At this point, place your ungreased Dutch oven in the oven, preheat it to 500°, and get your oven mitts ready. Now for the tricky part. As beautiful as this loaf is, there’s no graceful way to get this free-form dough from your work surface into the hot Dutch oven. I’ve found that sliding a flat cookie sheet under half of the dough while using your other hand to hold the other half of the dough is an effective way to transport it to the oven. Before attempting the move, make sure your oven is open and the rack is positioned to allow unhindered access to the Dutch oven. Then, just drop the dough into the pan. If your dough doesn’t quite make it to the bottom of the Dutch oven, use a wooden spoon to nudge it off the sides. Don’t worry—everything will work out. Cover with a lid, close the oven, and let the baking magic begin.
After baking, carefully remove the loaf from the Dutch oven, let your beautiful bread cool on a wire rack, and pat yourself on the back. You’re a baker, with a recipe worthy of being passed down through the generations to come.
See the full recipe on the next page.