Crusty Dutch Oven Bread (No Knead)

crusty bread crusty bread sliced


This is TRULY a triumph in my kitchen. For people who have always wanted to make a crusty dense loaf of bread in their domestic oven and have never been successful, this is your ticket. Believe me, I’ve tried many techniques, from placing a pan of water in the oven to spritzing water frantically into the oven, but none of them were successful.

The bread has an amazingly crusty crust with an incredibly dense and chewy center. I don’t eat bread, but I had so much joy in creating this beautiful masterpiece. Running my knife on the crust just to hear the hard scraping noise was unbelievable. Hearing the crackle and crunch from the bread when slicing, was in essence, music to my ears.

I really NEVER knew it was possible to make such a loaf in a domestic oven! But it IS possible, and best still it’s a no knead recipe!!!! How crazy is that? Again, I didn’t believe it!

This bread will rival any “artisan” loaf bought in stores, plus it won’t cost you $6+ for the conventional privilege. I will be making this in different flavors soon: rosemary and sea salt, sour cherry and lemon zest, kalamata olives and maybe even cinnamon and raisin!

Back in the day, I would have slathered this with European butter or dipped it in high-quality (low-acidity) extra-virgin olive oil seasoned with garlic, chili, salt and pepper. Obviously, you can devour it however you want!


CRUSTY DUTCH OVEN BREAD (NO KNEAD)

makes one awesome crusty loaf

adapted from food.com: easy no knead dutch oven crusty bread


Ingredients

  • 450 g (3 c) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried active yeast
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 360 ml (1-1/2 c) warm water
  • additional flour for dusting


Method

1. In a large bowl, mix all of the ingredients together until well combined {mixture will resemble a sticky shaggy mess}. Cover and let sit at room temperature for 12-18 hours.

2. Dust with flour and fold on itself once or twice and shape into a loose ball. {The dough will be sticky and difficult to handle. Refrain from adding too much flour}. Place seam-side down onto a well-floured towel.

3. Cover with another well-floured towel and invert (towels and dough) into a 20 cm (8 inch) diameter bowl (now seam side up). Let sit at room temperature for 1-2 hours.

4. 30 minutes before prove time is over, preheat Dutch oven pan and lid in the middle of the oven at 250 C/475 F for 30 minutes.

5. Remove top towel from dough. Remove pan from oven and take off the lid.

6. Invert dough ball into pan, slash if desired, replace lid and transfer back into the oven. Bake for 30 minutes, then remove the lid and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes, or until the crust is golden.

7. Remove bread from the pan and allow to cool on a wire rack before slicing.

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