Crusty Bread – bake this easy to make bread in a cast iron pot and you have perfection, no kneading required, 4 simple ingredients.
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?
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.
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.
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1¾ tsp salt
- ½ tsp active dry yeast
- 1½ cups water (room temperature)
- 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.
- 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.
- Remove pot from oven and remove the lid from it.
- 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.
- Bake for 30 minutes with the lid on, after which remove the lid and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and let cool.