Autumn is all about baking up comfort from scratch, and there’s nothing quite as soul-warming as fresh-baked bread waiting to be slathered in butter or enjoyed warm from the oven. Thanks to the Dutch oven, the best bread in the world can come from your own kitchen. Dutch oven bread yields everything you could ever want in a baked loaf—a glossy, scored boule with a crispy crust and chewy, open crumb. It’s all the flavor of Old-World bread but made with modern finesse.
The secret to perfect Dutch oven bread is the Dutch oven itself. That’s why our test kitchen’s top recommendation is Le Creuset. Since the brand’s founding in 1925, Le Creuset has been recognized around the world as the finest producer of enameled cast iron, and for good reason. Individually cast in sand molds and inspected by no fewer than 15 French artisans before being sold, Le Creuset pieces are of unparalleled quality. Turning out perfect Dutch oven bread every time, Le Creuset’s Dutch ovens evenly distribute heat so your bread doesn’t burn and securely lock in heat and moisture to create the optimal environment for bread-baking.
One of the things we love most about Le Creuset is that they apply the same attention to detail to their Dutch ovens as they do to all of their products. Whether you’re baking a loaf in the Dutch oven, cooking creamy lasagna in a casserole dish, or even slow-roasting chicken in a braiser, Le Creuset will turn out delicious results every time.
Le Creuset’s palette of classic colors and trend-leading hues demonstrates their unique perspective on color. Their design-forward approach has resulted in the release of some of the world’s most sought-after shades. We are teaming up to offer an exclusive giveaway! Enter to win an eight-piece custom set of Le Creuset’s signature bakeware in Le Creuset’s Sea Salt! Valued at $1,000, the prize package was hand-picked by the Bake from Scratch team and includes one 3½-quart Braiser in Sea Salt, one Heritage Rectangular Casserole in Sea Salt, one 5½-quart Round Dutch Oven in Sea Salt, and three Mini Round Cocottes in Sea Salt. ***Based on availability.
Entering to win is easy! Head over to Instagram and follow the steps below:
- follow @thebakefeed and @lecreuset on Instagram
- like this post
- tag a friend in the comment section of the giveaway post and let us know what bread you’d bake with them
The giveaway contest runs from September 17, 2019, until September 20, 2019, so don’t miss out! Enter daily to increase your chances of winning!
Some of our closest friends in the baking community are also teaming up with Le Creuset throughout September and October for giveaway contests of their own! Keep an eye on our feed to see which bloggers are participating.
This fall, we’re breaking out our own Le Creuset Dutch oven and baking up some Dutch oven bread! Find our basic Dutch Oven Bread recipe below, and see how we twirl it up with two epic variations: savory Asiago Black Pepper and well-spiced Apple Cinnamon.
- 4⅓ cups (550 grams) bread flour
- 1 tablespoon (9 grams) kosher salt
- 2¼ teaspoons (7 grams) instant yeast
- 1⅔ cups (400 grams) water (59°F/15°C)
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whisk together flour, salt, and yeast by hand. With mixer on low, add water in a slow, steady stream just until a shaggy dough forms. Switch to the dough hook attachment, and beat at low speed until dough comes together and begins to pull away from sides and bottom of bowl, 6 to 8 minutes. (The dough will be elastic and should not tear when pulled.)
- Lightly oil a large bowl. Place dough in bowl turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) for 30 minutes; turn the dough in the bowl. (To complete the turn, grab underside of dough, stretch it up, and fold it to center of dough. Do this 4 times around the bowl.) Let rise until doubled in size, another 30 to 40 minutes.
- Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface. Press dough flat into a 9-inch circle. Fold right third of dough over to center; fold left third over first fold. Cover with a kitchen towel, and let rest for 15 to 20 minutes.
- For final shape, press dough flat again. Grab bottom edge, and gently stretch and fold bottom third over to center. Stretch right side out, and fold right third over to center; repeat with left side. Finish by folding top third over previous folds. Roll loaf away from you, and using both hands, cup dough and pull it toward you to seal. Turn dough 90 degrees, and pull until a tight, smooth boule forms. (Repeat as needed.) Place seam side up in a banneton (proofing basket) or a small bowl lined with a kitchen towel heavily dusted with bread flour. Loosely cover dough with towel, and let rise 30 to 40 minutes.
- Place a 5.5-quart Le Creuset Dutch Oven and lid in cold oven. Preheat oven to 500°F (260°C).
- Turn boule out of banneton or bowl onto a sheet of parchment paper dusted with flour. Using a lame or razor blade, score top of loaf. Carefully remove hot Dutch oven from oven; remove lid, and place boule, still on parchment paper, in Dutch oven. Cover with lid, and place back in oven.
- Immediately reduce oven temperature to 425°F (220°C). Bake for 20 minutes. Remove lid, and bake until deep golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted in center registers 205°F (96°C), 15 to 18 minutes more. Immediately remove loaf from Dutch oven, and let cool completely on a wire rack.
- ⅔ cup (57 grams) shredded Asiago cheese
- 1 tablespoon (6 grams) course ground black pepper
- 1 cup (137 grams) (½-inch) cubed Asiago cheese
- Proceed with Dutch Oven Bread recipe, adding shredded cheese and pepper with flour, salt, and yeast in step 1. With mixer on low, add water in a slow, steady stream just until a shaggy dough forms. Switch to the dough hook attachment, and beat at low speed for 5 minutes. Add cubed cheese, and beat until dough comes together and begins to pull away from sides and bottom of bowl, 1 to 3 minutes. (The dough will be elastic and should not tear when pulled.)
- Lightly oil a large bowl, and continue as directed.
- 2 tablespoons (24 grams) granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons (4 grams) ground cinnamon
- 1 cup (123 grams) (¼-inch) cubed Pink Lady apple
- 2 tablespoons (16 grams) all-purpose flour
- Garnish: old-fashioned oats
- Proceed with Dutch Oven Bread recipe, adding sugar and cinnamon with flour, salt, and yeast in step 1. With mixer on low, add water in a slow, steady stream just until a shaggy dough forms. Switch to the dough hook attachment, and beat at low speed for 5 minutes. Add apple and extra 2 tablespoons (16 grams) flour, and beat until dough comes together and begins to pull away from sides and bottom of bowl, 1 to 3 minutes. (The dough will be elastic and should not tear when pulled.)
- Lightly oil a large bowl, and continue as directed through step 5. Turn boule out of banneton or bowl onto a sheet of parchment paper dusted with flour. Brush top of loaf with water, and garnish with oats, if desired. Continue as directed.