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Home » Featured

Owen’s Dutch Oven Beer Bread

Submitted by on March 28, 2010 – 2:00 pmNo Comment

Photo by Jenn Chic

Owen Lass and I prepared these beautiful loaves the day before a big pork celebration out at Church Hill Farm in New Hamburg, proofing them overnight and baking them two at a time in an ordinary oven. You’d swear that bread this good would require specialty bread ovens. We did have the luxury of proofing the loaves next to the Lass family’s wood stove, however, but I’ve been assured that a reasonably warm place at your house will produce adequate results.

Below is the basic recipe, but we added black olives, sun-dried tomatoes, cheese, herbs and nuts to some of the loaves in various combination and experimented with a few different types of beer. A Guinness loaf with walnuts, for example, was an inspired combination with a brick of blue cheese that Ruth Klahsen brought to the party from her Monforte Dairy.

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3 cups (15 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour,

plus additional for dusting work surface

¼ teaspoon instant yeast

1 ½ teaspoons table salt

¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons water (7 ounces), at room temperature

¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons (3 ounces) mild-flavored lager

olive oil

1 tablespoon white vinegar

Photo by Jenn Chic


Day 1 (or early morning)

Whisk flour, yeast and salt in large bowl.

Add water, beer, and vinegar.

Using rubber spatula, fold mixture, scraping up dry flour from bottom of bowl until shaggy ball forms.

Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 8 to 18 hours.

Day 2 (or later that day)

Lay 12-by-18-inch sheet of parchment paper inside 10-inch skillet and cover with olive oil.

Transfer dough to lightly floured work surface and knead 10 to 15 times.

Shape dough into ball by pulling edges into middle.

Transfer dough, seam-side down, to parchment-lined skillet and lightly cover surface of dough with olive oil.

Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until dough has doubled in size and does not readily spring back when poked with finger, about 2 hours.

About 30 minutes before baking, adjust oven rack to lowest position, place 6- to 8-quart heavy-bottomed Dutch oven (with lid) on rack and heat oven to500°F.

Lightly flour top of dough and, using razor blade or sharp knife, make a 6-inch long, ½ inch deep slit along top of dough.

Carefully remove pot from oven and remove lid.

Pick up dough from skillet by lifting parchment overhang and lower into pot (let any excess parchment paper hang over pot edge.)

Cover pot and place in oven.

Reduce oven temperature to 425° and bake covered for 30 minutes.

Remove lid and continue to bake until loaf is deep brown and instant-read thermometer inserted into center registers 210°, 20 to 30 minutes longer.

Carefully remove bread from pot; transfer to wire rack and cool to room temperature, about 2 hours.

The bread is best eaten the day it is baked but can be wrapped in aluminum foil and stored in a cool, dry place for up to 2 days

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