Friday 13 August 2010
I promised this recipe a couple of weeks ago, and have now finally got around to bringing it upstairs with me. I was introduced to this method by a thread on a forum I visit. It's certainly DIFFERENT from ordinary bread making and whilst I still make my normal bashed-about loaves too, this keeps very well due to the high water content. My husband prefers this to my other bread too. And yes, it is MEANT to have lots of holes in it!
Here are a couple of you-tube links, so you get the idea . . .
HERE and HERE and HERE.
For a Dutch Oven by the way, I use my Le Creuset oval casserole pot, which works beautifully.
This is for an initial "trial" loaf:
400g strong bread flour
300 ml warm water
1/4 teaspoon instant yeast (yes, just that tiny amount)
2 tspns salt
(Scale this up to 1 Kg flour, and 750 ml water, with 2 tspn. salt and still only 1/4 tspn yeast).
Mix ingredients lightly and leave to prove in a banneton or greased bowl for up to 12 hours. (A banneton is a French wicker proving basket). I used one the first couple of times until I went to the larger amount, which then soon outgrew the banneton!)
Take from bowl, fold 3 times, dust top with wheatgerm or semolina and tip back into banneton to rise for a further hour or so.
Put Dutch Oven into oven at 450 deg. F to preheat it - don't oil it - the dough won't stick. Place dough in Dutch Oven and cook for 30 mins, taking lid off after 15 mins.
This is LOVELY bread. I use 2/3 white flour and 1/3 rye. I haven't yet got to the stage where I can have the dough firm and tight enough to slash the top - mine has rather become the Elephant in the Room and when I tipped it out to fold it yesterday, I turned my back a moment and it was making a bid for freedom across the kitchen table!!
Have a go anyway. It certainly ISN'T time-consuming! Watch this space, as next I am going to try my hand at making a sour-dough starter. . . .