Nothing is better than the smell of fresh bread baking in the oven, but who has time to bake bread? That is why this recipe is so great, it takes less than 10 minutes to prepare, let it sit overnight or, if you eat late like us, prepare it while you make your coffee in the morning and it will be ready to bake in time for dinner. It only takes 45 minutes to bake the bread and, if your willpower is weak, only 45 minutes to scarf it down. Bread is also very, very cheap when you make it yourself. We calculated that this recipe costs a total of $0.50 when buying the ingredients in bulk. When it is this easy and cheap to make, there really is no reason to buy bread again!
Easy Dutch Oven Bread ~ Recipe
500 grams of all-purpose flour (about 3 cups)
1 ½ teaspoons of salt
½ teaspoon of bread yeast
1 ½ cups room-temperature water
- Sprinkle the yeast over the room-temperature water. Let sit while you prepare the dry ingredients.
- In a large mixing bowl whisk the flour and salt together. You want to make sure that the salt is mixed in very well because if a clump of salt comes in contact with the yeast it can slow down the growth of the yeast.
- Mix the yeast and water with a fork until silky smooth. Stir the dissolved yeast into the flour/salt mix until you get chunky, thick dough with no clumps of dry flour mixture. If you need more water, add some to the cup you dissolved the yeast in and then add it to the dough one teaspoon at a time. Do not knead the dough.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let sit for at least 12 hours at room temperature. When the dough is ready, it will rise and there will be a lot of little bubbles visible at the top.This dough was left to rise beside the wood stove on a cold winter night; the warmer the room, the more active the yeast.
- When the dough is ready for the next step, preheat the oven to 450°F. Put your 6-quart cast iron Dutch Oven, with the lid, in the oven while the oven pre-heats to heat it up.
- Remove the dough from the bowl and onto a well-floured surface. Gently form the dough into a ball, with enough flour on the outside that it is no longer sticky. Again, no kneading the dough.
- Put the floured dough ball on a piece of parchment paper. Cover with plastic wrap while the oven pre-heats.
- When the oven is ready, remove plastic wrap, lift the dough along with the parchment paper and place into the cast iron pot.
- Cover with the lid and bake for 30 minutes.
- Remove the lid and bake for another 10-15 minutes until the crust is golden brown.
- Use all your willpower to not eat the whole loaf, one small butter slathered slice at a time, before the rest of the family can enjoy some. If the bread does last longer than one meal, then store in a plastic bag so it doesn’t get hard. This bread doesn’t have the preservatives that store bought bread does so it will not last longer than a few days.