Rustic Dutch Oven Bread

Rustic Dutch Oven Bread

Rustic Dutch Oven Bread at 1840 Farm

There’s something so simple yet completely decadent about a delicious loaf of warm bread.  That crunch on the exterior paired with the airy soft interior is a delectable combination.  Add a creamy bit of butter spread on top and it becomes otherworldly.  Just thinking about it makes me hungry.

Stopping off at the local bakery to pick up a fresh loaf of bread for our family table is out of bounds due to food allergies.  It simply isn’t a safe option for our family.  Those food allergies may prevent me from buying fresh loaves of crusty bread from our local bakeries, but it can’t keep us from enjoying delicious bread at our dinner table.  Instead, we have taken to making our own right here in the Farmhouse Kitchen. 

I’ve been making loaves of bread for toast and sandwiches for years, but the crusty rustic bread for our dinner table had been a hit or miss.  While many of those bread experiments were perfectly tasty, the combination of texture and flavor that I was looking for continued to elude me. It’s taken me a few years of experimenting to reach this point, but I finally have an easy to follow recipe that you can make for your dinner table.

While many bread recipes require special holding conditions, a lot of hands on time and attention, and even specialty bread baking equipment, this recipe does not.  The only tools you need are a bowl, a piece of parchment paper, and a Dutch oven style pot with a lid that can withstand the baking temperature of 430 degrees Fahrenheit.  I happen to have several of those pots in the Farmhouse Kitchen.  I use them for braising in the oven and cooking on the stovetop.  Lately, they’ve been called into duty for bread baking more than any other use.

This bread pairs beautifully with soups and other hearty meals during the colder months of the year.  It’s so easy to make and comes together quickly.  You don’t need to be an accomplished bread baker to turn out beautiful loaves of this bread.  In fact, our 12 year old made a loaf completely on his own to test out the recipe and instructions for me.  He was very proud to be eating his own fresh loaf of bread at dinner that night.

I hope that you’ll give this simple recipe a try and that you’ll be enjoying homemade loaves of this satisfying bread at your family table.  I have included a recipe for a smaller half loaf which is the perfect size for one or two people to share or for a meal that needs just a bit of bread to round it out.  Those smaller loaves also freeze beautifully and can be allowed to thaw at room temperature and then warmed up in a hot oven for a few minutes.  I plan to stock the freezer with those smaller loaves later this spring so that we’ll have homemade bread to enjoy with ripe heirloom tomatoes fresh from the garden this summer.

 

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Once you’ve mastered baking your homemade bread, you’ll need to learn all about the best way to store it.  Different types of bread benefit from different storage methods.  You can learn all about them by reading The Best Way to Store Fresh Bread.

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If you’d like to learn more about the tools I use when making this recipe, you can find them right here:


 

 

 

 

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Rustic Dutch Oven Bread - Large Loaf
Serves 4
Print
Ingredients
  1. 1 ½ cups warm water
  2. 2 teaspoons (14 grams) honey
  3. 2 ¼ teaspoons (1 packet) active dry yeast
  4. 2 cups (240 grams) bread flour
  5. 1 cup (120 grams) wheat flour
  6. 1 teaspoon kosher salt
Tools/Supplies
  1. 5 – 6 quart oven safe Dutch oven with lid (Euro models may be marked with a “26” on the bottom or underside of lid)
  2. Parchment paper
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, combine the warm water and honey. Sprinkle the yeast on top and allow it to proof for a few minutes as you measure the remaining ingredients. Add the flours and salt to the bowl and stir until it is fully incorporated. Cover the bowl with a lid, clean kitchen towel, or piece of plastic wrap. Set the bowl in the refrigerator and allow it to rest for 2-4 hours. A longer proof in the refrigerator leads to a better tasting loaf. Two hours should be sufficient if the water was warm to the touch and the yeast was allowed to proof before adding the dry ingredients. You will know that the dough is ready to shape when it has risen slightly and has visible bubbles on the surface.
  2. Remove the bowl from the refrigerator. Sprinkle 1-2 Tablespoons of flour on a clean work surface. Cut a piece of parchment paper into a square or rectangle about 4 inches larger than your Dutch oven.
  3. Remove the dough to the floured surface. The dough will be very sticky at first. Knead and turn the dough, shaping it into a ball as you go. Turn the dough a quarter turn with each kneading motion. The dough will quickly take shape and begin to lose its sticky texture. I usually knead it 30 turns. Place the ball of dough on the middle of the parchment paper.
  4. Place the base of a Dutch oven on an oven rack set in the lower third of your oven. Preheat the oven to 430 degrees Fahrenheit. The Dutch oven will warm gradually in the oven and provide a hot surface to lay the bread dough on. Set a timer for 30 minutes. Allow the dough to rest for the 30 minutes as the oven and Dutch oven come up to temperature.
  5. When the 30 minutes have elapsed, carefully remove the hot Dutch oven from the oven. Taking great care to avoid the hot surface of the Dutch oven, lower the parchment paper and dough down into the pot. Don’t worry about the parchment paper as the bread will push it to the walls of the pot as it rises during baking. Place the lid on the Dutch oven (the paper can be allowed to hang to the outside of the pot) and transfer to the hot oven. Set a timer for 30 minutes.
  6. When 30 minutes have passed, carefully remove the lid from the Dutch oven. Set a timer for 12 minutes to brown the top crust of the loaf. After 12 minutes, visually check the loaf. If it is browned to your liking, remove the Dutch oven carefully. If you prefer, it can be allowed to bake for another 3-4 minutes to brown more deeply.
  7. When the loaf is browned to your liking, carefully remove the Dutch oven from the hot oven and set aside to cool for 5 minutes. At the end of the 5 minutes, use the edge of the parchment paper to lift the loaf out of the Dutch oven. Serve and enjoy every last bite!
1840 Farm http://1840farm.com/
 
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Rustic Dutch Oven Bread - Half Loaf
Serves 1
Print
Ingredients
  1. ¾ cup warm water
  2. 1 teaspoons (7 grams) honey
  3. 1 1/8 teaspoon (1/2 packet) active dry yeast
  4. 1 cup (120 grams) bread flour
  5. ½ cup (60 grams) wheat flour
  6. ½ teaspoon kosher salt
Tools/Supplies
  1. 4 quart oven safe Dutch oven with lid (Euro models may be marked with a “24” on the bottom or underside of lid)
  2. Parchment paper
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, combine the warm water and honey. Sprinkle the yeast on top and allow it to proof for a few minutes as you measure the remaining ingredients. Add the flours and salt to the bowl and stir until it is fully incorporated. Cover the bowl with a lid, clean kitchen towel, or piece of plastic wrap. Set the bowl in the refrigerator and allow it to rest for 2-4 hours. A longer proof in the refrigerator leads to a better tasting loaf. Two hours should be sufficient if the water was warm to the touch and the yeast was allowed to proof before adding the dry ingredients. You will know that the dough is ready to shape when it has risen slightly and has visible bubbles on the surface.
  2. Remove the bowl from the refrigerator. Sprinkle 1-2 Tablespoons of flour on a clean work surface. Cut a piece of parchment paper into a square or rectangle about 4 inches larger than your Dutch oven.
  3. Remove the dough to the floured surface. The dough will be very sticky at first. Knead and turn the dough, shaping it into a ball as you go. Turn the dough a quarter turn with each kneading motion. The dough will quickly take shape and begin to lose its sticky texture. I usually knead it 30 turns. Place the ball of dough on the middle of the parchment paper.
  4. Place the base of a Dutch oven on an oven rack set in the lower third of your oven. Preheat the oven to 430 degrees Fahrenheit. The Dutch oven will warm gradually in the oven and provide a hot surface to lay the bread dough on. Set a timer for 30 minutes. Allow the dough to rest for the 30 minutes as the oven and Dutch oven come up to temperature.
  5. When the 30 minutes have elapsed, carefully remove the hot Dutch oven from the oven. Taking great care to avoid the hot surface of the Dutch oven, lower the parchment paper and dough down into the pot. Don’t worry about the parchment paper as the bread will push it to the walls of the pot as it rises during baking. Place the lid on the Dutch oven (the paper can be allowed to hang to the outside of the pot) and transfer to the hot oven. Set a timer for 30 minutes.
  6. When 30 minutes have passed, carefully remove the lid from the Dutch oven. Set a timer for 12 minutes to brown the top crust of the loaf. After 12 minutes, visually check the loaf. If it is browned to your liking, remove the Dutch oven carefully. If you prefer, it can be allowed to bake for another 3-4 minutes to brown more deeply.
  7. When the loaf is browned to your liking, carefully remove the Dutch oven from the hot oven and set aside to cool for 5 minutes. At the end of the 5 minutes, use the edge of the parchment paper to lift the loaf out of the Dutch oven. Serve and enjoy every last bite!
1840 Farm http://1840farm.com/

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