3 ½cupsflourfor the rye bread I used 2 cups all-purpose and 1 ½ cups rye, you could also use whole wheat and white, or all white, up to you
1teaspoonactive dry yeast
1 ½cupswarmabout 100 degrees water, or more as needed
2teaspoonsor more caraway seedsoptional
In a large bowl stir together the flour, salt and yeast. Add the caraway seeds, if using. Make a well in the center then add the water into the well. Mix, incorporating the water into the flour until you have a very sticky shaggy dough (if the dough seems to dry, add a little more water). Cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit in a warm place for 3 hours.
Heat the oven to 450º F. Place your enamel Dutch oven and its cover (I used the oval oven, as long as it’s enamel, the bread will NOT stick) in the oven and heat for 30 minutes.
While the “oven” is heating in the oven; scrape the very sticky dough out onto a well-floured counter with your very well-floured fingers (did I mention the dough is sticky?, well it is). Fold over a few times then form into a ball, sealing the bottom into a seam as best you can. Cover with plastic while you wait for the pot to get hot. Once the pot AND its cover have been in for 30 minutes, CAREFULLY remove, open and drop your ball of dough into the center; cover and return to the oven. Cook for 30 minutes; uncover and cook 10 – 15 minutes more, or until the internal temperature reaches 200 degrees when read with an instant-read thermometer. Or you can use the old knock on the crust and see if it sounds hollow, not exactly the most scientific way, but works most of the time.
Again, carefully remove the bread from the hot hot pot, and transfer to a cooling rack to cool
LindySez: If you don’t have an enameled Dutch oven, a well-seasoned cast-iron Dutch oven will work as well. Don’t use any pot that does not have thick sides as it will hold the heat well.