White Bread Recipe | Baking Bread in Dutch Oven

White Bread Recipe | Baking Bread in Dutch Oven

White Bread Recipe | Baking Bread in Dutch Oven

This quick and easy white bread recipe makes a single, simple white loaf of bread with a light, fluffy crumb and a crunchy, crisp crust. It’s all about baking your bread in a Dutch oven!

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Beautiful pieces of chicken, damn-near melted onions and caramelised mushrooms all wrapped up in a red wine sauce.

Introduction

I love baking. It’s not something I ever thought I’d fall in love with. But I absolutely did. Something about the end result is so incredibly satisfying that it makes the hard work worth it.

And let’s be honest. It is hard work. It’s not exactly difficult, necessarily, but there’s a lot of waiting around, a lot of physical effort and a lot of timing.

It’s not so much that we can’t do it. But that sometimes we can’t be bothered. I usually bake because I fancy some bread, but that 2+ hour wait often translates into lazily making my way to the shop to buy some.

And yet it’s so worth it. Because the bread we get when we bake it ourselves is different than even the very best bread we can buy. For your effort, you get the crunchiest crust, the fluffiest soft interior and a wonderfully fresh flavour. And the smug satisfaction of knowing you’ve done it yourself.

Because let’s be honest. Just the knowing that you’ve done that yourself is often enough to make it all the tastier. And even without that subjective element, it’s guaranteed to be fresher and more delicious.

Simple, easy and delicious, this Coq au Vin recipe is everything you need.

About the dish

The dish is as simple as it gets. It’s a white bread recipe. Nothing more and nothing less. A simple loaf of white bread, made with the most straightforward ingredients possiblee.

What sets it apart is the use of a Dutch oven to create the perfect shape and texture. I will outline the basic reasons below. But for a more in depth explanation, Mother Earth News sums it up nicely right here.

In short, a Dutch oven captures the steam created by the baking bread. That steam keeps everything moist and in turn keeps everything raising evenly and smoothly. This makes for a softer, more shapely loaf of bread.

Baking bread in a dutch oven makes it bigger, fluffier and somehow even crunchier!
Baking bread in a dutch oven makes it bigger, fluffier and somehow even crunchier!

About this dish

As I said above, we’ll be keeping this dish really nice and simple. This recipe is all about highlighting the wonders of baking bread in a Dutch oven and playing around too much with the formula will only get in the way.

As such, we’ll be using regular strong bread flour and instant dry active yeast. They’re easy to use and suited to purpose. We will, unsurprisingly, be cooking the whole thing in a pre-heated Dutch oven and removing the lid for just a few minutes at the end to colour.

This white bread recipe is useful and dynamic. It follows a straightforward 5:3 ratio of flour to water. So you can use it under any circumstances with relative ease.

If you fancied some white bread and were entirely without a Dutch oven, you could absolutely follow this recipe and bake it straight in a regular oven. You might lose a little shape and a little rise to the dough, but it would work and you would have bread!

A quick guide | Easy Coq au Vin Recipe

At the top, the flour and the activated yeast. At the bottom, a picture of the dough before and after its second rise.
At the top, the flour and the activated yeast. At the bottom, a picture of the dough before and after its second rise.

To begin, we will activate our yeast by mixing it with warm water and caster sugar, then stirring them loosely together. We’ll leave them in a warm place until the yeast is visibly active, as seen above.

Then we’ll add a tiny bit of salt to 500g strong bread flour, followed by the yeast mixture. We’ll form a dough and knead for 10 minutes, until the dough is springy and elastic.

Next, we’ll allow the dough to rise in an oiled, covered bowl in a warm place, until it doubles in size. Once the dough has risen sufficiently, we’ll flatten it and shape it into a sphere, pulling it tighter and tighter.

From there, we’ll put the dough, crease down, into the bowl one more time, and we’ll allow it to rise again. During that time, we’ll bring our Dutch oven up to temperature.

We’ll drop the dough, crease up, into the Dutch oven, which will go into the regular oven, with the lid on top, to cook for roughly 40 minutes, followed by a brief spell with the lid off to colour.

Dutch Oven Bread - So much texture!
Baking the bread in a dutch oven before removing the lid gives the bread an amazing shape and texture.

A few final things to remember

  • Knead well. While you can go too far, you probably won’t. At least not without a bit of work. Keep going until the dough really has a good spring to it. You’ll get a better and better feel for this once you make more and more bread.
  • Be patient. When the dough raises, it’s important to give it the time it needs. It creates a better texture, a lighter consistency and an airier loaf of bread.
  • Removing the lid for the last few minutes colours the loaf and helps to create texture on the top.

Similar Recipes & Useful Sides

Wholemeal Flour Bread Recipe

Simple White Bread Loaf

Soft & Fluffy Caraway Seed Loaf Recipe



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Baking the bread in a dutch oven before removing the lid gives the bread an amazing shape and texture.

White Bread Recipe | Baking Bread in Dutch Oven

This quick and easy white bread recipe makes a single, simple white loaf of bread with a light, fluffy crumb and a crunchy, crisp crust. It’s all about baking your bread in a Dutch oven!
Prep Time 2 hrs 20 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Course Lunch, Snack
Cuisine English

Equipment

  • Dutch Oven

Ingredients
  

  • 500 g Strong Bread Flour plus extra for dusting
  • 300 ml Water
  • 1 tsp Caster Sugar
  • 7 g Instant Dry Active Yeast
  • 1.5 tsp Salt

Instructions
 

  • To begin, we will activate our yeast by mixing 7g yeast with 300ml lukewarm water and a tsp caster sugar. Stir them together loosely.
  • Leave this in a warm place for 5 – 10 minutes or until the yeast can be seen bubbling at the top of the glass. For a visual reference, look at the second picture in the above image.
  • Then we’ll add 1.5 tsp salt to 500g strong bread flour and combine, before adding the yeast mixture and combining. Keep mixing until the mixture forms a dough. Add a splash more warm water if the dough is too dry. But don’t go too far or you’ll have a tough time kneading and shaping.
  • Knead the dough for 10 minutes, or until the dough feels (relatively) tight and springy. You want to see visible signs of the elasticity in the dough, resisting to any pressure you put on it.
  • Clean out and dry your mixing bowl and rub it with oil, then place the dough back in and cover with a wet cloth. Leave it in a warm place for 45 minutes to 1.5 hours, or however long it takes to double in size. You can see the difference in the bottom two pictures in the above image.
  • Once the dough has risen sufficiently, you want to flatten it and knead it a little, then start shaping it into a perfect sphere. You essentially want to tightly pull it into shape again and again, tucking it into itself over and over.
  • Once the dough feels nice and tight, put it back into the oiled bowl. Shaping it as you have been will have formed a crease or a rupture, where the dough won’t have stuck perfectly back together. You want that facing down, for the moment, for reasons you will understand shortly.
  • Allow the dough to rest until it has once again doubled in size. During that time, pre-heat an oven to 220c with your Dutch oven inside.
  • (Carefully) Remove your Dutch oven from the oven and quickly drop the dough into it. The crease should now be on the top, which is what you’re looking for here. It creates an uneven surface that will become wonderfully crisp and crunchy as it cooks. You can dust it with a little flour if you like.
  • Once again, carefully and quickly, place the Dutch oven back into the regular oven, with the lid on top. Cook this way for about 40 minutes, before removing the lid and cooking for a further 10 or for however long it takes to reach the desired colour.
Keyword baking bread in dutch oven, bread, dutch oven, dutch oven bread, Fluffy Bread Recipe, white bread, white bread recipe

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