Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Dutch Oven Bread - Only Four Ingredients!

Dutch Oven Bread - So Simple!

I must admit that the first time I came upon this recipe I was skeptical.  Over the years I have learned to read through a recipe and get a feel for whether or not it is worth a try; meaning can I pull it off successfully and will my family eat it?

So when I found this recipe a couple of years ago I was dubious.  I have been baking my own bread (admittedly sporadically) for several years now and, though I know I still have lots to learn, I felt I had a pretty good handle on the basics of bread making.  And this recipe did not look like it had a chance to work.  But after stumbling upon it a few more times in various places I decided to throw caution to the wind and give it a try. 

It worked.  Beautifully.  It actually worked beautifully the first time.  And then I tried it again and it worked beautifully the second time too.  And the third.  And so on. 

This bread is crusty on the outside and chewy on the inside.  It makes a good serve-with-dinner bread or an even better serve-with-soup or stew bread. 

For ingredients you will need:

3 cups flour
1 3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups of water
1/2 teaspoon yeast

For equipment you will  need:

One large bowl for the dough to rise in
One Dutch Oven
Plastic wrap for the top of the bowl
A big spoon.  One of those spoon-ulas (half spoon, half rubber bowl scraper spatula thingees) works best.
My Cast Iron Dutch Oven

Four simple ingredients!
Into the big bowl put all the ingredients in no particular order. 
Ingredients before mixing
Mix together with the big spoon.  The mixing takes less than a minute.  The mixture will be gooey and messy looking.
All Mixed Up
Cover bowl with plastic wrap and leave on counter overnight.  In other words, do not put this in the refrigerator. 
Ready to set on the counter all night
You want the dough to have 12 to 18 hours to just sit and rise. 
After sitting on counter about 14 hours
The next day after the dough has risen put the Dutch Oven into a cold oven and heat oven to 450 degrees.  After the oven is preheated, set the timer for 30 minutes and leave the Dutch Oven in your now heated oven.

While the Dutch Oven heats up, turn the dough out onto a heavily floured surface and with heavily floured hands shape into a ball.

Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let set covered on the counter for 30 minutes.

Remove Dutch Oven from the oven, remove the lid and carefully put dough into Dutch Oven, recover with lid and put Dutch Oven back into the 450 degree oven for 30 minutes.  Be careful! The Dutch oven is 450 degrees and so is the lid.
Ready to Cook
After 30 minutes remove the lid, briefly admire the bread you are baking, then put the now uncovered Dutch Oven back into the 450 degree oven for another 15 minutes. Remember these last 15 minutes are without the lid.
After 30 minutes with lid on
Remember to put the lid somewhere you won't bump into it.  My cast iron lid takes a very long time to cool down.

After the 15 minutes are up, remove the Dutch Oven from the oven, remove the bread from the Dutch Oven and allow to cool on a wire rack. 
All done! Ready to cool on wire rack.
Use pot holders to get the bread out so you don't burn yourself.  Now stand there and admire your work!  I know I always do.

So after I made this awesome bread it was time to cook dinner.  What could I do with a very hot Dutch Oven?  Apparently lots of things.  Scroll down to my next post to see The Dinner After.

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Wildcrafting Wednesday People’s Choice Nominee

Shared with: Homestead Barn HopMore the Merrier MondayClever Chicks Blog HopTuesdays With A TwistWildcrafting WednesdayWow Us WednesdayFrom the Farm Blog HopThursdays at the HomesteadFreedom FridaysHome and Garden ThursdayFrugal Days, Sustainable WaysA Peek into my ParadiseInspire Me TuesdayTutorial TuesdayBarns and Noodles - Creativity Linky PartyImparting GraceMeal Plan Monday; Snickerdoodle Sunday; Tasty Tuesday


  1. My bread never turns out. I have to try this! I just need a dutch oven-HA!

  2. I will be making this! Thanks for the recipe!

    Erin @ http://ahomesteadonahill.blogspot.com/

  3. The hardest part is remembering to start the day before you want to eat it. But it is so simple I still am surprised. Thanks for visiting!

    Widgy Cat

  4. It looks good! Have you ever tried making it with whole wheat flour?

  5. Abbi I have tried this with freshly ground whole wheat (hard spring red) with mixed results (no pun intended). Because of whole wheat flour's unique make up (as compared to all purpose flour) I think the recipe would need some adjusting just like any other whole wheat bread recipe. I have experimenting with this recipe and whole grain flour on my to-do list. I suspect that like other bread recipes it may need to have an acidic ingredient as a dough enhancer (like vinegar or ascorbic acid/vitamin C powder) and maybe even a dose of vital wheat gluten added to keep the bread from becoming a "brick". Thanks for stopping by!

  6. Looks beautiful thanks for sharing on Tuesdays With a Twist.

  7. Sounds yummy. Thanks for sharing at Wildcrafting Wednesday.

  8. Now I do love to cook with my dutch oven - cooking bread inside sounds so terrific I can't wait to try it! I do appreciate you sharing with Home and Garden Thursday,

  9. Hi! Just letting you know we have chosen your dutch oven bread recipe as one of our favorites for From The Farm Blog Hop from last week! We'll be sharing it on our facebook page and on Pinterest. It has been featured this week on our From The Farm Blog Hop. You can check it out here: http://myhealthygreenfamily.com/blog/wordpress/from-the-farm-blog-hop-40/

    Thanks! Looking forward to seeing what you have to share next time.
    -Leona (From The Farm Co-Host) from www.myhealthygreenfamily.com

  10. I would love for you to share and link up at my weekly TGIF Link Party if you haven't already this week. Your favorite posts, most popular, recent or new! The party is open every Thursday night and closes Wednesday's at midnight. Followed by (Not SO) Wordless Wednesday! http://apeekintomyparadise.blogspot.com/. I would be honored if you join us! Have a wonderful week!

    Hugs, Cathy

  11. I'm inspired. I must try this. I too have seen it several times. But you convinced me this will work. Yummmy!

    We're featuring BLTs or any one of these tomorrow on Saturday Dishes. I'd love it if you can by.

    Wishes for tasty dishes,
    Linda @ Tumbleweed Contessa

  12. Time for me to run and get a dutch oven! Looks like the perfect bread!

  13. Thank you Leona! This is my post that have been picked as a favorite. That makes me super excited!

  14. Yum! Thanks for sharing on Wildcrafting Wednesday! Hope you can join us again today :)

  15. Hi. I am new to reading your blog. I love it. I wanted to let you know I made this bread today and we love it. I will definitely be making it again. Maybe tonight. Thanks such for sharing the recipe. Enjoy your day and God bless.

  16. Hi Donna and thanks for visiting. I am so glad you liked the recipe. It is very versatile. You can add herbs and cheese and lots of other yummy additions and I will still turn out great.

  17. I am DEFINITELY going to try this!! Thanks for sharing the recipe at Grace at Home--I'm going to feature you this week! :)

  18. Mmmmm - this sounds great. I love trying different bread recipes. Guess I need to get a dutch oven! :-) I found your blog from Imparting Grace. I'll admit that after noticing the picture of delicious looking bread your name stood out. It's nice to meet another cat person.

  19. I made the bread today. It's cooling and smells wonderful. Can't wait to try it. I have the crockpot full of veggie soup. It's gonna be a great supper. Thank you Molly @ gramsx2@att.net

  20. Gosh I want to try this! Can you believe I dont have a dutch oven?? I have wanted one for the longest time, guess I had better have a talk with Santa Claus! I wonder if it would work in a cast iron skillet with out a lid but with a pan of water in the oven? Thanks for linking with me :)

  21. Hi Connie, I can't say that I have tried. It might work with the added moisture. But it may brown to fast on the top so you might try aluminum foil to cover as well as the pan of water.

  22. This bread looks so good!
    Thanks so much for linking up, come back next monday!

  23. Have you tried it without the dutch oven? Oh will read the comments above in case someone else asked. Looks so good, I might buy a dutch oven just to cook it :) Thanks for linking to Snickerdoodle Sunday!

    1. Any heavy lidded oven safe pot will work as long as it is big enough to hold the dough and handle the rise the bread gets. The heat all the way around the cooking bread makes a big difference in the way it turns out. The lid also makes this very wet dough steam as it cooks a bit making a chewy french bread like texture. Without the lid the bread would be very hard with this recipe.

  24. This looks yummy! I am constantly looking for a new bread recipe and I am going to try this soon! I am one of the co-hosts of Tasty Tuesday with Anyonita Nibbles. I am featuring this tomorrow on my blog. Make sure you stop by and grab a featured button and link up again!

    Julia @ Mom on the Run x2

  25. This is the crust I have been attempting for 20 years! Thank you! I live at 7,333 feet. When I had the dough ready, it was floppy and I thought it would just spread out and be a flat patty. But I decided that would be tasty also, if it only had that crust. When I lifted the lid after 30 minutes, I was astonished at the round and well risen loaf of bread. It was a thing of beauty. And the delicious crust was the best I have ever made. JoAnn

    1. Oh JoAnn I am so excited it worked at altitude for you! This is a very forgiving recipe. Sometimes the simplest is the best. Thanks for leaving a comment and letting me know how well this worked for you!

    2. Widgy Cat, You are welcome. After having such success with this, I now heat my large cast iron skillet to 550 in the oven for a good while, preform my pizza crust on a well cornmealed pan, prepare all of my toppings and have them within reach, open the oven and quickly olive oil and cornmeal the pan, slide the crust onto the very hot skillet, top with sauce, cheese and toppings and bake at 550 for maybe 15 minutes or so. The kids say it is the best I have made and believe me, I have tried a lot of pizzas over the past 20 years! We live in the country and we don't have delivery. So thanks again for the recipe! JoAnn

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