Fresh bread anyone? Yes please.
Let’s be honest, there are a ton of delicious varieties of bread, but freshly baked bread is the best bread. It’s the only bread we eat in our house. This easy dutch oven bread is the recipe we make the most often. Mix together a few base ingredients, throw in some extra nutrients and you’ve got yourself a great bread.
- 2¼ teaspoon active dry yeast
- 1½ cups warm water
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 3 cups bread flour
- 1½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup sunflower seeds
- 2 Tablespoons ground flax seed
- 2 Tablespoons hemp seed
- 2 Tablespoons millet
- optional: butter & sea salt on top
- Add honey and warm water to the mixing bowl, I use a stand mixer but you can certainly use your own mixing arms to do the work.
- Sprinkle active dry yeast on top of the water and allow yeast to proof. I usually let it sit for about 5-10 minutes as I prepare the rest of the ingredients.
- In a separate bowl combine bread flour, salt, & seeds.
- Add flour mixture to the mixing bowl. Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are incorporated and dough can easily form into a ball.
- Place the dough ball in a new bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let Dough sit on the counter for a minimum of 6 hours, i usually just allow it to rise overnight.
- About 1½ hours before you want to bake your bread, line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Collect the dough from the bowl, at this point the dough may seem pretty wet, that's no problem. Fold the dough and form a ball, no kneading required.
- Place the dough on the parchment paper and cover with a tea towel. Rise for an additional 1½ hour before baking.
- Preheat oven & a covered cast iron dutch oven to 450°
- Once your dough has doubled in size it is ready to bake! Carefully remove the preheated cast iron dutch oven and place parchment paper and dough inside.
- Use a sharp knife to cut an X or a couple slits on the top of the bread, brush a little butter (optional) and sprinkle some sea salt on top (not optional).
- Cover and cook for 20 minutes.
- Remove lid and cook for an additional 15 minutes
- Allow baked bread to cool before cutting. Enjoy!
Additional notes below:
One of the main reasons why I love making this bread is because it allows for deviation, you can’t really mess it up and it’s delicious. You can leave the additives out entirely or exchange them for other available ingredients if you desire. This time I added ground flax, millet, hemp seed, and sunflower seeds. I generally have these ingredients on hand and I like including them in the recipe for extra nutrients and flavor. Millet adds a nice little crunch, while the seeds load it with hearty substance. This is a solid combination. I will often add kelp powder, nutritional yeast, herbs, walnuts, almond meal, spices… really anything goes. However, the more you add the denser your bread may become.
Switching up additives is easy, but how about flours? Well, you can do that too. Different flours will yield different results. I generally like to use bread flour because it turns out nice and full, not too dense with a great crispy crust. You don’t always need to stick to the rules, but you need to understand when you deviate you get different results. That means the outcome could be better or worse depending on what you prefer. I’ve always felt this way about cooking, but when I found this could also be true for baking I was very happy about it. Knowing that you don’t have to do things exactly like you’re supposed to takes some of the pressure off of your experience in the kitchen, it’s what makes cooking and baking so much fun. It’s all about learning the process and testing the variables for me.
Hope you’ll give this recipe a try!