On Sunday, I made a very yummy Cheddar Beer Soup. Ever since my trip to Illinois in June, where I had my first taste of the soup at a restaurant/brewery, I have been wanting to make it at home. It wasn’t as tasty as the restaurant, but very close. Plus, I used Shiner Bock, not the dark lager that was used at the restaurant.
I wanted a crusty bread to go with the soup, and knew that anything I found at the grocery store bakery would just be full of fillers. So I scoured Pinterest to find a recipe that would work. While scouring, I discovered so many people who bake their bread in an enamel coated cast iron pot, or Dutch Oven*.
I was intrigued, to say the least.
The only problem? Every recipe I encountered, called for the dough to sit for 12 hours at the very least.
Cue the “Aint nobody got time for that” meme.
Since I was planning dinner in less than 3 hours, these recipes were just not going to work.
True to my style, I decided I could probably come up with a way to get by without having the dough “proof”.
And really, it worked out pretty darn well.
Ok, so in reality, I just used a pretty basic bread recipe. The only difference, is that these types of crusty artisan breads are known for their crunchy crust, and soft, airy center. The reason the dough needs to sit so long is to get all of that air into it, and by not kneading it, you are allowing the air to stay in the dough. Make sense?
So I didn’t exactly achieve the “airy” part of this crusty artisan bread, but the crust was crunchy, and the center soft. So there wasn’t any air pockets, who cares? I certainly didn’t as I was shoveling it into my mouth faster than an ice cube melting on the hot Texas pavement.
And, tearing off chunks of the crust to dunk in that delicious cheddar beer soup was really the whole point anyway. After all, what good is soup without homemade bread?
Crusty Artisan Bread
- 3 cups bread flour
- 1-1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
- 2 Tbsp yeast
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 2 cups warm water
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- Garlic powder or other add ins optional
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine sugar, yeast and water. Stir together and let sit for 10 minutes, or until starts to get foamy and thickens.
- While the yeast is proofing, combine 3 cups bread flour with salt and any other seasonings.
- With the dough hook attached to your mixer, add flour mixture to bowl 1 cup at a time and mix well.
- Add the remaining 1 to 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour 1/2 cup at a time. Once the dough forms a ball and no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl, you can stop adding flour. If the dough becomes too crumbly, add warm water 1 tsp at a time until a ball forms.
- Knead in mixer for about 5 minutes.
- Turn dough out onto a floured surface, and form into ball.
- Place in a greased bowl, cover with a towel and let rise in a warm area 30 minutes. (I let mine rise for about 50 minutes because I forgot about it)
- Preheat oven to 400 WITH the dutch oven, covered, in it.
- After dough has risen, place into the Dutch oven careful not to deflate dough. Sprinkle flour on top.
- Bake for 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake 10 minutes more or until the top becomes golden brown.