I dabbled into bread-making several years ago when I was on maternity leave. Since I was on leave from work, I had more time to experiment with the complicated recipes I had. But, as soon as I was back to work, the bread-making completely stopped. Trying to time the multiple rises with a 9 – 5 job was just way too much trouble.
This past summer, I discovered dutch oven bread-making. It sounded too good to be true but I decided to give it a shot! I have to say, since making bread this way, I’ve never goofed up a loaf of bread (except the time I forgot the yeast… and the time I forgot to put flour at the bottom of the pot and the loaf stuck). It’s practically fool-proof.
I’ve seen different variations of the recipe but here’s the one that works for me.
- 3 cups flour
- 1.5 cups water
- 1 tbsp sourdough starter
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp dry active yeast
In a glass bowl, mix all ingredients and cover with a warm, humid cloth. Let rise at least 8 hours.
After dough has risen, put the dutch oven in the oven and preheat at 450 degrees. While everything is heating, flour the counter and knead the dough adding more flour if too sticky. Fold dough under into a nice ball and score the top.
When the oven is preheated, take the dutch over out and add some flour at the bottom. This is important, otherwise your dough will stick! Add the dough and bake covered for 25 minutes. After 25 minutes, remove the lid and bake for another 10 minutes or until crust is golden brown.
Consume within the next couple of days. You can experiment by adding spices, olives, food-grade rosemary essential oil, etc.
Give it a try and let me know how it goes!