How to Bake Sourdough Without a Dutch Oven

When you think of the best way to bake sourdough bread, a Dutch oven comes to mind. Dutch ovens produce the best consistent heat and steam necessary for a fabulous loaf of everyone’s favorite Artisan bread, sourdough.

But what happens if you don’t have a Dutch oven? Do your sourdough bread-baking dreams have to come to a devastating halt? Nope. There are a few great ways to bake sourdough without a Dutch oven, whether you want to utilize your dear ole range or get creative with a slow cooker.

Hey, there! My name’s Michelle, and my family and I love sourdough bread. Needless to say, it’s a staple in our kitchen. But we don’t always have access to a Dutch oven. So, I’ve discovered some crafty ways to bake sourdough bread without a Dutch oven, and I’m here to share my configurations.

Who’s ready to bake sourdough bread? (Psst… don’t forget your sourdough starter).

5 Ways to Bake Sourdough Without a Dutch Oven

A perfect crust and a moist interior is the goal when baking sourdough bread. And while it’s true that Dutch ovens produce premium results, you can still bake lovely and delicious sourdough loaves without the famous Dutch oven. Here are five great ways!

1. Baking Stone + Stock Pot + Oven

The first method utilizes the oven. Because, well, almost everyone has an oven, they can undoubtedly use this simple method! Here’s how to do it.

Step 1: Place a baking stone (two are recommended) in the oven. Baking stones are excellent at retaining heat, which is crucial when baking sourdough. Place one on the top and one on the bottom rack. 

Step 2: Preheat the oven at the highest temperature for an hour. I know it seems like a long time, but it’s the best way to ensure your sourdough will get the consistent heat it needs to be successful.

Step 3: Score the sourdough and spray it liberally with water. Water is necessary to create steam inside the oven. You can also toss a few ice cubes into the stock pot or add an oven-safe bowl of water to the bottom of your oven.

Step 4: Place sourdough on top of the lower baking stone and cover with a stock pot. You can use any oven-safe pot, but a stock pot is ideal because of its size.

Step 5: Bake for 30 minutes, then remove the stock pot. 

Step 6: Continue baking for about 15 minutes. This will allow the sourdough’s crust to crisp up beautifully.

2. Steel Pot + Baking Sheet + Oven

Not everyone owns a baking stone, and that’s okay (although I highly recommend buying one, especially if you bake pizzas regularly). If you’re baking sourdough sans baking stone, you can also rely on your trusty baking sheets. Follow along with these simple instructions:

Step 1: Preheat the oven to the highest temperature. Don’t worry about waiting for an hour before putting your sourdough inside if you’re using a steel pot. If not, you will need to wait the entire hour.

Step 2: Place the sourdough in the steel pot with a few ice cubes and put it inside the oven. A steel stock pot is recommended, again, solely for the size.

Step 3: Cover with your baking sheet. If your pot has an accompanying lid, you can also use that instead. I find the baking sheet is easier to work with, though. Either way, your bread must be covered to produce the necessary steam.

Step 4: Bake as directed.

Step 5: Remove the baking sheet or lid and bake for an additional 15 minutes. This “crisping stage” will create the well-known sourdough crust!

3. Two Bread Loaf Pans + Oven

If you make “regular” bread often, you undoubtedly have bread loaves on hand. But did you know that you can bake sourdough in a bread loaf pan? Sure, it won’t have the same appearance, but it makes cutting into slices easier. Who doesn’t love convenience?

Step 1: Preheat the oven at the highest temperature for an hour. Unfortunately, this method requires you to allow the oven to preheat for an hour before placing the sourdough inside. Grab a book or put on a good show while you wait!

Step 2: Place the bread inside the bread loaf pan, add ice cubes, and cover. Essentially, you’re creating a mini makeshift Dutch oven that will allow maximum steam and consistent heat.

Step 3: Bake the bread as directed, removing the top pan 15 minutes before it’s “ready.” This will ensure that your bread gets that famous sourdough crust!

4. Slow Cooker

I will be honest with all of you today – I am obsessed with my slow cooker (and my air fryer, but that’s another story for another day). Naturally, I had to try and make sourdough bread in my slow cooker.

The result?

Well, sourdough bread made in the slow cooker isn’t the same as sourdough bread made in the Dutch oven or oven. However, it’s still mighty tasty and has a relatively crispy crust that will satisfy all of your sourdough cravings.

Here’s how to make it:

Step 1: Turn the slow cooker on high and allow it to heat up.

Step 2: Place sourdough on top of parchment paper and gently place it into the slow cooker.

Step 3: Cook on high for about an hour.

Step 4: Place a clean dish towel or cloth underneath the lid and continue to cook for another 90 minutes.

5. Bread Machine

If you really don’t want to fuss with the process of making sourdough, you can always use a bread machine. Bread machines are an easy solution to making sourdough, from the kneading and rising phase to the final baking process. 

Step 1: Add ingredients to your bread machine.

Step 2: Select the “sourdough option,” if available. Not all bread makers have a sourdough option like this one. If yours doesn’t, opt for a similar long-rising cycle like French bread.

Step 3: Let the bread machine do all of the work while you sip on a hot cup of tea.

Note: Every bread machine is different. Make sure you read the instructions before using, as some may require you to select “kneading” and “rising” before baking, amongst other requirements. 

FAQs

I know, I know – you thought you had to have a Dutch oven to bake sourdough bread. Pretty surprising that you can make sourdough without it, huh? If you’re still curious about this topic, here are a few exciting FAQs to check out.

Can I bake sourdough on a baking sheet?

On a baking sheet is not ideal. Placing the baking sheet above a stock pot holding your sourdough is perfect. If you only have a baking sheet, you can still try to use it, but the results won’t be as good. Make sure you preheat for an hour and add an oven-safe bowl of water.

Can you bake sourdough in Pyrex?

You can bake sourdough in a Pyrex dish, but you will need to cover it. A lot of Pyrex dishes come with lids – use them. If you don’t have a lid, you will have to cover it with something else, such as a stock pot or baking sheet.

Can you bake sourdough uncovered?

There is no rule that says you can’t bake your sourdough uncovered, but your taste buds might not be too happy. Covering the sourdough ensures proper heat retention and enough steam to create a tasty sourdough, so I wouldn’t skip this vital step.

Baking Sourdough Without a Dutch Oven is Easy!

Although I 100% recommend purchasing and using a Dutch oven to make sourdough loaves, they’re not critical for success. You can also use other tools and gadgets in your kitchen. The second best baking method is on a baking stone covered with a stock pot. Perfection!

Have you ever tried to bake sourdough without a Dutch oven? Did you use any of these methods or something else entirely? Share your thoughts, discoveries, and experiences in the comment section!

About Michelle
I have been a lover of sweets since day one. This led me on a self-taught baking journey starting at the age of 13. It's been over 10 years since the start of my baking adventures, and I’ve learned a lot along the way. Now, people rave about my delectable treats, whether it’s a chocolate cake or a strawberry crepe.

Leave a Reply

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