Brown Bread Recipe in a Dutch Oven | How to make Brown Bread

Brown Bread Recipe in a Dutch Oven | How to make Brown Bread

Brown Bread Recipe in a Dutch Oven | How to make Brown Bread

This tasty bread recipe is all about how to make a soft, moist loaf of brown bread in a Dutch oven. We’ll be using a mix of flours to ease the proving process.

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Introduction

I won’t lie, baking is still one of those slightly laborious jobs I always tend to put off. As much as I enjoy it and as much as I appreciate the wonder of turning so little into so much, it is a long and sometimes boring process. One filled with kneading and proving and activating and waiting … It’s a time consuming thing.

Most of the bread I make is a matter of necessity. As a result, I like recipes that bring results. I don’t stick blindly to a simple formula, but the majority of my recipes do stick to a fairly simple 5:3 ratio of flour to water and an appropriate tweak or two to make it special.

About the dish

Remember when you were a child and all you wanted was a simple slice of white bread? And someone, whether it was your parents, teachers or even Jamie Oliver, kept on telling you to use brown.

Because it was healthier. It was better for you. Because it was more grown up.

But it was never quite the same. Something about that simple, soft white bread was just so much more tasty. Until it wasn’t.

I don’t think it’s just me. I think it’s most of us. At some point in time, brown bread seems to catch up. That extra little bit of flavour and the extra little bit of texture suddenly taste a whole load better than they used to.

And suddenly, you have a little more choice in your hands.

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About this dish – Dutch Oven Brown Bread

This brown bread Dutch oven recipe is really no different. The ratio is still 5:3. We’ll be using 500g flour and (roughly) 300ml water. We will also, as is so often the case, be using 7g dried active yeast.

As with the majority of my other bread recipes, we’ll be baking the loaf in a Dutch oven. This creates steam, which keeps the crust moist and enables the loaf to rise further, uninhibited by a hardened crust.

And, naturally, we will be taking the lid off toward the end of the cooking process to make sure the bread is able to colour appropriately on top.

We will be using wholemeal flour here. But I’ll leave it up to you how much you use. I’ve actually used a 50/50 split of strong wholemeal flour and strong white flour. This speeds up the proving a little bit and helps the bread expand when it cooks.

But you can use 100% wholemeal strong flour. That would be a much more authentically brown loaf of bread. So I’ll leave it up to you to experiment and find out what works for you. As long as the ratio of flour to water is appropriate and as long as you allow everything to rise sufficiently, everything will go perfectly.

A quick guide – How to make Brown Bread

The first step is to add 7g yeast and 1.5 tsp caster sugar to 300ml warm water. Give it a little stir and set it aside until it begins to foam up on top. You want to leave it in a warm place.

In a large bowl, pour in your flour. As I said above, I have used 250g strong wholemeal flour and 250g strong plain flour. But you could adjust this however you like.

Add a little salt, about 1.5 tsp, and stir it all together, then add the yeast, sugar and water mixture.

Mix everything together and knead on a lightly floured flat surface for about 10 minutes, until the dough springs back when you press against it. Then lightly oil the bowl and place the dough back inside, covered with a damp cloth, and allow it to rise in a warm place until doubled in size. This process can vary in duration and can take anywhere from 1 – 2 hours, depending on the type of flour used and the temperature of the location.

Once the dough has fully risen, remove it from the bowl – clean out the bowl – and collapse it, then form it into a tight ball shape. Continue to shape the dough in this manner, pulling it tighter and tighter, repeating the same movement for several minutes.

Oil the bowl again and place the dough back inside. A crease will have formed at the area you were shaping the dough toward. You want this part of the dough face down. Allow the dough to prove until it has again doubled in size. This will take at least an hour.

While the dough proves for the second time, heat the oven to 200c, with the Dutch oven inside.

When fully proved, carefully remove the Dutch oven from the oven and tip the dough into it. This should leave the crease at the bottom of the dough facing upward, which will help to form the nooks and crannies in the top of the loaf.

Place the lid back on, carefully, and place the Dutch oven in the oven for about 40 minutes, then allow an additional 10 minutes uncovered to colour the top.

A few final things to remember

  • Cook uncovered for a little longer if you want a crispier, darker crust.
  • Proving takes as long as it takes. It really depends on the temperature of the room and the types of flour used. Going by the visual is a safer bet than just by time.
  • Use as much of either flour as you like, as long as you stick to the 5:3 ratio. More liquid could be incorporated and would help to soften the dough, but you run the risk of a much trickier dough to work with.

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Brown Bread Recipe in a Dutch Oven | How to make Brown Bread

Brown Bread Recipe in a Dutch Oven | How to make Brown Bread

Ed Chef
This tasty bread recipe is all about how to make a soft, moist loaf of brown bread in a Dutch oven. We’ll be using a mix of flours to ease the proving process.
Cook Time 1 hr
Course Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine English
Servings 1 loaf

Equipment

  • Dutch Oven

Ingredients
  

  • 250 g Strong Wholemeal Flour
  • 250 g Strong Plain Flour
  • 7 g Yeast
  • 1.5 tsp Caster Sugar
  • 1.5 tsp Salt
  • Oil

Instructions
 

  • Add 7g yeast and 1.5 tsp caster sugar to 300ml warm water. Give it a little stir and set it aside in a warm place until it begins to foam up on top.
  • In a large bowl, pour in your 250g strong wholemeal flour and 250g strong plain flour. Or however much of each you want to use. Add a little salt, about 1.5 tsp, and stir it all together, then add the yeast, sugar and water mixture.
  • Mix everything together and knead on a lightly floured flat surface for about 10 minutes, until the dough springs back when you press against it. Then lightly oil the bowl and place the dough back inside, covered with a damp cloth, and allow it to rise in a warm place until doubled in size. This process can vary in duration and can take anywhere from 1 – 2 hours, depending on the type of flour used and the temperature of the location.
  • Once the dough has fully risen, remove it from the bowl – clean out the bowl – and collapse it, then form it into a tight ball shape. Continue to shape the dough in this manner, pulling it tighter and tighter, repeating the same movement for several minutes.
  • Oil the bowl again and place the dough back inside. A crease will have formed at the area you were shaping the dough toward. You want this part of the dough face down. Allow the dough to prove until it has again doubled in size. This will take at least an hour.
  • While the dough proves for the second time, heat the oven to 200c, with the Dutch oven inside.
  • When fully proved, carefully remove the Dutch oven from the oven and tip the dough into it. This should leave the crease at the bottom of the dough facing upward, which will help to form the nooks and crannies in the top of the loaf.
  • Place the lid back on, carefully, and place the Dutch oven in the oven for about 40 minutes, then allow an additional 10 minutes uncovered to colour the top.
Keyword baking bread in dutch oven, bread, bread recipe dutch oven, brown bread, dutch oven baking, dutch oven bread, dutch oven brown bread, how to make brown bread, making brown bread, wholemeal bread

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