Artisan Dutch Oven Bread

Serving Size: 20 slices (depending on how large) Prep Time: 10 minutes (not including rise time) Cook Time: 40 minutes + 10 minutes

Ingredients

6 cups Flour
1/2 tsp Yeast
2 1/2 tsp Salt
2 2/3 cups Water Cold

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, yeast, and salt. Add the water and mix until all the ingredients are well blended. You can use a mixer, your hands or any other special dough mixing tools you have.
  2. Cover the bowl with dough in plastic wrap. Let the dough rest 12-18 hours on the counter at room temperature. When the dough has darkened slightly, smells yeasty, and is dotted with bubbles, it is ready for the next step.
  3. Lightly flour your hands and a work surface. Plop the dough on work surface and cover it with more flour. Fold the dough over on itself once or twice to form a large ball.
  4. Get a piece of parchment paper and lay flat on a cotton towel. Generously dust with enough flour to prevent the dough from sticking as it rises. Place dough seam side down and sprinkle with more flour for safe measure. Fold paper and towel (or two) over the dough and let rise for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until it has doubled in size.
  5. After about 1 1/2 hours, preheat oven to 425˚F. Place a heavy covered pot in the oven as it heats. Cast iron works best. I used a Dutch oven which worked great.
  6. When the dough has fully risen, carefully remove pot from oven. Remove the towels from the dough and lift parchment paper and dough together. Quickly dump the dough seam side up into the Dutch oven. Shake pot once or twice if wasn't transferred evenly; however, it will straighten out as it bakes.
  7. Put the lid on (unless it is not oven safe then use aluminum foil) and bake for 40 minutes. Uncover and continue baking for 10 more minutes, until the crust is a deep nice crusty brown. 
  8. Remove the bread from the pot and let it cool completely on a wire rack before slicing. If you don't, it may end up being a bit more dense.
  9. Slice a piece and slather it in butter. 
  10. Take a big bite and savour the delicious bread you just made! :)

 

*Original recipe can be found on the Frugal Living NW website.