What yumminess do we have from April's kitchen today?
Want to learn how to make delicious bread that is really easy?
Did I mention there are only four ingredients and it's no-knead!
No-Knead Artisan Bread
I am on a mission to convert readers to the wonders of the Dutch Oven! Reason #1 - my favorite, delicious, easy Roast Chicken recipe. Reason #2 - no-knead, 4 ingredient, fabulous Artisan Bread!Yes, I said no-knead. This is the easiest bread you will EVER make! And: it's perfect
Dutch Oven Artisan Bread (adapted slightly from Frugal Living NW)
6 cups bread (recommended) or all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
1/2 tsp instant or active-dry yeast
2 1/2 tsp salt
2 2/3 cups cool water
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, yeast, and salt. Add the water and stir together until all the ingredients are well mixed; the dough should be wet and sticky. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let the dough rest 12-18 hours on the counter at room temperature. (Start it the afternoon/night before you want to bake it.) When surface of the risen dough has darkened slightly, smells yeasty, and is dotted with bubbles, it is ready.
Lightly flour your hands and a work surface. Dump dough out on work surface and sprinkle with more flour. (It will be very sticky and stringy) Fold the dough over on itself once or twice and, using floured fingers, tuck the dough underneath to form a rough ball.
*Updated* Dust a sheet of parchment paper with flour, and place the dough seam side down on the paper. and dust with a bit more flour. Cover with a clean cotton dishtowel and let rise for about 2 hours, until it has doubled in size.
After about 1 1/2 hours, preheat oven to 425-450 degrees. Place a 6-8 quart Dutch Oven (or 6-8 quart heavy covered oven-safe pot) in the oven as it heats. When the dough has fully risen, carefully remove pot from oven. Take the towel off the dough, and use the parchment as a sling to lower the dough into the Dutch Oven. (The parchment will stay in the Dutch Oven. This is much easier than the towel-flipping method!)
Cover and bake for 40-50 minutes. Uncover and continue baking about 5-10 more minutes, until a deep chestnut brown. (The internal temp of the bread should be around 200 degrees. You can check this with a meat thermometer, if you're worried. I didn't bother :) Remove the bread from the pot and let it cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.
It's light and fluffy, with the tiniest bit of an almost-sourdough-tang. You can play with it and add herbs, or cheeses, or brush some olive oil over the top... I haven't tried this yet, but you bet I'm going to!! I'm thinking rosemary Parmesan...
Mine turned out just a bit gummy, but that's because I was much too impatient, and cut into it before it completely cooled. (If you want it warm, just pop it in the microwave or back in the oven for a bit. But let it cool completely the first time, it finishes its baking in there somehow!) I thought it was because I forgot the extra two-hour rising time, but have discovered that if you are in a hurry, you can easily skip that! That crackly golden crust is absolutely my favorite part. Joe didn't like it, the rest of us adored it!! Smear it with butter and send yourself to fresh-baked-bread Heaven.
Guess what, I have discovered that there are ways you can substitute, if you don't have a Dutch Oven! (Though I still recommend them whole-heartedly!) You can use any large, oven safe baking dish, or a stainless steel bowl, covered with foil. (If your dish isn't deep, make a foil dome!) I've also heard of people using a baking stone with an oven-safe bowl/dish up-ended over the top. Of course, if you halve the recipe, your dishes wouldn't need to be huge. If there is enough room for the dough to double, you're set!!
Until next week, have a Delightful Day!
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Do you have a Dutch oven? Know anyone with one?
Have a favorite way to bake bread? A favorite recipe?
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