Dutch Oven Crusty Bread

Dutch Oven Crusty Bread

The fact that this rustic, crusty loaf came out of my kitchen and not out of a bakery was a bit of a revelation. I didn’t know it was possible.

Dutch Oven Crusty Bread

Homemade bread, yes. Crackles-when-you-pull-it-apart-but-airy-and-chewy-inside crusty bread? Not a chance. I have two words for you: Dutch. Oven. A big sturdy pot with an equally sturdy lid and one of the simplest yeast doughs I’ve ever worked with and we’re in for a real treat.

Dutch Oven Crusty Bread

Flour, yeast, salt, water. No kneading. You just let it sit… and rise… and rise… and rise… for about a dozen hours.

Dutch Oven Crusty Bread

Preheat your oven to 450. Place the dutch oven and lid into the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Then, put your lovely little loaf into the raging hot dutch oven, put the lid back on and bake it for 30 minutes. Then, remove the lid and bake it another 10-15 minutes.

Dutch Oven Crusty Bread

When you knock on the loaf it will sound hollow on the inside. This is what you want.

Dutch Oven Crusty Bread

This is one of my absolute favorite ways to enjoy a good loaf of bread – with some excellent olive oil and balsamic.

Dutch Oven Crusty Bread

Break bread and dip away. Or serve with soup. Or make garlic bread. Or do whatever your little heart desires with this glorious crusty loaf. Enjoy.

Dutch Oven Crusty Bread

Yield: 1 loaf

Dutch Oven Crusty Bread

Adapted from Simply So Good

Ingredients

  • 3c unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1t yeast
  • 1t salt
  • 1-1/2c warm water

Instructions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, salt and yeast. Add water and stir until a shaggy mixture forms (mixture will be loose and sticky; this is what you want). Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for 12 - 18 hours (up to 24). Overnight works great.
  2. Preheat oven to 450. Place a cast iron dutch oven with a lid in the oven and heat the pot for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, pour the risen dough onto a heavily floured surface (mixture will be sticky) and lightly shape into a round loaf.
  3. Remove hot pot from the oven and carefully set in the dough. Cover and return to oven for 30 minutes. Then, remove the lid and bake an additional 10-15 minutes. Carefully remove bread from oven and from pot and place on a cooling rack.
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Dutch Oven Crusty Bread

82 comments
Lyn
Lyn

After The bread has risen and I have made the bread in to a smooth ball I put it into the preheated dutch oven it does no rise it seems to cook like a flat bread if I let it rise for 12 hrs as it calls for the moving deflates and it does not puff up what should I do should I let it get a second rise before I put it into the oven

nlecorgne
nlecorgne

I mixed the dough about 6 hours ago, and set it aside on the kitchen counter to rise. It has now doubled in size, but is bubbly and sour smelling. I realize that there should be some fermentation going on, but is this much normal?

natilton
natilton

I recently brought back some saffron honey from India, and I was thinking some freshly-baked bread would be the ideal vehicle for eating it. Could I perhaps add a little sugar and cinnamon to the dough to make the flavors a bit more compatible? Maybe decrease the salt content by a little bit?

sheislisamarie
sheislisamarie

I absolutely love this recipe! My friends were dumbfounded at the idea of making bread at home, and they were even more blown away when I talked about how easy it was. I'd never made bread before in my life - it really is such a fool-proof recipe! Fantastic as is. Thank you so much for giving me something to do with this dutch oven I was gifted! :D

Marlynn
Marlynn

I love this bread, but when I make it a high altitude of  7000 to 8000 feet, baked at 450 f, for 30 minutes with lid on, then 10-15 min with lid off, the center is doughy= what should I do??  Higher heat, longer baking time??  Lower heat, longer baking time???

Charlene
Charlene

My sister uses your recipe all the time and now I would like to give it a try!  Do I use regular or rapid rise yeast or does it matter?  I don't have a Dutch oven...can I use a Corning ware dish with a lid?  Do the mixing bowl and pot that the bread is baked in need to be greased?  Thanks for your help. Can't wait to get started!

JudieL
JudieL

Hello again.  Made this bread the other day using whole wheat flour.  It came out denser and didn't have the same big holes from the yeast but it was still good.  My guests never questioned the quality and the loaf was gone before the night was through.  I must say that I like the white better but that is just a personal preference. 

JudieL
JudieL

OMG  You are my new Best Friend!  Thank you so much for posting this recipe.  I have never made bread before except in a bread machine.  I never thought mine would turn out as pretty as yours but it did.  In fact because of some weird twist I made putting it in the hot dutch oven (just cast iron. no enamel) it came out heart shaped!!  It was terrific

Maggie
Maggie

I live at 8000 feet and was really doubtful that this was going to work. But I'm happy to report that I made this recipe using "bread flour" (which I don't know if it any different than other flours), and it was spot on! I'm thrilled that is works at our altitude. Thank you for such an easy recipe to follow. I will make another loaf this week!

Gwinny
Gwinny

I baked this bread and it was wonderful - except that the bottom of the loaf was as hard as a brick. Anyone have any idea as to what I may have done wrong? I wish I could say you were talking to an experienced cook, but sadly baking/cooking is not my forte.

Pam
Pam

LOVE this bread! Do I add herbs, cheese, nuts etc. just before baking? What quantity of  herbs would you recommend?

SaraSmiles
SaraSmiles

I'm sorry to bother you but I was wondering if I could use a regular dutch oven, rather than an enameled one, to cook this tasty looking bread? 

marinaberr
marinaberr

When you say "set aside" the bowl of dough to rise, do you mean to leave it out on the counter or should it be refrigerated or kept at a certain temperature? I'm looking forward to surprising my family with a homemade loaf of bread as part of our Easter menu. Might even do a trial run right now. Thanks for sharing this. My trusty Le Crueset should handle the baking pretty well!

ScriptoriumGirl
ScriptoriumGirl

I made this recipe today, and I will be making it again. It is amazing bread and so easy to make. Thanks for sharing! 

Vicki in VA
Vicki in VA

Which Lodge do you have? Color or other series? The Color series pots I can find online specify oven-safe up to 400.

Teacher3
Teacher3

I love this bread! My brother visited and made this and Double Chocolate Banana Bread. I just adore him! My question is--Can I use wheat flour? Thanks a million.

maxkix
maxkix

Thank you for this easy delicious recipe. I added some parmasean cheese to the mix, turned out great!! Will be expirementing with different add in's for sure!

eksthompson
eksthompson

Absolutely amazing!  And SOOOO easy.  Thanks for sharing!

nikkig123
nikkig123

Yum, this was fantastic!! Can't wait to make it for someone besides my husband and me!

Natalie
Natalie

HI - love this bread recipe.  Mine tastes very yeasty, though... is this normal or is there anything you know to make the yeast taste less strong?  

kcstob
kcstob

Hi, Tried your recipe last weekend and was blown away! No kneading- what a concept. One just has to plan ahead a little to allow the fermentation time.

Bratdoll
Bratdoll

Hi! I love your recipes!!!

1. I have a couple questions: Do you know what size loaf this makes (1-lb., 1-1/2lb., 2lb.)?

2. Can you tell me if this would work in a breadmachine? Or if it would need any alterations?

3. Do you use a breadmachine, or plan to in the future (and post recipes)?

 

Thanks :)

JenniferAK
JenniferAK

Wow!  This bread was so easy and came out just perfect.  Thank you for another great recipe! 

Marisa
Marisa

I'm wondering if you have any tips for baking a nice crusty loaf without a Dutch Oven? I bake bread on my pizza stone pretty often, but yours looks so much prettier and lighter/airy. (I think a Dutch Oven is my only Birthday request this year!)

karen
karen

What size of dutch oven do you use?

AKMoM
AKMoM

Do you think this recipe will work in a cast iron Dutch oven?

Stephanie
Stephanie

Hello and thanks for this recipe! I just received a Lodge enamel cast iron dutch oven like yours and read in the instructions that you should never heat the dutch oven empty in the oven. Do you know why that is and have you experienced any negative results from doing so? Thanks!

alaskafromscratch
alaskafromscratch moderator

@nlecorgne  That sounds about right to me. The air bubbles are what creates the the great interior of the bread seen in the second picture in the post and also the texture. You will find you'll get a yeasty smell and flavor from most any long ferment recipe. 

alaskafromscratch
alaskafromscratch moderator

@natilton  Saffron honey from India sounds divine, especially with freshly baked bread. Adding sugar and decreasing salt may affect the fermentation process and cause the bread to be more dense, less airy. The addition of cinnamon alone shouldn't alter the texture of the bread. Of course, you can absolutely try it and see how it turns out for you. 

alaskafromscratch
alaskafromscratch moderator

I'd try longer baking time prior to removing the lid, maybe another 5-10 minutes more?

Tawnda
Tawnda

@Gwinny Gwinny,  Next time try lining the dutch oven with parchment paper.  That should help a lot.

ClaraPowers
ClaraPowers

@SaraSmiles  I'm using regular (camping) cast iron, as I was afraid my enameled pot with it's plastic knob, would melt in the 45 degree oven.

alaskafromscratch
alaskafromscratch moderator

@marinaberr This will be great for Easter! :) I leave mine on the countertop covered with a kitchen towel. Enjoy! 

alaskafromscratch
alaskafromscratch moderator

@Teacher3 what a nice brother! :) I haven't tried wheat, although I'd really like to. Please let me know how it turns out if you do try it!

idratherbeskiing
idratherbeskiing

I think literally reducing the amount of yeast and maybe increasing the amount of salt will make it taste less yeasty. I have been making dutch oven bread with 1/4 t yeast and 2 t salt and it comes out with a darker crust and better flavor. It was missing something though, so I tried this recipe. This one had a lighter, easier to eat crust, but it was really yeasty. I think I will try making it next time with 1/3-1/2 t yeast. I think somewhere is a happy medium.

alaskafromscratch
alaskafromscratch moderator

The yeastiness is a result of the long fermentation time in this recipe. Unfortunately there's no way around that. You can certainly try baking this at about half the rise time and see if that helps, but you may get a different result in terms of the density of the bread on the inside. I love a yeasty bread, so I don't mind it. :)

alaskafromscratch
alaskafromscratch moderator

 @Bratdoll Hi there! Thank you for your questions.

1. I would guess this is between 1lb-1.5lb. Next time I make a loaf, I'll weigh it and check. 

2. Since this is a no-knead recipe, I wouldn't recommend a bread machine. Also, you wouldn't get the same crusty results if baked in a bread machine vs. in a Dutch Oven. 

3. I used to own a bread machine, but had to get rid of it before moving to Alaska. 

It looks like Dine & Dish has a handful of bread machine recipes: http://dineanddish.net/?s=bread+machine

Hope this helps! :)

alaskafromscratch
alaskafromscratch moderator

Hi Marisa! Other than a pizza stone (which is a great option), the oven needs steam. Some people use a squirt bottle and spray water into the oven throughout baking. Another way is to toss water onto the oven floor. I use this technique in my French Bread recipe: http://www.alaskafromscratch.com/2012/09/06/french-bread/

 

Hope this helps! :) I hope you do get the dutch oven you're hoping for! I use mine all the time!

alaskafromscratch
alaskafromscratch moderator

@karen 6 quarts... And there's plenty of room. Could probably use one a bit smaller without a problem.

alaskafromscratch
alaskafromscratch moderator

My dutch oven is enameled cast iron, so I don't see why not. If you try it, let me know how it goes! :)

alaskafromscratch
alaskafromscratch moderator

Hi Stephanie, that is a great question. I honestly wasn't aware of this instruction and I certainly don't want to ask anyone to do something that might damage their bakeware. I haven't had any trouble with this method with my own Lodge Dutch Oven, so I guess I'd say proceed at your own risk! :) Hope this helps. Enjoy your new Dutch oven! I have several other recipes that use a Dutch oven, too... just enter "Dutch oven" into the search field.

Chas615
Chas615

@Tawnda I had the same lack of crust issue as "Gwinny" Your response sounds simple but as a beginner I need to ask: parchment around all sides, and bottom (beneath dough?


Thanks in advance!

Vicki in VA
Vicki in VA

@alaskafromscratch   Before I got my Dutch oven recently, I made this recipe using my preheated pizza stone and inverted a pot over it. Turned out great!  (But it's more fun/simpler/less mess in my new Guy Fieri cobalt blue enameled Dutch oven!)

AKMoM
AKMoM

I already have the dough rising so I'll give it a try. I'm borrowing the Dutch oven my mom got from my great aunt:) Do you come to Anchorage much? I'd love to meet you! I attend Chapel Naz & went to NNU with Joye Deakins Hampton:)

judyrief
judyrief

@alaskafromscratch   I used a enamel cast iron dutch oven (lodge).  didn't hurt it the but it sure smelled odd at first.  I think the knob was the cause if this..  the bread was great.

alaskafromscratch
alaskafromscratch moderator

Yippee! I hope the bread turns out beautifully for you! I get up to Anchorage a handful of times every year. That's awesome that you went to NNU (did you know I went to PLNU?) and that we have mutual friends! Feel free to send me a Facebook message. https://www.facebook.com/alaskafromscratch

Trackbacks

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  2. [...] I tend to shy away from making bread at home. Sure, I’ll make sweet breads such as Oatmeal-strawberry bread or Pumpkin-chocolate chip bread, but a real, hearty bread? I haven’t had much luck with those, and the added challenges that come with being at high altitude tend to make such recipes discouraging. Until I stumbled upon this little gem. [...]

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  4. Rebel Rag says:

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  6. [...] Luftig, locker, leicht, eingebettet in Knusperkruste. Dutch Oven Bread, nach einem Rezept von hier. Die Zubereitung geruhsam und beschaulich wie ein langer Sommertag. Zwar heizt der Ofen kräftig [...]

  7. […] with crispy crust and airy centers. And they make bread virtually foolproof. Some recipes like this four-ingredient version don’t even require kneading, just a bit of advance planning, and the results are pretty […]

  8. […] I tend to shy away from making bread at home. Sure, I’ll make sweet breads such as Oatmeal-strawberry bread or Pumpkin-chocolate chip bread, but a real, hearty bread? I haven’t had much luck with those, and the added challenges that come with being at high altitude tend to make such recipes discouraging. Until I stumbled upon this little gem. […]

  9. […] bread or some Tortilla Chips to Dip. This no-knead crusty bread recipe I found is amazing! I will be posting about it soon, but if you’ve read this far, make it. […]

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  12. […] The recipe came from Alaska From Scratch. […]

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  15. […] No Knead Dutch Oven Bread (adapted from Alaska from Scratch) […]

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