Written by Kobus on November 8, 2012
Makes: 1 loaf
Prep time: 30 minutes
Dough rising time: 2 hours
Cook time: 45 minutes to one hour
Estimated cost: $2
Yes, you can bake in a Dutch oven. In fact it is one of the most rewarding parts of owning one. This recipe is a simple and can be altered to make herb bread or smaller rolls.
The trick is to give the dough plenty of time to rise.
- 1 ½ tbsp dry yeast
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp oil
- 2 ½ cups bread flower, white flour is ok.
- 1 cup of water
Optionally you can add extra yummy bits to the dough:
- Garlic, finely chopped
- Parmesan cheese
- Heat the water to about 100° F. You should be able to hold your finger in the water for 5 seconds without it burning. Add sugar and yeast to the water. Let stand until foaming, about 5 minutes.
- Place the flour into a bowl and add the salt and oil. When the yeast is active (foaming) add ¾ of the yeast mixture to 2 cups flour.
- Mix the flour and water mix with a fork until it is mostly combined. TIP: If the dough is wet add more flour, if dry add a little bit more yeast mixture. Small amounts at a time.
- Knead the dough with your hands for a least 10 minutes.
- Coat the inside of a bowl lightly in oil and place the dough in the bowl. Cover the bowl with a damp towel and set in a warm spot to rise for one hour.
- Once it has doubled in size, take the dough out of the bowl and form it into the shape of the bread you want to bake. Place it in a lightly oiled Dutch oven, put the lid on the oven and let the dough rise for another hour. The colder the temperature outside the longer you will need to wait for it to rise.
- Start a small charcoal fire or a larger wood fire so you can get some coals to place under the pot and on top of the lid.
- Build a secure base of bricks or rocks to place the Dutch oven on– make sure there is air flow underneath. When the fire is ready, place a few coals around the base that you set the pot on. Keep a seperate pile of coals to stoke the fire with.
- Put the Dutch oven on the base and place hot coals all around the top of the lid. 10 coals should do it. You want more heat on top than on the bottom of the pot. Pro tip: Sit down wind from the pot and you will know if there is too much heat on the bottom of the pot from the smell of burning bread. If you catch it early, no harm done.
- After 25 minutes remove the coals on the lid, blow the ash off and check the bread. Use leather gloves or a hotpad, the lid will be very hot. If the bread is still soft to the touch and white in color, replace the lid and all the coals. Leave the lid on for another 15 to 30 minutes or until you smell freshly baked bread. If the bread sounds hollow when you tap it with your finger, it is ready.
- Remove the Dutch oven from the base and take the bread out using a towel. Place the bread on a plate to cool for a few minutes before digging in.
- Slice up and serve with butter or a potje.
Thoughts, comments or recomendations? We would love to hear them.