Dutch Oven Bread

Rosanna here again! I'm in the midst of preparing for the National Stationery Show in New York. I'm super excited. We're less than three weeks away and I'm working super hard, preparing not only all our new greeting cards that will be debuting at the show, but all the promotional materials that go along with it, designing our booth, testing out the booth design, figuring out all the logistics for getting myself and Joel and all our product to New York in one piece. I found myself baking a loaf of bread the other day, and can only say that it must be stress-baking, because why else would I choose to add to my craziness : )

But really, this bread is not at all complicated. And it's beautiful. And it tastes even better than it looks. All it takes is some time, but you could even make this bread while working a full day. And it would make that full day of work so rewarding.

By no means am I an expert baker. If you can measure flour into a bowl and stir it with some water, you, too can make this bread. Baking requires some amount of recipe following, to be sure, but this recipe is dead simple.


1 package dry active yeast (or 2 1/4 tsp from a jar of yeast)
1 1/2 C warm water
3 cups bread flour
1 1/2 tsp salt

Mix the yeast and the warm water together.
Add in the flour and the salt (in that order!) and stir together until a shaggy ball forms.
Cover with plastic wrap and place the bowl in a warm place and let rise for 6 hours (or overnight, or while you're at work for the day).

When you're ready to deal with the bread again (min 6 hours), dust a surface with flour and put the dough on the board. Carefully shape the mass into a roundish ballish shape. (Don't knead the bread, handle it as little as possible. BUT! if the dough seems suuuper sticky, carefully mix in some flour by folding the dough over on itself a couple times.)

 Place it on a piece of parchment, cover with a towel and let rise for another 1-1 1/2 hours. 

Preheat your oven and your dutch oven at 450 degrees. When both are nice and hot, carefully remove the dutch oven from the oven. Place the dough ball + parchment paper in the hot dutch oven. With a sharp knife, cut some slits in the top of the dough ball. Put the lid on the dutch oven and stick it in the oven for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes, carefully remove the lid from the dutch oven and continue baking for another 15 minutes.

Carefully remove the bread from the oven and cool on a wire rack for 1 hour. 

(But seriously, I can never wait that long. Who can resist fresh bread!)


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