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
- 1.5 cups room temp water (may need more)
- 1 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 25 to 30 minutes; remove the lid and bake for another 5 to 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. Also, don’t worry if your dough doesn’t look pretty. It will bake into a beautiful, golden loaf.
Tag me if you decide to make it. I would love to see your creations.