Dutch Oven Sourdough Bread
Sourdough Bread From a Dutch Oven
I have been trying for years to make a sourdough loaf that replicates the bread that Artisan Bakers produce. I found this recipe comes pretty close. Baking it in a Dutch oven with the top on replicates the steam and heat produced in a traditional wood fired oven. Let me know what you think?
1cup cold filtered water
1cup freshly ground “hard” wheat flour (red or white hard, red fife, spelt)
1-1/2 to 2cups of unbleached (non-enriched) white flour
1/4cup melted butter
1 to 1-1/2tsp. sea salt
Mix first two ingredients in a large bowl, gradually add the flour until dough pulls away from sides of bowl. Mix with hands in bowl until the dough forms a nice ball. Cover with plastic and rest for 5 minutes. Transfer onto counter and knead for about 5 minutes. The dough is quite sticky at this point and your hands will get sticky. Try not to add too much more flour. Use a scraper to scrape the counter of dough that sticks. Form into a ball and place on lightly floured surface. Cover with plastic and let rest for 5 min. Clean hands of any excess dough and then cover them with butter and knead the dough for another 5 minutes. Keep adding the butter to your hands to incorporate it into the dough (leave some for brushing the pans and top of dough). Form into a ball and brush with butter. Cover with plastic. Let rise in a buttered bowl for 8 to 12 hours. The best temperature is between 55 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit (12 to 18 degrees Celcius).
After rising time, punch down and add 1 ½ tsp. of sea salt and knead for about 2 minutes until salt is all mixed in. Form into a round loaf. Spread out the dough into a flat squarish shape. Pull the 4 ends into the center and then the four corners in as well. Pinch the dough in the middle and flip the ball over. Turn the dough on the counter with one hand while tucking the dough under with the other. This will form a tight skin on the dough. Rest 5 minutes and then repeat the turn and tuck to tighten skin up even more. Brush the top with butter. Place in a bowl lined with parchment that has been brushed with butter and lightly sprinkled with flour. The bowl should be a similar shape and size to the Dutch oven that you are going to bake it in. Let rise in a warm place until double in size (about 1 ½ – 3 hours). I put mine in a warmed oven (about 80 degrees F.)
Preheat oven to 450 degrees with a Dutch oven in it. Score the bread (I use a single edge razor). Take lid off of Dutch oven and lift the loaf out of bowl with parchment paper and place in hot Dutch oven. Cover and bake bread for 30 to 35 min. Take off Lid and bake an additional 10 to 15 min. Internal temperature should be around 190 to 200 degrees F(85 to 90 C). Take out Dutch oven and cool on wire rack for at least one hour before slicing. If there is any bread left, I slice and freeze it so I can quickly take out for sandwiches, toast and a few other uses.