No Knead Dutch Oven Crusty Bread

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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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5.0 from 22 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. Gabe says

    Thank you for the recipe, the bread is perfect just like you said! I have a 7 quart dutch oven and was wondering if I could double the recipe and use the same cooking times to make a larger loaf?

      • Terri says

        Thank you. I couldn’t wait. I found where someone said the bottom shelf and I tried it, but the bottom of my bread burned slightly. Next time I make the bread I will try the middle shelf. Hoping that solves the problem.

    • says

      I’m not sure Jackie, haven’t tried it with a Pyrex dish. But having said that, I think it should work, the only thing I’m not sure of is if you’d have to oil the bottom of the dish or if flour alone should be enough.

      • Carol says

        Hi. I ‘ve used a cast iron skillet and covered with a piece of foil. Tent over the dough, not completely seal. Works great.

  2. Meredith says

    Came out perfect and so good! Followed instructions exactly and couldn’t be more pleased. This will be a go-to from now on. Thank you!

  3. says

    Hi Jo

    I would love to try your bread, but as I have three coeliac’s in my family I wondered if you know whether the recipe would work with gluten free bread?

    Liz

    • says

      I don’t think this would work with gluten free flour because it is a yeast based bread, you’d have to find a recipe that is for gluten free bread.

  4. E says

    I tried using Quick yeast from Dove Farms cos I ran out of the active dry yeast. While it proofed and puffed, the dough was too sticky to form a ball. I thought I’ll just bake it anyway to see where this leads. I ended up with a flat bun ( kinda like 1 inch thick). Do you think it’s the yeast? I left the mixture for around 15 hours.

  5. Mimi says

    This bread looks delicious, going to try to make it today. When you say 1/2 tsp of yeast is it straight from the package in its dry form or do I add 1/2 tsp after I have activated it according to the package instructions?

    • says

      If you’re using those packages of yeast, one package has 2 1/4 tsp so you’ll have to measure out 1/2 tsp in its dry form. You don’t need a lot of yeast at all for this recipe.

  6. maffie says

    I have made a loaf of this bread turned out really nice but the bread was a grey colour and not white what have I done?
    Maffie

  7. Lynne says

    I love this recipe. I have found that placing my loaf on parchment paper for it’s final rise allows me to uncover the pot as it sits on the oven shelf and lower the loaf in, it is easier than handling the loaf by itself. It also makes for easy removal from the pan. Oh, and my dutch oven stays clean!

      • ca douglas says

        No, it doesn’t go directly into the pot. It is sitting / resting / rising while your DO is heating up. The recipe I use says to:

        1) heat the DO in a preheated 450 degree oven for 30 minutes
        2) while the DO is heating; tip the dough onto a heavily floured surface and gently shape into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap…or do as I do…shape the dough into a ball and place it on a piece of parchment paper long enough to fit up the sides of your DO. I place the dough and parchment paper into a bowl about the same size as the DO. Cover the bowl.
        3) when 30 mins are up and your DO is HOT; remove the DO lid; carefully transfer the dough (with the parchment paper) to the DO. Cover the DO and cook for 30 mins.
        4) now uncover the DO and cook for another 15 mins. Tada! It’s done!

  8. Bruce says

    Due to dentures unfortunately hard crust is a pain, pun intended. Would brushing butter on the top of the crust just as it comes out do the trick to soften it some?
    Also I am a huge fan of sourdough and I am going to try it this way see how it does.

  9. LadyMichigan says

    What size D.O. do I use for this? I have a small one around a 2 qt I think not one of the really large LeQuesae (sp) ones.

    • says

      No I don’t Sue, all you need to do is heat the Dutch oven before placing the dough in it, you could sprinkle some flour or cornmeal at the bottom though if you wish.

    • Virginia_NY says

      I’d like to give credit to MARK BITTMAN, the creator of this recipe for “No Knead Bread.”

      PS: I’ve made this several times in my 6-quart enameled cast iron dutch oven. There is no need to grease or oil. It pops right out.

  10. Sandra says

    Can you bake this bread in a old cast iron pot with a lid? I just found one at an estate sale and I am hoping I can bake bread in it.
    Thanks, Sandra

  11. says

    Hi I found this recipe on Pinterest…it interested me because of the dutch oven! Looks great!! I’d love for you to stop by my place and share on my link party!! Have a great day!

    • says

      It could, the water needs to be just lukewarm, just warm to the touch, but it could also be that your yeast has expired?

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