3.17.2010

Crusty Bread follow up

The special pan is a problem.  I've been researching some far less alternatives.  The pan does NOT have to be a Le Creuset.  It just needs to be cast iron.  The cast iron creates an oven to bake the bread in.  Why can't you just bake it in the oven?  I don't know, but you can't!  There are several cast iron enamel covered pans out there.  I receive one tip that Walmart has a Paul Dean brand.  I purchased one from Costco for my daughter for around $50.  Just keep your eye open.  I purchased one of my pans from TJ Maxx, and two from Down East Home.  Remember that you can use your camp dutch oven.  I'll keep you updated on sitings for "cast iron enamel covered" pans.  Keep baking!

79 comments:

  1. I want to make this bread, it looks delicious, but my cast iron dutch oven is not enamal coated. In fact, it is at least 60 yrs old and well seasoned. I use it all the time. Does the coating matter! JACKIE

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    1. Lucky you! Your good old dutch oven will probably work better than a very $$ enamel covered one. My sister uses an camping cast iron dutch oven and has great results.

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  2. Amazing!!! I don't care where you got the recipe from, just glad that you decided to share it! Love this bread :) Now I have another use for my red LeCreuset babies! Thanks again!

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  3. I want to say thank you for this bread! I make it weekly and my husband even makes it sometimes. I use freshly ground wheat flour (I grind my own wheat into flour with my Kitchen Aid mixer attachment).

    Also I love your towel gift wrap idea! I paint kitchen towels with stencils from the 1940's-1950's that would be perfect to wrap bread up in! Check it out if you like at http://www.etsy.com/shop/ThistleFinchGallery?ref=si_shop Thank you and I love your other food items too!
    Shellie from ThistleFinchGallery.etsy.com

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  4. Oh my gosh! I love your dish towels. They are just too cute. I want them all!

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  5. Sorry if this is a repeat... You mentioned that the Lodge enamel Dutch oven works ok but mine says not to heat above 400 degrees. Should I bake at 400 or will it be ok at the higher temp? Just don't want to ruin my cookware but I'm dying to try this. It looks amazing!

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  6. I see that you need either a cast iron dutch oven or a crock pot liner with lid, but is there any other types of pots you can use for this bread? Thanks and God Bless!

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    1. I have had comments that pizza stones with a pan of water in the oven have been used, Clay roasting pots, Pyrex dishes with lids, even a stainless steel pot with a lid. I think you can pretty much experiment with anything. Good luck.

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  7. I use Saf instant yeast, order through King Arthur Flour. But keep it in a glass or acrylic container in the freezer to keep it fresh!

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  8. I just needed to thank you for sharing your recipe with so many people…especially me! After seeing this on Pinterest, I immediately went on a quest to find Les Creuset pots. I wound up going to the city; nobody in my town had them. I knew that Winners (in Canada) did sell them, so I headed there first. They never had any left. I then went to HomeSense, and they had none either. I checked sears, stokes, Kitchen things and several other stores with no luck. I went back to HomeSense, because they did have another brand of enameled cast pot. So I decided to buy one of the large oval ones.
    When we returned home, I mixed up a double batch of dough…1 plain and 1 orange-cranberry-almond. The following day I got my loaves ready, and my plain one was collapsed. I went ahead and made the cranberry one while I tried to figure out what to do. I decided to reshape the loaf and just hope for the best. I did have to handle the dough more than I was supposed to, and I also had to transfer it over to a fresh floured sheet of parchment paper, but this time it held its shape. When the cranberry was ready, I put the plain one in the pot and it rose up beautifully. In fact it was even larger than then the cranberry one. Both loaves were absolutely beautiful! I did have a problem removing the parchment paper; it stuck pretty badly on the bottom and about ¼ inch up the sides. I was able to remove most, but not all. Once the bread was cooled enough, hubby and I sliced and we ate and ate and ate...The cranberry loaf was our favorite by far, but the white bread was excellent too. Neither of us even noticed the pieces of parchment paper that were left behind. Hubby said it just added to the flavor and texture. Regardless of the small dilemma, it was the best bread we ever ate in our lives!
    Today I am making 2 loaves of Orange-Cranberry-Nut, 1 Cinnamon Raisin Honey Nut (walnuts), 1 Parmesan-Basil with Sun Dried Tomatoes & Garlic (smells delicious) & 1 Plain (I since purchased another enameled cast pot). Your bread recipe has honestly changed my life, but that’s another story altogether.
    I was wondering if you could let me know how you use this recipe to make your pizza dough. I’m not sure if you’re just mixing your ingredients and using the dough right away, or if you’re letting it raise for the 12-18 hours first? I would appreciate any direction you could give me.
    Again, I thank you so very much for sharing this wonderful recipe! I look forward to experimenting with many new flavor combos and hopefully learning your secret to making the perfect pizza dough! Until then, Be Well…Be Happy & Keep on Baking

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  9. Liana Olivier5/2/12, 2:37 PM

    Janet i have a small gas stove, will this bread resipy work in that too. and if I dont have a cast iron pot will glass do.

    thanks Liana
    South Africa

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    1. I'm not sure if the bread will work on a stove top. It's worth trying. I think glass will work, if it can take the heat.

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  10. I am wondering about using BLEACHED flour? Does it have to be UNBLEACHED? Can't wait to try this recipe...... thanks for posting it.....

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    1. I don't think it has to be unbleached. I'm just in the habit of using unbleached. Bleached flour should work just fine.

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  11. I am from Australia and I have just spent the majority of Sunday afternoon reading the comments here
    I made a sourdough rye loaf with caraway seeds yesterday and left it for 24 hours baked it this afternoon
    I found it did not rise as well as the white loaf I made a couple of weeks ago but it does taste wonderful
    I love this bread I have been making bread now for about 20 years and this would have to be the easiest one yet
    Thank you
    Wendy in Queensland

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  12. ok today i made your crusty bread for the second time.Today I made a multi grain rosemary and calamata olive bread I know you said you hadn't had much luck with whole wheat so do I have a recipe for everybody!!!!

    1 cups whole wheat
    2 cups white
    1/3 cups uncooked multi grain cereal
    1 3/4 teaspoons of salt
    2 teaspoons of yeast(it rises in about 2 hours but it combats the heaviness of the ww flour and whole grains)
    1/4 cup calamata olives roughly chopped
    3 tablespoons fresh chopped rosemary

    Combine this together
    increased water to 2 cups(lukewarm)

    baked in a 4 qt aluminum pot cover with foil at 450 for 40 mins and drizzled olive iol on top before the last 15 uncovered,perfection!!!would show you a picture buuuttt have already cut into it will take one next time. thank you thank you thank you
    victoria in va

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    1. Fabulous recipe!!! Thank you so much for sharing. I can't wait to try it.

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  13. Hi Janet,
    I tried the Crusty bread and it turned out perfect. We loved it. Now I am wondering if you have a recipe for BRIOCHE BREAD? I would love to know how to make that one.... thanks

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    1. I'm with you on the Brioche bread. I found a no-knead recipe months ago, I haven't tried it yet, but you have given me inspiration to pull it out and give it a try. I'll get on that.

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  14. Do you use active yeast or rapid rise
    Thankyou

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  15. Glowngranny6/30/12, 7:51 PM

    Janet, I know I am late to the game here, but I am a novice baker! This is my FIRST loaf of bread...I was so thrilled to find this that I ran out to Tuesday Morning & got a beautiful 5 qt. Chasseur dutch oven on sale for $74.00! I ran home & made the lemon, rosemary & cheese one last night. Got up this mroning & followed the instructions exactly (reheating, heavily floured, cook & uncover) when I got my first loaf out it is only 2" tall (center measurement)!!! It tastes delicious & the top looks exactly like your photo but the height is very short?? I doubled the recipe & the second loaf came out the same height, of course. I used Fleischmann's Rapid Rise Highly Active Yeast (I live in Arkansas) and I used 1 tsp. (1 pkg.) since I was doubling the recipe...what did I do wrong? Please help, I can't find any June or July posts so I hope you are still following this Blog! Both loaves tasted delicious but did I not use enough or the wrong kind of yeast? Thanks for your post, recipes...you have inspired me to do something new & I am excited!

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    1. Dang! I wish I could just pop into your kitchen to help you out. Your yeast shouldn't be a problem. I have doubled the recipe without any trouble. I have suggested that people who have problems with their bread rising to add more flour. Try an additional 1/4 cup. If the dough seem really wet after the first mixing try adding more than 1/4 cup. Don't over mix the bread. Just until the flour is barely mixed in. It's ok if there are some dry spots. They will go away as the dough sits. Let me know if any of this helps. For a quick response from me you can send me your email address I won't post your address. Maybe we can work this out together.

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  16. I have used both active dry yeast and rapid rise for baking this bread. Both work just great.

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  17. Thank you I added my 1/2 teaspoon of rapid rise yeast with 3 cups of flour and 1and 1/2 cups of lukewarm water
    The dough seemed dry not moist so I added a little bit more water is that ok. The dough was really dry

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  18. Hi Janet, just wanted to say thank you so much for the recipe for Crusty Bread. I found you on Pinterest. I've made Cranberry Walnut (twice) and Rye bread. Both came out great and so very easy!! EllenW.

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  19. Can you use bleached flour or does it absolutely have to be unbleached? I can't wait to try this recipe but all I have is bleached flour. I buy it by the 25 lb bag because I do a lot of baking. I even bought a new 5 1/2 quart dutch oven just for this recipe. I've never owned one before and just can't wait to bake this bread!! Thanks for the recipe! I also found it on Pinterest. :)

    Thanks
    Amy

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  20. Well, I just made this bread today for the first time and I have to say that I think it is some of the best bread I have ever had!!! So incredibly easy and oh so yummy!!! I am excited to make it again and share this wonderful recipe with my family! Thanks so much for sharing this recipe! All of those hours on Pinterest sure did pay off!!!

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  21. This is such a wonderful blog.. nothing like sharing recipes.. :) cooking and baking sure unite us as then we find the similarities around the world. Keep on trucking ( and baking and experimenting !!!)

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  22. Just wanted to let you know your blog, specifically this recipe inspired me to try baking for the first time! I was so afraid to do anything from scratch and now I have made this bread 4 times and am trying the cranberry bread tonight. My husband who is stationed away from me is so excited about my new found interest in cooking...he can't wait to come home. This may seem like a crazy statement, but you really did change my life :) so excited about the possibilities!!!! Thanks again!

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    1. Wow! I have never been told that I have changed a life. I normally hear "you're ruining my life" from my kids. I hope your husband comes home soon. He has my complete respect and gratitude. Happy baking.

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  23. Thank you for such an easy and delicious recipe! Thank you also for your follow-up with all the questions, I really appreciate all the questions and your answers!

    I started my dough on mon. night around 11pm, and let it rise till 3pm on tue.(16 hours). When I made the dough I forgot to add the cheese with the dry ingredients. I added the cheese (but was distracted because of my mix-up with the steps) and added the whole 2cup package of shredded colbyjack instead of measuring out 1cup. I thought for sure this was going to be a baking lesson gone bad, but kept going. I used my crockpot insert and since the lid has a plastic knob I used aluminum foil crimped over the edges instead of the lid (not easy to do on a super hot pot with oven mitts on). I also dumped out the dough on floured parch. paper and put the dough in the pot with the paper. The bread was divine!!! I can't wait to make more, and to try other flavors!

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  24. I've made two loaves, and both turned out short. Before baking, the dough was way too wet and "liquid", wouldn't hold its shape at all. It was a big blob. Either my yeast is old or I need to add more flour than was in the original recipe. The flavor was still good though. I will try again and update everyone. P.S. I greased my hands with cooking spray before handling the dough, to help with stickiness. But then again my dough has been too wet, so that may not work well once I get the dough beter.

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    1. You may want to add 2 tablespoons to 1/4 cup more flour to the recipe. Yes the dough is extremely sticky and mine has been a big blob also. I heavily flour the surface, then dust the dough on the top and sides with flour as well as my hands then shape into the loaf. When I pick it up sometimes it is the biggest mess, but i just drop it into that hot pan and a miracle takes place. I hope this helps.

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  25. Ok...it's already half gone! Should have doubled the recipe! Delicious!!!
    Thanks Janet!
    K

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  26. Hi, I am wondering what you would do to make a honey whole wheat?

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  27. Janet, I'm not sure where this post is going to appear, but CHEERS for your reply to "the supposed" Mr. Lahey (who had to give an anonymous response to you......so much for his integrety) The recipe is great, thanks so much for posting it and for taking the time to read all the questions and responses. I sincerely hope your daughter's wedding is fabulous.....and that you take a break to get back to normal after all your excitement. By the way, I've made this bread at least 30 times, usually just the way you posted it....it's great. I've also made it with cheese, bacon, rosemary, garlic, onions, etc, etc. No matter what I add, it turns out great. Thanks once again. And disregard all the negative comments, they are few and far between.

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  28. Have been trying for over a year to make this kind of bread using over 50 pounds of flour til now. This recipe turned out great with the cast iron. One thing I found out was the water I was using was my city water which has chlorine in it. The bread would Never rise. Now I use distiled water and what a diference. Thank you for this recipe and the baking in the cast iron. Guess I'm buying streach jeans from now on.

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  29. I have been making this bread like crazy...trying different variations...well found a good one...Pizza bread! I added pepperoni, onion, black and green olives...and of course cheese. Let me tell ya...was DELISH! Thanks so much for this recipe!

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  30. Janet, have you tried that Brioche bread recipe you said you found yet? I would love for you to share that recipe as I have been wanting to try that one.
    I am making the crusty Bread with the Peperoni, onion, olives and cheese as we speak... can't wait to taste it..... thanks so much

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    1. I have found the recipe in a book called something like 5 minute bread. I've had such a busy summer, I just haven't gotten around to spending 5 minutes on it. What's my problem. Ironically, I just looked up the recipe the other day. I'll get on it. How long could it take anyway...5 minutes?

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  31. Great! I will be waiting to hear more and for the recipe. Thanks so much, my Crusty Bread in on the cupboard waiting for the morrow to come...

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  32. Would like to add my comments to all the others that this is a fabulous recipe! It couldn't be easier or tastier. I let it cool, which was difficult, then put it into a large ziplock bag overnight. That slightly moistened the crust just enough to cut and eat. Of course it was gone within 24 hrs! I've been trying to make French Boule for awhile without much luck. Now I feel like I am a true Baker! Haven't tried any flavor combos, yet, but will. Just fyi, I bought my enameled cast iron dutch oven at World Market. They put them on sale several times a year and I got mine for $30. Great bargain as I use it all the time. I'm wondering if people having trouble with their enamel pots might be due to using them for the first time, right out of the box and putting them into a hot oven. Mine was well used and seasoned before I put it into a 450 oven. Just a suggestion.

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  33. A great way to clean cast iron (when it's really crusty) is to use your ovens "self clean" cycle. Remember though, afterwards you will have to re-season the cast iron (it will come out looking newly cast).
    Janet, we seem to have a lot in common.....same granite counter top, same dishes (I call mine blue rimmed country), same color Le Creuset, and a love of cooking!

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  34. Janet, I have read all these wonderful comments and suggestions but nowhere have I found a mention of using a "La Cloche" stoneware baker. I just saved all my pennies for one and still can't bake a great loaf. Have you every tried it in a La Cloche?

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    1. I don't see why not. Many others have used clay pots and they have had great success. I would think that the stoneware would work just great. I would try it. Not much too loose. Then please let us know how the bread turned out. thanks.

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  35. Do you have a recipe for Rosemary Black Olive Bread? Had it once but can't find a written rexipe.

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  36. I attempted to do a Gluten Free loaf last night with a GF flour blend I have - the dough did not rise at all. I baked it anyway and it tasted ok but was a nasty hard lump. I have other blends and will keep experimenting until I get a good one!

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    1. I find that I increase my yeast when doing g-f. I also add about 1/4 coconut as part of the flour measurement. It makes it much lighter. I haven't tried this recipe yet but I want to as soon as my life settles down a bit.

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  37. Hi Janet, Loved your bread!!!! My friend made it for Thanksgiving yesterday and I could not believe how yummy it is! I love sourdough, so how would you do a sourdough bread? Thanks, Lilla

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  38. I just had to tell you about what happened to me.

    I had just mixed up my latest batch from this recipe. Dijon mustard and Asiago cheese, and went to bed. I woke up in the morning and NOTHING. I mean nothing. What happened????? Then I realized - I forgot to add the yeast! :( Now what? I decided to try stirring some in. So I dumped a healthy 1/2 teaspoon of yeast in and did my best to mix it up. Then I ignored the bowl (for 24 hours). Yes, this means this has been sitting on my counter for almost 2 full days now, but what do I really have to lose? I plopped it into the dutch oven and set the timer.
    You would not believe how wonderful the loaf is. Light and tasty.
    So for any of you afraid of "screwing up" - My advice is "give it a try!" It's almost a no-fail adventure - even if you don't follow the directions well.
    THANK YOU for a great recipe!

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  39. I live at an altitude of 6500 ft. - do you think I will need to change anything in the recipe?

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    1. Hi Lana, I live at 5500 I did not make any changes. I would think if you needed to make any changes it would be in the liquid. If the consistency seems extremely wet add more flour to the mixture. If it seems too dry add more water. I know that sounds dumb, but that could be the only thing that could go wrong with altitude. First just try the recipe as stated then adjust from there.

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  40. Did you use fresh cranberries or Craisins in your bread?

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    1. Dried. I think you could use fresh.

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  41. Could someone that has made the pizza bread share the ingredients and measurements? Sounds fabulous! Can not believe how easy and delicious this bread is!! Also, has anyone tried a sweetened version? Cinnamon raisin maybe?

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  42. Ok. It turned out great. The bottom of the Dutch oven has some little spots of flour on it. The bread looks beautiful. I got it out of the hot pot using a couple of wooden spoons to avoid getting burned.

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  43. I have been making mine in a 3 quart (about 8" square-ish) Corning Ware casserole pan (covered, of course). It's coming out perfect!

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  44. I made this bread for the first time last night. It was so beautiful and I was so proud of myself. It looked like an artisan bread from a bakery. Who knew you could make such gorgeous bread without kneading. It's definitely a make-again!!

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  45. I made this bread and loved the results! It was as easy as you said.

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  46. Anyone try it gluten free?

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  47. I made this wonderful bread this morning. I did not have a dutch oven that was rated to 450 degrees and my bake ware wasn't large enough, so I split the dough into two different smaller loaves and used two smaller CorningWare dishes. I did have to adjust the bake time slightly, mostly just at the end once you remove the cover. The bread came out perfectly. One of the loaves disappeared before it even cooled completely! Thank you for sharing this great recipe! Could not be easier. Can't wait to start trying different flavor combinations now.

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  48. Made this for first time and will definitely make again. Halved the recipe in case it didn't turn out. The only cooking vessel I had able to handle 450 degs was collapsible silicone bowl w/lid. (Love the bowl and would've been majorly bummed had it not survived this.) Preheated bowl at 425 (my oven cooks a bit hot) with couple inches of water on cookie sheet (the bowl has wavy feet so doesn't sit flat on oven rack). Bread looked done after the 30 mins but gave it 5 more uncovered. Yum! Crunchy crust, dense, chewy interior. Mild flavor. For half recipe, used 3/4 c unbleached, 3/4 c whole wheat. Didn't have RapidRise yeast, Fleischmann's ActiveDry worked fine. Now to decide what other flavor options to try.

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  49. Anon:
    I'm not sure about coconut milk. I have never tried it. Why not? If anything, you might need more liquid. I will try it tonight. Let me know if your try it as well.

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  50. I bake the Crusty Bread in my Cuisinart and my Chantal cast iron Dutch ovens which are 3 1/2 quarts and just perfect. The Cuisinart loaf comes out a little higher because that pot isn't as wide as the Chantal in which that loaf comes out a little "flatter." But it's all good!!

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  51. Can this be frozen after it's baked & cooled?

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    1. Hi Jen, This bread can be frozen. I wrap it in plastic wrap then foil. You can reheat the bread in a 300 degree oven, once it has thawed, for about 10 minutes.

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  52. made it, loved it...

    I was using a somewhat oven-unsafe enameled stock pot to great success x7, just ordered a 7qt enameled dutch oven because of this recipe!!!

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  53. I just made this recipe today and it was wonderful! However, I have two question. First, the color of the bread was tan instead of white. Is this normal? I used the exact ingredients specified in the recipe. It taste fine, just looks a little odd.

    The loaf looked like it should, although next time I might use a bit less water. The bottom was golden and beautiful but it was so hard that we really couldn't eat it. The bread is great if I cut off the bottom, but I'd like to be able to make this and give it away and that won't work if it comes out like that. Any suggestions as to what I can do to avoid this? I baked it for the amount of time instructed and I'm using an enamel covered cast iron pot.

    Thanks for your help!

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  54. There are a few things you can do. You can raise the rack in your oven to the middle or even lower the baking temp by 25 degrees. You can place your pot in the oven and let it preheat with the oven instead of waiting until the oven temp reaches 450F before you put your pot in. Omit the 30 minute heating time and just put the dough into the pot. I hope this helps. You can always cover the bread with a cloth and let the steam soften the crust up a bit. I hope this helps.

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  55. Janet, for the jalapeño cheddar...did you use fresh or jarred jalapeños?!

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    1. I used fresh, but jarred will work as well.

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  56. can you use sourdough starter in this bread if so could you say what quantities

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    1. I have never tried it, but I have had a couple of comments regarding the use of sourdough with great results. It seems like they used 1/2 cup starter. I hope I'm right.

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    2. thanks Janet I will try it. I have made this using the dry yeast and it came out great. I haven't got a cast iron pot I just used a cheap casserole with a lid and it came out perfect.Thanks for the recipe :-)

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  57. I have a 7 qt cast iron pot. I made the recipe and it turned great. I was wondering if I can double the recipe and bake it all at once. How does this affect the baking times (covered and uncovered)? Thank you!

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  58. Just ordered a Tramontina 6.5 Qt Enameled Round Cast Iron Dutch Oven; Color: Red from Walmart for $39 - amazing price and good reviews on the pot. Can't wait to try the bread!

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  59. Janet, What a wonderful way to make a loaf of bread without babysitting it..Has time windows that are very flexible. I think the reason the bread comes out without sticking is because the dough is put in a hot pot and instantly cooks a bottom crust..

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