Bread baking is my specialty.
I learned how to make bread when I was a little girl. Growing up in Bosnia, it was and still, very much a tradition to teach your kids to bake and cook. It’s a piece of our culture and something that we are very proud of.
I look back on my childhood and one thing that always makes me smile is the memory of my late grandma making fresh bread. Everything about it was beautiful. I remember her hardworking hands, kneading and prepping the dough. I remember watching her and so eagerly awaiting my turn. I was so excited. That aroma, that crunch and that love and freshness was unlike anything else.
These days, my mom and I make that same old fashioned, homemade bread but now I get to watch my kids get just as excited as I used to with my grandma. They love it and I couldn’t love this tradition more.
Anyways, let’s make some homemade, dutch oven bread.
Dutch Oven Bread
- 4 cups of Unbleached All-Purpose Flour + 1/2 cup for kneading
- 1 2/3 cups room temp water
- 1 tbsp salt
- 2 tsps active dry yeast
- 1 tsp of honey or sugar
- Dutch oven
- Parchment paper
- Start off by mixing 1/3 cup of water with your active yeast and honey in a small jar or bowl.
- Let it rest for about 5 minutes while you gather all of the other ingredients.
- Add 4 loosely packed cups of flour and salt to a large mixing bowl and mix .
- Make a well and add 1.5 cups of warm/ room temp water and your yeast mixture to the flour bowl as well.
- With a big wooden spoon mix and stir everything together. It will make a very sticky, rough looking dough. Stir until everything is incorporated.
- Cover it with a kitchen towel and let it rise for an hour.
- After the hour, get your UnoCasa dutch oven ready. Put the pot (both top and bottom) into a cold oven and set it to 450°F and wait about 20 min.
- Meanwhile, sprinkle a clean surface with 1/4 cup of flour and transfer the dough onto it.
- Flour your hands and start to round the dough into a ball. Knead gently from outside in and add a little bit of flour at a time; just enough to stop it from sticking to your fingers. Once it’s shaped to your liking, transfer it to a piece (approximately 8×8 inch) of parchment paper.
- Let it rest while your pot is warming up.
- Carefully remove the hot pot from the oven. Use your mittens. Place it on a cooling rack . Avoid contact with anything cold. No cold water or a cold surfaces as this may crack the pot.
- Transfer the dough carefully into the pot.
- Put the lid back on and bake for 33 minutes; remove the lid and bake for another 10-12 minutes or until you achieve the desired color.
- Remove pot/ bread from the oven when it’s that perfect golden color and transfer it to a cooling rack.
- Let it cool completely before slicing. That is if you can stop yourself! It smells and looks too good to wait.
Slice and enjoy.
TIPS: Temperature of your kitchen will make a difference on how fast the dough rises. This recipe can take anywhere from one to three hours to rise. In the summer time, I usually let it rise for at least one hour before preheating the pot for 20 minutes. In the winter time, sometimes it takes 1.5 hours. Another thing to keep in mind is that every oven is different. Sometimes you will have to bake/ make this recipe two or three times before you get the perfect loaf. And don’t worry if your dough doesn’t look pretty before baking. It will bake into a beautiful, golden loaf regardless.
Tag me if you decide to make it. I would love to see your creations.