A few days ago I posted about how to make a basic loaf of white bread in my new Dutch Oven. Although it was a little bit of heaven eating my own homemade bread, it was still rather “white bread” for me and I needed to improve it somehow.
Before I tell you about the updates I made, I wanted to tell you a something about myself. I am rather persistent. Well, okay, I am probably beyond persistent. Especially when it comes to improving on something I have created. Yes, I know, no one is perfect. And, yes, I am trying to embrace my imperfections and all that “wabi sabi” stuff…but still, I will ruminate over how I can make things better for the next time. Well anyway, in this case, my persistency has paid off with a beautiful (but still simple) update to my Crusty Dutch Oven white bread and I have to share it with you.
All the basics are the same; no crazy new steps. You still need a big bowl, lots of flour and a Dutch Oven, but you just need to add some ingredients to your flour and yeast mix.
I mixed up a batch of dough last night with the flour and yeast, but I substituted garlic salt for the regular salt.
Then I added about a half a cup of Stella Three Cheese Italian Cheese, which is a combination of Romano, Parmesan and Asiago. While I like all three cheeses, I have to admit that Romano is my favorite, but it is difficult to find freshly shredded without the other two mixed in. I like the Stella brand, because the shreds are long and distinct. As an aside, this cheese is a great staple to have on hand, because it tastes fabulous sprinkled on pasta or soup!
Before adding the water, I also added a pinch of crushed red peppers and a healthy amount of Italian seasonings–Rosemary, Oregano and Basil–all dried. I was hesitant to add any additional wet ingredients like olive oil or even fresh herbs, because I didn’t know if it would upset this basic bread.
I whisked the flour, yeast and garlic salt with the cheese and herbs BEFORE I added the water. I proceeded with the recipe as originally detailed in the original recipe by covering it with plastic wrap and a towel and letting it set overnight in a warmish spot in my kitchen.
In the morning I heated my oven and Dutch Oven to 450. I then made a ball of my dough and put it in the preheated pot, cooking it for 30 minutes covered and then 20 minutes uncovered. I immediately popped it out onto my counter, so it would remain crusty and allowed it to cool.
While baking I could not believe how heavenly my kitchen smelled. It’s almost impossible to describe the aroma! It smelled like the Italian kitchens of my youth and the warmth of the oven was soothing as well!
I tried to wait to allow the loaf to cool, but I could not help myself…I had to see what it looked like…and here it is!
Let me tell you…it TASTES even better than it looks! I’m in Heaven!
I do hope you will give the recipe a try and let me know how it goes for you.
P.S. A lot of people were interested in how to make my Open Faced Meatball Sandwiches that I posted on Facebook and Instagram. I’m not holding out, but everyone here wanted one and I soon ran out of my sister Teresa’s famous meatballs and sauce.
In order for me to post good enough recipe, I have to get Teresa to “guest blog” for me. She makes the most perfect sauce and meatballs, that I have relinquished the family duty to her from now on.
I am working on her, but she doesn’t understand why anyone would want to post their food and recipes on the internet–she laughs at me all the time!
If I can get her to guest blog, you will NOT be disappointed in her input…so stay tuned! Until then, here’s a snap of said sandwiches (they were “to die for”) for you to drool over. Yes, I know, #foodporn
Happy New Year, my friends!!