No Knead Dutch Oven Crusty Bread
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.
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 boules, Italian round loaves and artisan bread creations. It's hard for me to walk by a bakery when I can smell fresh bread baking.
And who doesn't love a freshly cut slice of artisan bread. I could eat the whole thing!
But at $3-4 a loaf, there has to be an easier way to enjoy this all the time. A quick Google search turned up plenty of ideas. 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. Bingo!
It took a few tries for me to get this recipe just right. The end result is delicious.
Here are a few tips:
Use a thermometer to measure the temperature of your water.
Adjust the rack in your oven to the center. You don't want to burn the bottom of the loaf.
Make sure your 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. 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 loaf.
The flavor of this bread is concentrated in the crust. It has a wonderful salty sweetness that is absolutely delicious. The sprinkle of kosher salt before baking is key.
You may need to make more than one bread boule it's so good! I promise it will get snatched up the minute you slice into it.
This recipe is best eaten the day it is baked. If you have leftovers be sure to freeze it or store it in a zip lock bag inside your fridge and reheat any leftovers in a 325°F oven to warm up.
Now that I've mastered no knead Dutch oven crusty bread I'm ready to tackle variations.
- 1/4 teaspoon quick rising 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