By: Mary John Resch
This is another column my daughter Margaret wrote for me. I have baked this bread several times since I came home and the results have been delicious. I have found a cold meat …
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By: Mary John Resch
This is another column my daughter Margaret wrote for me. I have baked this bread several times since I came home and the results have been delicious. I have found a cold meat fork makes mixing the bread easier. I used a LeCreuset Dutch oven to bake the bread. MJR
We were at a friend’s for dinner. One of the other invited guests had made the most wonderful loaf of bread — hard, crunchy crust on the outside and soft and holey on the inside. It was the perfect bread for sopping up any remaining sauce on the plate or as a base for a yummy appetizer spread. I promptly asked for the recipe that he gladly shared. He told me that it was from a recipe printed in the New York Times and was one of their most requested recipes of all time. All is know is that it is incredibly simple and it has turned out perfectly for me every time. There are two problems with the recipe: You have to think ahead and start it the night before you plan to eat it and you will eat half the loaf with butter and jam before you ever sit down to eat dinner.
DUTCH OVEN BREAD
3 cups bread flour
1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups hot water (out of the tap)
In a large bowl, mix together flour, yeast and salt. Add water and stir with a fork. It will be a shaggy dough. (Don’t worry, you’ll be thinking there is no way this is going to turn into a beautiful round of bread but it does.) Cover your bowl with plastic wrap, place on your kitchen counter, and forget about it for 12 – 16 hours. (I mix it around 8 p.m. and bake it the following day after school morning drop off).
12 – 16 hours later line the bottom of your Dutch oven (4 1/2 – 5 1/2 quart) with parchment paper. Put the lid on the pan and preheat it in your oven at 450 degrees. When the pot is heated and oven is ready, remove the pot from the oven. Remove the lid. Sprinkle the top of your now bubbly wet dough with flour and generously dust your hands with flour, too. Gather the dough into a rough ball and plop it into your very hot Dutch oven. Cover with the lid (and don’t forget your lid is also scorching hot).
Cook in the middle of your oven for 30 minutes with the lid on and an additional 15 minutes with the lid off. You’ll be shocked that you created this delicious round of bread and that is was sooooo easy.