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Dutch Oven Bread

January 26, 2009


In our search for the perfect all purpose bread J. and I could not resist testing out a dutch oven recipe. We found the recipe here but, according to the site, it was originally published in Cook’s Illustrated.



  • 3 cups (15 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour, plus additional for dusting work surface
  • ¼ teaspoon instant yeast
  • 1 ½ teaspoons table salt
  • ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons water (7 ounces), at room temperature
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons (3 ounces) mild-flavored lager
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar


  1. Whisk flour, yeast and salt in large bowl.
  2. Add water, beer, and vinegar.
  3. Using rubber spatula, fold mixture, scraping up dry flour from bottom of bowl until shaggy ball forms.
  4. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 8 to 18 hours.
  5. Lay 12-by-18-inch sheet of parchment paper inside 10-inch skillet and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  6. Transfer dough to lightly floured work surface and knead 10 to 15 times.
  7. Shape dough into ball by pulling edges into middle.
  8. Transfer dough, seam-side down, to parchment-lined skillet and spray surface of dough with nonstick cooking spray.
  9. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until dough has doubled in size and does not
  10. readily spring back when poked with finger, about 2 hours.
  11. About 30 minutes before baking, adjust oven rack to lowest position, place 6- to 8-quart heavy-bottomed Dutch oven (with lid) on rack and heat oven to500°F.
  12. Lightly flour top of dough and, using razor blade or sharp knife, make a 6-inch long, ½ inch deep slit along top of dough.
  13. Carefully remove pot from oven and remove lid.
  14. Pick up dough from skillet by lifting parchment overhang and lower into pot (let any excess parchment paper hang over pot edge.)
  15. Cover pot and place in oven.
  16. Reduce oven temperature to 425° and bake covered for 30 minutes.
  17. Remove lid and continue to bake until loaf is deep brown and instant-read thermometer inserted into center registers 210°, 20 to 30 minutes longer.
  18. Carefully remove bread from pot; transfer to wire rack and cool to room temperature, about 2 hours.

This is VERY good bread, but still not the perfect sandwich bread. It does take less time then the Zweiback recipe and has a nice crispy crust and bubbly texture.

J. would like this to become our go to recipe but I’m not convinced. I still want to try this recipe and then decide.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. limeandlemon permalink
    January 26, 2009 10:12 am

    this looks really good … i really should try making it … nice post … Laila ..

  2. January 26, 2009 11:44 am

    That bread looks delicious – I have not attempted to bake bread – I’m scared.

  3. January 26, 2009 12:19 pm

    I love crusty bread like this. But occationally I like a soft bread. My favorite is one of Peter Reinhart’s from Bread Baker’s Apprentice.

  4. January 26, 2009 8:21 pm

    That bread looks lovely! I have a dutch oven but have never tried to bake in it. Hmmm…

  5. January 27, 2009 7:36 am

    Wow, your bread came out beautifully — looks perfect — reminds me of a planet!

    Thanks for your recipe. I’m going to check out your bread comparison.

  6. Lisa permalink
    March 30, 2009 7:59 am

    Gosh. Looks like I need to buy some beer. This is beautiful!


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