Crusty Dutch Oven Bread

Oh hey 2018!  It’s been a while, but I am back!  And with an awesome recipe to try and warm your soul from this frigid weather.

After Christmas the family and I drove up north to see some of my aunts and cousins.  It’s always a good time, they are welcoming and loving, and my cousin’s kids are as wild as mine are, so we fit right in.  While we were there my aunt made some amazing crust bread in her Le Creuset Dutch Oven and it was by far the food hit of the trip.  I think I ate my body weight in it the one night…  So when we got home we just had to try it.  Now of course I have my eye on a beautiful dutch oven… (hint hint, wink wink, anyone want to buy me a present??).

Little Chef and Little Sous Chef needed to be in on the action, so we made it an event.  And they quite enjoyed the results.  We ate it with herb butter and goats cheese later that night at Jame’s birthday party.  It was delish!  By the way, happy belated my dear, may your last year in your 20’s be amazing.

The process to make this bread is not more complicated than your basic bread, but does require a bit of time.  Like all good things.

First we made our basic dough and let it rise for about a half hour.  Then we took a dish cloth, and covered it in a ton of flour, and made our own makeshift bread couche for our dough to nap in.  This is an excellent messy project for small people.

Next we gently formed our loaves and made sure not to punch them down or handle them too much.  One loaf I formed and laid seam side down, and one I laid seam side up.  There was no change in texture or flavour but the seam side up one looked a lot better.  And we all know that is what is important in life…. right?

Once the loaves were formed, we placed them in our floury dishtowels and covered them.  We let them “nap” or rise for an hour before they went to the oven.

Once the loaves were napping Little Chef and Little Sous Chef decided to flour the entire kitchen.  Typical Saturday afternoon activities right?  Little Chef likes to try and tell Little Sous Chef how to do things and she replies with a very emphatic “No!”, to which he sighs, rolls his eyes and calls her a “Little Dictator” and he is not far off the truth.

About a half hour before our loaves were ready to go in the oven I took a large heavy bottomed soup pot (because I don’t have a Dutch Oven) and put it in the already hot oven.  When the loaves were ready (I did them one at a time) they went straight into the hot pot, the lid went on and back in the oven they went.  They then cooked for about 35-40 minutes until the crust was golden brown and crispy.

Crusty Dutch Oven Bread:

Makes 2 loaves

1 Tablespoon yeast

1 teaspoon sugar

1.5 cups warm water

pinch of salt

3 cups flour

Directions:

Let the yeast bloom in the warm water for 3 minutes.  Then add it and all the other ingredients to a stand mixer or bowl.  Knead until fully incorporated.  Cover and let rise for 30 minutes.  Gently form 2 loaves and place in heavily floured cloth or bakers couche.  Cover and let rise for 1 hour.  Get the oven hot to 400 degrees F.  Place your dutch oven or heavy bottom soup pot in the oven a half hour before the dough goes in.  When the dough has risen for the second time, remove pot from oven, carefully place dough in pot, put the lid on and return to oven.  Let bake for 35-40 minutes or until crust is golden brown.  Remove pot from oven and carefully remove loaf.  Add the next loaf and bake for another 35-40 minutes.  Serve warm with butter or cheese.

I hope this recipe warms you up on these frigid winter days.  I for one am hoping to eat a loaf of this with butter and honey and huddle with a blankie on the couch!

For more recipes and tips for cooking with kids make sure you check out our cookbook “Family Eats”! 

Keep warm! – Stephanie

 

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