A New (Year’s) Twist on Homemade Bread

A fresh baked boule of bread.
A fresh baked boule of bread.
I have mentioned before that I enjoy making homemade bread (click here to read an earlier post on the topic).  Since I was trying to cut back on calories during 2017, I also cut back on bread making.
Stretching the bread.
Stretching the bread dough.
New Year’s day was the perfect opportunity to make a loaf of bread.  It was a nice, quiet day around the house so I had plenty of time to knead, rise, knead, rise, etc.  I used my regular recipe, but for some reason I decided to bake the loaf of bread in a Le Creuset dutch oven.
Getting ready for the final rise.
Getting ready for the final rise.
 The bread turned out like a pullman/sandwich bread.  Not only was the texture different (smaller holes in the bread), but the crust was softer.
Headed for the oven.
Headed for the oven.
 If you are a bread baker and want to give this a try, do everything exactly like you normally do.  For the final rise, put the bread in a dutch oven coated with Pam.  Place a Pam coated piece of plastic wrap over the top of the bread.  I let the loaf rise for 90 minutes, doubling it in size.
For baking, remove the plastic.  Spray the lid of the dutch oven with Pam, and cover the dutch oven with the lid.  I didn’t even slash/score the top!
A beautiful (and tasty) boule of bread!
A beautiful (and tasty) boule of bread!
Although my usual recipe calls for 10 minutes at 500 degrees, then lower to 450 for the rest of the baking time, I cooked the bread on 450 degrees during the entire baking process.  I removed the lid for the last 10 minutes, so that the top could brown.
As soon as I removed the bread from the over, I ran a stick of butter across the top…twice!
The bread was the perfect accompaniment to our new year’s dinner of steak and lobster.
Garlic bread.
Garlic bread.
The next night it became garlic bread to go along with a spaghetti dinner.  It was so easy.  I cut off about four slices, each a half inch thick.  I buttered the slices on one side with a soft butter.  Then I placed the slices, butter side up, on a half baking sheet and baked them in the oven on 400 degrees for about 10 minutes until the bread was slightly toasted.  You will know to start checking the bread when you can smell it.  Once out of the oven, I peeled a large clove of garlic.  I cut it in half and ran the clove over the hot buttered bread so that the garlic juice would flavor the top.  Yum!
I am pretty sure this bread would be great with any meal…and on its own!
P.S. – The recipe I use is from the Craftsy class Artisan Bread Making with Peter Reinhart.  It is the straight dough recipe.

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