Dutch Oven French Bread
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 25 minutes
*Your Chef will lead you through all the techniques, so prepping ahead of class is optional
Ingredients for French Bread:
- 1 ¼ cups lukewarm water
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour or bread flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons SAF instant yeast or active dry yeast
- 1 egg, for glazing
- 1 tablespoon water
Ingredients for Homemade Butter:
- 2 cups heavy cream
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- Honey, to taste (optional)
- Fine Herbs (tarragon, chives, parsley, etc.), to taste (optional)
- citrus zest (lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit), to taste (optional)
- shallot, minced (optional)
- Cognac or brandy (optional)
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment, mix the water with the yeast and sugar and allow it to sit for 5 minutes.
- Add one cup of flour at a time and mix on low speed until the flour is fully incorporated.
- Add the salt and knead the dough at medium speed for 2 minutes. The dough should pull off the sides but stick to the bottom. If it is too sticky, add 1 tablespoon of flour at a time. If it’s too dry, add 1 tablespoon of water to the dough to adjust. Allow the dough to rest for 5 minutes.
- Once the dough has fully rested, turn the mixer on medium and knead for another 3 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Remove the dough from the mixing bowl and place it onto a lightly floured surface. Shape into a ball and place it on a piece of parchment paper that is large enough to fit inside the dutch oven (usually a baking sheet size will work).
- Cover the dough with a damp towel or greased plastic wrap to proof (rise) at room temperature for an hour or until doubled in size.
- During this hour, preheat the oven to 400°F with a 4 quart Dutch oven and lid inside. When the dough is ready, use a sharp knife to score an “X” in the top, about ¼ inch deep. Remove the Dutch oven from the oven and carefully place the dough inside by lifting it up with the parchment paper and sticking it all– the parchment paper included– inside the pot. Cover with the lid.
- Bake for 20 minutes with the lid on. Carefully remove the lid and continue baking for 10 to 15 minutes or until the bread is a dark golden brown. Remove from the oven and carefully remove the bread from the pot and allow it to cool on a cooling rack on the counter for at least 30 minutes before slicing and serving with homemade butter.
- To make Homemade Butter: Pour cream into the bowl of the stand mixer with whip attachment, food processor or blender. Mix on medium high speed for 10 minutes, or until the fat and liquid separates. Strain off the liquid (save it to use for making biscuits or scones). Keep mixing until smooth, pouring out the excess liquid as needed.
- Add salt to taste and serve.
- If you choose to add any mix-ins be sure to add them once all of the liquid has been strained and the butter has emulsified.
- Transfer to a bowl and serve.