Herb No Knead Dutch Oven Bread

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Happy New Year!!

As we begin a new year, I am looking forward to stepping outside the box with some recipes I’ve never tried before.  I also want to talk about some of my favorite recipes to make (and why they’re my favorites).

Some of my recipes will be sweet, and some will be savory.  I want to dig a little deeper into the science of baking.  What makes a recipe successful and what can cause them to fail.

That brings us to this bread recipe that you bake in a Dutch oven.  Whaaat?!!! Yes, you heard me right.  But, what I found even more fascinating, is the fact that you don’t have to knead this bread.  All you have to do is mix everything together in a large mixing bowl until it is combined, cover it with plastic, and let it sit for 12 hours (or up to 18 hours) at room temperature.  This recipe is time consuming, so you will want to plan accordingly, but it is the easiest bread to make!!

You will place the dough into a very hot Dutch oven, and bake for 30 minutes with the lid on.  As the dough heats it gives off steam creating a humid environment inside the Dutch oven.  The condensation on the surface of the loaf keeps the crust soft.  This allows the the loaf to expand until the crust dries (a dry crust is harder to expand). Steam also causes the starches to form a thin covering that will eventually dry out, giving the loaf a shiny crust that will stay crisp! Yum!!  Once the crust dries out and gets very hot, the sugar molecules caramelize.  This reacts with proteins to form the amazing golden brown color and wonderful flavor that make a delicious crusty bread.  Because of it’s thick sides, heavy lid, and small internal volume, the Dutch oven is the perfect environment to trap and create steam.

After the bread bakes for 30 minutes with the lid on and you take it off…oh dear!!  The look and the smell are out of this world!!  As you close the oven door and wait for this delicious loaf of yumminess to finish baking, the anticipation is off the charts!!

Then it happens; the timer goes off…it’s done!!!!!  I removed this golden bit of goodness from the oven…Oh, the aroma wafting through the house.

I was so happy my sister,  Kathy,  and BIL stopped by not long after the bread came out of the oven.  I was so happy to share this loaf of bread with them.  Mind you, my sister is an amazing cook and baker, so I was very happy that she approved!  We are going to their house tomorrow and will be bringing a fresh loaf to share with our nephew Gil (who apparently wasn’t very happy he missed out on our little bread snack…sorry Gil).

So, as I am sitting here writing this blog, I am anticipating the bread I will be sharing with family tomorrow!

I hope you try this recipe, and if you do, please post a picture and tag me on Instagram @goodeatsbymimi !

 Ingredients:

  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ tsp active dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped thyme
  • 1 ¼ cups room temperature water
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

Instructions:

In a large bowl,  whisk the flour, kosher salt, rosemary, thyme and yeast together. Mix in the water and olive oil. Use a wooden spoon to combine; making sure to fold the flour up from the bottom of the bowl, forming a shaggy ball.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap for at least 12 hours (or up to 18).

Preheat oven to 450 F degrees. Place your Dutch Oven in the oven to heat up. While the Dutch oven is heating, uncover the dough and press down with your fingers. Put dough onto a lightly flowered surface. You do not have to knead the dough. You can turn the dough over itself a couple of times and shape into a round ball (or desired shape).   Place the dough on a piece of parchment paper brushed with olive oil. Lightly dust the top of the dough with flour and cover with a towel and let the dough rest for 45 minutes.

Take the towel off the dough and with a sharp knife gently score the top of the dough. Turn the oven down to 425 degrees.  Don’t forget this step…your bread will burn if you don’t!!

Remove pot from the oven and remove the lid (be careful…the Dutch oven will be VERY hot!!). Gently lift the parchment paper and place in the Dutch oven. Place the lid back on and put in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, remove the lid from the Dutch oven and bake for twenty minutes. The crust should be a nice golden brown color (see picture).  If you’re not sure, an internal temperature of 190 degrees will tell you your bread is done.  Also, it will sound hollow when you tap on the bottom.

Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack (if you can wait that long). Enjoy!!

Homemade Burger Buns

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I can’t believe I have never made homemade burger buns before. First of all, they are super easy to make and the taste is so much better than the ones you buy at the store!  The overall time to make these bits of deliciousness is about 3 ½ hours, so you will want to time them appropriately, but the active time is ½ hour!!

I toasted the buns before filling them with a delicious hamburger, topped with bacon, lettuce, tomato, red onion and a spicy burger sauce….YUM!! Next time I will skip the toasting step as it is NOT necessary!

I will never buy store bought buns again! There are no preservatives and the taste is 100 times better.

I plan on making these this weekend for my children and grandchildren. I think I’ll make some pulled pork.  I’m getting hungry just thinking about it!

I hope you make these and enjoy them as much as my hubby and I did….What are you waiting for?!

Ingredients

  • 2 ¼ teaspoons (7 grams or 1 packet) Instant yeast – I use Red Star
  • 1 cup very warm water (115 degrees F)
  • ½ teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 pound all-purpose flour, or as needed – divided
  • 1 large egg- room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar-divided
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • Sesame seeds to sprinkle on top of buns

Directions

  • Place yeast into a large bowl of a stand mixer; whisk in warm water and ½ teaspoon sugar. Cover and let stand until mixture is foamy (5-10 minutes)
  • With paddle attachment, mix flour, egg, melted butter, remaining sugar and salt into yeast mixture (just until combined).
  • Put a dough hook onto stand mixer and knead the dough on low speed until soft and sticky, about 6-7 minutes.  If dough is too sticky, add a little more flour and knead for one more minute.
  • Transfer dough onto a floured work surface; dough will be slightly sticky. Form the dough lightly into a smooth, round shape, gently tucking loose ends underneath.
  • Coat inside of mixing bowl with olive oil.  Place the dough in the bowl and turn over to lightly coat with oil. Cover bowl with plastic wrap or towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size (about two hours)
  • Press dough down to release air bubbles and put on a lightly floured work surface. Make a rectangle with the dough. Pat out to ½ “ thickness. Using a pastry cutter slice the dough into 8 equal pieces. If you want, you can use a scale for more accuracy. Form each piece into a round shape.
  • Gently stretch the dough rounds into round flat shapes (about ½” thick). Arrange the buns on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Lightly dust the buns with flour and cover with a cotton kitchen hand towel. The buns will rise one more time for one hour (or until doubled in size).
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
  • Whisk egg and milk in a small bowl until thoroughly combined. Gently brush buns with egg wash so it doesn’t deflate the risen dough. Sprinkle with sesame seeds (optional)

Bake at 375 degrees until lightly browned on top, 15 to 17 minutes.

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Delicious Everything Pretzels

Mix water, sugar, and salt in a mixing bowl. Sprinkle the yeast on top and allow mixture to sit for 10 minutes. The mixture should begin to bubble and foam.

Add the flour and melted butter in the mixing bowl with the yeast mixture. Mix on low using the dough attachment just until the mixture comes together.

Mix on medium speed until the dough is smooth (about 4-5 minutes).

Remove the dough from the bowl. I place mine on a counter dusted lightly with flour. No extra kneading is required. It’s going to just hang out on that counter (or table, whatever works best for you), and wait for you to oil that bowl. Pour a little vegetable oil on a paper towel and rub around the inside of the bowl. Return the dough to the greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Now place the bowl in a warm place. I like to warm my oven to 200 degrees F and then shut it off. Move the oven rack to its lowest setting and place your bowl in the oven until the dough doubles in size. Let the magic begin!

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper and brush the parchment paper with the remaining melted butter. That butter is going to give you a delicious pretzel bottom) Trust me, you want to use butter. Not vegetable oil, olive oil, vegetable sprays, shortening (you get my drift, right?). Set the pans aside while you shape your dough and put your pretzels in a baking soda Jacuzzi. Bring 10 cups of water and 2/3 cups of baking soda to a boil in a large saucepan.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly oiled work surface (put vegetable oil on a paper towel and wipe it on the surface). Divide the dough into eight equal pieces. Roll each piece 24 inches long.

Make a U shape with the rope.

Holding the ends of the rope, cross the ends and then cross them again and press onto the bottom of the U making a pretzel shape.

 

 

Place the pretzels in the boiling water (one at a time) for 30 seconds. Using a large, flat spatula, remove them from the water. Place the pretzels on the sheets pans. Brush the top of each pretzel with the egg wash and sprinkle with everything bagel seasoning.

Bake 12-14 minutes. Place on a cooling rack and let them cool for about 5 minutes (trust me, five minutes is going to feel like a long time!).

Enjoy!!

Pretzel Recipe

• 1 ½ cups warm water (115 degrees F) • 1 Tbsp. granulated sugar • 2 teaspoons kosher salt • 1 packet (2 ¼ tsp.) active dry yeast • 4 ½ cups (510 grams) all-purpose flour • 8 Tbsp. (226 grams) melted butter /divided • 10 cups water • 2/3 cup (192 grams) baking soda • 1 egg • 1 Tbsp. water • Coarse salt or Everything bagel seasoning (optional)

Copycat Everything Bagel Seasoning

• 2 Tbsp. poppyseeds • 1 Tbsp. white sesame seeds • 1 Tbsp. black sesame seeds • 1 Tbsp. dried minced garlic • 1 Tbsp. dried minced onion • 1 Tbsp. coarse sea salt Mix everything together in a small bowl. Store leftovers in an airtight container.