It has been years since I have baked bread other than my banana bread. I used to bake bread every week, but I got out of that habit when I let my sour dough starter ruin. I would love to find another really good sour dough starter. Until then, Dawn's Artisan Bread Recipe is great! Actually, it is faster and easier than the sour dough bread I used to make and my family seems to be just as happy with Dawn's Artisan Bread.
There are a lot of dutch ovens available, but I wanted the cast iron version.
The Versatility of Cast Iron
Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Double Dutch Oven on Gas StoveI have cooked with a cast iron skillet my entire life. It is heavy compared to other skillets, but you can't beat it when frying fish, frying pork chops, or baking cornbread.
You can use cast iron on a stove top, electric or gas, as long as it has range burner elements (not recommended by some glass stove top manufacturers for a flat surface glass stove top).
Cast Iron will also go in the oven, which is how my mother, my grandmother, my great grandmother and I have all baked cornbread. That is why I wanted the cast iron dutch oven. I knew it would be most excellent for baking!
Cast Iron can also be used on a open flame, like a campfire. I have been known to fish which is rather ironic since I don't eat trout or catfish. However, when you come from a family with 4 brothers and a mother who loves catfish, you better fish or you are left behind counting the hours. Besides, I love quietly floating down the river in a boat, soaking in the sun and the beauty of nature surrounding me.
One year, Dad hired a guide. We caught our limit by midday, but didn't have any desire to stop fishing. So, we pulled to shore, built a campfire and cooked our fish in a cast iron skillet along with some potatoes the guide provided. After lunch, we fished a few more hours and brought home fish for dinner. That is how I discovered a cast iron skillet could be used over a open campfire!
My Cast Iron Dutch Oven
Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Double Dutch Oven With Loop Handles, 5 qtI purchased a 5 qt. Lodge brand cast iron dutch oven and I have be thrilled with it for several reasons.
- The lid doubles as a skillet
- I really like the handles on both the lid & the dutch oven
- It is just the right size for the oven
- Perfection in cooking due to even heating
- Easy to wash, dry & re-season*
- I know it will outlast me, which means I will never have to buy again
- Lodge is a trusted name in cast iron. Over 100 years in business
*Seasoning cast iron is simply rubbing it lightly with vegetable oil after washing while it is still warm from the hot water wash or you can place it back in a warm oven after applying the oil.
I chose the basic cast iron dutch oven mainly because I loved the dual purpose lid. I knew I could flip the lid and bake cornbread on top while a roast baked below it in the dutch oven. The top would not only be a lid for the roast, but also a skillet for the cornbread.
One note about using the lid on the dutch oven. In the photo, you see the lid and dutch oven handles are evenly aligned. I prefer to offset them slightly so lifting the hot lid is much easier.
Dawn Rae chose an enameled cast iron dutch oven which should be fine for cooking on a flat, glass stove top. You can read her review here: Enameled Cast Iron - Pricey But Worth It
I added 3/4 cup cranberries, 3/4 cup walnuts & 1T honey.
Simply click the image below for her recipe.
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