A couple weeks ago, we had friends over for the first time since moving to Connecticut. It was monumental. I had been putting it off for weeks. Things still felt a little out of place. My desk area was a disaster. And our kitchen still looked too tiny to prepare a meal for more than two. But we did it. We christened it. And now it feels like home.
I wanted to keep it simple though. Soup and bread. But with only 5 hours till their arrival, homemade bread seemed out of the picture. Until a google search pulled up this and this. A quick dutch oven bread to the rescue. I decided to go sweet and salty after seeing this little Fair Trade Honey Bear staring at me on my desk. How could you say no?
We loved, like really loved, this honey. Maybe it was because we knew we were doing our small part to support fair wages and sustainable business development in third world countries. Or maybe because it was really that good. I think it was both.
There’s two days left of Fair Trade Month. If you are unsure exactly what they do, or if you need a refresher like me, check out their site. They have a super cute infographic and video explaining exactly what Fair Trade is all about. Did you know Fair Trade helps more than 1.2 million farmers and workers around the globe, protects the planet, builds sustainable businesses, empowers women, and supports education? I didn’t either. We can all make small purchases that have a big impact. Look for the Fair Trade logo or check out brands they partner with. Whatever you do, try to get your hands on some GloryBee Honey. And then, of course, make this bread.
Add the warmed water to a small bowl. Pour in yeast and allow to proof and get puffy. Set aside. If you’re new to using yeast, check out this video.
Add flours and salt together into a bowl of a standing mixer using the paddle attachment.
To the melted butter, add honey. (Dip measuring utensil in the butter before measuring the honey. It’ll slide right out.)
Add yeast and butter mixture to the flour and mix on medium-low speed until dough comes together. Add in a tablespoon of warm water at a time if necessary to bring dough together. Continue to mix for another 8 minutes to knead dough.
Shape dough into a ball by pulling the sides of the dough down to the bottom. Place in a dutch oven and cover. Allow to rise for 4 hours.
Punch dough down and knead for another minute or two. Shape again into a ball and place back in dutch oven.
Cut a large X in the top of the dough. Sprinkle with sea salt and drizzle with olive oil.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Bake covered for about 20 minutes. Pull cover off and cook for another 10 minutes to brown.
Bread Flour makes a huge difference when making bread as it has higher amounts of gluten in it. It can be expensive though. The trick, buy it at Target. It’s usually half the price of what you find at Whole Foods.