Baking Sausage Bread in a Dutch Oven
How to bake bread in a Dutch oven. This is an easy bread recipe that is so tasty! The high hydration is a great recipe to adapt to a number of unique ingredients and is perfect for sausage! What is long fermentation for bread dough, it is allowing the dough to develop good gluten by fermenting over 12 – 18 hours or for just a couple of hours and then stick it in the fridge for 2-5 days; finish off the process with a stretch and fold to gain dough strength. For Sausage, I recommend either Chorizo or Andouille to give it some bite but ultimately your preference. Why use a cake pan for your dough, this holds the heavy dough and ingredients in place and gives a nice formed loaf.
Servings: 15 Slices
- Dutch Oven, Measuring Cup, Mixing Bowl, Thermometer, Scale, Scoring Knife, Banneton Basket or Proofing Bowl, Wooden Spoon.
- 300 gm White flour organic
- 50 gm Whole Wheat
- 50 gm Rye
- 10 gm Sea Salt or Kosher Salt
- 10 gm Crushed Pepper
- 10 gm Rosemary
- 10 gm Onion flakes optional
- 300 gm water
- 8 gm Yeast or Dry Active
- 1 clove Few slices of fresh garlic
Two links of cooked Chorizo or Andouille sausage
- 100 gm Old Cheddar
- 8-12 Cherry Tomatoes whole
- 1 tbsp olive oil virgin
- Before baking bread in a Dutch oven. Mix all the ingredients into the flour other than the water, sausage, garlic, cherry tomatoes & cheese. Next, warm up some water to 28 – 33 degrees, then add the water, and mix well with a wooden spoon or by hand. I prefer just using a wooden spoon with the high hydration as it tends to be a little messier, just make sure to mix well, having all the flour hydrated. Now we will create gluten by long fermentation; cover it up with the lid if the bowl comes with one or place saran wrap on top; now you have the choice of letting it ferment for 12 – 18 hours or leave it to ferment for a couple of hours and then stick it in the fridge for few days. It is your time schedule.
- Now that it is fermented, whether through retarding the fermentation over a few days or using a same-day method, gluten has now developed. I now incorporate stretching & folding the dough out in the bow, to add strength to the dough; this done by taking a corner of the dough stretching it out without tearing the dough then pull it back on top of itself; rotating the dough 90 degrees each time; do this 4-5 times in regular interval, with a minimum of every 15 minutes. On the 2nd last folding cycle add the extra inclusions. In this situation diced bacon, cheddar, olive oil & cherry tomatoes this will allow the new ingredients to get mixed in nicely. Let sit for 30-60 minutes, allowing the dough to rise.
- Take the dough out of bowl an place on a lightly flour dusted counter; make four or more folds to form a ball; flip the ball of dough so seam side is down; sprinkle a little flour over the dough; and tighten the dough up into a nice little ball using a dough knife if you have one, hands if not, push in on the bottom and rotating clockwise; once you have tightened it up the best you can, allow the dough to rest for 10-15 minutes; you should always give your dough a rest of at least 15 min between any forming or dough manipulation.
- Now flip the dough back over seam side up and place in a coated 6” cake pan with olive oil. Now take an end of the dough & pull back to the center pressing it down so the dough can stick to itself; continue to do this tell you have completed a circle. This is called stitching and should be done at the very end before proofing as it makes a tight ball of dough that will improve your rise. Once the dough is stitched this is a good time to sprinkle with some seeds for show, sesame and poppy are a good suggestion or whatever you would like to garnish with, sprinkling some fresh Parmesan on top is always nice as well
Now give the dough time to rise, this is the proofing stage; we want the dough to rise in size by roughly 50%. During the proofing stage, you need to keep an eye, as you do not want to over prove, try to catch on the rise. Touch dough with your finger if the dough responds back gently its good to go if it responds too quickly it has not finished. Best conditions for proofing are at 28 degrees C; if you want you can stick it in the oven with the light on this can simulate a good environment for proofing. If you leave on the counter, it will rise depending on your climate and house temperature that will dictate its speed of the proofing. The proofing process could take anywhere between 30 min to 2 hours, depending on temperature, climate and flour.
- Once the dough has risen, place in the refrigerator overnight; make sure pan is covered with lid or saran wrap, so it doesn’t dry out. Preheat oven to 550 degrees F and place the Dutch oven in to for 45 minutes. Take the bowl out of the refrigerator and score with a sharp knife or scoring blade, much easier now that the dough is cold; sprinkle with some seeds for show sesame and poppy are a good suggestion or whatever you would like to garnish with, sprinkling some fresh Parmesan on top is always nice as well.
- Take Dutch oven out of the oven, place cake pan in Dutch oven; then get a little water sprayer and give it a spray, just enough to dampen it, then cover and return to oven, for 5 minutes; after 5 minutes turn the oven down to 450 degrees and reset timer for 30-35 minutes; ovens can be different in temperatures so my times should be used as an approximation; after 35 minutes take lid off Dutch oven, the loaf should be golden brown at this point If you like a softer crust (my preference) brush bread with olive oil; leave lid off and return to oven for 5 – 10 minutes; the loaf should be turning darker brown by now; pull loaf out and let it air on a rack for a couple of hours before cutting.