Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Baking Italian Bread in the dutch oven

I made bread this weekend from a great book called "Baking Bread - Old and New Traditions" by Beth Hensperger. I made the Italian Country Bread which uses a sponge (a wet batter that has a long rising time before you mix it with your dough- sort of like a short sourdough). The sponge is: 1t yeast, 1/3 cup water, 2/3 cup milk, 1t maple syrup and about 2c all purpose flour. I whisked it and let it rise overnight - about 12 hours. In the morning I added: 1t yeast, 2c water, 1T salt and about 5.5c of flour to make the dough. I kneaded it, let it rise for 4 hours, punched it down and transferred it to my dutch oven, and let it rise 2 more hours (slashing a decorative pattern in the top towards the end). In the meantime I made a nice hot fire outside, then knocked it over and put the dutch oven on top of the hot coals. I built up the fire again off to the side and continued adding fresh coals underneath and on top of the oven for about an hour. I got it a bit hot towards the end and burnt the bottom a bit, but other than that it was fantastic.

1 comment:

  1. Keith,

    Looking at this at work is making me so hungry! So can you make this in a regular oven? Thanks for posting the photos!