Top positive review
Perfectly fits loaves from an 11.8x3.1" banneton
Reviewed in the United States on January 20, 2019
Full disclosure: I've only had this oven for about a month and have only used it for baking batards (oval bread loaves), so this is only a review of how the Cuisinart works for baking bread. I have a 6 qt round Lodge and a 4 qt round Tramontina I use for regular cooking tasks, but my partner was tired of getting only 1-2 normally sized sandwiches out of an entire boule (round loaf) and having a lot of very narrow or very wide sandwiches otherwise. I decided it was time to buy an oval dutch oven and oval bannetons (bread proofing baskets) and learn how to shape batards to have loaves that are the same size nearly their whole length.
I couldn't find any solid information about what size combinations worked, so I tried to use product dimensions to find dutch oven and bannetons that would match my dough size. I didn't think to account for the handles in the listed 15.6" width, so I bought 11.8" bannetons at the same time as the oven. I was nervous when they arrived and the banneton was exactly the same length as the opening of the oven. I crossed my fingers and went through with the bake anyway:
1) Preheat the oven with the dutch oven inside to 500F
2) Pull the loaf out of the fridge where it proofed overnight, turn it out of the banneton and onto parchment, score, and set in the dutch oven
3) Immediately reduce the oven temp to 450F
4) Bake covered for 20 minutes, then uncovered for ~25 minutes, until golden brown and sounding hollow when tapped on the bottom
To my relief, although the loaf fits in the oven with only a fraction of an inch clearance on each end, there is no noticeable difference in the bake at the ends of the loaf that are up against the dutch oven vs. the sides with greater clearance. The dutch oven has more than enough height for my 1kg sourdough loaves. I'm sure you could increase to a bakery standard 1.2kg loaf and still fit comfortably.
The dutch oven darkens when it's at the high temperature I use to bake, but it returns to normal color once it cools down, although I wouldn't care at all if it stayed that darker hue of red. It doesn't leave nearly as thick and dense a bottom crust as the Lodge does, which often verges on burnt by the time the rest of the loaf is finished baking. After a dozen or so bakes, the Cuisinart hasn't even started to take on the oily dark spots, either inside or outside, that the Lodge does. Although only a light dusting a flower ever contacts the cooking surface, the oven still looks brand new. Its sharper corners allow the loaf to sit perfectly flat and avoid that slope at the edges the 6 qt. Lodge forces into a 1kg loaf.
My experience with this dutch oven is very limited both by time and by use, but I wanted to give anyone like me, who's looking for an inexpensive way to bake two batards from a standard sourdough recipe (~2kg finished dough). There is almost zero information about what size dutch ovens will fit certain sizes and shapes of dough, but this combination is one I can attest to being perfect.
I don't know how the dutch oven will hold up after years of normal cooking tasks, but this is one it's been flawless at so far. Even if it ends up with a few chips here and there and looses it's flawless interior surface, I'm confident it will provide me with reliable use for years to come.
Bannetons I use: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06XC2HYBB/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o03__o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1