January 18, 2020

homemade bread in a dutch oven

I make homemade bread every. single. week. I have been making it for years.

homemade bread in a dutch oven



I use a really simple recipe and a single rise, so that most of the time I can finish a loaf in 3 hours or less. I have made some tweaks over the years but the basic recipe is similar to my simple homemade bread.

Homemade bread in a dutch oven

Ingredients

1 tablespoon yeast
1.5 cups warm water
1 tablespoon brown sugar
3.25 cups flour - I love King Arthur bread flour or Bobs Red Mill brand bread flour when I can find it
1 tablespoon sea salt

Notes:
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I always, always, always use a stand mixer. I think it would really cool to use my hands sometimes. I love the idea of slow cooking and slow food. And although it is something I would love to move towards, for now I use my mixer.

The other thing about this dough is that it is a wet dough and very sticky. I know it would drive me bonkers to have dough hands for 10 minutes kneading.

I’ve added a tablespoon of sugar to help proof the yeast and to give it just a bit more sugar to help the bread brown.

Instructions

In the bowl of a stand mixer place the yeast, warm water and brown sugar. You will see the yeast start to rise and bubble and dissolve. After ~5 minutes, add the flour and salt and with the dough hook attachment on your mixer, mix the dough on high ( I usually use a 7 or above) for ~10 minutes. The dough should pull away from the sides but once you take it out, it will be sticky.

In a large bowl with greased sides, place the dough and cover with a towel. Place the dough in a warm place to rise for ~90 minutes - til it doubles in size.. I use my oven but in warmer months I use our sunroom.

I used to let it rise for 2 hours but I find that it really only takes 90 minutes to double.

Punch down dough and form into a ball. I place the dough on a floured cutting board and cover with a towel for another 20 - 30 minutes while I heat up the oven.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. While it is heating, place your dutch oven (this isn't the exact one I have but it is so pretty!) in the oven so it also heats up.

After ~30 minutes, place the dough ball in the dutch oven (careful because it is really hot and you don’t want to accidentally touch the sides - from experience). With a very sharp knife score the dough. This helps it expand. You can put one long slash down the middle or several diagonal slashes.

Place lid on dutch oven and bake for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove lid and bake for another 20-ish minutes until loaf is a nice golden brown. Take out of the oven and place loaf on a cutting board or rack to rest for ~10-15 minutes. You will want to cut into it right away, but try to refrain.

If you have never made homemade bread, don't be intimidated. This simple recipe is the perfect place to start. 

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