Crusty artisanal bread

Crusty artisinal bread by Yummy Calories

I’m making this crusty artisanal bread because … I accidentally made butter. Yes, you read that right. I’m making bread because I have butter that I don’t want to waste. It was my husband’s birthday the other night and we had family over for dinner. My daughter (5 years old) and I made this decadent chocolate cake which is made to be served with cream (or ice cream) to cut through its dense richness. I had the cream that I was about to whip up just before serving and to save time, I just whipped it in my Thermomix. Admittedly I had a few wines by then so I wasn’t paying attention to the timer I had set on it and it overwhipped and became … butter … not whipped cream. So now I had an unexpected log of homemade butter but nothing to eat it with. Hence this recipe … the side to my surprise butter!

This time I’m going to serve it with just my plain homemade butter and Maldon salt flakes. However, flavoured butters are amazing – my favourite being hickory smoke, which is like bacon. Some other flavouring ideas can be found from the good people at Taste of Home.


Serves 6 (approx. 279 calories per serve)

Prep time 2-2.5 hours, depending on raising time and temperature
Bake time 45-50 mins

500g bread flour (also known as baker’s flour)
2 tsp sugar
2 1/4 tsp yeast
2 tsp salt
420ml water (warm)

Dutch oven. I use this one from Chasseur.

In a large bowl, add the bread flour, sugar, yeast and salt.

Heat up the water in a microwave for approximately 30-60 seconds depending on how cold your climate is. It should be warm but depending on how cold it is where you are, you may want it to be slightly warmer like what you would shower in.

Combine the water into the flour mixture and mix / gently knead into a ball. If you have a dough mixer, you may consider using that to make your life a little easier.

Let it rise in a warm place until doubled in size. Times can vary wildly but it takes me about 30 minutes if I place the bowl near a heater and up to 2 hours if left on a cool benchtop.

Flatten the dough gently on a well-floured surface and fold over the edges over itself, from top to bottom and from right to left. Flip it over and tuck in the seams underneath and shape into a ball/oval shape.

Place some baking paper into your Dutch oven (yes, cold – I am accident prone and have burnt myself many a time with a pre-heated Dutch oven). Lower your dough gently into the Dutch oven and let it rise a second time in a warm plcae until it has doubled again. The second rising generally takes me a little less time so keep an eye out on it.

Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 250C (230C fan forced).

When your dough is ready, sprinkle some more flour on top and score to your liking. I really liked this handy infographic and guide to scoring from Busby’s Bakery.

Place the cover on the Dutch oven and bake for 30 minutes.

Carefully remove the (very hot!) lid and reduce the temperature to 200C (180C fan forced). Let it bake for a futher 15-20 minutes or until golden and the crust is crispy.

Let it rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving … with your butter (or spread) of choice.



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