Dutch Oven Bread Recipe

dutch oven bread

I love bread.  But my body doesn’t react well to gluten, and I’m not a huge cook these days, so making bread isn’t usually high on my list.  That is, until I was introduced to some DELICIOUS bread this summer.    I was at a family get together and thought they were joking when they pulled out this perfect looking loaf of bread, claiming to have made it.

They said it was easy to make.  What?! Making bread can be easy!?

I was anxious to get home and make some for my family.  But first of all, I had to purchase a dutch oven {like this one}. And purchase a few ingredients that I didn’t have on hand {like bread flour and yeast}.

Let me tell you, it IS easy.  And it IS good (I may have sampled a gluten filled taste or two, just to make sure).

So for those interested in making some, here is the recipe!

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dutch oven bread

4 to 4 1/2 cups bread flour {yes, you need special flour for this}

2 Tablespoons yeast {or two packets of yeast}

2 Tablespoons sugar

2 cups warms water

1 Tablespoon salt

Pour warm water over the sugar and yeast.  Whisk together lightly.  Let it rest for 10 minutes until it is a bit foamy.

In a different bowl, mix 3 cups of the bread flour with the salt.

Add the flour to the yeast mixture, one cup at a time {preferably using a stand mixer with a dough hook}. The dough will be a bit sticky.  Add the rest of the flour in 1/2 cup increments until the dough completely comes together in a ball.  It may not take all of your flour, though typically I come pretty close.

Let the mixer knead the dough for a few minutes.  Then place the dough on the counter and knead it with your hands for 3 or 4 minutes, or until the dough is smooth.

Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover the bowl with a damp dish towel.  Let the bread rise for 25 to 30 minutes. {Do not punch down the dough as it rises.}

Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees, with the dutch oven inside the oven.

After the dough is done rising, lightly coat the top of the bread with some flour.  Then dump the dough into the dutch oven {I literally turn one bowl over and let the dough flop into the dutch oven.  But remember, the dutch oven will be hot from being in the oven. So don’t burn yourself.}  Then lightly coat the other side of the bread with flour.    Cut a few slits into the top of the bread, or an X or some other fancy design.

Cook for 30 minutes covered.  Take the lid off the bread and cook for another 5 or 10 minutes, until the top is golden brown.

Remove from the dutch oven.  Let it cool a bit, then cut and serve with olive oil and balsamic vinegar!

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 Happy cooking {or is it baking?}. Either way, enjoy the process. And most of all, enjoy the delicious, warm bread!

jen

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