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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4.9 from 19 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. janet says

    Hi – Am I waiting for the dough to double in size before plopping in the pot? Currently going on my 16th hour, I don’t want to rush it at this point Thanks!

    • says

      Hi Jane,
      16 hours should be enough. Just make sure you heat your pot first, otherwise the bread will stick to the bottom. :)

  2. Teri says

    This is the best, easiest recipe. I made a double batch….cooked 50 minutes covered, 10 minutes lid off. I did let it cool on a wire rack. Delicious.

  3. Kristie says

    Has anyone tried adding Asiago cheese to this recipe? I have never made bread before in my life, but Ive been wanting to make Asiago bread but all the recipes look too time consuming. This method of making bread is up my ally, but its not asiago. Think I can just add it after you take the lid off for last 15 min of baking?

  4. Judy says

    Has anyone tried this with a gluten-free recipe? It looks amazing and I would love to try it, but I can’t have gluten.

  5. dorian says

    HI Jo:
    I am worried about my bread. I have let it rise for 15 hours. when i removed the plastic wrap the dough was watery. i used the ingredients just as you instructed. could it be too little yeast? i thought you would use a whole envelope of yeast but your recipe only calls for 1/2 tsp.
    let me knwo your thoughts.

    • says

      Hi Dorian,
      Yeah you don’t need a lot of yeast, 1/2 tsp is all you need. The dough will be very sticky and won’t look like your normal dough. You can see a picture of what the dough should look like here though that one is with whole wheat flour, but it should give you an idea. Just flour your hands really well in order to shape it and put it in the dutch oven. Don’t be scared, it should be fine. :)

  6. Donna says

    This type of bread is my husband’s favorite and we pay $5 a loaf – often! I am so excited to make this – and the variations, as well. Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing this. I’ll be back later to share my results.

  7. Joanne says

    i just took my loaf out of the oven and it looks ok. I haven’t tasted it yet. I used a 5 qt Dutch oven and wondering if that was too large. Have you ever doubled the recipe and if so, how long did you cook the bread. Thank you.

    • says

      Hi Joanne,
      I have never doubled the recipe, so I don’t know how long to cook the bread for….though I think it should be the same….not sure 100% though. Needs experimenting.

  8. Hayley says

    Once we let the bread rise for 18 hours the recipe says to flour your counter and hands is that simply for the purpose of taking dough out and shaping it into a ball or are we suppose to need it first and then put into Dutch oven pan and bake?

  9. Elise says

    I would like to make a sourdough version of this without using any artificial yeast. Have you ever tried that and do you have any tips for that? I’m worried that the bread will be a solid brick :)

    • says

      Hi Elise,
      We make sourdough bread all the time, but I’ve never tried making it in a Dutch Oven. We usually make it on a pizza stone, and for the first 20 minutes we have a pan with water on the lower rack, and after 20 minutes we remove it and finish baking it. But I think you may be right, it might turn into a solid brick, who knows, but the dough in this recipe is a lot softer than sourdough, that’s why I think it would be like a solid brick. 😀 Needs experimentation!! :)

  10. Anne DuBois says

    I have a trivit that came with my cast iron pot. Should I leave it in the pot when I bake the bread?

  11. Linda says

    Do you grease the dutch oven? Mine is not enamel coated and I’ve never heard of baking bread without greasing the pan first, so I just want to clarify since it’s not mentioned in the recipe. I would love to try this bread, it looks amazing!

  12. Carmen says

    Is the purpose of letting the dough rest for so long so that it doubles in size or does it influence the texture? It looks wonderful and I don´t want to make a mistake!

    • says

      Yes you definitely need to let it rest overnight, and yes it’s to double in size and also you’re giving the yeast a chance to leaven the dough. It makes it puff up so that you don’t end up with a heavy loaf.

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