Sunday, August 3, 2008

Swirled Bread in the Dutch Oven

So, today was the culmination of a few of my recent posts about breadmaking. These last few efforts to do a dark bread were all pointing in the direction of baking a loaf of swirled bread. I wanted to mix up a light white bread and a darker bread and then combine them. I wasn’t quite sure how I wanted to combine them, but I had a couple of ideas. One was to create roll out two flat panels of each dough, stack them and roll them, kinda like a cinnamon roll. The other was to create a couple of long ropes and twist them over and around each other, then wrap that in a circle in the dutch oven.

So, I tried it today. I made up one of my wife’s honey bread recipe, and one of the cheater bread recipe. Rather than chase you around my blog trying to find those, let me just reprint them both here, especially since there were a few minor changes.

Swirled Bread in the Dutch Oven

2x12” Dutch Ovens
8 coals below each one, 18 coals above

The Dark Bread (Dutch Oven Cheater Bread)

  • 1 1/4 Cups warm/hot water (about 100 to 110 degrees f)
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 1/4 tsp (1 pkg) yeast
  • 2 cups Bread flour
  • 1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 heaping Tbsp Cocoa
  • 1 heaping Tbsp Postum (or coffee, if ya got it)
  • 1 Tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup Honey
  • 2 Tbsp Molasses
  • About a tsp each of red and green food coloring (probably a tich more red)

The White Bread (Dutch Oven Honey Bread)

  • 1 cup warm/hot water
  • 1 Tbsp yeast
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • ¼ cup oil
  • 5-6 cups flour
  • 1 egg for the glaze

I started off making the dark bread. I don’t know why I picked it, I just did. It does have a few more steps in the making. I started by activating the yeast. I put the yeast and the sugar into the hot but not scalding water. While that’s foaming up, I mixed the dry ingredients into a bowl. Then I added the butter and used a pastry blender to cut it into the powders.

Then I went to add the wet ingredients into the bowl. I added the honey and the molasses, then mixed up the colorings, and added them to the yeast mix. I poured that into the bowl and started stirring it all up.

I floured the table and kneaded for about 6-10 minutes, adding flour to the table as I went. Finally, that went back in the bowl (sprayed with oil spray) and then coated with more oil spray and covered to raise.

Then I turned my attention to the light bread. This one was pretty straightforward. Once again, I activated the yeast. One bit of advice, when you get the water hot, and then add the honey, it will pull down the temperature, so make it a bit hotter than usual.

Then I mixed in all the ingredients of the second set, saving the flour for last. If you do that, you can add it more gradually, and you can adjust it more to the texture instead of just rigidly measuring. I kneaded it up the same way, adding flour to the table as needed. That went back in the bowl the same way.

Then I cleaned off the kitchen counter and went skateboarding in the front street with Brendon. I managed to do that without killing myself. Pretty cool, huh?

After about an hour and a half, it was risen enough, so I refloured the counter and punched the dough down. I cut each loaf in half. The dark dough wasn’t as pliable, but it was still workable. After oil spraying two 12” dutch ovens, I started working on the dough.

I decided to try two different ways of wrapping the two doughs. The first one I did was to simply roll (press) the two colors into two sheets of dough about the same size and dimensions. Then I layered the dark one on top of the light one, and rolled it up, and set it in one of the dutch ovens.

The other pair I stretched out into two long snakes of dough, and twisted them together, like a peppermint stick. That got curled into a ring in the other dutch oven. I put on the lids and set them aside (outside) to proof (rise again). Soon after that, I got the coals started. I had to light a lot, since that count is about 26 for each oven. As soon the coals were ready, I checked the bread and it was nicely re-risen and ready to be baked. I brushed some beaten egg over the top, to give them a nice brown glaze, and put them on the coals.

They baked about an hour or so, until the internal temperature was between 190 and 200. They both turned out great, and tasted wonderful. Especially with the lasagna my dear wife made for dinner tonight after church. I think I like the look of the rolled up bread better, so if I do it again, I’ll do it that way. Pretty satisfying! I kinda feel like I’m getting the hang of this bread thing a bit.

1 comment:

  1. Mark, I've created a link to this post in the "Recipes" section of our newest "Cast Iron Around the Web" entry at



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