Fresh out of my new cast iron Dutch oven. I can’t wait to cut into this bread with Andy tonight!!
There are so many reasons to make your own bread. I can’t even count them! Not the least of these is the way commercial breads are made, not according to traditional (and intuitive) bread-making knowledge. Without getting into a health shpiel at this point, I’ll just say that a lot of our gluten issues would probably resolve if we made our own bread the old-fashioned way.
If you ever hesitated, thinking it’s just too time-consuming…think again! This bread is incredibly easy. It’s a bonafide fast food. So without more ado:
- 1-1/2 cups organic wheat flour (white)
- 1-1/2 cups spelt flour
- 1-3/4 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. yeast
- 1-1/2 cups warm water
Add all the dry ingredients to a large bowl. Stir in the water until all is blended and comes away from the sides of the bowl. Don’t over-stir. I added a few drops of extra virgin olive oil to the bowl and rolled the somewhat sticky bread ball in it. Cover with plastic and leave out on the counter for a minimum 12 hours. I left it for 18 hours.
When you’re ready to make the bread, preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Place the uncovered Dutch oven and the lid in the heated oven for 30 minutes.
Turn the bread out onto a well-floured board. Pat down and fold in thirds, turn and fold in thirds again. Roll slightly to make a ball.
Place the ball, seam-side down, into the Dutch oven and cover. Bake in the covered Dutch oven for 30 minutes. Remove the lid, and bake another 5 minutes.
When I cut into the bread later this evening, I’ll add a picture of what that looks like. In the meantime, I’ll salivate some.
P.S. I spent some time reviewing Ciabatta recipes. Authentic Italian recipes use a Biga, somewhat like a sourdough starter. I might try that sometime, but I’m going to work with this method for awhile first. I like this way because it’s one-step. I do want to try adding more water, though. Many of the recipes seem to have about 2/3 the amount of water as flour, I.e., for 3 cups of flour, 2 cups of water. This should make a much looser dough with larger (and more) air holes. I also want to incorporate some of Monica Shaw’s techniques, especially adding seeds to the crust. You can check out her version at smarter fitter.com. I’ll keep you posted!