I absolutely love the weekend ritual of baking my own bread from scratch. It's such a rewarding, therapeutic experience, and the outcome is truly enjoyable. This crusty artisan bread is a recipe I make often, deliciously moist and chewy inside, yet it still has the beautiful outer crust of a rustic, peasant loaf.
It is baked in a cast iron Dutch oven, and requires absolutely no kneading and only two hours of rising time. I use spelt flour for this, although buckwheat and rye flour also work well to create a darker, earthier style of bread.
CRUSTY ARTISAN DUTCH OVEN BREAD
3 cups spelt flour* (see notes below)
1 ½ cups warm water (think bath temperature)
¼ cup honey, or 3 Tbsp coconut sugar
1 tsp sea salt
2 tsp dried yeast
* I used spelt flour, although you could experiment with using rye, buckwheat or flour of your choice. All-purpose gluten-free flour works really well for "white''-style bread. This can be found at most supermarkets.
1. In a small bowl, whisk together warm water, honey or sweetener and yeast. Leave to prove for 5-10 minutes or until foamy.
2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk flour and salt. Add yeast water and mix with a fork until a shaggy mixture forms.
3. Cover bowl with a damp cloth and set aside in a warm place for 2-3 hours to rise.
4. Set oven to 220C. Once oven has reached the right temperature, place Dutch oven and lid in oven to heat up for 30 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, with a spatula, carefully transfer dough to a floured surface, and gently shape it into a ball. Be careful not to knead.
6. Remove hot pot from oven, and line with baking paper. Do not miss out on this step or bread will stick to bottom of pot. Carefully place dough in the bottom of pot. Cover with lid and bake in oven for 30 minutes.
7. After this, remove lid and continue to bake for a further 15 minutes to crisp up.
8. Remove bread from oven, and place on a rack to cool.