Can you believe we are already half way through January? It snowed here for a few days and it has been absolutely beautiful outside. Snow will always be magical to me. I am 31 years old and still love it! Also, it gives me an excuse to make lots of soups, breads, and hot cocoa.
Today’s recipe is super simple. It is a Dutch oven bread boule (French for “ball”) that anyone can master. It is no knead, and you do not need any sort of special mixers or contraptions. Just prepare it the day before you plan on eating it. That’s the only caveat. Bread is a staple in our house, and it is a food I thoroughly enjoy making. Bread is not only delicious, but the whole process of making and eating it is a spiritual experience that always makes me think of Jesus and how he gave his bread to remember him by. It is a food to be shared and eaten with friends and family. I hope you love it!
Dutch Oven Bread Boule
You will need:
- 3 1/4 c all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 c warm water
- 1 tsp active dry yeast
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- optional: 1/4 tsp pepper and 1/2 tsp dried herbs
- 4-6 QT Dutch oven
- parchment paper
To begin, add the flour, yeast, and salt into a medium sized bowl. Stir together. Slowly pour in the warm water and stir with a wooden spoon (or your hands). Form into a ball as well as you can, and transfer the dough to an clean ungreased medium sized bowl. This will double in size, so make sure your bowl is big enough.
Cover it with plastic wrap or a towel and set it in a dry place away from any cold draft. I like to put mine on top of the dryer. Sounds weird, but it’s always warm in there and it’s the perfect setting for rising dough. Let this hang out for 18 hours.
Once the time is up, you should see a bunch of little bubbles on top of the dough. This is how you know it’s ready. The dough will also have a fantastic sourdough smell to it. Although this is not a true sourdough, it comes quite close.
Preheat your oven to 450* F with the Dutch oven inside. You’ll want to heat the Dutch oven for 20-30 minutes to get it nice and hot.
As the oven preheats and the Dutch oven gets hot, go ahead and turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Pull the edges in on itself to form a round ball. Dust the top with flour. Transfer the dough onto a sheet of parchment paper that is big enough to cover the bottom of your Dutch oven (the parchment will probably come up the sides of the Dutch oven, and that is totally fine).
Let the dough rest for 15-20 minutes as your Dutch oven heats up. After it rests, score a large X into the top of the dough roughly 1/4-1/2 inch deep and 2-3 inches long. Lightly spritz or brush the dough with water. Sprinkle salt, pepper, and if you wish- dried herbs all over. Lower the dough into the hot Dutch oven and put the cover on. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove the cover and bake for an additional 15 minutes until the top is golden brown.
If you want an extra crispy crust, turn off the oven, take the Dutch oven out, remove the bread, and put the bread back in the oven straight on the rack while the oven cools down (about 15 minutes). Remove the bread and let it cool for 30 minutes before you cut into it. Isn’t it beautiful?
This bread is easy and does not require any special skills or equipment. Any size dutch oven will work. The smaller the Dutch oven, the taller the bread will be. The larger the Dutch oven, the flatter the bread will be. Baking time does not change. I used a 4qt Dutch oven this go around, but I have also used a 6qt and it came out perfectly.
I hope you love this recipe. If you try it out, let me know how it goes!
Lots of love and many blessings,
Receive the word of God, not as the word of men,
but as it truly is, the word of God.
1 Thes 2:13