dutch Ovens For Bread

In a hurry? These are the best Dutch ovens for bread.

  1. The Best Investment Dutch Oven For Bread: Le Creuset Signature Enameled Cast-Iron Round Dutch Oven
  2. The Runner Up: Cuisinart Covered Round Cast Iron Casserole
  3. The Best Affordable Dutch Oven: Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Double Dutch Oven With Loop Handles
  4. The Natural Clay Dutch Oven: Eurita by Reston Lloyd Clay Cooking Pot/Roaster
  5. The Best For Oval Loaves: LoafNest Cast Iron Dutch Oven And Silicone Liner
  6. The French Bread Cloche: Emile Henry Made In France Bread Cloche

The best Dutch ovens for bread below offer a range of options from aesthetics to price, but they’ll all yield excellent, bakery-worthy loaves of bread at home.


The Best Investment Dutch Oven For Bread


  • It’s an heirloom-quality piece of cookware
  • Has a cool-touch knob on the lid


  • It’s pricey

There’s no doubt that this Dutch oven from French cookware brand Le Creuset is an investment, but this is your best option if you don’t already own a Dutch oven and plan to do more than bake bread. When it comes to baking bread, specifically, the Le Creuset boasts some of the best heat retention out there. Weighing a hefty 12.7 pounds, this 5.5-quart option is the ideal size for making a range of bread recipes. The enamel exterior and sand-colored enamel interior are durable and non-reactive, guaranteeing years of dependable service. The stepped lid nests and seals tightly, keeping heat and steam inside for the best dough rise, crust-development, and browning. Most importantly for bread-baking, the pot, lid, and composite knob can all withstand temperatures of up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.

One fan raved: “The best purchase I have ever made as far as kitchen ware goes. I bake bread in this dutch oven as well as use it to cook a variety of delicious meals in it from stuffed bell peppers to homemade chicken noodle soup to potroast and potatoes. Everything comes out just wonderfully.”

Available colors: 9 | Available sizes: 1

Also available on: Wayfair, $400, and Williams-Sonoma, $400


The Runner-Up


  • High-quality cookware at a relatively low price point
  • Comes in tons of colors


  • Doesn’t have a cool-touch handle

While not quite as lauded as the Le Creuset above, this enameled Dutch oven from Cuisinart is perfect for any baker not looking to shell out hundreds of dollars for a vessel to bake bread in. The enameled cast iron provides excellent heat distribution, and the porcelain interior is nonstick and easy to clean. It’s safe to use on the stovetop, in the oven, and under the broiler, and has a 5-quart capacity.

Editor’s note: “I've been baking sourdough breads for over a decade, and this is the dutch oven I always use! Not only is it perfect for breads, it's also great for making soups, stews, and braises. I cannot recommend this highly enough.” — Carina Finn

One fan raved: “I leave this on my stove top 24/7, it’s GORGEOUS! My sourdough comes out beautifully every time!”

Available colors: 2 (more colors are available in other sizes) | Available sizes: 3

Also available on: Walmart, $100


The Best Affordable Dutch Oven


  • Lid doubles as a 10.25-inch skillet
  • Has a solid construction made from a popular cookware brand


  • Not as aesthetically pleasing as colorful enamel options

For those with a smaller kitchen or a smaller budget, this pre-seasoned 5-quart Lodge double Dutch oven is hard to beat, especially if you’re looking to make more than just bread. This double Dutch oven can sear, broil, braise, roast, and fry foods like a champ, especially because the lid doubles as its own cast iron skillet, making this a two-for-one product that’s great for those low on storage space. For bread baking, this double Dutch oven can withstand temperatures up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, and the lid traps moisture, creating loaves that are crusty on the outside yet tender on the inside.

One fan raved: “Purchased solely to bake no knead, artisan bread...the recipe that uses 3 C of flour. Perfect size! The loaf mounds up into a round rather than flattening out as it did in my #8 cast iron skillet. Because this Dutch oven will be dedicated for bread only, the flour left behind can simply be wiped out with a soft cloth and there is no need to wash the cast iron. Very pleased with this purchase.”

Available colors: 1 | Available sizes: 1 (other Dutch oven sizes and styles also available)

Also available on: Walmart, $46, and Wayfair, $51


The Natural Clay Dutch Oven


  • The best option for producing bakery-worthy steam
  • Safe to use in the microwave as well as the oven


  • Lid doesn’t have a handle
  • Cleaning may require some extra care

Made from all natural clay, this Eurita by Reston Lloyd roaster produces bakery-like steam as you bake your bread, because you’re meant to soak the lid in water before use, and the loose fitting lid allows some steam to escape, creating crave-worthy loaves. Like the Le Creuset and other Dutch ovens on this list, this pot is safe to use in ovens up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, so long as you start the process in a cold oven. This 4 quart roaster isn’t just meant for making breads and is also an excellent vessel for meats and stews. One thing to note is that only the bottom of the interior is glazed, which could make cleanup of the lid and exterior more work when baking messier dishes — but that’s a small trade-off for delicious bread.

One fan raved: “I really like this clay dutch oven, it works great for baking bread in it, and it’s super easy to clean.”

Available colors: 1 | Available sizes: 4

Also available on: Wayfair, $54


The Best For Oval Loaves


  • A great option for oval-shaped loaves
  • Lid has two handles
  • Silicone liner makes cleanup easier


  • Unconventional shape might be less convenient to store
  • Not as versatile for non-bread dishes

Looking to make a non-circular loaf? Check out this LoafNest Dutch oven, which has a longer, oval shape. It’s made from cast iron and includes a silicone liner, which is perforated and nonstick to help you remove your cooked loaf when it’s done. This Dutch oven has a large top that matches the bottom, and both have convenient side handles to make it easier to handle when hot. LoafNext also includes a simple, no knead recipe with the order that’s especially helpful for first-time bakers.

One fan raved: “I am an experienced baker but struggled with always getting sourdough with all the attributes I wanted: taste, oven spring, crumb and size. This pan has revolutionized my bread baking. Easy, consistent, always the perfect size, appearance and taste. I can not praise this pan enough. I encourage anyone of any skill level to get this pan if you want to easily and consistently create beautiful and tasty bread.”

Available colors: 1 | Available sizes: 1


The French Bread Cloche


  • Can be used to proof, store, and bake dough
  • Lightweight and easy to handle


  • Shallow bottom makes it less versatile
  • Can only handle loves made with up to 3 cups of flour

Slightly different from a traditional Dutch oven, this French bread cloche has a large, round top that sits on a flat base with rounded edges. According to the manufacturer Emile Henry, it is specially designed to create the right interior humidity for bread baking, which can help to ensure a crispy crust. This cloche is made from clay, and can be put directly into a 500-degree-Fahrenheit oven from the freezer, so you could proof and store the dough in it if you needed to. It is the perfect size for creating loaves that are made with three cups of flour, although you could also experiment with smaller loaves too.

One fan raved: “This is my second EH Cloche. I bake bread 2-3 times a week, and do two loaves each time so the investment is worth it. In addition to the cloche properly baking the bread the lid is easier to handle with the large knob on the top.”

Available colors: 2 | Available sizes: 1

Also available on: Sur La Table, $145, and Williams-Sonoma, $145

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