Saturday, November 24, 2012

Dutch Oven Bread... So Simple!

Ahhhhh, finally.

A gorgeous crust on my homemade bread.  I've seriously been on a quest to make a loaf of bread like this with just the right amount of crustiness and the perfect amount of chewiness in the outer crust. 

Are "crustiness" and "chewiness" really words? 

I am embarassed to admit, after 20 years of bread making and two bread machines, this bread was the simplest ever.  The only specialized equipment needed for this bread is a "Dutch Oven"; an enamel coated, cast iron, ovensafe, pot with a lid. I have an off-brand pot (I think Lodge brand) from WalMart which I have had for a few years and I know I paid under $35.00 for it.  Of course if you want to go nuts (or if you ARE NUTS!), you can pay $265.00 for a similar pot from Le Crueset.

I've seen this recipe on several blogs and am so glad I finally tried it.
My husband and son are really glad I tried it, too!
My husband remarked that the texture was like "Old World bread" he had in Europe while serving in the military.

Are you convinced?  You really have to try this. 
If you've ever been afraid to try making yeast breads at home, this is a great place to start.
You'll be amazed how simple it is.

Dutch Oven Bread
From a blog called "The Lean Green Bean"
Recipe Link can be found HERE.

Ingredients (Makes 1 loaf)
  • 3 cups of bread flour (I used unbleached, all-purpose flour)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast (I used Fleischman's Bread Machine Yeast)
  1. Mix the flour and salt together in one bowl, and activate the yeast in another by adding the yeast to the water (100-110 degrees Fahrenheit) with a pinch of sugar
  2. Let it sit for five minutes, stir it up and then mix the two together.
  3. Once all of the ingredients are in the same bowl, stir until combined into a doughy ball.
  4. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise somewhere warm for 4 hours.
  5. Take the dough out, place on a lightly oiled surface and knead 5 times. That’s it! Just 5 times! Then put it back in the bowl for another 30 minutes.
  6. Place your dutch oven into the oven and preheat to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  7. After the second rise, carefully take the dutch oven out, dump the dough in, put the lid on and into the oven it goes for 30 minute.
  8. After 30 minutes, remove the lid and let the bread cook for another 10-15 minutes until it’s golden brown all over.
  9. Remove, let cool, slice & serve.

Edited to add these links:

Here is a cute link showing a similar recipe... bread so easy even a 4 year-old can make it.
Click HERE to check it out.

Also, a New York Times article about Dutch Oven Bread... click HERE to check it out.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This looks fantastic! Ron's right -- it is like European bread.