Necessity forced me down the path of making my own bread. All our local franchise bakeries started to die as the supermarkets began baking, the supermarket bread is fluffy, white and tasteless, but let’s face it, the franchise bakery bread wasn’t really any better.
So now I bake my own and it's really quite simple!
The process makes a simple wet dough, just roughly mixed the day before and left on the counter to prove. You can get away with only a few hours proving, but letting it have a day develops a great tasting bread!
The “Secret” is in using a Cast Iron Dutch Oven or Camp Oven as a seriously hot mini oven to bake in and the over hydrated “Wet” dough provides steam as it cooks, to develop a fantastic artisan crust.
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Step 1: The Day Before
- 3 cups Flour
- 1.5 cups water
- 1 teaspoon of yeast
- 1-2 teaspoon salt
Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl to form a rough wet dough, remember this bit only takes 5 minutes of your time, so don’t be too fussy, rough enough is good enough!
Cover with cling film and leave on the bench to prove.
Step 2: On the Day
Place your Dutch oven in the BBQ and get it hot, you want it and its lid to be at 240 degrees C (465 degrees F) to bake bread.
While that is happening, tip the dough out onto a well-floured surface and “fold” a couple of times to form a rough loaf.
Be careful not to knock all the air out of the wet mix.
Place your rough loaf onto a square of Baking Parchment.
Using a sharp serrated knife, put a few slashes in the top of the loaf to allow for expansion.
Step 3: The Baking
After a half hour your Dutch oven should be hot.
Transfer the loaf and the paper into the hot Dutch oven, replace the lid and put it back in the BBQ.
Bake with the lid on for a half hour.
After half an hour, remove the lid and leave the loaf to bake in the BBQ for another 10 minutes.
Remove the Dutch oven from the BBQ and leave sit for 5 minutes.
Step 7: Now Just Wait While It Cools
Remove the loaf from the Cast Iron Dutch Oven and allow to cool on a rack.
Waiting for the bread to cool is torture, the smell of fresh baked bread is irresistible!
Step 9: Enjoy Your Bread
Once your bread is cool enough slice off a big crusty piece, slather it with butter and jam and enjoy the fruits of your labour!
Step 10: Experiment
Once you have this mastered, you'll want to experiment with different rustic looks, try a coat of poppy seeds, or venture into wholemeal flour.
Now that you know that making bread is nothing to be afraid of, you can be as creative as you want!
Third Prize in the
Outdoor Cooking Contest 2017