Skillet Bread with Garlic and Herbs

If you’ve never made bread in a cast iron Dutch oven you are missing out on a timeless classic. This savory artisan bread is far better than anything the store sells and being able to eat it warm is an added bonus. The short processing time means it can be done while you prepare your meal. It will be salty and savory with a dense composition.

Prep time is 30 mins, proof time is 90 mins, bake time is 35 mins, and cool time is 20 mins, which means you need to start bread ~3 hours prior to serving. Can be served either as a starter or with the entree.

Ingredients

  • 4.5 cups bread flour – can use all purpose
  • 2 cups water – at 110 deg F.
  • 1 TBL active yeast
  • 1 tsp sugar – for pitching yeast
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 TBL olive oil
  • 1.5 tsp dried rosemary – divided
  • sea salt – for coating

Process

  1. Mise en place – measure and prepare your ingredients prior to starting.
  2. Pitch Yeast – mix yeast and sugar in warm water (~110 deg. F.), cover with a cloth and rest for 10 mins.
  3. Make dough
    1. Put rosemary in a small food processor and chop.
    2. In mixer with bread hook, combine flour, garlic salt, kosher salt, and 1 tsp of chopped rosemary. Stir.
    3. Add the yeast mix and continue to stir for four minutes.
    4. Increase mixer speed to medium (#4) and knead dough 5 mins.
    5. Shape into ball and place in cast iron dutch oven that is coated with olive oil.
  4. First Proof – Let dough rise 1 hour.
  5. Second Proof – Punch dough down, turn turn over, and let rise 30 mins.
  6. Bake
    1. Preheat oven to 400 deg. F.
    2. Brush top and sides with olive oil, then lightly sprinkle with sea salt, garlic salt, and remaining chopped rosemary.
    3. Bake for ~35-40 mins
    4. Let cool for 10 mins before taking out of Dutch oven.
    5. Transfer to wire rack and let cool further. If you cut it too soon, the bread will be too soft and what you don’t eat right away will become overly dry.