There are a couple restaurants in Austin I grieve and miss since the pandemic hit. One is Fonda San Miguel. The other is Clark’s Oyster Bar, a small bistro on 6th Street, that I most often visited with my dear friends: Roxann, Karen and Liz. We would meet almost monthly over happy hour and order plates to share.
Besides their Shrimp Louie Salad (the Thousand Island dressing is divine), I miss Clark’s amazing bread they bring out on a board with soft butter, sliced fresh radish and a tiny side of flaky sea salt.
This bread recipe reminds me very much of Clark’s version. And the good news is we can all enjoy at home.
The one thing you really need is a dutch oven. I invested in this Le Creuset 2.75 Quart in Meringue. Isn’t she pretty? You’ll also want have some parchment paper on hand. And other than that … just four ingredients.
Dutch Oven Bread
3 cups flour * 2 teaspoons yeast * 1 1/2 teaspoons salt * 1 1/2 cups warm water *
(and optional for a savory loaf: 1 bunch green onions sliced, 3 Tablespoons Parmesan cheese)
Combine the dry ingredients. Add warm water and mix with a rubber spatula. Cover the bowl with a damp cotton kitchen towel. Let dough rest for about 24 hours.
Place dutch oven (lid included) in the oven. Turn oven on 425 degrees. While oven is preheating, dust counter top lightly with about 1/4 cup flour. Carefully pour dough onto the floured surface. Incorporate the flour by gently folding the dough back and forth. The dough will be wet and loose (unlike my Amish Bread Recipe).
Carefully remove the hot pan from the oven. Remove the lid and line pot with parchment paper.
Gently lift and load the dough ball into the baking dish, trying to make sure the dough doesn’t touch the pan.
Cover and bake for about 25 minutes. Then remove the lid and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the loaf is golden blonde or pale brown.
Remove the loaf from the dutch oven and let it cool on a rack at least 15 minutes before before slicing. Then slather with butter and pretend you’re with your best friends at Clark’s!