We remove the artichokes from the water and drain. We then prepare them by cutting off the stem so that it will sit flat. We also cut off about an inch of the top. We could also trim each leaf with scissors to be more elegant, but we do not bother here. We rub the artichokes with lemon to keep them from turning brown. We do not bother to try and remove the inner “hairy part” which is very fibrous. We will remove it with a spoon as we eat them.
We then spoon the bread crumb mixture in between the artichoke leaves, spreading the leaves to get the mixture into the artichoke.
In our dutch oven, we add an inch or two of water (about three cups in our 5 quart dutch oven). We add the bay leaves and squeeze the lemon half into the water and bring the water to a boil. We put the artichokes into the water. We drizzle the olive oil over the artichokes and simmer on low for about an hour.
When the artichokes are tender when pierced on the bottom with a knife, we remove them from the water. We serve hot.