I’ve been on a bread making kick lately. Let’s face it… I have plenty of time recovering from knee surgery and with the COVID isolation. Honestly, homemade bread is super easy and tastes incredible but it was the one thing I thought I never had time to do before. The fact is it takes just a few minutes to create but a few hours of resting where you can do a ton of other things without worrying about it.
You can bake bread in a loaf pan or on a pizza stone but I opted to bake my bread in a Dutch oven to yield a perfectly crusty loaf. Honestly, this recipe is quite fail-proof. I hope you give this one a try! Tonight we’ll pair this up with some marinara and vegan meatballs. A simple plate of good olive oil and balsamic for dipping… basically heaven.
3.75 to 4 cups of organic all purpose flour
1.5 cups of 100-105 degree water (you must gauge the temp to ensure you don’t kill the yeast)
2 tbl of instant yeast
1.5 tsp of sea salt
2 tbl dried oregano or 2 tbl of Italian seasonings
1 tsp of garlic powder or you can chop up fresh garlic and add that instead
Into your stand mixer, with the dough hook attached, add your flour (start with 3.75 cups), warm water, yeast, salt and spices. Stir to combine for about 2 minutes.
In the meantime, oil a large bowl and set aside. Once the dough is blended, should be slightly sticky but easy to handle. If the dough is super sticky add the additional flour and mix. Turn the dough out and place into your prepared oiled bowl. Cover with a towel and place in a warm spot in your kitchen. Allow the dough to rise for 1.5 to 2 hours. It will double in size.
In the meantime, preheat your oven to 450 degrees with your Dutch oven inside.
Once the dough has risen, turn it out on a floured surface and turn the dough onto itself basically like pulling the edges up and pushing into the center. Repeat until you have a lovely smooth ball of dough.
Carefully remove your Dutch oven. Again, carefully place the seam side of the dough ball into your pot and cover. Bake for 40 minutes. Remove and take the bread out and allow to cool properly. It should be crusty and sound hollow when tapped.
Slice and enjoy once you can safely handle it.
— Knead to Cook