Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Dutch Oven Bread

I found a great no knead bread recipe that is baked in a cast iron dutch oven.  Dutch ovens should be used at least three or four times per year to keep them from getting rusty or letting the oil turn rancid.  If you have one with a little rust, try rubbing a salt and water paste vigorously with a plastic pot scrubber or cloth to remove the rust, rinse, dry in a hot oven, and rub with Crisco to seal the metal.  If the oil has turned, you can wash it as your would for rust, or burn the oil off in a hot oven.  The goal with a dutch oven is to create a layered patina that protects the metal and creates a non stick surface for you to cook in.  Washing with salt will remove your patina and you have to start conditioning it from scratch so only use that method when washing and scrubbing with plain water won't work.  I pulled out my dutch ovens and both needed a little work.  I've been making this recipe to keep them in shape and the bread is great too.

No Knead Bread

6 c. flour - can use bread flour, but not needed
2 1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. yeast
2 2/3 - 3 c. warm water

In a large bowl or container place the flour, salt, and yeast.  Stir together.  Pour in most of the water and begin to stir.  The dough will be sticky and can be stirred with a spoon.  The original recipe calls for the smaller amount of water, but I've found that I needed the full three cups to incorporate all the dry ingredients.  Cover and let raise 12-18 hours in a warm place out of the sun.  Stir again and pour out onto an oiled surface like a cutting board or a frying pan (something that can be lifted and won't stick to the dough).  Let raise for one hour.  Preheat oven with dutch oven inside to 475 degrees.  You want the dutch oven to be hot.  Remove the lid, tilt the dough into it, cover and bake for 30 minutes.  Remove the lid and continue baking for 15-25 minutes.  Remove from dutch oven and let cool before cutting.  This makes a great artisan loaf with a complex texture and good chew. 

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