No-knead cast iron Dutch oven bread is the easiest way to create beautiful artisan bread with a signature cracked crust that looks like it came from a fancy bakery.
If you're intimidated by bread baking, then baking bread in a Dutch oven is your new best friend.
It's such a hands-off process, that you don't even have to touch the dough!
The best part, is that this is a no-knead bread recipe.
The bread dough yields a crusty top, with cracks, crevices and "ears" which refer to the signature pointy ridges of a classic Dutch oven bread.
Serve this next to a soup or chili, or enjoy warm with creamy homemade butter.
Flour- all purpose or bread flour.
Yeast- Instant yeast.
Sugar- fine, granulated sugar.
Wait until the dough is halfway through rising to preheat the oven and Dutch oven.
Preheat the oven and the Dutch oven.
Set the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit with the Dutch oven and lid in the oven, so that it may also heat up.
If your Dutch oven is not non stick, drop a piece of parchment paper inside to avoid sticking.
Add all the ingredients to a large mixing bowl, and mix with a wooden spoon.
The dough will seem like a shaggy thick batter at first, but continue to stir until it comes together.
Once you can see the dough is sticking together, and pulling away from the sides of the bowl, scrape it down towards the bottom of the bowl.
The dough will seem loose.
Once the dough is formed, is to allow it to rise.
Cover loosely, with plastic wrap or a light towel.
Let the covered dough rise in warm, non drafty place until doubled in size.
This usually takes an hour, but can take up to 2 hours if it's chilly or drafty in your house.
When the dough is done rising, carefully transfer it to the hot Dutch oven. If your Dutch oven is not non-stick, drop in a piece of parchment paper.
Scrape the dough mass out of the bowl and into the hot Dutch oven, using a rubber spatula, being careful to disrupt the dough as little as possible as it slides out.
Once the dough is in the Dutch oven, don't try to situate it or shape it. This will make for more of an Artisan look as well as not deflating the dough.
Some of the most irregular shaped bread loaves have also been some of the prettiest.
Carefully place the hot lid over the dough and bake it for 30 minutes in the 450 degree Fahrenheit oven. Do not remove the lid.
After 30 minutes, remove the lid.
Return the bread to the oven to finish baking uncovered until the crust turns deep golden brown, about another 15 to 20 minutes.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before removing the loaf of bread.
Use between a 5 quart and 7.5 quart for this recipe.
If you place parchment paper inside the Dutch oven, then you can easily lift out the finished bread.
Use a deep bowl, rather than a shallow one to give the dough plenty of room to rise.
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Dutch Oven Bread
- Dutch Oven
- 4 ¼ cups all purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 ½ teaspoon instant yeast
- 2 cups water
- Preheat oven and Dutch oven and lid in the oven to 450 degrees. If Dutch oven is not non-stick, line it with parchment paper.
- Add flour, salt, sugar, instant yeast and water to a large bowl. (See notes for using active dry yeast.)
- Combine all ingredients in a large, deep bowl with a wooden spoon. If necessary, add another tablespoon or two of flour.
- Once the dough starts to form a loose ball, scrape the edges of the bowl down toward the bottom.
- Cover loosely with plastic wrap or light towel.
- Put in a warm, non-drafty location and allow to rise until doubled in size (about 60 minutes).
- Scrape the dough carefully into the Dutch oven, letting it fold out over itself, trying not to deflate it.
- Place the lid over the dough and pot.
- Bake for 30 minutes, remove lid and bake another 15 minutes until crust is golden brown.
- Let cool slightly before carefully removing from Dutch oven and slicing.
- The dough is very loose and sticky. Stir it together with a spoon, and scrape it into a pile and let it rise in the same bowl.
- Use between a 5 quart and 7.5 quart Dutch oven for this recipe.
- If you place parchment paper inside the Dutch oven, then you can easily lift out the finished bread.
- Setting the dough in a warm, non drafty area, and covering it will help it to rise more quickly, on average about 1 hour.
- Use a deep bowl, rather than a shallow one to give the dough plenty of room to rise.
- Instant yeast is preferred.
- If using active dry yeast, dissolve it in the 2 cups of water that the recipe calls for at a lukewarm temperature (110 degrees F).
- The dough will seem very loose and sticky, that's why it's cooked in a Dutch oven. If it seems to loose, add 1-2 tablespoons of water but not more.
david corn says
David Winn says
Thanks Haley, glad you like it!
Nanette Tettaton says
Best recipes available !
Nanette, thank you!