It is not necessarily easy or fun at the moment to go to a bakery to get fresh bread, so I thought I might offer you another recipe for a homemade bread. If you follow my blog you probably noticed that I prefer making breads with a long resting time, because the longer you allow the dough to mature, the closer you get to a perfect loaf of bread; one with an airy, open crumb, crunchy crust and that classic, characteristic bread flavor. My homemade casserole bread recipe though follows a different method; instead of a long resting time, stretching and folding, it requires a good and long kneading. The longer you knead the more flexible and elastic the dough becomes. The result is a mild tasting bread, with a dense crumb, with small holes and a slightly crunchy crust. It is also important to stick precisely to the resting time. Don’t let the dough rise too long or not long enough. This bread likes precision.
I bake the casserole bread preferably in a Römertopf or my good old German Bräter (type of a roaster), but any heat resistant dish or pot with a lid will do.
Preparation of the casserole bread.
Homemade Casserole BreadCourse: BreakfastDifficulty: Simple
A mild tasting bread, with a dense crumb, with small holes and a slightly crunchy crust.
500 g / 17.6 oz bread flour
320 ml / 10.8 fl oz water
1.5 teaspoon salt
1.5 teaspoon dry baker’s yeast
a heat resistant casserole dish with a lid
- Place all ingredients in a large mixing bowl; flour in the middle, salt on one side, yeast on the other side. Add water. Using an electric mixer, fitted with hooks, knead until a soft, elastic dough formed. Then continue kneading by hand until the dough no longer sticks to the bottom of the bowl. Don’t add more flour. Continue kneading until the dough is no longer sticky.
- Once your dough is soft and elastic, cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel and set aside to rise for 1 hour 30 minutes. The dough should double in size.
- Transfer the dough onto a clean work space, stretch the dough to fill out a circle, then fold the edges like an envelope and form a round loaf.
- Line your casserole dish with baking parchment (otherwise the bread will stick) and place the formed loaf in the casserole dish. Let the dough rise again for at least 40 minutes. The dough should double in size again.
- To give your bread a rustic look, sprinkle a tablespoon of flour through a small, fine mesh strainer and score it crosswise with a knife.
- Put the lid on and place the casserole dish in the cold oven. Set the temperature to 240 C / 465 F and bake 35 minutes. Then take the lid off and bake for another 10 minutes. Take out of the oven and let the bread cool down on a cooling rack.
- A perfectly baked bread sounds hollow when you knock on the bottom of the loaf.
- The casserole bread doesn’t keep very well and is best enjoyed fresh, the day it was baked. You can also freeze a part of it.