Sunday, October 16, 2011

Dutch Oven - Artisan Wheat Bread

For the last little while, I have plateaued in my cooking. I have been playing it safe, not trying too many new things, and just cooking what is comfortable. I decided today that I was going to break the box I've been living in and bake a successful artisan bread. I did tons of research on the web, mostly from my friend Mark's website. Most of his breads required at least 24 hours, so I went back to my bread boot camp and adapted an existing recipe. I really wanted to create a "basic" bread, with no enrichments, just water, yeast, flour, and salt. I had read that adding a vitamin C tablet will aid in the raise, so I added that to the activating yeast. All in all, it turned out excellent. If I did it again, I would double the recipe to create a larger loaf. A big success was using the parchment paper to add the loaf to the pan. This prevented misshaping the loaf and losing the gasses that produce the pillowy crumb. For now, this is going to be my new "go-to" consistency to spring off from. Take the basic recipe below and add enrichments as necessary.

12" Dutch oven
350 Degrees
30 minutes
4 Servings


  • 1 teaspoon yeast
  • 1 1/3 cup warm water
  • 1 vitamin C tablet, crushed

  • 3 cups whole wheat flour*
  • 1 teaspoon salt
Activate the yeast by combining warm water and yeast. Add crushed vitamin C tablet to aid in raise, if desired. (Yeast organisms thrive on vitamin C) Combine dry ingredients and activated yeast water in a large glass or plastic bowl. Combine with a non-metal spoon, as metal kills yeast organisms. Flour a table or counter and transfer the dough to the table and begin kneading. Knead until the dough passes the "windowpane test", where if you stretch a thin piece of dough into a window, it spreads into a translucent film instead of tearing. Form the dough in to a boule (ball) by pulling the top tight and tucking it underneath. Roll in flour and cut 3 slices 1/4" deep across the top of the boule. Place on a large piece of parchment paper, and let raise for 1 hour. Preheat a 12" dutch oven and using the parchment paper, transfer the boule to the hot oven. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until internal temperature reaches 180 degrees. Remove from heat, including top heat, replace the lid and let stand for 10-15 minutes. Remove from oven and do not cut until the crust has completely cooled.

5+ Stars
Bon Appetit! The Outdoors Start at Your Back Porch!

*Whole wheat flour can be purchased at the store, but the best flours come by grinding your own wheat. Don't use old wheat or old flour, it won't provide the same results as new.


  1. Wow! Great job! I'm inspired. Whole wheat is more difficult that white, because it doesn't develop gluten (the windowpane) as readily. A lot of people do a mix of whole wheat and white flours. My hat's off to you! You tried a tough one right from the start, and it worked! How'd it taste?

  2. Amazing, looks yummy too... hats off to you for stepping out of the box. Don't it feel real good!

  3. @Mark- It tasted amazing. It did take a long time to break down the glutens to get a good windowpane, but eventually the bread warmed in my hands and softened up. I guess that's why hand made bread tastes so much better-- It's the love, as they say in Italy. Mark, what's your go-to dough without enrichments?

    @Sassy- Breaking the glass box never tasted so good! Try it yourself, you might be surprised!