Literally every time I make bread at home, I tell myself to do it more frequently. It’s really not difficult at all and the results are always AMAZING. This bread was no exception. In fact, the four of us devoured this entire loaf along with our Roasted Garlic and Chicken Soup in one setting. The bread was still warm when we sat down for dinner.
Last year, when my mom gave me my new dutch oven, this bread was one of the things I new I would be making with it. I read the instruction manual that came with my dutch oven and it indicated that the black plastic knob was only safe in the oven up to 350 degrees. Since most things that you cook in a dutch oven are low-and-slow, that won’t cause an issue. However, this bread gets baked at 450 degrees F, so I instantly ordered a new knob for my dutch oven. If you’re going to make this bread, just be sure to check how hot your bakeware can handle.
I was a bit worried when I threw this bread into the oven because it hadn’t risen very much. Luckily, it rose quite a bit while it was baking. I used thyme in my bread since there was thyme in the soup, but I’m sure any herbs that you have on hand would be delicious.
This herb studded bread comes together quickly and is baked in a dutch oven!
Yield: 1 loaf
20 ounces, weight bread flour (~4 cups)
8 ounces, water
4 ounces, melted butter
1.5 Tbsp chopped thyme
2 tsp salt
1 tsp active or instant yeast (if using active yeast, sprinkle yeast over the water to let it start to work before mixing it in)
Combine all ingredients together in the KitchenAid stand mixer with the dough hook (it can be done by hand…it just takes longer).
I mixed them together for about 10 minutes or so until I could successfully achieve a windowpane with the dough. This is where you can pull off a small chunk of the dough you’re kneading and stretch it gently to see if it is somewhat translucent. If you can do this without it tearing, it’s ready.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
After the dough starts rising, it should be kneaded for a minute or two so that the yeast can redistribute. Form it into a dome and place in a covered cast iron pan after coating it with olive oil and a sprinkling of kosher salt. Cut a large ‘X’ into the surface of the bread dough so it can bloom!
Bake on the center rack of your over for 30 minutes with the lid on, them remove the lid to finish it off for another 15 to 30 minutes.
Recipe adapted from The Pioneer Woman