Dutch Oven Fluffy Bread

One of my weaknesses is making bread. My mom was amazing. She could make rolls and loafs of all varieties with no real issues. She might cuss a bit about the sticky roll dough or her marble slab missing some feet and bouncing on the table, but she still knew her stuff. It was an almost weekly occurrence at our house to have fresh bread. The bread machine was her best friend for this and made all of the rising stuff so much easier. I can say this after having babysat different bread recipes (I don’t have a bread machine). One of her biggest pet peeves was when people would put her down for using the machine, though. People would say “oh, this is good, but you have a bread machine”. I can tell you from personal experience that following a recipe for a bread machine doesΒ not mean that you will end up with a perfect loaf of bread. Far from it. Just like other recipes, there is a magic to knowing if the order of ingredients should be switched up, the ratios changed a bit, etc. My mom was really good at this (and boo on her for not sharing these tips with me!). And another aside on this: it irked me that some of these same people who complained had a bread machine but never had the time/patience/knowledge/etc. to use it…so is it really the machine or the baker?

Doesn’t it look like a smiling face?

My mom was best known for her rolls. She could make them plain, but the honey ones were so good. Fluffy and sweet, and tiny enough to fit in your mouth (although your cheeks would be sticking out). This was definitely not due strictly to the bread machine because you could make the dough in the machine and let it do the rises, but then you still have to form them. I tried following her recipe for the first Christmas when she was gone. She had written some notes down on a page that I thought was the right dough recipe. The taste was there, but the rolls were definitely not as fluffy as I remembered. It is so easy to overwork dough for rolls!

 

Just as my mom liked her bread machine for some added convenience, I have grown to love my Dutch oven. Basically, I would recommend it to replace a large nonstick skillet or stainless steel skillet. It browns like the stainless, but is easier to clean (like the nonstick). It also holds heat really well. This last trait is what makes it an awesome tool for making bread. I tried the America’s Test Kitchen version of a no-knead bread recipe made popular by the NY Times. There were some issues because my house was too cold for the proper rising. The crust was super thick, but to be honest, that’s not my favorite bread. I like the Italian loaves you buy at the store with a small bit of crunch and super soft insides. My mom’s bread tasted just like that, and it was so good! There were other problems I had with the ATK recipe, including needing beer (and such a small amount), 12-18 ours for a first rise, a super sticky dough, needing a special knob for my Dutch oven because the oven has to go super high….yeah, not my favorite. I wanted to try it again, but I never had the time because you have to basically set aside a weekend for it.

 

After finding this recipe, I don’t think I will go back to the other one. You can make this bread in just about an afternoon. The rise is only 4 hours! I only had one issue while making the dough, which involved my KitchenAid mixer. Apparently if you knead dough for a while, it can cause the mixing bowl to get stuck. To prevent it, you are supposed to stop it every couple of minutes or so and check the bowl. If it gets stuck like mine did, using a towel dipped in hot water around the base did the trick, along with putting it on the ground (as shown in this YouTube video). The recipe below is adapted from The Faux Martha’s version found here. The look of my bread might not be as pretty as hers, but I plan on making a few changes next time–one would be to preheat the Dutch oven longer to have a better browning on the bottom, and two–to maybe attempt to make rolls in this fashion with the dough.

Directions for Dutch Oven Fluffy Bread

Adapted from The Faux Martha

  • 1/2 cup, plus 2 Tablespoons warm water
  • 3/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1.5 cups bread flour
  • 1/2 cup AP flour
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 4 Tablespoons honey, divided
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • Sea Salt for grinding on top

Stir together the sugar and yeast into the water. Allow to sit for about 5-10 minutes for the yeast to proof.

 

In your mixing bowl, use the paddle attachment to stir together the salt and both flours.

 

Add in the butter, 2 Tablespoons honey, and the yeast mixture. Knead the mixture in the mixture (with the paddle attachment) for about 8 minutes (stop it every 2 to prevent the bowl from sticking, as noted above).

 

 

 

The dough will be smooth and not very sticky. Place a piece of parchment paper in the Dutch oven (it will be like a sling for removing the bread later). Roll the dough into a ball and place inside the Dutch oven on the paper. Cover and allow to rise in a warm place for about 4 hours. The dough will get little bubbles form the yeast, become much more airy and spread a bit.

Notice the lack of parchment. Don’t do this. Do what I said in the recipe. The dough will stick a bit to the oven and burn later when you bake it. Bad for cleaning. 😦

Remove the dough from the Dutch oven. Place the Dutch oven in the oven and preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Punch down the dough then knead it for a couple minutes. Form it back into a ball by pulling the sides under.

 

Cut two slits on top of the dough to form an X.

There is something really fun about slicing the dough and watching it slowly open.

Melt the remaining 2 Tablespoons of honey and add the oil.

 

Brush this mixture on top of the dough. Sprinkle/grind some sea salt on top of the dough.

 

Place under a bowl and allow to rest while the oven preheats. When the oven is ready, remove the Dutch oven (carefully–it will be hot!). Use the parchment sling to place the bread inside the Dutch oven, cover, and bake for 20 minutes.

The liner paper didn’t want to “sling” properly.

Remove the cover and then bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until the bread is browned enough for your liking. Lift out the bread from the Dutch oven using the parchment sling. Let cool until just warm to the touch.

 

 

Look at the honey and salt. Mmm sweet and salty!

Directions for Dutch Oven Fluffy Bread without pictures

Adapted fromΒ The Faux Martha

  • 1/2 cup, plus 2 Tablespoons warm water
  • 3/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1.5 cups bread flour
  • 1/2 cup AP flour
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 4 Tablespoons honey, divided
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • Sea Salt for grinding on top

Stir together the sugar and yeast into the water. Allow to sit for about 5-10 minutes for the yeast to proof. In your mixing bowl, use the paddle attachment to stir together the salt and both flours. Add in the butter, 2 Tablespoons honey, and the yeast mixture. Knead the mixture in the mixture (with the paddle attachment) for about 8 minutes (stop it every 2 to prevent the bowl from sticking, as noted above). The dough will be smooth and not very sticky. Place a piece of parchment paper in the Dutch oven (it will be like a sling for removing the bread later). Roll the dough into a ball and place inside the Dutch oven on the paper. Cover and allow to rise in a warm place for about 4 hours. The dough will get little bubbles form the yeast, become much more airy and spread a bit.

Remove the dough from the Dutch oven. Place the Dutch oven in the oven and preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Punch down the dough then knead it for a couple minutes. Form it back into a ball by pulling the sides under. Cut two slits on top of the dough to form an X. Melt the remaining 2 Tablespoons of honey and add the oil. Brush this mixture on top of the dough. Sprinkle/grind some sea salt on top of the dough. Place under a bowl and allow to rest while the oven preheats. When the oven is ready, remove the Dutch oven (carefully–it will be hot!). Use the parchment sling to place the bread inside the Dutch oven, cover, and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the cover and then bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until the bread is browned enough for your liking. Lift out the bread from the Dutch oven using the parchment sling. Let cool until just warm to the touch.

Advertisements

13 thoughts on “Dutch Oven Fluffy Bread

  1. Your bread looks amazing! So delicious πŸ™‚

    I hope you don’t mind if I reblog your link on my reblog page?

  2. I love my Dutch oven too! When I finally bought one, the previously daily-used stainless steel pot I relied on was banished to the pantry and hasn’t seen much light of day since! I use it for everything though no experience with bread…but a friend of mine once brought me a loaf of delicious homemade sourdough that her husband made in a dutch oven. He gave me the recipe, which is from My Bread by Jim Lahey. I don’t think I’m up for the challenge yet!

    • I think that might have been what the America’s Test Kitchen people based their recipe off of. It was a bit tricky in my cooler climate. But I can say that this recipe was really easy!

  3. We have a cast iron dutch oven but I really want an enameled one! Maybe if I put one on our Amazon wish list it will show up under the tree this year?

    I love honey on bread. Honey and butter on bread. Drool.

    • We were lucky and got ours at the outlet store, so it has a few imperfections in the color or something, but nothing we really notice. You could probably still make this in a regular one, I think. Unless your husband reads this. Then you definitely need the new one! πŸ˜‰

  4. Pingback: Cheddar Buttermilk Biscuits | fudgingahead

Share Your Thoughts

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s