Homemade Bread – Dutch Oven Recipe
My mom always made her own bread for as long as I can remember. She made the best bread ever. I wish her recipe was written down, but unfortunately she always baked from memory.
I love the recipe I use for Ukrainian Traditional Easter Bread (Paska).
I also tried making bread in a bread machine, but it was a disaster (the birds in my back yard benefited from a nice bread snack instead, since I never throw away bread into trash).
At first I was kind of skeptical, since it does not require any kneading, only 18+ hours of rising on its own without any effort on my part, then it is baked for an hour in a covered Dutch Oven cast iron pot.
I was determined to try it out, and was pleasantly surprised by the look and taste of the baked bread.
This recipe definitely made it to my Pinterest board of “Recipes Tested and Loved”.
Nothing tastes better than a slice of fresh-baked bread, smeared lightly with soft unsulted butter….aaahhh….so delicious.
My family, and even my toddler grandchildren, absolutely loved it.
This time I tried the Dutch Oven recipe (please click here for excellent step-by-step pictures and instructions), but just in case that site changes its address, I copied her ingredients and instructions, and posted them below.
### Please scroll down to the end of this post for a Printable Recipe ###
As you can see, the bread was a success.
I did brush off most of the excess flour you see all over the top of this bread, then while the bread was still hot, I rubbed a cold butter stick all over the crust (brushed some olive oil into the crevices), for a more luscious appearance, and to soften the crust (a tip from my mom).
If you prefer a very crusty bread top, you may omit this process.
The recipe is very simple, as it only needs bread flour, dry yeast, salt and water. I did not have bread flour at home, so I used 4 cups of unbleached all-purpose flour and 2 cups of wheat flour, and it turned out great.
Since this time I did not make any changes to the original recipe, please go to the original site for a specific list of ingredients and instructions.
I would like to mention that I kept the covered dough in my oven (room temperature….not warmed at all), with the door closed, for about 16 hours rather than 18 hours, as it looked ready at that time.
I did use cooking spray with flour, to spray the bottom of the hot pot, before placing the dough in it for baking.
Also, I baked the bread for 45 minutes, covered, then again for 15 minutes uncovered. I did use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the bread to be 200 degrees F, as she suggested. I checked it after 10 minutes of baking it uncovered, and it was only 185 degrees, so I decided to bake it for another 5 minutes.
Here is my bread baking time frame:
- 9 PM Friday – I mixed the dough, covered it and left it to rise
- 1:15 PM Saturday – the dough was ready to be formed into a ball, wrapped in a cotton kitchen towel, and rest for 2 hrs.
- 2:45 PM Saturday – Preheated the oven and placed the Dutch oven in there to heat it up
- 3:15 PM Saturday – Placed the ball of dough into the hot Dutch Oven and started baking process
- 3:15 – 4 PM Saturday – baked the bread in a covered Dutch Oven
- 4 – 4:15 PM Saturday – uncovered the pot and baked the bread until its center reached 200 degrees F
- By 5 PM Saturday, the bread was cool enough to slice and sample.
I honestly recommend this recipe, as I know you will be so proud of yourself making a homemade bread that is almost effortless, yet sooooo tasty.
Not to mention the low cost of this loaf of bread!!
Here is a quote of the cost calculation, as posted on the original site:
81 cents for a substantial 2.5 pound loaf of bread
- 6 cups bread flour (recommended) or all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
- 1/2 t. instant or active-dry yeast
- 2 1/2 t. salt
- 2 2/3 c. cool water
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, yeast, and salt. Add the water and stir until all the ingredients are well incorporated; the dough should be wet and sticky. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let the dough rest 12-18 hours on the counter at room temperature. When surface of the risen dough has darkened slightly, smells yeasty, and is dotted with bubbles, it is ready.
- Lightly flour your hands and a work surface. Place dough on work surface and sprinkle with more flour. Fold the dough over on itself once or twice and, using floured fingers, tuck the dough underneath to form a rough ball.
- Place a full sheet/large rectangle of parchment paper on a cotton towel and dust it with enough flour, cornmeal, or wheat bran to prevent the dough from sticking to the parchment paper as it rises; place dough seam side down on the parchment paper and dust with more flour, cornmeal, or wheat bran. Pull the corners of parchment paper around the loaf, wrapping it completely. Do the same with the towel. Let rise for about 2 hours, until it has doubled in size.
- After about 1 1/2 hours, preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place a 6-8 quart heavy covered pot, such as a cast-iron Dutch oven, in the oven as it heats. When the dough has fully risen, carefully remove pot from oven. Unwrap the towel and parchment paper from around the dough and slide your hand under the bottom of the dough ball; flip the dough over into pot, seam side up. Pull the parchment paper off, scraping any stuck dough into the pan. Shake pan once or twice if dough looks unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes.
- Cover and bake for 40 minutes. Uncover and continue baking for 10-15 more minutes, until the crust is a deep chestnut brown. The internal temperature of the bread should be around 200 degrees. You can check this with a meat thermometer, if desired.
- Remove the bread from the pot and let it cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.
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