dutch oven bread

Dutch Oven Bread

may is disappearing quickly,
much quicker and cooler than anticipated.
we’ve been traveling this season,
almost at a manic pace.

i must confess that i am
better suited for the quiet mundane of
A Set Schedule.

last week, for something to divert my attention from
work,
i began a series of confessions on
facebook,
ranging from the silly to the downright
mean.
i won’t divulge them here,
but i will share with you this one confession:
for all my desires for a happy gut,
soaking & fermenting,
sometimes i just want a quick & easy recipe
where none of that is required,
and so enters this recipe for bread.

while it does require an overnight rising,
therefore requiring some forethought,
it’s a very easy recipe
there is no kneading involved
but you will need a dutch oven.

june is shaping to be a usual summer month of berry picking and csas
it will shape in the everyday kind of way that happens only when you’re staying close to home
and i confess to reveling in the very thought of sameness.

what confessions would you like to share?
no worries, i won’t judge! :)

Dutch Oven Bread

dutch oven bread smothered with garlic-herb olive oil
adapted from simply so good

3 cups organic AP flour
1 3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp yeast, i use red star
1 1/2 cups warm water, i just turn the tap on to warm

dump all ingredients into a bowl and mix with a fork or, you know, a handy dandy dough whisk. it’ll be a lumpy mess, not too wet or dry. cover with plastic wrap, leave on counter, forget about it for 18-24 hours.

when ready, heat oven to 450F. when it’s reached that temp, put dutch oven or cast iron pot in oven for 30 minutes. meanwhile, generously dust counter with flour. dump out the dough onto the counter and just shape into a mound or ball. cover with kitchen towel for the 30 minutes the pot is in the oven. when ready, put the dough into the pot (be careful to not burn yourself!) (edit to add: an option is to plop the dough on parchment paper and then plop into the pot. less chance of getting in contact with the hot pot!), cover and bake for 30 minutes. then remove lid and bake for an additional 15 minutes. remove bread and allow to cool on rack.

optional:
during the first 30 minutes of baking, in a sauce pan add 1/4 cup olive oil, 1 generous tsp of dried herbs (oregano, dried thyme, or italian spices is fine) and 3 cloves of minced garlic. on med-low heat just allow the oil to warm through, infusing with the herbs and garlic. for the final 15 minutes of bake time, when you take the lid off the pot, with a pastry brush, brush the olive oil on top of the bread.

great for dipping, or if you have any leftover, make into croutons.

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26 thoughts on “dutch oven bread

  1. This bread looks fantastic – I love the olive oil and herbs brushed on top. I’m thinking you’d like the potato chive bread that we make at the bakery – it’s so amazingly good!

    I confess that I CAN’T WAIT for my life to return to some sense of normal. Or at least take on a normal pace… but I hate to wish time away.

  2. Lan! You make this dutch oven bread sound so easy… love it when you said “leave on counter, forget about it for 18-24 hours.” I made focaccia bread over the weekend too, it required quite a bit of kneading but raising time was only 2 hours. 18-24 hours sounds like an eternity! Anyway, I don’t have a dutch oven so I don’t suppose I could make this – but if I ever own a dutch oven one day, I’ll dig out your recipe and use it!

    • as sophie of dinnersforwinners noted in her comment, any heavy pot will do. just make sure that there are no PLASTIC or meltable parts to the pot or lid. i have seen on tv chefs/cooks foiling those parts but i’ve never tried before and cannot vouch for it…

  3. I’ve always wanted to try this method! My confession—I find myself wringing my hands over my new blog (how to develop it, how to express my content in a unique way, how to establish it in the blogosphere, etc!) more than simply enjoying the process. I’m happy to have found your blog—I love the way you write your post content. So refreshing :)

    • Hi Irina,
      welcome, thank you for visiting! as someone who has blogged for a number of years and this being my 2nd official food blog, as long as your sincere, everything else falls into place. don’t rush it, enjoy the ride.

  4. I really like the Set Schedule, too.

    And I confess that my busybodiness really does not make me very happy. I am so busy. Too busy. And often worn out, and then wondering what I have to show for it.

    This bread is so beautiful, you did an amazing job — I make the similar version from Jim Lahey, it fills the house with the most wonderful scent. There is nothing like homemade bread. And I have got to try your infused oil on top — I never would have thought of it, myself! Awesome. Tell your friend Rosewithout thorns that any heavy pot with a secure lid will do — stainless chili pot/soup pot, if she has one :)

    • i’ve seen your version and it looks great! just so you know, i *think* the oil prevented the bread from being crusty and more chewy, if that is the texture you’re going for, it’s fab.
      i know the busybody feeling you’re speaking of. sometimes there is just so much to do and despite all of it, i just want to lay down on the couch, a midst the clutter and take a nap.

  5. I love this technique! It makes me feel stupid though, for running out to the store to buy bakery bread for dinner. Why would I do that again after seeing this!?

    Love the new blog — layout, look & feel, and photos are awesome!!

    • erin, thanks so much!
      i have been known to forget to assemble these easy ingredients before, so i either forgo what i had planned for dinner or i rush to the bakery for their bread, much to my chagrin.

    • you make a very good point, thank you pointing it out! will edit.
      i used parchment paper right when i put the dough in for the first 30 minute bake. it just makes for taking the hot loaf out easier. i have made it without parchment paper and it was fine.

  6. This is my favorite kind of bread to bake these days, the crumb is incomparable, and I love that it is a no nonsense approach. I love the comfort of habit and familiarity, but sometimes when I feel bound by it I plan to be spontaneous.

    • it really does have a no-nonsense approach, which i appreciate . it’s so hard to plan a meal sometimes, something that is good and flavorful but not the usual pile of food that we tend to fall back on when we’re just going with the motions of the everyday. this bread does that for me when i’m in a rut cooking.

  7. your new blog look is fantastic! and the bread…i keep swearing i’ll give up grain but your bread looks amazing. i’ll tuck this little recipe away for a day when i’m really craving the comfort of bread :)

    • hi amanda, thank you and welcome! it’s nice to have a treat every once in a while, i hope you do make this bread soon.

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  9. I made your bread this morning. Using parchment paper. Was disappointed that that the paper baked into the bread. Looks and smells amazing. Any idea why it stuck like that ? I used a cast iron dutch oven. If I don’t use the paper do you grease the pot ? Can you use alumin foil ? I can’t wait to cut into this beautiful loaf of bread. Minus the bottom crust :)

    • hi penny,
      thank you so much for your comment. i’ve talked it over with dw and this is what we’ve come up with:

      1. could you possibly have used wax paper?
      2. was the paper wet at all when you put the dough on it?

      what we typically do when we make this: heat up the dutch oven, take it out & put the parchment paper on top of it over the opening, then plop the dough right on top so it drops right into the pot and then lid it.

      • What I did was let the dough sit on the parchment paper the 30 min. as the dutch oven was heating. So that would possibly be the problem. I already cut the bottom crust off the loaf, so no picture. The bread is delish !! So the next batch I will not do that. Thank you so much for responding so quickly. Love, Love, love the bread so easy to make and will be a staple in my home. Slicing it for garlic bread for tonights dinner. Yay ! And Yum !
        Thanks again, will let you know how the next batch turns out.

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