I started making bread about 2 months ago. This is the first white rustic bread I have successfully made in a dutch oven, I was overjoyed. The aroma is amazing, and the bread is soft on the inside with a lovely thin crust. The mouthfeel is similar to a baguette.
The dough is quite wet and sticky. To work the dough, I used a plastic dough scraper to pull at one end and fold it over the top to the other side of the dough, rotating the bowl after each fold. I did this for about 2 minutes.
I followed Bruno Albouze’s (a French chef) method of proofing, which is letting the dough rest for 4 hours, deflating every hour, and shaping the dough to proof in a banneton basket. You can view his method in the video below.
Because the proofed dough was still very sticky and soft, I placed a parchment paper over the basket, then put a plate on top and flipped the basket over. I then transferred the parchment paper with the dough into a preheated dutch oven. In my tabletop electric oven, it took 50 minutes to bake the bread – 30 minutes with the lid on and 20 minutes with the lid off.
The finished product – a beautiful rustic bread with natural splits. Nothing beats a freshly baked bread.
Although wet dough/high hydration dough can be hard to work with, it produces bread with a lovely thin crust that is soft inside.
Original bread recipe from valentinascorner
Rustic White Bread
- 1 1/4 cup water, warm ( 33 – 40° C / 91 – 104° F)
- 1/4 cup whole milk, warm
- 1 ½ tsp salt
- 2 tsp oil (Canola or Olive oil)
- 2 tsp granulated sugar
- 2 ½ tsp active dry yeast/instant yeast
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- Preheat the oven and dutch oven (with the lid on) at 230° C/ 446° F for 30 minutes.
- Add yeast and sugar in the warm water, stir to mix and cover with a towel for 5 minutes to activate the yeast.
- Sift flour in a large bowl, add in salt, sugar, oil, and warm milk, stir to combine.
- Add the water with yeast in the flour mixture and mix with hand until you get a wet sticky dough.
- Use either a dough scraper or wet hands, pull one end and fold it over the top to the other side of the dough. Continue this for 2 minutes. Dip mixing hands in water to prevent dough from sticking to your hands. You can rewet your hands a few times during this process. Do not add flour.
- Cover with a tea cloth and let it rest 4 hours, deflating the dough every one hour.
- After letting the dough rest for 4 hours, gently tip the topside of the dough on a floured surface.
- Draw up the edges to the center to create a disc shape and transfer to a well-floured banneton basket to proof for another hour.
- Place a parchment paper over the basket, then put a plate on top and flipped the basket over. Carefully transfer parchment paper with the dough into a preheated dutch oven.
- Bake for 30 minutes with the lid on, then remove the lid and bake for another 20 minutes or until the loaf is medium brown all around.
- Transfer the bread to a wire rack and let it cool down to room temperature before cutting.