Homemade Dutch Oven Bread
Yield two loaves
- 4 cups lukewarm water, between 90˚-110˚F
- 4 ½ teaspoons active dry yeast
- 8 cups all-purpose flour, lightly packed and leveled off, plus more for dusting
- 3 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 teaspoon olive oil
- Stir the yeast into the water and allow the yeast to bloom until foamy.
- In a large bowl, mix together the flour and salt by hand. Once incorporated, create a small well in the middle and pour in the water and yeast mixture.
- Mix by hand, wetting your working hand before mixing so the dough doesn’t stick to your fingers. The water and flour should come together and a form rough dough that pulls away from the sides of the bowl. If the dough is too sticky, add more flour in small increments, about 1 tablespoon at a time. If the dough is too dry, add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time.
- Once the dough comes together, cover and let rise until doubled in size (about 1 ½-2 hours).
- Uncover the dough and give it a few pokes with your finger. If the dough has risen properly, it should indent under the pressure of your finger and slowly deflate.
- Using your hand or a rubber spatula, start from the rim of the bowl to work the dough loose from the sides and fold it up and towards the center of the bowl. Turn the bowl 90 degrees and repeat until all the dough has been pulled from the sides and folded towards the center.
- Once finished, cover and let the dough rise again for another 1 ½-2 hours.
- Once the dough has doubled in size again, gently transfer it from the bowl to a lightly floured surface.
- Sprinkle a bit of flour on top of the dough. Using your hands, begin to shape it into a loaf. Fold the dough under itself several times to form a ball, then pinch together the seams of dough underneath.
- Place the dough seam-side down in a clean bowl that has been lightly coated with olive oil and dusted with flour.
- Cover and let rise for 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, place a 6-quart Dutch oven (or heavy cooking pot with oven-safe lid) inside the oven. Preheat the oven to 450˚F (230˚C) with the pot inside for 45 minutes-1 hour.
- Carefully remove the pot from the oven and place it on a trivet or heat-safe surface. (Be careful! It’ll be VERY HOT.)
- Turn the proofed dough over onto a lightly floured surface and carefully place it inside the pot.
- Cover with the lid and return the pot to the oven.
- Bake for 45 minutes, removing the lid for the last 15 minutes.
- Remove bread from pot, cover, and let cool for 10 minutes before slicing.
Ciabatta (Italian “Slipper” Bread)
The ciabatta does require a simple sponge but it takes only a few minutes to put together the day before. The dough for ciabatta is very wet and sticky, resist the temptation to add more flour.
YIELD Makes 2 loaves
- For sponge:
- 1/8 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 2 tablespoons warm water (105°‐115° F.)
- 1/3 cup room-temperature water
- 1 cup bread flour*
- For bread:
- 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 2 tablespoons warm milk (105°‐115° F.)
- 2/3 cup room-temperature water
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cups bread flour*
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- Make sponge:
- In a small bowl stir together yeast and warm water and let stand 5 minutes, or until creamy. In a bowl stir together yeast mixture, room-temperature water, and flour and stir 4 minutes. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let sponge stand at cool room temperature at least 12 hours and up to 1 day.
- Make bread:
- In a small bowl stir together yeast and milk and let stand 5 minutes, or until creamy. In bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with dough hook blend together milk mixture, sponge, water, oil, and flour at low speed until flour is just moistened and beat dough at medium speed 3 minutes. Add salt and beat 4 minutes more. Scrape dough into an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let dough rise at room temperature until doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours. (Dough will be sticky and full of air bubbles.)
- Have ready a rimless baking sheet and 2 well-floured 12- by 6-inch sheets parchment paper. Turn dough out onto a well-floured work surface and cut in half. Transfer each half to a parchment sheet and form into an irregular oval about 9 inches long. Dimple loaves with floured fingers and dust tops with flour. Cover loaves with a dampened kitchen towel. Let loaves rise at room temperature until almost doubled in bulk, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
- At least 45 minutes before baking ciabatta, put a baking stone or 4 to 6 unglazed “quarry” tiles (see note, above) arranged close together on oven rack in lowest position in oven and preheat oven to 425° F.
- Transfer 1 loaf on its parchment to baking sheet with a long side of loaf parallel to far edge of baking sheet. Line up far edge of baking sheet with far edge of stone or tiles, and tilt baking sheet to slide loaf with parchment onto back half of stone or tiles. Transfer remaining loaf to front half of stone or tiles in a similar manner. Bake ciabatta loaves 20 minutes, or until pale golden. With a large spatula transfer loaves to a rack to cool.
Whole Grain Seeded Bread
PREP TIME 4 hours 15 minutes
COOK TIME 21 minutes
TOTAL TIME 4 hours 36 minutes
- 1 1/2 cups warm water
- 3/4 Tbsp yeast
- 2 Tbsp honey
- 1/2 Tbsp salt
- 1 Tbsp flaxseed meal
- 2 cups whole wheat Pastry Flour
- 1 3/4 cups unbleached All-Purpose Flour
- 2 Tbsp raw or roasted sunflower seeds
- 2 Tbsp rolled oats
- Combine warm water (like bath water, or 110 degrees F ), yeast, maple syrup (or other sweetener), salt, flaxseed meal, and flours in a large mixing bowl and stir. The result will be a sticky, rough dough. If using a stand mixer, beat at medium speed for about a minute. Otherwise just use a spoon to stir until well combined and when it can no longer do the job, knead and turn it in the bowl with your hands. Add flour until the dough is no longer sticking to the sides – about 3 3/4 cups total (amount as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size).
- Lift the dough out and lightly grease the bowl with nonstick spray or olive oil. Cover and let rise for 2 hours at room temperature and 2 hours in the fridge. Alternatively, if you only have 2 hours, let rise at room temperature and skip the fridge (though a longer rise is best).
- Use fingers to create a small hole in the dough and pour in sunflower seeds and oats. Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead about 20 turns or until elastic. Form into a loaf-like shape.
- Place seam-side down in a lightly greased loaf pan or baking sheet and sift a light coating of flour over the top to help keep the dough moist. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 45-60 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (218 C)* toward the end of the dough resting time and place a metal or cast iron pan on the lowest oven rack. Also have 1 cup of hot water ready.
- When the oven is preheated, slash the bread 2 or 3 times with a knife, making a cut about ½-inch deep.
- Place in oven on middle rack. Then carefully pour hot water into the shallow pan on the rack beneath. Expect it to bubble and steam; then close oven door quickly.
- Bake the bread for 26 to 35 minutes, or until deep golden brown and risen.
- Remove the bread from the oven and let rest in the pan for 5 minutes. Then carefully remove from pan and transfer to a cooling rack to cool. Let it cool completely before slicing for best results (otherwise it can be doughy in the middle).
- Store leftovers in a plastic bag at room temperature for up to a few days. Transfer to freezer for longer term storage.
- 1 cup water at 100 degrees
- 2 1/2 cups bread flour
- 1 tablespoon white sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons yeast
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon water
- Place 1 cup water, sugar, and yeast into a bowl and gently stir to dissolve yeast
- Allow mixture to sit until bubbly around 10 minutes.
- Mix flour and salt together.
- In a bowl combine flour mixture and yeast mixture to form a dough. Knead for about two minutes until dough is smooth and elastic.
- Place dough in lightly greased bowl.
- Cover, and let rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes, or until doubled in bulk. Dough is ready if indentation remains when touched.
- Punch down dough. On a lightly floured surface, roll into a 16×12 inch rectangle.
- Cut dough in half, creating two 8×12 inch rectangles.
- Roll up each half of dough tightly, beginning at 12 inch side, gently pounding out any air bubbles as you go. Roll gently back and forth to taper end. Place 3 inches apart on a greased cookie sheet.
- Make deep diagonal slashes across loaves every 2 inches, or make one lengthwise slash on each loaf. Cover, and let rise in a warm place for 30 to 40 minutes, or until doubled in bulk.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Mix egg yolk with 1 tablespoon water; brush over tops of loaves.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden brown.