Among the many reasons why I love Le Creuset is the versatility. For instance, there is no shortage of dishes I can cook with my 6.75 oval dutch oven. While I primarily use it for stews, soups, and even roast chicken, I was happy to find, while perusing the Le Creuset website, that you can also bake bread with it.
I was a bit apprehensive in trying out this recipe; however, baking the bread in a dutch oven while covered helped retain the moistness underneath the crunchy exterior. I absolutely loved the results!
LE CREUSET OLIVE AND PARMESAN BREAD
adapted from the Le Creuset website
4 cups flour
1 teaspoon dry active yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 cup grated Parmesan, plus 1/4 cup finely grated, divided
7 ounces Kalamata olives, halved
1, In a stand mixer fitted with the bread hook attachment, combine flour, yeast, salt and 1 cup water. Mix briefly. Once combined, add remaining water, 1 cup grated Parmesan and olives. Mix until dough is thoroughly combined. It should not be sticky.
2. Form the dough into a round with your hands, and place in a bowl that has been brushed with olive oil and dusted with flour. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until tripled in size and dough springs back when touched, about 3 – 4 hours.
3. Preheat oven to 450 F.
4. Brush the Dutch oven with olive oil or butter. Place dough round in the center. Brush the top with olive oil and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan and sea salt. Cover and bake 30 minutes.
5. Reduce heat to 375°F. Uncover and bake until golden brown, approximately 10 minutes.