Oh, my darlings. It is bread heaven! One of the many reasons I wanted to acquire Edith was to bake up crusty artisan bread. I've read of the swooning that this dutch oven bread induces and I was aching to have a go at it.
There are similar versions of the recipe available, but here is my breakdown in case you'd like to try. Just remember ... start it the night before. Part of the magic is in the long-rise.
Dutch Oven Artisan Bread
• 3 - 3.5 c. flour (a mix is fine)
• 1.25 t. salt
• .25 t. instant yeast (although, out of habit I used a couple of teaspoons of regular, and all seemed to be well)
• 1 t. sugar or honey
• 1.5 c. very warm water
Mix in machine with bread hook until incorporated but still "shaggy" and sticky, but not gooey. Compensate with a smidge more water or flour if need be. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit overnight in a moderately warm place. Inside the oven works great.
After a good 12-18 hours (top of dough should be bubbly looking), plop out onto a flour coated surface, and fold over on itself a few times. This will incorporate some flour and push out air bubbles. Let sit for 15 minutes covered with the plastic.
Gently/quickly form into a ball shape and place on a sheet of parchment paper for about 1.5 hours to rise again.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees with dutch oven inside. Allow pot to heat inside for a good half-hour so it's nice and hot. After tossing on some flour or cornmeal and scoring your dough with a knife (optional), carefully pick up sides of parchment as if your dough-baby is in a sling. Don't burn yourself and carefully lower into the hot dutch oven.
Bake on low rack with lid on for 30 minutes. Remove lid and bake 15-20 minutes more until golden brown. Lift bread out by parchment paper and allow to cool fully on a rack.
Delicious slathered with butter and a fantastic accompaniment to some Leek & Potato Soup!