Dutch Oven Bread
Enjoy the Taste of Home-Baked Bread Fresh from the Oven
Dutch ovens are one of the most versatile pieces of cookware you can have in your kitchen. Besides roasts, stews, vegetables, soups, and meats, it can be used to bake delicious homemade bread. Is there anything else more mouth-watering than the smell of bread fresh from the oven, especially when you spread some butter on a still-warm piece?
Baking bread in a Le Creuset Dutch oven gives you great results. The enameled cast iron provides more radiant heat for more even baking. The lid locks in moisture and heats from the top during the initial cooking to aid in adding “dough spring” for a chewy interior. Removing the lid during the last 30 minutes of baking lets the top of the bread brown for a crisp crust, just like artisan baked breads fresh from the bakery.
Dutch Oven Bread
By Le Creuset
- 4 cups flour
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
- Kosher salt or coarse sea salt
- Vegetable oil or vegetable oil spray
- Olive oil
- Dutch oven
- Stand mixer or large bowl and wooden spoon
- Plastic wrap
- Pan spray or oil
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Prep and pinch bowls
Combine the flour, water, yeast and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Mix on medium speed until the dough is smooth and elastic, 5 to 10 minutes. Depending on the size of the bowl, you may need to stop the mixer and remove the dough from the dough hook if the dough is not developing thoroughly. When the dough looks smooth, cut off a piece and stretch it. If it stretches to the point of transparency, it’s mixed enough. If not, continue mixing.
Remove the bowl from the mixer and cover it with a pot lid or plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rise in a warm spot until it has doubled in size and does not spring back when you push your finger into it, 2 to 4 hours.
Turn the dough out onto a work surface and knead it to release the gas and redistribute the yeast. Shape it roughly into a ball, cover it with a towel, and let stand for 10 minutes to allow the gluten to relax.
Shape the dough into a tight ball – the tighter the better – by rolling it on the work surface between your palms.
Spray or coat the bottom and sides of a dutch oven with vegetable oil. Put the dough in the center of the pot and place the lid on. Allow the dough to rise again in a warm spot for one hour.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Rub 1 tablespoon olive oil, or more if you like, gently over the surface of the dough. Score the bread with a sharp knife or razor, making an X or a hash mark; this will allow the dough to expand freely. Sprinkle the dough with salt. Cover the pot and place it in the oven.
After 30 minutes, remove the lid, reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees F, and continue baking until the bread is nicely browned and cooked through, about 15 minutes more. Crust should be firm and brown, and bread should sound hollow when tapped.
Allow the bread to rest on a rack for at least 30 minutes so that the interior finishes cooking.
Please note: Only our Signature phenolic knobs and stainless steel knobs are oven-safe at this temperature. Classic phenolic knobs are oven-safe to 375 degrees F. If using a Classic oven, remove the knob when baking at temperatures higher than 375 degrees F.