February 20, 2014

Pinterest Tested: Dutch Oven Bread

Today, I spent some time with one of my new neighbors (all day actually!), and we tried out several bread recipes. You see, Jen (my neighbor) offered to teach the rest of us plebeians how to make real bread.

Like, from scratch.

Obviously, I couldn't resist!

Especially when I saw how simple some of the recipes can be. We made several loaves of French bread  (from one of Jen's recipe books), and we also made an artisan Dutch oven loaf. You can find the recipe at FrugalLivingNW.

Artisan, dutch oven bread 

This was the easiest bread, ever! Yesterday, Jen mixed the dough and left it to rise for 18 hours. Yes, you read that correctly. 18 hours. I know that sounds like forever, but let's be honest, peeps… it's not like you actually have to do anything to the bread during that 18 hours. You just let it sit and work it's magic.

When I arrived at her place this morning, the bread was already done with the first rise:

Bread after first rise

Jen quickly shaped the dough into a ball (no kneading!), and left it to rise for a few more hours. Then, we simply plopped it into the dutch oven and baked.

Seriously, peeps. That's it.

Viola! Jen shows off our bread baby

So simple, so easy, and soooooo delicious! This loaf was HUGE, even after we split it in half. We snacked on it for a while, dipping it in various oils, slathering it with butter, and using it as a base for bruschetta mix.

The crust is crunchy, but not too thick. The inside is a fabulous texture, both light and moist (we used bread flour instead of all-purpose, so this likely helped). I sliced my half into sandwich bread for the Hubs, and we ate the remainder with our dinner.

If you've always wanted to make bread, but you were afraid to try, then this is the recipe for you. I've already started looking into a Dutch oven for myself, just so I can make this, ha!

Hopefully, I can convince Jen to guest blog some of her other bread recipes for us soon. Until then, happy baking, my friends!

Thanks for reading, everyone!
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