Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Requested Recipe

Here is the recipe for the bread I posted on Monday. It can be a bit tricky at first, but if you're familiar with other artisan breads, it will be no sweat. I weight my ingredients on a scale, so I converted my ounce and gram measurements to volume as best I could; it should be close.

The Dutch oven creates intense heat and seals in the moisture (so you don't have to throw ice cubes in the oven, one of my other tricks with artisan breads). It really gives it that "brick oven" crisp crust, so I don't recommend this recipe if you can't get your hands on a good cast iron or enamel Dutch oven. Besides, you need one anyway for perfect stews and roasts, so now's the time to invest!

Rustic Dutch Oven Boule

2 cups bread or all-purpose flour, plus extra
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp instant yeast (or active dry, but proof it first in the water)
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
1 cup water, room temp
1/4 cup mild lager
1 Tbsp white vinegar

Whisk flour, yeast, and salt in bowl. Stir in water, beer, and vinegar until shaggy ball forms. Cover with plastic wrap and rest at room temperature for 12-18 hours.

Lay a long strip of parchment inside a 10” skillet or other similar sized bowl (the parchment is a “sling” for moving the dough later; DO NOT use waxed paper as a substitute! The skillet or bowl just helps keep the shape as the loaf rises). Grease parchment lightly. Transfer dough to lightly floured surface and knead 10-15 times (it will be fairly wet and slack, but try not to add any flour). Shape dough into ball; transfer seam-side down to parchment-lined skillet/bowl and spray dough with nonstick cooking spray. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until doubled in size (2 hours).

About 30 minutes before baking, preheat Dutch oven and lid on lowest rack in oven to 500 degrees. Mist dough with water and sprinkle on coarse salt, if desired. Slash dough with razor blade or wallpaper knife (several patterns work, but a simple X is good). Transfer dough with parchment sling to hot Dutch oven, cover, and place in oven. Reduce oven to 425 degrees and bake, covered, for 30 minutes. Remove lid and continue to bake until deep brown and center registers 210 degrees on a thermometer (about 20-25 min more, but everyone has a kitchen thermometer, right?). Cool loaf 2 hours.

Variations: Add grated Parmesan, fresh or dried herbs, olives, oats, nuts, etc., to the dough as desired for extra flavor and texture.


  1. Hmmm...I've never used a dutch oven in my life. I'll have to read up on them! I saw this and was ready to start a loaf until I read about not bothering w/o a dutch oven. ??? Wow! They must really be something!

  2. This recipe is wonderful! Thanks so much for sharing it. I plan on trying it soon. Hopefully I'll get the same results!

  3. Anna, you could always try baking it another way, but I have no idea how it would turn out. The hot cast iron and the lid contribute to the quick "oven spring" rise and crusty outside. If you experiment with other methods, let me know how it goes!