Thursday, January 10, 2013
I was painfully unaware of this little gem of a baking phenomenon.
Did you, like the rest of the humans, know about baking artisan bread in a Dutch oven?
Or perhaps, were you like me and were slightly behind the baking times.
Thank heavens my dear sweet Momma tipped me off.
Our conversation started on the fact that we were both pining away for an enamel coated Dutch oven. I had been pining away forever because, well who doesn't want one. She brought up how badly she wanted one so that she could make "that fancy artisan bread".
I picked my jaw up off the floor.
I mean, really. How glorious must that be?
Well, friends now I know.
Angels singing in the heavens kind of glorious.
New shoes kind of glorious.
Kids all napping at the same time kind of glorious.
Basically, it is warm, chewy, beautiful, white bread kind of glorious.
There are several recipes out there. This is just my first attempt. I was drawn to this one because, unlike most of the Dutch oven artisan bread recipes out there, it could be started and finished in an afternoon. Most of the recipes call for making an easy dough at night but then letting it rest over night before cooking (basically the dough has to rise for 8 hrs).
Now sometime I plan to prepare in advanced for that but basically, I am on a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants basis around here and to be honest...
"ain't nobody got no time for that"
...oh please tell me someone got the reference...
I am sure the time difference offers some benefit, but this much faster bread was pretty stinkin' good. Loaf was gone after one meal and an early snack the next day.
We paired it with a yummy yummy soup I will be sharing this week for Slow Cooker Saturday.
This bread is the perfect addition to...okay well any meal really. I mean who doesn't like bread?
Not this girl and I have the fanny to prove it.
If you have a Dutch oven, you can let the artisan bread baker inside of you out. There will be no turning back.
I am already planning on making this again AND trying some new versions.
Dutch Oven Artisan Bread
slightly adapted from Cornflower Blue
4-4 1/2 cups bread flour
2 Tablespoons yeast
2 Tablespoons sugar
2 cups warm water
1 1/2 Tablespoons salt
Proof yeast by combining the yeast and the sugar in the bottom of the bowl of a stand mixer and then pour the warm water over it. Whisk it by hand lightly. Let is rest for 10 minutes until it is foamy.
In a separate bowl mix 3 cups of the flour with the salt.
Add the flour mixture one cup at a time to the yeast mixture in the stand mixer attached with the dough hook. The dough will start to come together, but still be sticky. Add in the rest of the flour in 1/2 cup increments until the dough completely comes together in a ball. Let the mixer knead the dough for a few minutes. Then dump the dough onto the counter and continue to knead for about five minutes, or until the dough is smooth.
Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover the top with a lightly damp kitchen towel. Let is rise for 20-30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees with the Dutch oven inside.
Do not punch down the dough.
Simply take out the ball of dough, that should have risen. Lightly coat both the bottom and the top of the loaf with flour. Carefully remove the Dutch oven from the oven and just as carefully drop the dough in the center of the Dutch oven. Cut three slits in the top of the loaf. That will give it that artisan top.
Cook for 30 minutes covered. Then take off the lid and cook for another 7-10 minutes, until the top is golden and crunchy looking.
Remove from the Dutch oven onto a cutting board. Let it cool slightly.
Then slice into its artisan bread glory.
Hope you enjoy!
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