Thursday, February 19, 2015

My amazing dutch oven beer bread

Recently I discovered cooking bread in a Dutch oven, it helps to develop a crunchy chewy crust. What is a Dutch oven you ask? Essentially it's a big cast iron pot with a tight fitting lid. they were originally used when people cooked on an open flame, or in their home on the hearth. Cast iron is great for cooking because it has a more even heat inside. and because there is a lid it creates a steamy environment which is how you get a nice chewy crispy bread. In commercial bakeries they use ovens that inject steam to get the same effect.

 For this recipe you are going to need.....
1 330 ml bottle of dark beer (I used Guinness)
1/2 cup of oatmeal flour (it's just oatmeal I blended up till it was a grainy flour)
2 1/2 cups of all purpose white flour
1 cup spelt flour
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon molasses

What to do-

Mix all of your dry ingredients in a large bowl (don't forget the mixture will double during fermentation) add your wet ingredients and mix until you have a ball. dust the top with some flour and try and dust the sides of the bowl so it doesn't stick to the sides as much as it rises. Cover with plastic wrap and then place a towel over your bowl to give the yeast a nice warm place to grow. Let the dough ferment for 15 to 24 hours (mine sat for 24 hrs) generously dust the top of the bread with cornmeal especially around the edge so that as you push the dough down the cornmeal coats the sides. Run your hand between the bread and bowl gently allowing the cornmeal to coat the sides once the bread is not stuck to the bowl anymore cover with the towel and allow it to re rise for 2 hours, after 1 hour set your oven to 475 and place your dutch oven in the middle of the oven. Allow the oven to heat up for 1 hour. Take the Dutch oven out of the oven carefully and gently dump your bread into the Dutch oven. Try not to handle the dough to much as you will pop all of the big bubbles that have formed inside the dough. Cover with your dutch oven lid and bake for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes take the lid off and allow it to bake for another 5 min. Take the dough out and allow it to cool for a few hours to get a really nice crust.
Don't stress of everything doesn't go exactly as planned!! Don't be afraid to play woth the ingredients. And don't be afraid to mess it up. Cooking is supposed to be fun!! Also you could make this without the Dutch oven but you would probably end up with a loaf that is a little flatter and you won't get a nice crispy chewy crust.

1 comment:

  1. If you have any questions please post here and I'll be happy to get back at you.