Dutch Oven Bread
This may be one of the easiest homemade breads that you have ever made. There is barely any kneading to do and no stand mixer. Time is your best friend as this bread needs to sit overnight. A touch of beer and vinegar adds tang and complexity.
I use my Finex 5 quart Dutch Oven for this baking project. It is the ideal size for a beautiful boule and heats evenly. After cooling my bread I like to bring it to the table in this gorgeous vessel and hear the oohs and ahhs. If you do not own a Finex, any Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid will do.
Dutch Oven Bread
Yields one loaf
Total time: 11 hours (mostly hands off)
3 cups (15 oz) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp instant or rapid-rise yeast
3/4 cup (6 oz) water, room temperature
1/2 cup (4 oz) mild lager, room temperature
1 tbsp. distilled white vinegar
Whisk flour, salt, and yeast together in a large bowl. Whisk water, beer, and vinegar together in a 4-cup liquid measuring cup. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold water mixture into flour mixture. Scrape up dry flour from bottom of bowl until no dry flour remains (being careful not to overmix). Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature overnight or up to 18 hours.
Lay a large piece of parchment paper on the counter. Transfer dough onto lightly-floured surface and knead by hand until smooth, about one minute. Shape dough into a tight ball and place on center of paper. Using paper as a sling, lower paper with dough into Dutch oven. It’s okay if paper hangs over the edge. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until loaf has doubled in size and springs back minimally when poked with a knuckle, about 1 1/2 – 2 hours or depending on temperature of the room.
Adjust oven rack to middle position. Using sharp knife, score a 1/2″ deep X on top of bread with a quick, fluid motion. Cover pot and place in cold oven. Turn oven on and heat to 425 degrees and bake loaf for 30 minutes while the oven heats.
Remove lid and continue to bake until loaf is a deep golden brown and registers 205 degrees with a digital probe thermometer, about 25-30 minutes. Using the parchment sling, remove loaf from Dutch oven and allow to cool three hours before slicing and serving.
This is not a sponsored post. Recipe from America’s Test Kitchen “Bread Illustrated”