Bread, bread, bread….I am and have always been a huge fan of bread. You name it, if its bread I like it….the fresher the better. So when I stumbled across this amazingly simple recipe, I had to make it! And let me tell you it’s SO simple. It calls for the use of an enameled dutch oven, basically a Le Creuset. If you don’t have one….leave the kitchen, right now. Only kidding! But seriously these are amazing pot, and you really must get one. I know they have a factory outlet store, although I have never purchased anything there, I do know that they discount items based on color, so you might just head in on the right day and get your perfect color. I got mine, and a thrift store! So be on the look out!
Le Creuset Crusty Bread
Adapted from simplysogood.blogspot.com, and reviewed at multiple other sites
3 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 3/4 teaspoons salt (I used Rosemary Salt)
1/2 teaspoon yeast
1 1/2 cups water
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, salt and yeast. Add water and mix until a loose mixture forms. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for 12 - 18 hours. (Overnight works great.)
Heat oven to 450 degrees.
When the oven has reached 450 degrees place a enameled, or cast iron dutch oven with a lid in the oven and heat the pot for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, pour dough onto a heavily floured surface and shape into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and let set while the pot is heating. Remove hot pot from the oven and drop in the dough. (at this stage I sprinkled the top with some rosemary salt) Cover and return to oven for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes remove the lid and bake an additional 15 minutes. Remove bread from oven and place on a cooling rack to cool.
This recipe works great doubled. The picture shows it doubled!
That also means 2 Le Crueset Dutch ovens!!
ROSEMARY LEMON GRUYERE VARIATION
After whisking the dry ingredients together add the zest from two lemons, a couple sprigs chopped rosemary and about 2 1/2 cups shredded Gruyere. Mix all the ingredients together well and add the water. Stir until you have a loose dough.
CRANBERRY ORANGE AND ALMOND VARIATION
Mix together the dry ingredients. Add about 3/4 cup cranberries, orange zest from one orange and about 1/2 cups sliced almonds. Mix it together well and add the water. Stir to form and loose dough.