A few days of recovery time after my baguette fail, I was ready to try a crusty loaf again. My Uncle posted this recipe for a Dutch Oven style bread on my Facebook wall.
I was just reading about this method of bread making in my new obsession, Ruhlaman’s Twenty. The theory is sound, bake the loaf in a clay pot, the steam trapped inside creates the crispy crust, finish the baking time with the pot uncovered; and you have a crispy artisan loaf on your hands.
I was a little skeptical of the recipe. It looked way too simple, bread can’t just sit over night be baked and turnout like that?! I stand corrected.
My bread turned out a bit salty, that was probably my fault, I never measure salt (one of those, put it in the palm of your hand things), and I must not have been paying close attention; just be warned.
But as you can see, it turned out quite beautifully. I want to try a whole wheat, and a kalamata olive loaf. Also, the recipe originally used a cast iron pot, I used clay with great success.
Dutch Oven Bread:
Makes 2 loaves
3 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon yeast
1 1/2 cups water
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, salt and yeast. Add water and mix until a shaggy mixture forms. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for 12 – 18 hours. Overnight works great. Heat oven to 450 degrees. When the oven has reached 450 degrees place a clay pot with a lid in the oven and heat the pot for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, pour dough onto a heavily floured surface and shape into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and let set while the pot is heating. Remove hot pot from the oven and drop in the dough. Cover and return to oven for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes remove the lid and bake an additional 15 minutes. Remove bread from oven and place on a cooling rack to cool.