Sometimes you want to explore ideas in the kitchen and go to prepare some kind of foods which have been purchased so far. One such thing is the bread that uses to come from the grocery. But now you want to give a try to bake it all by yourself. Buy the job is not as easy as your home oven is not fit enough for preparing bread. And you wish to match the quality with the market bread. At this situation what is the thing that surely going to help you to achieve the target? Only one name that certainly comes to my mind and that is a Dutch oven. This is a unique kind of oven perfect for making various types of bread with ease. Let’s go through it.
Have you ever seen a Dutch oven? No? So then at first, you need to get some ideas about it. The Dutch oven is a kind of covered metal or ceramic pot with a tight-fitting lid. It helps you to produce loaves that look like artisan breads created by professional bakers. This cast iron made oven is often found enameled with glass. This kind of oven is capable to provide a steady heat both from top and bottom while baking.
Moreover, the inside area of this oven is sealed properly to traps steam which is essential for baking bread. Not only that, the moisture which is produced in this oven at the initial stage helps the bread to rise fully. Even the moisture deepens the color of the exterior to provide the much-needed shininess to make the bread looking better.
Varieties of Bread
You can find varieties of bread available in the market, but there is only selective kind of bread you can prepare using a Dutch oven. Here some of the very popular and delicious bread by Dutch oven.
1. Artisan Style Golden Crust Bread
Though this kind of bread with crusty-finished can be prepared by the professional stream ovens at the bakeries. But it is quite easy to bake at home also if you have a Dutch oven at your kitchen.
2. Sourdough Bread
This is another kind of bread that can be prepared with the help of a Dutch oven. But here you need to prepare a starter using all the ingredients before making the dough.
This is one more kind of non-kneading bread where you need a lot of different ingredients apart from flour and yeast. It needs oats, sunflower seeds, black sesame seeds, flax seeds fennel seeds, etc.
Though all of these are a little different from each other, the ways they need to be prepared are more or less the same. Here is the process that should be followed for baking the bread in a Dutch oven.
Ingredients for Making Dough
To make the dough you need to take these ingredients.
- 3 cups of flour, plus extra for dusting.
- ¼ teaspoon instant yeast.
- 1-1/4 teaspoon salt.
- 1-5/8 cup lukewarm water.
- 1 teaspoon olive oil.
Preparation of Dough
Once all your ingredients are collected, it is the time to start preparing the dough. Here it is.
- Mix the yeast into ½ cup of lukewarm water, stir well and wait for 3 minutes for the yeast to bubble up.
- Take a large bowl and mix all the dry ingredients like flour and salt properly.
- Add the yeast mixture into the bowl.
- Blend all of them by hand properly to make the dough. Add some more flour if you feel the dough sticky, or mix some water if you find it dry.
- If the dough is prepared, cover up with a paper towel and let the dough rest for at least 1-2 hour.
- If you find your dough has risen properly then fold the dough from the corners towards the center.
- Now keep the bowl inside a refrigerator covered with a paper towel for at least 24 hours. Let it rest for 15 minutes more.
- It is time to take the dough out and allow it to come down to the room temperature.
- Now gently transferred it from the bowl to a lightly floured flat surface or the countertop of the kitchen.
- Shape the dough into a ball and a sprinkle some dry flour to the whole surface of the dough.
- Place it in a clean bowl that has been lightly coated with olive oil which prevents dough from sticking with the bowl.
How To Bake Bread in a Dutch Oven
When your dough is fully prepared for baking then it is the time for the Dutch oven to come into action.
- Place a 6-quart Dutch oven inside an oven and preheat the oven at 450°F.
- Place the dough gently into the Dutch oven and close the lid properly.
- Now put the Dutch oven into the oven and allow the bread to be baked for 45 minutes.
- Remove the lid after the first 25 minutes and then continue to bake for another 20 minutes.
- Remove the bread from the pot and let it cool for 10 minutes before slicing.
- In this way, your homemade bread is ready by using a Dutch oven.
Some Important Tips
- If you don’t want your dough stick to the bottom of the pot, then add some cornmeal or wheat bran on the bottom of the pot.
- If you want your bread healthier then use ½ teaspoon of sea salt instead of 1 teaspoon of common salt. If you want to add more flavor then mix any kind of dry fruits with the dough.
- Before putting in the oven you need to score the bread with a sharp knife. This will help the bread to be crusty enough that you love to have.
- At the time of transferring bread to the Dutch oven always use a parchment paper which doesn’t allow the dough to stick with the pot and also help you to hold the dough easily.
- Enamelled cast-iron Dutch oven cannot be put into the oven when it is empty as it cannot stand the high temperature. Therefore, you have to put the cold Dutch oven and allow it to be heated slowly.
- If you want to know if your bread is done you may follow a simple way. Take out the bread from the Dutch oven and turn it upside down. Give the bottom a firm thump with your thumb. If it sounds hollow then your bread is done.
Also Read: Best Bread Slicer for Homemade Bread
Having a Dutch oven means you can now bake your bread at your home. Your preparation will be not less in taste, flavor, and finish than the bread available in the groceries. This is the best and easiest way to generate enough steam so that your bread can be baked perfectly as you want it to be.
John DiBella is a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, a cooking enthuthiast and a writer. When he’s not writing blogs about home kitchenware, he enjoys hiking, camping, sailing and cooking.