Baking Bread in a Dutch Oven

Instructions for baking bread in a Dutch oven:

Proof your loaf in a parchment-lined basket or bowl.

At least 30 to 45 minutes before the dough will be ready to bake, place the Dutch oven with the lid on it in the oven to preheat.

When ready to bake, carefully remove the Dutch oven from the oven, remove the lid, transfer the loaf along with the parchment to the Dutch oven, (optional: sift a light layer of flour over the top of the loaf), slash the top of the loaf, place the lid on and return to the oven.

Reduce the oven temperature to 425 degrees and bake for 25 minutes (30 if the loaf has been refrigerated.) Remove the lid and continue baking another 10 to 15 minutes, until the loaf is golden brown and sounds hollow when thumped on the bottom. It should reach at least 200 degrees in the center of the loaf and up to 210 degrees if you want the crust to stay crisp.

Cool on a wire rack before slicing or eating.

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