French Oven Artisan Bread

French Oven Artisan Bread

Written by Becky

I found this recipe on a blog the other day and was super excited to try it out. I haven’t ventured into bread making much at all, except for some rolls I made this year around Easter, Buttermilk Fantails from Gourmet Magazine. I’ve been wanting to make bread but I knwo how much time you have to carve out of your schedule to actually do it. So, I found what looked like an easier recipe that claimed to be no-knead (no manual labor required) plus the recipe calls to cook the bread in a cast iron pot which I thought sounded pretty interesting. Basically, there is very little yeast required but a longer than usual rising period. I added a few ingredients that I had around, flax seeds and steel cut oats, to add some texture to the bread. I only bought whole wheat bread flour so that’s what I used but then I read that it’s better to use part wheat and part white, so I’ll try that next time.
An update on the giveaway: you can still follow my blog through the end of today to be entered to win a $25 gift certificate to Sun and Moon Cafe. If you haven’t been there this is a great chance to experiment with a new place in Salt Lake City. It’s a quick drive up beautiful Emigration Canyon and this time of year you can enjoy your meal on their patio. Don’t forget to try their house-made cheesecake while your there!

French Oven Artisan Bread
adapted from NY Times recipe and kissmyspatula
Yield: One 1½-pound loaf.

3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting (I recommend using 1 cup wheat and the rest white)
¼ teaspoon instant yeast
1¼ teaspoons salt
1 5/8 cups of water
optional (1 TB flax seeds, 1/2 cup steel cut oats)

In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 5/8 cups water, and stir/fold with spatula until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.

Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; fold it over on itself once or twice. If dough hasn’t risen much knead a few times on floured surface. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.

Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball by pulling edges into middle. Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.

At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Spray pot with non-stick cooking spray. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up (if there is no seam using razor blade or sharp knife, make one 6-inch-long, 1/2 inch-deep slit along top of dough). If your dough looks like a mess that is O.K. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Dust top of bread with a bit of flour. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.

my breakfast this morning, a slice of fresh bread with Strawberry Rhubarb jam.

For a full list of VintageMixer recipes click here.

Comments (3)

  1. Nice job on the bread! Have you tried Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day? It is so easy and SO good. I've posted about it several times. Makes the best rustic loaves, baguettes, and pizza with really no work!

  2. Definitely going to have to try this. I love bread and am finally overcoming my aversion to baking with yeast (ie my fear of failure has diminished with a string of recent successes).

  3. Haven't tried Artisan Bread in 5 min/ day yet. But my friend Halen makes is and sent me the recipe recently so I will have to try it out now that I'm getting over my fear of baking bread.

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