Rosemary-Garlic Bread in a Dutch Oven
This is a bread recipe I've been making for the last few years! It's perfect for dinner parties, apéritif with friends, and even for morning toast with avocado. Usually, I'll leave the rosemary and garlic out when I'm baking the bread at home but I feel like they're a nice touch every once in a while. You'll need to give yourself about two and a half hours to prepare this bread!
What you'll need for this recipe is a large Le Creuset pot or dutch oven, 1 packet or 2 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast, 1 1/4 cup of warm water, 1 tsp. of white sugar, 2 1/2 - 3 1/2 cups of unbleached flour, 1 1/2 tsp. of sea salt, two sprigs of rosemary and a couple cloves of garlic.
1.) The first step is to add 2 1/4 tsp. of active dry yeast to your mixing bowl (I use my KitchenAid). Then add 1 1/4 cup of very warm (but not too hot!) water and 1 tsp. of white sugar. Let that sit for about 5 - 10 minutes. The yeast will start to bubble up like this:
2.) Once the yeast is ready to go, you can add your flour, salt, garlic and rosemary! First add 1 cup of the flour and 1 1/2 tsp. of sea salt to the mixing bowl. Stir on low to medium speed until incorporated. Sprinkle in the garlic and rosemary and slowly add in another 1 1/2 cups of flour while the mixer is on until the flour is mixed in. If the dough is too sticky, sprinkle in another 1/2 cup of flour at a time until the dough forms into a ball and isn't too sticky when you poke it.
3.) Once the dough has formed into a ball, remove the bowl from the mixer and sprinkle a little flour over the top of the dough. Flip it over gently and sprinkle flour on the other side as well so that the dough doesn't get stuck to the bowl when it rises.
4.) Cover the bowl with a clean dish towel and set the timer for 1 hour to allow the dough to double in size.
5.) Once the dough has doubled in size, tip it out onto a floured surface. You may need to gently pull the it away from the sides of the bowl if it's stuck. Pull the sides up into the center (without kneading) and flip it over so the clean, smooth side is on top and you have a nice round shape like this:
6.) Turn the oven on to 460° Fahrenheit and place your Le Creuset pot in the oven with the lid on so it can heat up. While the oven is heating up, go ahead and cover your dough with a dish towel and let it rise on the counter for an additional 30 minutes.
7.) Using a knife, you can score your dough, either with an X or one slash across the top. It's now ready to go into the oven!
8.) With oven mitts, carefully remove the hot Le Creuset pot from the oven and place the dough in the center. Then put the lid back on and place it back in the oven. Set the timer for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove the lid and let the bread cook for another 5 minutes so the outside can become brown and toasty.
9.) Carefully remove the pot from the oven, taking the bread out and placing it on a cooling rack nearby. The bread should make a nice crackling sound as it starts to cool off. Let it cool for about 15 to 20 minutes before cutting into it. Once it's ready, go ahead and slice it up and add some butter or a side of olive oil and balsamic vinegar!