Making a loaf of golden brown crusty artisan boule bread recipe at home is easier than you think. All you need is a Dutch oven! No kneading required.
This easy to make recipe results in a crisp crust that’s surrounded by a moist soft center.
It’s perfect with a hearty bowl of winter stew or lightly toasted served alongside breakfast.
I’m a huge fan of fresh sourdough bread, Italian round loaves and artisan bread creations.
It’s hard for me to walk by a bakery when I can smell fresh bread baking.
Why is it called Dutch oven no knead bread
No knead bread is a type of bread that can be made without kneading the dough, which is usually very wet and sticky.
The name “Dutch oven” comes from the pot that is used to bake the bread, which is a heavy cast iron pot with a tight-fitting lid.
The Dutch oven creates a hot and steamy environment that helps the bread rise quickly and develop a crispy crust.
The dough is typically folded into a round shape and fits ideally into a Dutch oven.
Some people also call this bread “artisan bread” or “crusty bread” because of its texture and appearance.
Who doesn’t love a freshly cut slice of artisan bread. I could eat the whole thing!
But at $3 to $4 a loaf at the grocery, there has to be an easier way to enjoy this all the time.
I decided to put my cast-iron Dutch oven to work.
I wanted a recipe that wouldn’t take all day or all night.
A few hours is all I have.
I also wanted something that was easy to make with limited ingredients that did not require rolling the dough and waiting for it to rise.
And I wanted something that tasted like what I get when I buy bakery fresh bread.
This is an easy recipe with few ingredients that anyone can make.
Ingredients needed for this recipe
- Quick rising yeast. Make sure the package you are using has not expired.
- Bread flour, plus more for dusting. For the best flavor and chewy and crusty texture stick to bread flour.
- Salt. Both table salt for the recipe and kosher or sea salt for adding to the crust.
- Lukewarm water. It’s important to have an instant-read thermometer to register the warmth of the water.
- Sheet of parchment paper. For easy clean up and to lift the boule from a hot, hot pot.
How to make this homemade bread recipe
- In a large mixing bowl stir together the instant yeast, bread flour and salt.
- Fill a measuring cup with warm water, using a thermometer to check the temperature.
- Pour the warm water into the bowl and stir to incorporate using wet hands after a while if necessary.
- Cover the bowl with a piece of plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and let the dough rest for four hours.
- Arrange your center rack so it’s in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven and the Dutch oven pot. Once preheated lower the oven temperature.
- Transfer the puffy dough to flour coated parchment paper, sprinkle the top of the dough ball with a bit of flour and fold it to mold it into a ball.
- Pick up the parchment paper by its sides containing the dough and place the paper into the hot Dutch.
- Sprinkle kosher salt on top of the dough, cover with the lid, place the Dutch oven inside the stove oven using oven mitts and bake for 30 minutes.
- Remove the lid and bake for an additional 5 to 15 minutes making sure the top of the bread boule does not burn.
- Remove the Dutch oven to the top of the stove top, pull the parchment paper containing the bread out immediately and allow the boule to cool.
- Once cooled, slice the loaf with a serrated knife and serve.
Tips for the perfect crusty boule
- Use a thermometer to measure the warmth of the water.
- Adjust the rack in your oven to the center. You don’t want to burn the bottom of the loaf of bread.
- Make sure your hot Dutch oven has an oven-safe handle and keep the potholders nearby.
- Use parchment paper during the baking process.
- Make sure to preheat your oven as well as your Dutch oven before baking your bread.
- Use bread flour instead of all-purpose flour. It results in a heavier and more dense loaf.
- Mix your dry ingredients well.
- Remove your bread from the Dutch oven once it’s finished cooking so it doesn’t keep baking and burn the bottom of your round loaf.
What to use if you don’t have a Dutch oven?
If you don’t have a Dutch oven, there are several alternatives you can use to bake bread. Here are some options:
- Baking stone: A baking stone is a thick, flat piece of stone or ceramic that is placed in the oven to preheat. Once the bread dough is ready, it is placed on the hot stone and baked. The stone helps to distribute heat evenly and absorb moisture from the bread, resulting in a crispy and chewy crust. You can also use a pizza stone as a substitute.
- A baking sheet and roasting pan: The bread dough can be placed on the hot baking sheet pan lined with parchment and the roasting pan serves as a lid, using it upside down over the dough.
- Cast iron pot: A cast iron pot works the same as a Dutch oven and basically made of the same material.
- A deep casserole dish: A casserole dish like Le Creuset can work much the same as a Dutch oven provided the casserole is deep enough and the lid is tight-fitting.
How to add variation to the dough
Hungering for something different. It’s super easy to add herbs, spices, garlic, onions, olives, shredded cheese, dried fruits, and even honey to your dough to give it a unique twist.
The flavor of this good bread is concentrated in the crispy crust.
It has a wonderful salty sweetness that is absolutely delicious.
The sprinkle of sea or kosher salt before baking is key.
I love to dip this bread into my olive oil bread dip or eat it plain with warm butter.
You may need to make more than one warm bread boule, it’s so good!
I promise it will get gobbled up the minute you slice into it.
This crusty bread recipe is best eaten the day it is baked.
If you have leftovers be sure to freeze it or store it in a zipper bag inside your fridge and reheat any leftover bread in a 325 degree F oven to warm up.
Now that you’ve mastered no knead Dutch oven crusty bread, it’s time to tackle variations.
Making a loaf of golden brown crusty bread at home is easier than you think.
All you need is a Dutch oven.
No kneading required!
Try these delicious bread recipes
- HONEY BEER BREAD
- EASY BLUEBERRY ZUCCHINI BREAD
- EASY BROWN SUGAR BANANA BREAD WITH CHOCOLATE CHIPS
- THE BEST GUINNESS BEER BREAD
- EASY BANANA ZUCCHINI BREAD RECIPE WITH PECANS
The Best Homemade Artisan Bread Boule (Easy Recipe)
- 1/4 teaspoon quick rising active dry yeast
- 3 cups bread flour, plus more for dusting
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1.5 cup warm water, warmed to 125-130°F
- Kosher salt
- Parchment paper
- In a large bowl stir together the instant yeast, bread flour and salt.
- Fill a measuring cup with 1 1/2 cups of lukewarm to hot water.
- Use a thermometer to check that the water is warmed up to 125 – 130°F.
- Microwave the water at 20 seconds intervals if necessary. The temperature of the water must be between that temperature range.
- Pour in the warm water and stir to incorporate using your hands after a while if necessary.
- Cover the bowl with a piece of saran wrap or a kitchen towel and allow it to sit on your countertop for 4 hours.
- Arrange your baking rack so it is in the center of the oven.
- Preheat the oven to 450°F and place your empty Dutch oven inside to allow it to warm up while preheating.
- After preheating, lower the temperature to 425°F to bake.
- Place a piece of parchment paper on your work surface or countertop and sprinkle 1 tablespoon of flour on the paper.
- Transfer the puffy dough to the flour coated parchment paper, sprinkle the top of the dough ball with a bit of flour and fold it several times using a scraper or wooden spoon and several more times to create a smooth ball using your hands.
- Pick up the parchment paper by its sides containing the dough ball and place the paper into the preheated Dutch oven.
- Sprinkle kosher salt on top of the dough and cover with the lid. Next, place the Dutch oven inside the stove and bake for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, remove the lid and bake for an additional 5 to 15 minutes watching closely to make sure the top of the bread boule does not burn.
- Remove the Dutch oven to the stove top, pull the parchment paper containing the bread out immediately and allow the boule to cool on a wire rack.
- Once cooled slice with a serrated knife and serve.
If you make a recipe, be sure to snap a photo and hashtag it #homeandplate. I’d love to see what you cook!