By April 26, 2012 Read More →

Dutch Oven Recipe: Sourdough Italian herb dinner rolls

Once you have a good sourdough starter concocted, a whole new world of baking opens up. This prize-winning sourdough bread recipe uses a cast iron Dutch oven and charcoal.

Sourdough bread can be baked in a conventional oven, but it shines in a Dutch oven outdoors!

by Leon Pantenburg

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When I started competing in Dutch oven cookoffs about eleven years ago, bread was my weak dish. Every International Dutch Oven Society sanctioned cookoff requires three entries; a main dish, bread and a dessert. I decided that the best idea was to find a good traditional sourdough dinner roll recipe, practice it, and tweak it to my personal preferences.

So for weeks before competing in the 2004 world championships, I made this recipe on an almost daily basis. My kids went from “Yay!!! Sourdough dinner rolls!!!” to “Dad, why do we always have to have sourdough dinner rolls?”

I also worked with the same camp oven. I finally standardized on an 8-inch Lodge cast iron. There were several reasons for this: It was small enough to move easily, and light enough I could pick it up to do some precision browning. The oven was also just the right size to feed my family of five.

By the time I got done practicing, this recipe was a good as I could make it. One judge at the 2004 IDOS championships commented “Best sourdough flavor here!” on our evaluation sheet.

Like anything, practice makes perfect. Before I retired it from competition, this recipe had won over $500 in prize money and assorted swag in several different Dutch oven cookoffs.

Check it out – this recipe has been very good to me!

Sourdough Italian Herb Dinner Rolls


2 c sourdough starter (You can’t avoid this step: Click on how to make sourdough starter for a starter recipe.)

1 Tbs maple syrup

1 tsp sea salt

2-3 c flour

1 Tbs baking powder

1 Tbs McCormick’s Italian seasoning

1 egg

1 tsp water


  1. Mix everything but eggs and water together and let rise for about 45 minutes (Put 2 or 3 coals on top of the camp oven lid to help the bread rise, depending on the outside temperatures.)
  2. Form the dough into a loaf or rolls; place in 8-inch or 10-inch Lodge shallow camp oven.
  3. Brush the tops of the rolls with the egg and water mixture. This will make the top brown.
  4. Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes. (For an 8-inch oven, place about 6 coals on the bottom and 10 to 12 on the top. For a 10-inch oven, use 8 coals on the bottom and 12 to 14 on the top.) “


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