Most people come to award-winning Razza Pizza Artiginale in Jersey City, New Jersey, for the pizza, but chef Dan Richer’s bread is the best thing to eat there.
“I love bread because it brings joy to those we share it with,” he says. “Baking it at home is rewarding on so many levels, plus you control the ingredients, so it’s healthier than bread you can buy.”
Richer adapted this bread recipe, which bakes in a Dutch oven, for home cooks.
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- 3⅓ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- Just under ½ cup whole-grain flour, such as whole-wheat, spelt, or rye
- 1¾ cups cool water
- 2 tsp salt
- ¼ tsp instant dry yeast
How to make it
Mix flours and yeast in a stainless steel or glass bowl. Add water and mix until flour is completely incorporated. Sprinkle salt over top and work it into the dough by squeezing it between your fingers until completely and evenly incorporated. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature overnight.
Generously dust countertop with flour. Gently tip dough out of bowl and onto floured countertop. Try not to crush any gas bubbles that have built up through fermentation. With dry hands, fold top third of dough toward you and lightly press it into center of dough. Fold bottom third up and press it into center. Then fold left and right sides into center. (It’s kind of like folding an envelope.) Place a clean, dry kitchen towel into a colander and generously flour it to prevent sticking. Let dough ferment at room temperature for 2 hours.
Heat oven to 500°F. Place a cast-iron Dutch oven in oven for 45 minutes. Cut a circle of parchment paper that is roughly the size of the bottom of Dutch oven and place it onto dough. Carefully remove hot Dutch oven and place on the stove top. Gently flip dough out of colander and place it into Dutch oven, parchment side down. Cover Dutch oven and put it back into oven. Lower temperature to 450°F and bake for 20 minutes.
Remove lid from Dutch oven and continue to bake for 20 minutes, or until crust is dark brown. Remove from oven, carefully turn out bread, and completely cool it on a cooling rack before slicing.