Le Creuset Bread Oven Review

We’ve long been fans of Le Creuset’s enameled cast iron cookware – it’s well designed, durable, and starts up beautifully. Their Dutch ovens have been a favorite for decades, and we love their frying pans and stew pans. So when we heard that Le Creuset had launched a specially designed enameled cast iron bread oven, we were intrigued. And we’re not the only ones – we’ve come across a lot while scrolling through our social media feeds since it was announced.

Do we need this new toy? Can it compete with the Challenger Bread Pan, which we’ve found to be a truly valuable device?

We’ll be posting a new comprehensive review of different specialized bread ovens soon. But despite all the hype about Le Creuset’s bread ovens, we wanted to give you a first look at what we’ve concluded based on what we’ve observed so far.

Like other bread clocks, the pan’s 5.5-inch high dome and tight-fitting seal lock in the heat and moisture from the oven, creating the crispiest crust you can imagine, so there’s no need for a hot water tray for the oven. On the other hand, the bottom pan provides an even temperature so there are no dark spots on the bottom of the loaf. It heats up very quickly, eliminating the need to preheat the bell in the oven ahead of time, and is heat resistant up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit for all stovetops.

The results are truly spectacular. I split my handmade batch of no-knead white bread dough in two, baking one half in the bread oven and the other on my Nordic Ware sheet tray with a sheet of parchment paper on top at 450 degrees Fahrenheit. I let the former cook bake it in the bell shaped hood for 28 minutes, then removed the domed lid and let it turn a gorgeous golden brown before baking it in the oven for eight minutes; for the latter on the tray, I only baked it for 28 minutes, resulting in a darker color.

How Le Creuset Bread Oven Works

Le Creuset bread ovens distribute and maintain heat evenly by trapping and circulating steam inside. You get this moist effect without having to break the crisp top of the bread during baking.

The shape of the lid effectively optimizes the bread fermentation process, as the domed lid locks the steam inside. Featuring an easy-to-clean matte black interior enamel and ergonomic handles, the Le Creuset bread oven’s signature stainless steel knobs allow you to bake as easily as the experts in your home.

Its low-profile base with rings is designed to create even marking and browning (a golden, crispy crust) on the bread inside. You can use this bread oven to create a variety of baked goods, including:

  • Different types of bread
  • Sweet baked goods
  • Savory baked goods

Versatile, you can use the base of the oven as a frying pan or food baker.

What We Liked About Le Creuset’s Bread Oven

There are many things we like about this machine, from the quality of the bread it produces to its aesthetically pleasing appearance.

  • It works well. The result is a browned, nicely risen loaf of bread, timed as directed in our recipe.
  • It’s light. It weighs 9 pounds, 12 ounces, which is lighter than both our favorite Dutch oven and the Challenger bread pan, so getting in and out of the oven is especially easy.
  • It’s compact. If you’re on the fence about whether you really need the extra equipment, this bread oven may convince you-it takes up much less space than another Dutch oven or Challenger.
  • It has large, well-fitting handles. These make it easy to lift the domed lid so you can insert the dough and move the entire shebang into the oven when you’re ready.
  • Easy to maintain. Le Creuset’s models are made of enameled cast iron. This means you never have to season or maintain it as you would with a more traditional bread oven, which are made of raw, traditional cast iron.
  • It’s beautiful. Most bread ovens tend to be something quite practical, made entirely of black cast iron. Le Creuset’s bread ovens are available in a variety of interesting colors. (That said, please note that, as with any other enameled cast iron, the beautiful look may discolor if any oil gets on it and polymerizes at high temperatures.)

Is the Le Creuset Bread Oven Worth Buying?

Yes! I can only find two drawbacks to the bread oven: it’s perfect for making round breads and it’s an investment when it’s not on sale. It’s definitely a splurge – you definitely have to spend some money (sorry, had to!) . However, it’s a gorgeous and versatile product that helps deliver high-quality bread and may inspire you to keep your yeast starter alive for years to come.