No Knead Dutch Oven Crusty Bread

Crusty Bread – bake this easy to make bread in a cast iron pot and you have perfection, no kneading required, 4 simple ingredients.

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I am so excited about sharing this bread recipe with you, I have not been this excited in a very long time about a recipe. You know how much I love baking, but I love simplicity as well. This bread could not get any easier, it’s even easier than the artisan bread.

Let me give you an introduction first. I came across this recipe on pinterest, and it took me to Simply So Good blog to this amazing bread recipe. The ingredients are the same as for the artisan bread but the way it’s made, totally different. The thought of baking bread in a cast iron pot with the lid on never crossed my mind, but now that I think of it, it makes complete sense. As you bake it with the lid on, it creates steam inside the pot therefore creating a nice crust on the bread. We know steam makes crusty bread.

Do not worry about a thing. If you think there is no way your bread will look like this, you are so wrong. This could not get any easier. If you’ve never baked bread before you could still make this.

But admire the bread for a minute. Is that crust not perfection? Have you seen a better looking crust than that?

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Now let me tell you about the bread a bit. It is the best bread I have ever made. No lie! And I’ve made a few breads in my day. It crusty, it is crunchy and it is flavorful. You know those great Italian loaves of bread with a nice crust to them that you buy from the local Italian bakery, it’s like that, if not better.

To make this could not get any easier. Simply mix the flour, salt and yeast together and then add the water to it. Mix it using a wooden spoon or spatula until it’s all incorporated, no need to over mix, it will look like a sticky mess. Cover up the bowl, let it rest outside on the counter for 12 to 18 hours. Yes, if you thought you were going to eat bread today you won’t, you have to let it rest for that long, and also please do not refrigerate it. I left mine for 18 hours overnight, and after all that time that sticky mess will rise and will become even stickier but that’s OK. You have to preheat your oven to 450 F degrees, and also preheat your cast iron pot as well. Apparently you don’t have to use a cast iron pot if you don’t have one, any other oven proof pot with a lid on would work. When the pot is heated, be careful not to burn yourself, using a lot of flour on your hands roughly shape the dough into a round ball, you don’t have to be perfect, and drop it in the pot. Put the lid on and bake it 30 minutes, after which remove the lid and let it bake for another 15 to 20 minutes until it’s nice and golden brown. A Perfection.

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And if I haven’t said it a million times, there is nothing better than warm bread, right out of your oven. I know you want to rush and make this right now. Oh by the way you can add other ingredients to the flour before adding the water, such as cheese, or herbs, that’s what I’m going to try next. :)

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4.9 from 18 reviews
Crusty Bread
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1¾ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp active dry yeast
  • 1½ cups water (room temperature)
Instructions
  1. In a big bowl mix flour, salt and yeast together. Pour water into the bowl and using a spatula mix it until it's all incorporated. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit on your counter for 12 to 18 hours.
  2. Preheat oven to 450 F degrees. Add your cast iron pot to the oven and heat it as well until it's at 450 F degrees.
  3. Remove pot from oven and remove the lid from it.
  4. Flour your work surface really well and make sure you flour your hands really well. With your floured hands gently remove the dough from the bowl and roughly shape it into a ball. Take the ball of dough and drop it into the pot. Cover the pot with the lid and place it back in the oven.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes with the lid on, after which remove the lid and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown.
  6. Remove from the oven and let cool.

What you’ll need:

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If you like this recipe try these no knead breads:

Sunflower and Flax Seeds Whole Wheat Cast Iron Bread

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No Knead Dutch Oven Whole Wheat Bread

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Comments

  1. Anne DuBois says

    I would like to try baking the crusty bread. Would I have to alter the recipe since the altitude here is 7500 ft?

  2. Sandy says

    Instead of leaving this out on the counter to rise, could I use the proof setting on my oven to speed up the process?

  3. Mary Hofmann says

    was disappointed as the Dutch oven idea is used when we have NO real oven…otherwise, making bread of any kind is easy…

  4. Christopher Morgan says

    Followed the instructions exactly but the bread came out wet in the middle. What would cause this?

    • says

      Hmm that’s an interesting one, what the oven hot enough and did you use a dutch oven. Also the dutch oven needs to be covered for the first 30 minutes. Strange, never had that happen before.

      • Chris says

        Yes, preheated the dutch oven (lodge cast iron) to 450, cooked covered for 30 min, uncovered and cooked an additional 15 min. The outside came out great but the inside was damp. I used Red Star yeast good till Dec 2015.

  5. Sharon says

    Jo, I am also loving making this for all my friends and family.. What do you add to make the bread interesting, after eating it plain… thanks for sharing

  6. Jill says

    I only have a lodge logic 5 qt cast iron dutch oven….will that be large enough? If not, would holding back some of the dough be advised?

    Thank you,
    Jill

  7. casey says

    I made this bread. So easy and so yummy!!! Came out perfect. I did put parchment paper in the pot to make it easy to pull out.

  8. BARBARA WRIGHT says

    Made this bread today It was fantastic looked just like the one shown in picture ,so easy did not have Cast iron pan cooked in 6 at. . Stainless pot, put parchment circle in bottom of pot and took off handles and covered lid knob with cloth and aluminum foil. This was only second time of cooking bread and I will definitely make this again, thank you for a wonderful recipe.

  9. says

    I am a newbie baker but have been wanting to bake bread out of my cast iron dutch oven. Your recipe made it look doable. So I did everything exactly as you and it tastes delicious but it did not rise much past maybe 2 inches. So my husband and I ate all of this little loaf because it’s so good and there’s hardly any of it. I bought the yeast and flour the yesterday when I made the dough. Any advice to why it didn’t rise?

    • says

      I would still check the date on the yeast, even though you bought it yesterday it could have sat on the shelf at the store for a long time. Otherwise the only thing I can think of is you used a big cast iron dutch oven so the bread would be flatter and not so round.

      • says

        My yeast doesn’t expire until Dec 2016 and my dutch oven is 5 quarts. The dough did not stay in a ball the minute I put it in the oven. Maybe that’s why?

        • says

          I’m not quite sure, was the dough really sticky? It should be sticky but if you use enough flour you should be able to handle it. Also did you bake it with the lid on for the first 30 minutes?

          • says

            The dough was really sticky and I did bake it with lid on the first 30 minutes. Everything was exactly as you wrote. I think I’ll try it again and maybe adding more flour mighthe help? Thanks for responding☺

  10. says

    OMG!
    Just came across this recipe! The bread looks exactly like my favorite bread. Plus here in SE Asia it’s very difficult to find proper bread.
    I have just one problem, I don’t have an oven, just a portable convection oven… could it work however?

    • says

      Hi Alessio,
      I haven’t used a convection oven to make this bread so I’m not quite sure, however if your convection oven can get to required high temperature for baking this bread, I don’t see why not. :)

  11. Pat says

    I just made the bread. It looks beautiful. I have a three quart le crueset and it baked fine in that size. I put the put the pot in the oven as I warmed up the oven and I put a bit of water in the pot, just to cover the bottom because my cookware says you should always have something in the pot when it is in an oven. When I was ready to place the dough in the pot, I dumped the hot water out and dried the pot out, very carefully as it was HOT. I also placed a small circle of parchment paper in the bottom to prevent it from sticking… Worked like a charm. Thanks so much for this EASY recipe. Looks like I was baking for hours.

  12. Christine says

    Tried your recipe today and simply adored it! Would like to try to make with whole wheat flour and grains next time. Do you think I should add any extra water or cooking time? Many thanks!

  13. Charlotte Vondersaar says

    Made this today with a pot of homemade vegetable soup. Best bread ever. Posted a picture of it on facebbook and the recipe is being shared to many. Friends have asked me for recipe and of course I sharwd it. Thank you so much for sharing this.

  14. Jean says

    This recipes is absolutely delicious! The best AND easiest bread I’ve ever made! Thank you for sharing it!

  15. Mariela espinoza says

    Thanks so much for this amazing recepe. I really enjoyed it. (And so my family) It is very easy and practical to make. First time I do not knead a bread dough or use a lid, and it bacame so beautiful. Love to send u the photo I publish on my facebook…….many comments.
    Mariela from Caracas, Venezuela

  16. says

    Have you ever tried making it with Bread Flour rather than All Purpose? I have both and wondered if you’ve ever heard of anyone having success with the Bread flour?

    • says

      I personally haven’t Kim, mostly because I usually just have all purpose flour on hand. I’d also love to hear if anyone else has tried it with bread flour.

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