October 4, 2012

Dutch Oven Artisan Bread

I have a love/hate affair with my Dutch Oven at the moment. I know I posted about the wonders of Dutch Ovens a little while ago, and that all still holds true! It's just mine. I need a new one. I went for cheap, which was totally worth it, but after 2 years... it's all brown on the inside and cracking chunks of ceramic off the outside. Recommendation: Avoid Tramontina if you care how your Dutch Oven looks. I picked it after reading Cooks Illustrated reviews, it was much cheaper than the classic Le Creuset. I will say it still does it's job flawlessly, I'm just not a fan of its appearance over time. Anyway!! I'm still trying to convince you all to go get one. I've heard great things about the ones from Costco! Maybe I'm just mean to mine...

Reason #2 to get a Dutch Oven: Dead easy, no-knead, 4 ingredient, fabulous Artisan Bread!! Yes, I said no-knead. This is the easiest bread you will EVER make!! And: it's perfect.

Dutch Oven Artisan Bread (adapted slightly from Frugal Living NW)
Printable Recipe

6 cups bread (recommended) or all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
1/2 tsp instant or active-dry yeast
2 1/2 tsp salt
2 2/3 cups cool water

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, yeast, and salt. Add the water and stir together until all the ingredients are well mixed; the dough should be wet and sticky. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let the dough rest 12-18 hours on the counter at room temperature. (Start it the afternoon/night before you want to bake it.) When surface of the risen dough has darkened slightly, smells yeasty, and is dotted with bubbles, it is ready.

Lightly flour your hands and a work surface. Dump dough out on work surface and sprinkle with more flour. (It will be very sticky and stringy) Fold the dough over on itself once or twice and, using floured fingers, tuck the dough underneath to form a rough ball.

*Updated* Dust a sheet of parchment paper with flour, and place the dough seam side down on the paper. and dust with a bit more more flour. Cover with a clean cotton dishtowel and let rise for about 2 hours, until it has doubled in size.

After about 1 1/2 hours, preheat oven to 425-450 degrees. Place a 6-8 quart Dutch Oven (or 6-8 quart heavy covered oven-safe pot) in the oven as it heats. When the dough has fully risen, carefully remove pot from oven. Take the towel off the dough, and use the parchment as a sling to lower the dough into the Dutch Oven. (The parchment will stay in the Dutch Oven. This is much easier than the towel-flipping method!)

Cover and bake for 40-50 minutes. Uncover and continue baking about 5-10 more minutes, until a deep chestnut brown. (The internal temp of the bread should be around 200 degrees. You can check this with a meat thermometer, if you're worried. I didn't bother :)

Remove the bread from the pot and let it cool completely on a wire rack before slicing. (Till it stops making fabulous crackly sounds) Note: This recipe makes a HUGE loaf. We're lucky we had missionaries over! Next time I think I would half the recipe, it's best eaten on the first day. Warm leftovers in the oven or microwave for a bit to soften it up a little.
Voila! The easiest, most perfectest bread ever. And it practically made itself! You can make cuts in the dough before you bake it if you want it even more perfect looking, but I like this crust.
It's light and fluffy, with the tiniest bit of an almost-sourdough-tang. You can play with it and add herbs, or cheeses, or brush some olive oil over the top... I haven't tried this yet, but you bet I'm going to!! I'm thinking rosemary Parmesan...
Mine turned out just an itty-bit gummy, but that's because I was much too impatient, and cut into it before it completely cooled. I thought it was because I forgot the extra two-hour rising time, but have discovered that if you are in a hurry, you can easily skip that!
That crackly golden crust is absolutely my favorite part. Joe didn't like it, the rest of us adored it!! Smear it with butter and send yourself to fresh-baked-bread Heaven. 

So, have I convinced you to get a Dutch Oven yet? No? Well, I have a few more up my sleeve, just you wait and see!

**UPDATE: Since posting this, I have discovered that there are ways you can substitute, if you don't have a Dutch Oven! (Though I still recommend them whole-heartedly!) You can use any large, oven safe baking dish, or a stainless steel bowl, covered with foil. (If your dish isn't deep, make a foil dome!) I've also heard of people using a baking stone with an oven-safe bowl/dish up-ended over the top. Of course, if you halve the recipe, your dishes wouldn't need to be huge. If there is enough room for the dough to double, you're set!! I hope this helps, I wouldn't want anyone left out!**

Shared at Tutorials, Tips, and Tidbits at Stonegable and Foodie Friends Friday

PS: I have been replying to all comments by email, and just realized that some of you aren't getting them!! If you are purposefully a "no-reply blogger", enough said, I still love you. If not, and haven't been getting my replies, check out this link if you are using a Blogger profile:  http://familycorner.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/no-reply-blogger.html (it's pretty simple) or this one if you are using Google+ : http://jenniffier.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/google-profile.html
If you don't want to change anything, but would like me to just reply to your comments on my blog, and would rather check back to see them, let me know!! Cuz I WILL!! :)


  1. I love my Dutch oven! Going to try this bread for sure! Thanks, April. : >)

  2. I've got sourdough rising on the counter right now... I'm tempted to just cook it in the dutch oven. The crust and crumb look amazing, truly.

  3. Good afternoon April, Now this bread recipe seems like fun, I have never left dough to prove for 12-18 hours before. I am definitely going to try this and as you suggested add some different flavours aswell. Thank you for the recipe. Best Wishes Daphne

    1. I hope you like it, and I'd love to hear how your flavors turn out! Thanks for reading :)

  4. OH MY Goodness - this is absolutely gorgeous - I'm too much of a wimp to try bread - but I would love to be able to do this!!
    Mary x

  5. Hello!

    I just found you at Stone Gable. I make this bread all of the time! I love it, but sadly mine never raises up as much as yours. It still tastes fabulous though.

    As for the dutch oven, love them! I recently made the Cooks Illustrated French Onion soup in my dutch oven...fabulous and so, so easy!

  6. Hi April,
    I'm so happy you visited My Cozy Corner. Your comments were delightful. I love to cook...And you do too. I love to travel...And you will too. I will be putting your blog on my sidebar, and I just linked Autumn Tea Time to your party. Oh yes, I love to read too.

  7. Your bread looks so yummy. That kind of bread is one of my favorites. I make a bread with my pizza bread recipe and I bake it in the crock pot. It comes out pretty good.

  8. I have thought of making artisan bread... just haven't got around to it... I may have to go out and buy a bigger dutch oven though... I just have a small one. Thanks for sharing on Foodie Friends Friday and remember to come back and vote on Sunday.

  9. It looks wonderful!
    I make it but I don't have a Dutch oven, so I use a bowl, it works!
    Here from Yvonne's. I love to cook too. I will follow!
    I have a little give away tonight you may like if you bake pies. Hop over!

  10. this is the famous New York Times no-knead recipe from a few years ago. credit?
    from Mark Bitman's food column, I believe. would Le Creuset qualify as a dutch oven?

    1. I didn't know!! I just credited the blog I found it on.

  11. New to your blog, yet I made this the other day.. so I must say.. it was delish as you well know! I'll post my photos of it soon. And will have to whip up another loaf of it.

    warm hugs,

    Cotton Peony.. (I made fresh cracked black pepper butter to smear on top.. oh yums)

    1. OH wow, that sounds amazing... black pepper butter...

  12. I just ordered a Lodge Logic 8 quart pre-seasoned camp dutch oven on Amazon for $56.24! Plus free shipping. Out of 113 customer reviews...106 people gave it 5 stars. I was sold. I can't wait till I can make a loaf. Since I'm also starting to use my wood burning stove, tis the season, I'm thinking about putting coals on top to bake my bread that way. This particular oven has legs. Any suggestions?

    1. Not a clue, sorry. I've never cooked with a camp dutch oven!

  13. For a new dutch oven I would try a Marshall's or Ross store. They sell Le Cruset, Wolfgang Puck, and Cuisenart for MUCH cheaper that other department store. Le Cruset has one for $260 and they sell them for $40 to $60 depending on the size you want. I love the one I bought from them.

  14. My bread is "proofing" as I work -- when I get home, it should be ready for the 2nd stage and in a couple of hours I'll get to try this wonderful creation with lots of butter!!

  15. This bread was delicious! I think i would brown it a bit more next time as it came out a bit pale on top (but still golden). I used some of the browned sage butter that i made in the fall to eat this with a pasta dinner and it was divine. However, on the next slice I just ate it with a little bit of normal butter since the taste of the bread was so amazing on its own! I am just finishing the 14 hour proof with another loaf, but I used whole wheat flour this time, so I don't know how it will turn out (we were out of organic unbleached white ) .
    Thanks for the amazing recipe!!

    1. I'm so glad you liked it!! Thank you for letting me know, it makes my day when readers report back. I haven't made this bread in a while, I might just have to find an excuse! That browned sage butter sounds amazing, btw... :)

  16. Now after reading all these posts I am craving my one weakness.....good bread. I have made bread in the dutch oven before and it was awesome and now I'm definitely trying this one this weekend!

  17. Hello,

    Indeed a good post, And I believe having a dutch oven in our all important kitchen is crucial it helps us cook the best food for our family,, so that's why we need the best dutch oven, and recently I have purchased one of the top dutch ovens available, because i want to make best food with the best dutch oven.
    By the way, Keep up the good work.


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