I was really excited to receive a dutch oven for christmas this year. It's green to match my other kitchen accessories, of course. I was about to start looking for recipes when I saw that Jessica had just mentioned dutch oven bread.
I found this recipe after searching on google. I was looking for one that used instant yeast. I thought it would be easier to use that for my first venture into bread making. Here is what I did for my 5.5 quart dutch oven:
Dutch Oven Bread
1.5 cups of unbleached all purpose flour
1.5 cups of bread flour
1/4 teaspoon of instant yeast
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1.5 cups of room temperature water
Total rise time: 20 hours
Total cook time: 40 minutes
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the two flours, then add the yeast. After the yeast is incorporated, whisk in the salt. Slowly add the flour and fold the dough with a spatula until all the flour is moistened.
Cover the mixing bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Set in a warm area, at least 70*, for a minimum of 18 hours.
After letting the dough rise, it should be more than double the size and full of little bubbles. Use an oiled spatula to scrape the dough out onto a floured silpat. Fold the dough in thirds, each side toward the middle. Flip the dough over so the seam side is down. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let sit for 2 more hours.
After an hour, put your dutch oven pot in the oven and preheat to 450*. Let the oven warm for an hour, then remove the pot. Set the lid to the side, get your sitpat and just dump the dough into the pot. Replace the lid and return the pot to the warm oven.
Let the bread bake with the lid on for 20 minutes, then remove the lid for the remaining 20 minutes.
Once the pot has been removed from the oven, take the bread out and allow it to cool on a wire rack.
I doubled the recipe to fit my larger pot, but I think I could have even tripled it to get a thicker loaf. The crust was nice and crisp, and the inside was super soft, moist, and chewy. I prefer the insides of crusty bread, which is why I would probably triple it next time - more chewy insides!
We had some with tomato and mozzarella drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. It was so yummy! I will definitely make this again. I'd love to try a sweeter version with some dried fruit mixed in.
Do you have any easy bread recipes?? I'd love the give them a try!