Tuesday, December 11, 2007


OK, so I am browsing my favorites bar yesterday (like for the first time in weeks!!!) and come across this fabulous bread recipe from Deb, at Homespun Living.
Seeings as I had recently purchased this fabulous imitation LeCreuset enamel coated cast iron pot at Macy's (Martha Stewarts new line in the sweetest turquoise blue!), I said to myself:
"Self...You need to try this...like today!"
And you, my friends, are going to reap the benefits!
This was originally featured in the New York Times a while back, and you can GOOGLE it and find far better instructions than you will get here(even a video!)...but hey...this is where you are right this minute, so I am going to bless you with MY photos and instructions!

1/4 tsp active dry yeast (I used bread machine yeast)
1 1/2 cups (or a bit more) of very warm water
3 cups bread flour (or all purpose if that is what you have)
1 1/2 teas. salt I use kosher)

In large bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Add flour and salt, stir till blended. Dough will be shaggy and sticky. Wet, even.(see photo above) Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let rest 18-24 hours, room temp, about 70 degrees. I put mine in my oven with the oven light on. Seemed to do the trick.

Here is the dough after 20 hours, foamy, bubbly, and very sour-doughy smelling.
YUM...I love that smell.

Lightly flour a work surface and pour dough on it. Sprinkle with a bit more flour and turn a couple of times. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 min.
So far, so good, right?
And easy, yes?

Generously coat a clean , cotton(NOT terrycloth!) dishtowel with flour, cornmeal, or bran. (I used a mix of flour and cornmeal) Using just enough flour to keep the dough from sticking to your hands, gently shape it into a ball and place on coated towel. Dust top of dough with more of the same you just used on bottom towel. Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for 1-2 hours.

At least 20 min(I did 40 min.) before dough is ready, heat oven to 475. (I did 450 as that is what some of the recipes say, and my Martha Stewart lid knob is only good to 450) Put a 6-8 qt. heavy covered pot in the oven as it heats. After pot is REALLY hot (like I said, I kept it in there for 40 min.) and dough has risen, carefully remove pot from oven, lift off lid, and slide your hand under the towel and turn dough over into the pot, seam side up. Dough will lose it's shape a bit, but no worries. Just give the pan a bit of a shake, slap that cover back on and stick it back in the oven.
Bake for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and bake for another 15-20 minutes, until the loaf is beautifully browned.

There it is.
Beautifully browned.
Remove from dutch oven and let it cool on a rack for at least an hour before slicing.
No worries. It will fall right out of the pan.
And you will have the most exquisite loaf of bread that has ever come out of your oven.
Crunchy, thin crust. And tender, full of those holes, on the inside.
Just like the European bakeries we have heard about, but most of us have never been privileged to shop at.


As a side note, this recipe can be messed around with. I have read about different combinations of flours being used, as well as the addition of nuts and seeds. One commenter said they used the dough for some of the best pizza they had ever had!
I have another loaf in the oven, even as I blog. Perhaps over the weekend I will try the pizza recipe.
When I find something I love, I beat it to death!
Pin It!


Nunnie's Attic said...

Do you mean cups of water? You just have 1 1/2 very warm water listed. HA!

Looks yummy that's for sure. And I can almost smell it baking.


cityfarmer said...

I am a crusty kinda girl and if this is crusty then I'm in!!!!!

I'm going to take a few pieces and apply them right to my hips.

mmmmm...I can smell your kitchen NOW

Farmgirl Cyn said...

Thanks Julie! Went right in and changed it to read "cups"!

HomemakerAng said...

I should have kept that pan when I had it ! :)

homespun living said...

Oh, your bread looks beautiful! I am really loving this recipe, I only wish I had an lovely enamel coated cast iron pot :) I am going to have to try baking mine at 450 degrees, as the bottom of my bread has been getting a bit black (my oven is on the hot side).
Thanks for mentioning the pizza idea ~ can't wait to try that!


Joy said...

THAT my dear is AMAZING. Truly! Thanks for sharing, I am definitely going to try this. I am so excited! :)


The Feathered Nest said...

I came over from Debbie's blog to see the bread! Thanks for the step by step. I definitely going to try this bread!


Thoughts on Life and Millinery. said...

I love that recipe! I blogged it last spring, then Lovella saw it, made it, then blogged her version for making it with whole wheat flour. The hardest part of the whole process is realizing you made bread in like six minutes. Bread making fun should be longer than that!

Yours turned out gorgeous!

Katy said...

Your bread looks fantastic!!!! :)
I love love love your chickens! We have chickens as well..although, they only free range for the late afternoon till dark. I totally LOVE having our chickens. they are "the girls" LOL. We have 23 of them! I just had to share! it's great to see someone else with chickens!

LauraS said...

I tried this bread this afternoon and have just finished the most scrumptious tea ever. A dear friend of mine called over and we had this bread with different cheeses and a lovely cup of herbal tea.

Thank you so much for sharing this recipe with us. I must post photos on my blog of my attempt at the bread. I may even make it again tomorrow morning.....delicious! And it makes the house smell yummy too! :-)

Tea & Margaritas in My Garden said...

This looks good!
Have a wonderful Christmas Cyn!!


Parisienne Farmgirl said...

Um yeah - I am totally going to have to make this.

Lovella said...

Isn't it just the best. I posted it some time ago. I used some multigrain flour and then added a pinch of gluten to it. Srumptious

Mindy said...

Beautiful bread Cyn.... and by the way...your glitter church is precious as is the story!! Enjoy your week my dear...hugs and blessings...Mindy

Rosa said...

I like guaranteed! I have told myself that this year, I will learn to bake bread. Perhaps this will be my first recipe. Thanks for sharing! It looks delish!

Katie said...

That looks amazing! I love baking fresh bread, but I have never seen this recipe before. I am beyond excited to try it! Thanks!