Friday, September 16, 2011

Foodie Friday - No Knead, Dutch Oven Bread

"Without bread, everyone's an orphan" is an Italian phrase any foodie should live by! Okay, that's if you aren't allergic to wheat...:-). I pooh pooh anyone who tries to say you should never eat bread though. What good is a bowl of hot steaming soup on a cold Autumn day without a nice hunk of crusty bread to sop up the juices with?! I wish I could take credit for this recipe, but I got it out of the Mother Earth News - Guide to Fresh Food All Year. An article by Roger Doiron shares his love of bread and a search for bread like he found in Europe. This loaf is easy to make although it does take time. It's well worth it though as it has that chewy crust and soft fine texture on the inside that you love in a good bread for soups and such. It makes a wonderful french toast as well, and the nice thing is that there's no fat or sugar and it uses very little yeast, as well as no requirement to knead the dough. I have to say that my bread came out just like the photo in the article and Kent loved this, so we will be having this again.
1/4 t. yeast
1 1/2 c. warm water
3 c. all purpose flour, wheat flour or a combination of. I used 2 cups white to one whole wheat
1 1/2 t. salt

In a large bowl dissolve yeast in the warm water. Add the salt and flour and blend well. The dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover the bowl with a towel or plastic wrap if you have it and let the dough rest in a warm place for at least 8 but up to 12 to 18 hours. I started mine in the evening so I could finish it up the next day.
The dough is ready when the surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place the dough on it. Sprinkle it with a little flour and fold the dough over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap or towel and let it rest for about 15 minutes.
Using just enough flour to keep the dough from sticking to your work surface or to your fingers, gently shape it into a ball. Generously coat a clean dish towel with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal. I used both flour and cornmeal. Put the seam side of the dough down on the towel and dust with more flour. Cover with another towel and let rise for about 1 to 2 hours. When it's ready, the dough will have  doubled in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.
At least 20 minutes before the dough is ready, heat you oven to 475 degrees. Put a 6-8 quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in the over as it heats. When the dough is ready, carefully remove the pot from the oven and lift off the lid. Slide your had under the towle and turn the dough over into the pot, seam side up. The dough will lose its shape a bit in the process, but that's okay. Give the pan a firm shake or two to help distribute the dough evenly, but don't worry if it's not perfect; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover ena bake for 30 minutes, then remove the lid and bake another 15 to 20 minutes until the loaf is beautifully browned. Remove the bread from the Dutch oven and let it cool on a rack for at least 1 hour before slicing. Enjoy!


  1. We make this bread quite often, although I must admit I use all whole wheat. I think I will use your 2-1 blend next time to get a lighter loaf. Thanks for the tip!

  2. Thanks for the recipes, Sheryl. I think I'll give it a try. Sounds good and the idea of warm bread and homemade soup at this time of year is sooooo inviting.

  3. Hey Dr. Rick!;-) It sounds as if you are trying to eat healthy, good for you! I was thinking of adding flaxseed meal the next go around as well. What do you think?

  4. Oh Trish, that's so true! I so love this time of year, with the colors, the fresh crisp air outside, freshly harvested veggies and fruits, all the blessings we receive. I bet where you are the leaves are in full flame right now. Is that right? When we lived in Alaska, this time of year could be down right frozen at night, but the beautiful shimmery gold birch leaves against the deep green spruce, and the rust colored underbrush and flaming red Fireweed was just gorgeous!

  5. Absolutely, Sheryl. I've added all kinds of good stuff. I with you, btw, fall is the best time of year!

  6. Isn't it though Rick?! I did notice your family photo had a beautiful Autumn setting. :-) So what sorts of things are you adding to your bread?