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Level Up Your At-Home Bread Baking Game With A Bread Oven


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Le Creuset is back at it again. The maker of iconic Dutch ovens has recently added a new product to their line of cast iron cookware: the Bread Oven. If you’re one of the many people who learned to make bread from scratch during the pandemic, you’ll know that homemade bread takes a lot of time, love, and careful planning. You’ll also know that the right tools can help set you up for success—that’s where the Bread Oven comes in.

Starting off with materials, Le Creuset’s Bread Oven is crafted from cast iron, which offers exceptional heat distribution. The domed lid circulates stream, which they claim helps you to achieve a perfect texture and crust. A low profile base browns the bottom of your loaf evenly and decreases the amount of compression that happens when you drop your dough into it. The matte black interior enamel prevents the bread from sticking, and ergonomic knobs and handles make it easy to transport your bread in and out of the oven. In true Le Creuset fashion, the Bread Oven comes in a rainbow of colors to mix and match with your other Le Creuset cookware or general kitchen aesthetic.

Joy Wilson, a baker, photographer, cookbook author and teacher known by many as Joy the Baker, uses the Bread Oven to make what she calls The Easiest Everything Rye Bread. She developed the recipe because she couldn’t find good rye bread in New Orleans (where she currently resides). “It’s an easy recipe but it takes a little time and love, like the best recipes,” she said. The toughest part, according to Joy, is allowing the bread to cool for at least an hour before slicing into it. Slice it too early, and you’ll have a gummy texture inside. “The bread is still baking when you take it out of the oven and Bread Oven,” she said. “It’s still figuring itself out, still releasing steam, and the crumb is solidifying.”


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As far as other breadmaking tips go, Joy recommends substituting some of the water with pickle juice if you have it on hand, as the briny flavor nicely complements the rye. Since the dough is fairly wet, use a generous dusting of flour and a bench scraper to shape it. And if you can, measure out your ingredients with a kitchen scale for better accuracy than using measuring cups and spoons. Her favorite way to enjoy The Easiest Everything Rye Bread is with Kerrygold butter.

Recipe for The Easiest Everything Rye Bread

Yields one 9-inch round loaf

Ingredients:

3 cups (381 grams) bread flour

1 cup (108 grams) medium rye flour

1/4 cup (20 grams) nonfat dry milk powder

1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt

3/4 teaspoons instant yeast

1 1/2 cups (340 grams) lukewarm water*

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoons everything bagel seasoning, plus more for topping

*For an extra flavorful loaf, substitute 1 cup of pickle juice for 1 cup of lukewarm water. Microwave for 20 seconds to bring to lukewarm temperature.

Directions:

In a large bowl whisk together bread flour, rye flour, milk powder, salt and instant yeast. Add the water and olive oil. Use a wooden spoon or stiff plastic spatula to mix the dough together. Stir in the everything seasoning until thoroughly combined. The dough will be very sticky–that’s right! Mix for 2-3 minutes longer.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature for 8-12 hours.

To bake the bread, use a plastic bench scraper to gently turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter. Lightly flour the top of the dough and knead and fold the dough over itself for 12-16 turns, into a bouncy, firm, slightly tacky dough ball.

To top the loaf with everything seasoning, sprinkle a clean flour sack towel with everything bagel seasoning and place the dough round, top side into the seasoning on the towel to pick up the seasoning. Remove from the towel and place top side down on the lightly floured counter.

Shake out the flour sack towel and generously sprinkle flour over the towel. Shake off excess and place the towel into a small bowl (a six cup Pyrex bowl is the perfect size) to line. Lightly sprinkle the towel with more flour. Place the dough ball in the bowl, seam side up, seasoning side down. Cover gently with the edges of the towel and allow to rest at room temperature for 1-1 1/2 hours.

About 20 minutes before baking, place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. The dough will be puffed and risen and have almost doubled in size. Place the base of the Le Creuset Bread Oven upside down over the bowl and gently invert the bread into the pan. Gently lift off the bowl and towel. Dust off any large patches of flour, if any. Slash a few lines into the dough using a lick or sharp knife. Gently cover dough with the domed lid. Place Bread Oven in the preheated oven. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove the lid and bake for another 10-15 minutes to a deep golden brown.

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