Thursday, January 19, 2012

Dutch Oven Bread

After reading the NY Times article about how to make artisan bread like they make in Europe in your own home, I decided I had to try it.
It's called No Knead Dutch Oven bread. I actually did knead it a little because I like to, but I believe the results would turn out just as good if you didn't. When I read the recipe, I couldn't believe that it only called for 1/4 tsp. of dried yeast! It has very few ingredients. The preparation couldn't be easier. However, you have to plan ahead.
 It rises for 18 hrs. In other words, you make the dough the first day and let it sit at 70 degrees for about 18 hrs before forming your boule and then allow it to raise another 2 hrs. before baking. You bake it in a dutch oven that can handle a temperature of 450 degrees! With the lid on, it mimics the humidity filled ovens that the pros use to get a nice thick and crisp crust with an airy crumb inside.

I've baked bread on a stone. I've put water filled pans inside or sprayed the oven to get the steam you need to make Italian bread crust. I have a bread machine. Forget all that! This method is so much better and the results are as good as any artisan bread companies around here and we have a well known one in our area! Stop paying $4. for a loaf of bread.  What's cheaper to make than this? Three cups of flour, a tiny bit of yeast and some salt.  Of course, you have to factor in the high heat of the oven for almost an hour, but it helps heat the house.  I can't wait to do it again.
 The dutch oven I used is a Lodge #10 which is only 4 quarts. You need a bigger one to bake a large loaf. Since mine was so small, I divided the dough in half and made two smaller boules. Here's the link to the method I used. You must try it this winter!

PS  I just baked two more loaves.  I covered them in sesame seeds this time. Wow!

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  1. very amazing. I have a dutch over, I'll have to give this a try!

  2. Hey, Janette,
    I am just catching up on your blogs.
    I tasted this bread at a friend's house -- delicious!
    I didn't realize this was the bread you were talking about on FB.
    I have the recipe and plan to try it -- one of these cooler spring days! lol
    Hope all is well with you.