easy dutch oven bread

So I told you how excited I was to roast a whole chicken in my dutch oven recently, but there was another thing I was really looking forward to making….bread. A perfectly golden round loaf of crusty white bread. I saw an article on it in Food & Wine Mag and absolutely had to try it. And I’m so glad I did, because I’m absolutely obsessed with homemade bread now. It tasted almost exactly like the crusty store-bought kind and the best part is–you can customize this recipe with any ingredients you want! For my next loaves, I’m planning to roast some garlic cloves and fold them into the dough, then top with rosemary. This would also be delicious with chunks of fontina cheese and prosciutto (OMG, yes).

easy dutch oven bread
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
An easy, basic bread baked perfectly in a dutch oven.
Author:
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: French
Serves: 6-8 servings
Ingredients
  • 4 cups all-purpose or bread flour
  • 1½ cups water
  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • Kosher salt or coarse sea salt
  • Spray oil
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Instructions
  1. Combine flour, water, yeast and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Mix on medium speed until the dough is smooth, 10-15 minutes. Dough should be elastic and not sticky.
  2. Place ball of dough in a greased bowl and cover with a damp towel or saran wrap (I used the stand mixer bowl). Allow the dough to rise until it has doubled in size and does not spring back when you push your finger into it, about 2 to 4 hours.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it to redistribute the yeast.
  4. Spray the bottom and sides of a large Dutch oven or other heavy ovenproof pot with oil. Put the dough in the center of the pot and place the lid on. Allow the dough to rise again for about 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  6. Rub extra virgin olive oil gently over the surface of the dough with your fingers or pastry brush. Score the bread in an X shape with a sharp knife. Sprinkle the dough with salt (and/or any topping you'd like). Cover the pot and place it in the oven.
  7. After 30 minutes, remove the lid, reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees, and continue baking until the bread is nicely browned and cooked through, about 15-20 minutes.

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