It’s no secret that I like eating bread. If “you are what you eat” than I am approximately 98% bread. Once my best friend was telling an ex what I liked to eat and she summed me up quite succinctly with ” bread and/or chicken”. But that’s because bread is so darn versatile and tasty. There’s a different kind of bread for every day of the year and then you can throw in toasting and different toppings and glutinous combinations go on and on.
That’s why with no small feelings, I proclaim this bread to be my best bread. My bread skills used to be the weakest of my baking skills, but, to toot my own horn: this bread knocks it out of the park. It’s a recipe for Dutch Oven Bread. It’s crusty, it’s soft; it’s bread perfection.
You might have seen earlier in the month that I sliced some up for the fanciest of homemade avocado eggs. Basically, by using your casserole pot aka knock-off Le Crueset aka dutch oven, you are mimicking the direct heat of a professional stone oven and the pot remains a more consistent temperature than the rest of your oven. It’s also trapping the steam released from your bread inside in the pot, allowing the yeast to work and grow whilst preventing a crust from starting to form immediately.
Basically it’s the best and I’ll never bake bread any other way.
- 600 g of flour
- 2 cups of warm water
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
- 1 envelope of dry active yeast
- Stir your yeast into your warm water and let it sit for about 5 minutes or until foamy.
- In a large bowl mix together your salt and flour. Create a well in the middle and pour in your yeasty water. Mix thoroughly until well incorporated. If your dough is too sticky add more flour, too dry add a touch more water. Once it's brought together cover it and let it rise until it doubles in size. (About 1.5 - 2 hours.)
- Then uncover the dough, and fold the dough a few times up and towards the centre of the bowl so that its pulled away from the sides. Then let it rise for another 1.5 hours. Let it double in size again.
- Then flour your surface and turn the dough out and lightly kneed it. Form the loaf with your hands and then put it in a lightly oiled clean bowl and let it rise for 1 hour.
- Whilst the dough is having its last rise, take a Creuset like pot out and place it in the oven at 230 C (450 F) and allow the pot to heat up for 45 minutes.
- Remove the pot from the oven and carefully place the dough inside the pot. Cover it with the lid and return it to the oven. Bake for 45 minutes, removing the lid for the last minutes. Let the bread cool for at least 15 minutes before cutting.
- Be super careful with your pot, it will be very hot!
I can safely say that this is probably my best recipe. I can retire my baking hat now and just rest on these laurels. If there’s ever a recipe of mine you should copy, it’s this one!
What’s your best recipe?