One of my most reader-tested and approved recipes! This crusty, fluffy artisan bread needs only 4 ingredients and 5 minutes to come together… you won’t believe how easy and delicious it is!
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt (not table salt)
- 1/2 teaspoon dry yeast (active dry or highly active dry work best)
- 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
- In a large bowl, stir together the flour, salt and yeast. Stir in water using a wooden spoon until the mixture forms a shaggy but cohesive dough. Do not over-work the dough. The less you "work" it, the more soft, fluffy air pockets will form.
- Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Let dough sit at room temperature for 8-24 hours*. Dough will bubble up and rise.
- After dough is ready, preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Place your Dutch oven, uncovered, into the preheated oven for 30 minutes.
- While your Dutch oven preheats, turn dough onto a well-floured surface. With floured hands, form the dough into a ball. Cover dough loosely with plastic wrap and let rest.
- After the 30 minutes are up, carefully remove Dutch oven. With floured hands, place the bread dough into it. (You can put a piece of parchment under the dough if your Dutch oven isn’t enamel coated.)
- Replace cover and bake for 30 minutes covered. Carefully remove cover and bake for 7-15 minutes* more, uncovered.
- Carefully remove bread to a cutting board and slice with a bread knife. Enjoy!
- Uncovered baking time depends on your oven. In my oven, the bread only needs 7 minutes uncovered until crusty and golden brown, but this can vary. Just keep an eye on it! Preheating your Dutch oven to 450 degrees F will not damage it, or the knob on top. I’ve let this dough rise anywhere between 8-24 hours and it has baked up beautifully. Just make sure it has risen and appears to “bubble” to the surface. There’s no need to grease the Dutch oven/baking dish/pot. My bread has never stuck to the pot. If you are concerned though, put a piece of parchment paper under your dough before placing into your pot. I do not recommend using whole wheat flour or white whole wheat flour in this recipe. The resulting bread will be very dense, and not as fluffy and delicious. I used a 5.5 quart enameled cast iron Le Creuset pot, but you can use any large oven-safe dish and cover. All of these also work: a baking dish covered with aluminum foil, crockpot insert, stainless steel pot with a lid, pizza stone with an oven-safe bowl to cover the bread, and old cast iron Dutch oven. Add any mix-ins you like - herbs, spices, dried fruit, chopped nuts and cheese all work well. I recommend adding them into the initial flour-yeast mixture to avoid over-working the mix-ins into the dough. The less you "work" it, the more you're encouraging soft, fluffy air pockets to form!
PER SERVING *
|Calories340Calories from Fat9|
|% DAILY VALUE*|
|Calories from Fat9|
|% DAILY VALUE*|
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.