This is the time of year when I start craving comfort foods. Especially when the temperature outside fluctuates so much in these crazy Wyoming springs. We’ve also been trying to find more ways to use our lovely Dutch oven that we just received as a gift.
My husband found this easy-peasy recipe on Pinterest for no-knead bread baked in the Dutch oven that we just had to try (and that’s the royal "we"). So let’s get to the recipe!
Dutch Oven No-Knead Bread
1 ½ cups warm Water
1 packet or 2 ¼ teaspoons yeast (instant or active dry)
½ tablespoon table salt or 2 teaspoons kosher salt
3 ¼ cups flour (all-purpose flour is fine)
Warm your water to about 100 degrees F. you can use a meat thermometer to make sure it’s the right temp. Add the warm water to a large bowl along with the yeast and the salt then whisk together until the yeast and salt are dissolved. Add the flour all at once and stir with a wooden spoon until everything is uniformly wet. You can use a silicone spatula to scrape the dough off the wooden spoon, as it will be sticky and loose.
Once the dough is mixed, just cover it with a dish towel and let it rise in a warmish spot for two to three hours or until it has doubled in size. You can also stick the dough in your refrigerator for up to seven days if you’d like to bake it later. Cold dough is a little easier to work with, just as a heads up. If you are leaving it in the refrigerator, you should leave the towel in place for two days, after that you can replace the towel with plastic wrap. The longer you leave the dough in the fridge, the more like sourdough your bread will taste.
You will need to pre-heat your Dutch oven — this gives you the yummy, crispy crust! About 30 minutes to an hour before you will be baking the bread, place the Dutch oven, with the lid on, on the center rack of your oven and turn your oven on to 450 degrees F. Once it reaches 450 degrees, pre-heat the Dutch oven for about 20 more minutes. Remove the Dutch oven very carefully.
Now we’ll form the loaf! Lay a piece of parchment paper on the counter and sprinkle some flour on the bottom part closest to you. Use a silicone spatula to scrape the dough into a pile on the floured part. You want to be gentle, as the more you handle the dough the fewer fluffy holes there will be in the finished bread. Using your spatula, form a loaf shape scooping up the dough from the bottom of the pile and placing it on top. Our Dutch oven is round so we scooped it into a round “loaf." Then grab the corners of the parchment paper and gently flip the loaf onto the center of the parchment paper. You can make half-inch deep cuts on the top of the bread if you’d like. We did.
Your Dutch oven should be good and hot by now. So very carefully, take the lid off and place your parchment paper bundle in the Dutch oven. Place the cover back on, protecting your fingers, of course! Bake at 450 degrees F for about 35 minutes. After 35 minutes remove the lid and bake for another 5-10 minutes, until your bread is golden brown. Carefully lift the bread out of the Dutch oven by the parchment paper and cool for at least 10 minutes before you slice into it.