Baking bread has become my new obsession. I used to think that baking bread was difficult and that it would be too difficult to learn. Unfortunately, that false idea kept me from enjoying fresh baked homemade bread for years. I am so glad that I have discovered that making bread at home is not difficult at all!
One of my recent bread recipes is this Cinnamon Swirl Bread which is perfect for breakfast, dessert or simply for snacking!
Another of my favourite types of bread is artisan loaves. I love this rustic type of crusty bread that has a soft and chewy inside. Artisan bread is hearty and perfect to go alongside a meal. I love it dipped in a big bowl of stew or chili! This bread is also great for those simple times when you are just craving a slice of bread with butter.
I have recently discovered that making artisan could not be simpler! Recently, I received the the Emile Henry Bread Cloche which is perfect for baking artisan bread. A bread cloche creates an environment similar to a steam injected oven and creates a round bread with an awesome crust. This bread is incredible!
While the bread cloche is a great way to bake this artisan bread, it is also possible to use a Dutch oven.
To knead the dough, I use a stand mixer with the dough hook attached. While you can totally knead the dough by hand, I make quite a bit of bread and using a stand mixer is so easy and it allows you to do other things in the kitchen while it kneads.
While the dough is mixed, it should pull away from the sides of the bowl and form a ball around the dough hook. The dough should not be sticky or tacky to the touch.
What kind of yeast?
The recipe for this bread calls for active dry yeast. This yeast needs to be dissolved in warm water first, before being mixed in with the flour and kneaded. Make sure that the flour is warm, but not too hot. I aim for a temperature of 95-105F.
If you prefer to use instant yeast, make sure to stir it in with the dry flour, salt and sugar. Then mix in the water and knead.
Grease a large bowl with oil. Form the dough into a ball and place in the bowl. Turn so that all sides lightly coated in the oil.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Place in a warm spot and let proof and rise until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.
After the dough has finished its first rise, punch it down and knead it to work out the big air bubbles.
Shape the dough into a ball and place on the base of bread cloche or in a dutch oven. I line the base with round parchment paper. This ensures that the bread does not stick to the base. Sprinkling the base or bottom of the dutch oven with a light dusting of flour also works well!
The dough needs to rise one more time. Put the lid on the bread cloche or dutch oven and let rise for another hour. The dough should be close to doubling in size.
Brush the dough with milk.
Sprinkle the top of the dough with a light dusting of flour.
Use a bread lame or sharp knife to score the top of the dough. You can score a cross mark on the top or a few score lines an inch apart.
Scoring the top of the dough provides a place for the bread to rise and stretch while baking. Without this, the bread could develop cracks or splits during baking.
Place the bread cloche or dutch oven, with the lid on, in a 450F oven for 35 minutes.
One of the great things about using a bread cloche is that it simulates a hearth oven. The bread comes out of the oven with an awesome crusty exterior and a chewy inner crumb. Trust me when I say that this bread is totally delicious!
- 2 tsp active dry yeast
- 1 cup warm water 95-105F
- 3 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp oil for greasing the proofing bowl
- 1 tbsp milk
- 1 tbsp flour for dusting
- Stir to dissolve the yeast in a bowl with the warm water. Set aside for 5 minutes.
- Stir the salt and sugar with the flour and dump into a stand mixer bowl.
- Using the dough hook, turn on the stand mixer to low speed. Slowly pour in the water and yeast mixture. Continue to let the stand mixer knead the dough for about 5 minutes. The dough should come away from the bowl and not be sticky/tacky to the touch.
- Grease a large bowl with oil. Shape the dough into a ball, place in the bowl and flip so all sides are coated in the oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Put the bowl in a warm place with no draft and let rise until doubled in size, about 90 minutes.
- Punch the dough down and hand knead it for about 30 seconds. Shape it into a ball and place it in a bread cloche or dutch oven. Cover and let rise for another hour, so that it doubles in size.
- Brush the dough with milk and dust with flour. Score the top of the dough ball with a lame or sharp knife.
- Bake in a 450F preheated oven for 35 minutes.
- Place on a cooling rack and let the bread come to room temperature before slicing.
Disclaimer: Emile Henry provided me with the bread cloche. All the views expressed above are my honest reactions after using the product. This post contains affiliate links.