There is something special and beautiful about Dutch Oven bread. It’s crispy on the outside and chewy and light on the inside. This loaf is simple and delicious.
This is yet another way to use your natural yeast starter! I know, I know, I am becoming a little obsessed and I apologize for those of you who don’t have a starter to make these wonderful recipes. I am still selling my freeze dried starter, for those don’t have one! Then you can all enjoy the benefits of natural yeast with me.
- 3 c flour (I used unbleached all-purpose for this loaf, but whole wheat will work too)
- 1 to 1¼ c water
- ¾ c natural yeast starter
- 1 T honey
- 1½ tsp sea salt
- Mix all ingredients in your bosch or stand mixer. Add more water as needed to form a soft, cohesive dough that pulls away from the sides of the mixer and forms a ball. I only added the one cup and it was perfect.
- Knead for 5 minutes on a medium setting.
- Place dough in a lightly greased bowl. Cover with a kitchen towel and set to rise somewhere warm for 3 hours.
- Punch down the dough and let rise again for 2 hours.
- After this rise, shape the dough into a boule, or round loaf and place it on a piece of parchment paper. The parchment paper is great because it will ensure your dough doesn't stick to the dutch oven while baking.
- Preheat your oven to 450 degrees, with the dutch oven inside. While the oven is preheating your loaf is on its final rise. Allow the oven to preheat for about 30-40 minutes.
- Immediately before adding the dough to the dutch oven, slash the top with a sharp serrated knife. Make quick, confident strokes about ¼" deep. Place the dough and parchment paper into the dutch oven and bake 12-13 minutes with the lid on.
- After 12-13 minutes, remove the lid and bake another 12-13 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the bottom sounds hollow when tapped.
- Cool completely before slicing.
I was absolutely proud of this loaf of bread the first time I made it. It was my first attempt at dutch oven bread, and it was a huge success. It was easy to throw together and rise throughout the course of the day and made the perfect addition to our stew at dinnertime.
My family LOVED it, because I haven’t made “white” bread for years and they thought it was a real treat! Little did they know, it was actually good for them. This is a great “company is coming” recipe that is sure to impress.