Saturday, December 26, 2009

Dutch Oven Bread

3 c. very hot water
1/2 c. shortening
1/2 c. sugar
2 1/2 tsp. salt
2 pkg. yeast
9 1/2 c. flour
Heavy 5 qt. Dutch oven with lid (iron is best)

Combine first 4 ingredients and let cool.
Add yeast; cover and set in warm place until bubbly, about 15 minutes.
When yeast mixture is bubbly, add 5 cups flour and mix to thick batter.
Add remaining flour for stiff dough. Knead 10 minutes.
Cover and let rise 1 1/2 hour or until double in bulk.
Punch down and knead to smooth ball.
Cut foil to fit the bottom of a 5 quart Dutch oven.
Grease Dutch oven and lid. Place dough in pot and cover with lid.
Let rise until dough pushes lid up 1/2 inch, about an hour.
Bake covered with lid 12 minutes at 375 degrees.
Remove lid and bake 30-35 minutes or until loaf is golden brown.
Thumping loaf should make a shallow sound. Remove from oven and turn loaf out on rack.