Easy Crusty Bread Recipe in a Dutch Oven

Here's one I made in our home-made dutch oven earlier!

Here’s one I made in our home-made dutch oven earlier!

I’m a big fan of crusty bread, so being able to make my own delicious crusty loaves at home is a massive bonus (who doesn’t love it when your home smells of baking bread?). Whilst Rich is really the breadmeister in this household, with books on different break-making techniques and fancy dough recipes, I’m more of a knock-it-up-bake-it-and-eat-it kind of person. Ie impatient. So this recipe more than suits me!

Luckily I got some American-style cup measures for Christmas, so using cups as a unit isn’t an issue for me. I’ve tried to convert as best I can into grams/oz/mls etc.

EASY CRUSTY BREAD RECIPE (USING A DUTCH OVEN)

Ingredients
3 cups/380g/12½ oz strong flour (any will do, we use one with a seed mix in it)
1 large tsp active dried yeast
1 1/2 cups/350ml/12fl oz warm water
1 tsp salt

Equipment
Mixing Bowl
Cast iron casserole dish or similar (a cast iron dish with a lid on)

METHOD

Preparing the dough
1. Throw the flour, yeast and salt into the mixing bowl and combine evenly.
2. Add the water in small amounts, combining into the dough with a wooden spoon until well mixed.
3. The mixture will be quite wet, but you can do one of two things at this stage:

Option A – a shaggier, more ‘rustic’ loaf, very quick option
Leave the mixture in the bowl, cover with cling film and put somewhere warm (eg airing cupboard) to rise for 12-18 hours, or 24 hours max.

Option B – a prettier loaf if you have more time
Flour the surface of your worktop lightly, and pour the wet mixture out. Add more flour as required (no more than 1/2 cup) to get a slightly drier (but not dry!), kneadable dough. Knead by stretching and folding for about 5-10 minutes. Once you’ve finished kneading, make the dough into a rough round ball shape and leave in the bowl, covered in clingfilm, in a warm location (eg airing cupboard) to rise for 12-18 hours, 24 hours max.
After the dough has risen
4. Preheat your oven to 230C/450F/Gas Mark 8 and place the cast iron dish inside the oven with the lid on. It should be in there for at least half an hour.
5.  Scrape the risen dough onto a floured worktop.
6. If you opted for Option A above, the dough will still be sticky, so flour your hands too, and simply shape the dough into a ball and leave on the surface until the oven is ready.
7. If you opted for Option B above, take out the dough, knead for a couple of minutes and shape into a ball, by stretching the dough out and tucking the ‘ends’ in.  Leave out until the dish/oven is ready.
8. Make three cuts into the dough by keeping the knife level as you slice through the dough. These will create a pretty cob loaf look and as such, is an optional step!
9. Remove the hot dish (careful!) from the oven and place your dough ball inside the dish. Sprinkle a little flour very lightly over the top of the loaf.
10. Bake for around 30-45 minutes (depends on your oven set up)
11. When ready, open the oven door and leave the dish inside to cool steadily – this will allow a lovely crust to form, and stop the steam from making the crust less… crusty.
12. When cooled, gently remove the cob from the dish. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack before cutting.

Enjoy!
Once you get into the swing of making this kind of easy cob loaf, you’ll find that it really is a very quick and easy way to bake bread. You can easily divide up the quantities in the recipe to make smaller crusty bread rolls.

Comments

  1. It looks absolutely delicious. I’m a big fan of homemade bread too.

  2. Looks delicious, can almost smell the fresh baked bread scent, its a shame they cant invent computer screens that can share the smell 🙂

  3. Wow, this looks delicious!

  4. Looks amazing, can you use a normal oven for that bread?

Trackbacks

  1. […] Method 1. In a large saucepan, sweat the onions and garlic in a light and mild olive oil blend – keep the lid on! 2. Add the chopped leeks to sweat for a few more minutes, before adding the chopped potatoes and enough boiling water to cover the ingredients in. 3. Mix in the Marigold veg stock, and add the mixed herbs and all seasoning. I like heavy seasoning, so I add at least two big shakes of cayenne pepper and a large amount of cracked black pepper and dried mixed herbs. 4. Bring to the boil and then simmer for about 10-15 minutes. When the potato is soft and crumbly, take the saucepan off the heat and blend with a hand blender. Watch out for hot splatters! 5. Serve with homemade crusty bread […]

  2. […] You can also use this recipe for dutch oven bread. […]

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