This was my first attempt at a homemade bread in my new cast iron dutch oven and it turned out great! … except that I used wax paper instead of parchment paper and it stuck to the bottom of the loaf of bread. I ended up cutting off the bottom crust 😦 Next time I’m not going to use any paper under it, and instead just spray the cast iron with a little olive oil.
- approx. 4 cups flour (All-purpose or bread flour work best)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 1 1/2 cups warm water
- olive oil for coating crust, if desired
- 5-6 quart Dutch Oven with lid
- Mix together salt, yeast, water, and 3 cups of flour. Mix in additional flour a little at a time until the consistency is sticky. Knead for 10 minutes, until dough is smooth and elastic (adding in small amount of additional flour if needed).
- Spray bowl with PAM olive oil, place dough ball in the middle, and then spray the dough. Cover bowl with plastic wrap or the lid of a pot and allow to rise for 2-4 hours until doubled in bulk.
- Knead risen dough on a floured surface for a few minutes to remove air bubbles and to redistribute the yeast. Shape into a loose ball, set on a floured surface, and cover with a towel for 10 minutes to allow gluten to relax.
- Shape dough into a tight ball. Cover and allow to rise for an additional 30 minutes.
- While dough finishes rising, put cast iron dutch oven in the cold oven and then preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Remove hot cast iron from the oven. Lightly spray the bottom of the cast iron dutch oven with olive oil. Carefully transfer the dough into the dutch oven. Using a sharp knife, make two slits in the surface of the dough forming an “X” shape, and brush with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt (if desired, I prefer without.). Quickly put the lid on and put back into the oven
- Bake, covered for 30 minutes in 450 degree oven. After 30 minutes, remove lid and lower heat to 375 degrees. Bake for 15 minutes longer, until bread is deep golden and sounds hollow when tapped.
- Allow to cool on rack for 15 minutes before slicing.