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 is 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 and still am. 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
- 2 cups room temp water
- 1.5 tbsp salt
- 2 tsps active dry yeast
- 1 tsp of honey or sugar
- 1 tbsp of corn meal or cooking spray
- Start off by mixing 1/2 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 the flour, salt and the other 1.5 cups of water to a large bowl.
- Now transfer the yeast mixture to the large bowl as well.
- With a big spoon mix and stir everything together. It will make a very sticky, rough looking dough. Stir until everything is combined.
- Cover it with a kitchen towel or a plate and let it rise for an hour.
- After an hour, get your UnoCasa dutch oven ready. Put the pot (both the bottom and the top) into a cold oven and set it to 450°F for 30 min.
- Meanwhile, uncover your dough, sprinkle it with flour and transfer it to a clean surface. A butcher block or counter top will do.
- 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 isn’t overly sticky, dust with flour again and cover with a kitchen towel. Let it rest and rise again 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.
- Sprinkle with cornmeal. It may start smoking so keep your fan on but don’t panic. The pot is just that hot.
- With a sharp knife, make a few slashes on the top of your dough. Any design you want or skip this step all together. It will crack on it’s own, naturally.
- Transfer the dough carefully into the pot. Don’t burn yourself.
- Put the lid on and bake for 40 minutes; remove the lid and bake for another 5-10 minutes.
- Remove the bread from the oven when it’s that perfect golden brown color.
- Let it cool completely on a wire rack 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 30 minutes. In the winter time, sometimes it take about 2 hours. Another thing to keep in mind is that every oven is different. Sometimes you will have to bake this bread 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.