Dutch Oven Rustic Bread Recipe

March 11, 2021

If you want to make homemade dutch oven bread this is the recipe for you. Tested and perfected by our own Director of Design and Marketing, Kurt, this is an easy recipe that will stick with you for years.


Prep time: 4-6 hours

Cook time: 30-40 minutes

Servings: 8

 

Ingredients:

1 ½ Tbs quick action yeast (I like the instant sourdough yeast)

1 ½ Tbs kosher salt

6 ½ Cups unbleached all-purpose flour

Cornmeal and flour for dusting

3 Cups warm water (100F)

 

STEP 1:

In a large warm bowl, mix the salt and yeast together with flour and water, mixing well with hands or dough hook until there are no dry patches.  The dough will be quite loose or wet.  If not, add some more warm water a ¼ cup at a time with mixing in between.  Mix until the dough is forming the glutens (stretchy).  Cover with a loose cover, let rise for 3-5 hours in a warm, draft free space.

 

STEP 2:

Pour out the risen dough on a floured work surface, segment into two or three grapefruit sized balls.  Lightly  stretch and roll the ball of dough back into itself creating a smooth top and a lumpy bottom.  It should look like a huge mushroom top.  Place on a cookie sheet that is dusted with cornmeal and flour.  Let proof (second rise) for 40 minutes.  If you intend on only baking one loaf, the other balls can be refrigerated for up to a week.

 

STEP 3:  

OVEN

Place your cast iron Dutch oven or cast fry pan without lid in a 450F oven for 20 min along with a shallow roasting pan on the lower rack.  It is essential for a great crust to let them get good and hot.

CAST IRON DUTCH OVEN

Preheat the Dutch Oven or cast fry pan with a pan liner (an aluminum pie plate) and lid with coals for 20 min.  It is essential for a great crust to let them get good and hot.

 

 

STEP 4: 

OVEN:

Dust the proofed dough balls with the cornmeal and flour and make three ½ deep slashes (do the quickly with a very sharp knife).  Moving quickly, open the oven and pull out the upper rack.  Quickly place the dough into the Dutch oven or cast fry pan.  Do not cover. Push the rack in and add 1 cup water into the roasting pan below.  Be careful, I always burn some part of my hand doing this.  Bake for 30-40 minutes until deep brown and the loaf sound hollow.  Cool completely before cutting.  Yeah, I know that there is nothing better than fresh warm bread out of the oven, but the moisture will escape the loaf and make it tough and chewy, instead of crispy and tender.

DUTCH OVEN:

Dust the proofed dough balls with the cornmeal and flour and make three ½ deep slashes (do the quickly with a very sharp knife).  Moving quickly, remove the Dutch oven lid.  Quickly place the dough into the Dutch oven or cast fry pan liner, add ~ ½ cup water to the space between the liner and oven then cover tightly quickly taking care of the steam.  Bake for 30-40 minutes, counter rotate the lid and the pot ½ turn every 10 min.  Add water at the 10 and 20 min.  I found that a sports water bottle works great for a quick shot of water.  Check loaf for a hollow sound when thumped, and golden brown. Cool completely before cutting.  Yeah, I know that there is nothing better than fresh warm bread out of the oven, but the moisture will escape the loaf and make it tough and chewy, instead of crispy and tender.

 

Bon Appetit!

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