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Easy Dutch Oven No Knead Bread

Easy Dutch Oven No Knead Bread

Dutch Oven No Knead bread really is easy and delicious! I promise! If you love bread that is crusty on the outside and tender on the inside (which also describes my Easy No Knead Focaccia) , but were afraid of baking your own, this recipe is for you!

A round loaf of crusty artisan bread.

I love bread! But I was really afraid to try making it myself. It just seemed hard and the thought of working with yeast, getting the kneading techniques right and the length of time it takes to make it, were just overwhelming to me. Then I discovered that there are “no knead” recipes and everything changed.

What is Dutch oven no knead bread?

No knead bread is exactly what is says it is. It is bread that does not require kneading in order to rise properly. You just mix the ingredients and let it rise.

The bread is then baked in a Dutch oven with the cover on. The Dutch oven creates the same environment as a steam oven. The result is a crusty outer layer and bread that is soft and moist inside.

Half a loaf of crusty bread with a softer bubbly center.

What I love about this recipe

Making the dough is quick and easy: There are only 4 ingredients in this recipe and there is no kneading, it only takes a few minutes to put together and it bakes in 40 minutes!

No over night rise needed: You do need to let it rise, but unlike some no knead recipes that require an over night rise, this is ready to bake in just 3 1/2 hours.

It is so beautiful that you will feel like you created a piece of art. Just look at it!

Ingredients

As I said there are only four ingredients in this recipe: All purpose flour, yeast, salt and water

A bowl of Flour, yeast,  a cup of water and a small bowl of salt.
Basic recipe ingredients

How to make the bread

Two photos of bread dough, one in a bowl right after mixing and sticky, another formed into a round loaf with flour on it.
Dough with rosemary mixed in,
  1. Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl and add the warm water and mix with a whisk or a bread whisk. Cover the dough with a tea towel and let it rise for 3 hours.
  2. Prepare a large bowl and line it with parchment paper.
  3. Scrape the dough out on to a generously floured surface and flour the top of the dough as well.
  4. Fold the outer edges of the dough in to the center forming a round loaf. Carefully lift the dough off of the surface and flip it into the parchment paper lined bowl. The folds of the dough should be on the bottom.
  5. Over loosely and allow the bread to rise for 30 minutes.
  6. Put your Dutch oven in the hot oven and heat for 30 minutes.
  7. When you are ready to bake the bread. Transfer the dough in the parchment paper into the Dutch Oven and cover with the lid. The parchment paper will keep the dough from sticking to the inside of the pan.
  8. Bake the bread for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and bake for an additional 10 -15 minutes.

Helpful hints for making No Knead Bread

  1. Use fresh yeast. Yeast that is old or expired will not activate and your bread will not rise.
  2. Make sure your water is not too hot. You need warm water to properly activate the yeast. The temperature of the water should be about 110 degrees. Much hotter and you will kill the yeast.
  3. This dough will be sticky and what is referred to as “shaggy”. It will look loose for a bread dough and will definitely stick to your hands.
  4. Don’t over work the dough. Once you have incorporated all of the flour, you are done!
  5. Set the dough in a draft free area to rise.
  6. After the dough rises, you will notice air holes in the dough where the yeast has started to do it’s work. Don’t punch the dough down. You want to maintain as many of those lovely little bubbles as possible.
 loaf of crusty bread in parchment paper.
Baked loaf right out of the oven.

Variations

It is easy to create different flavors of variations of this recipe. Just add mix some of your favorite ingredients into the dough. Here are some suggestions:

Try adding olives or chopped sun dried tomatoes to the dough

Mix in some rosemary and then brush the top of the bread with olive oil before baking it.

Sprinkle the top of the bread with sea salt or kosher salt before baking.

A loaf of homemade bread, a sprig of rosemary and a bowl of olive oil.

Serving suggestions

We love to eat it hot out of the oven drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper. This was the way that we ate it every Saturday when my mother would bake bread for the week. What a treat!

It makes great sandwich bread. So go ahead and pick out your favorite cold cuts and pile them on.

I often serve this as a side for Nonna’s Zucchini and Potato Soup or Easy Italian Tomato and Cucumber Salad.

It is also perfect with Nonna’s Meatballs and Tomato Sauce. You will be hard pressed to find a better vehicle for sopping up the sauce.

A round loaf or crusty Italian bread on a cutting board.

FAQ

Can this bread be frozen?

Absolutely! Place any left overs or the whole loaf in a plastic freezer bag and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Make sure it is completely cool before doing this or moisture will build up in the bag and you will get freezer burn.

Do you need to oil a Dutch oven when baking bread in it?

You don’t need to oil the Dutch oven. As long as you put the lid on it, it will get incredibly hot in the oven and this will keep the bread from sticking to it.

Do you have to use parchment paper when baking in a Dutch oven?

You don’t need to use parchment paper when baking this bread if you don’t want to, but it makes it much easier to remove the loaf from the pan when it is done.

Looking for other bread recipes?

Easy Pizza Dough

Easy Stromboli

Moist Cornbread

A round loaf or crusty Italian bread on a cutting board.

Easy Dutch Oven No Knead Bread

This bread is one of the easiest and most rewarding recipes you will make. The bread comes out beautifully soft on the inside with a delicious gratifying crunchy crust on the outside. I say this is rewarding because I was always afraid to bake bread, so being able to make this made me feel like a rock star!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Rise time 3 hrs 30 mins
Total Time 4 hrs 10 mins
Course Main Course, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine American, Mediterranean
Servings 1 loaf
Calories 1375 kcal

Equipment

  • Dutch Oven
  • Parchment Paper

Ingredients
  

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp yeast Dry Active yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups water Warm

Instructions
 

  • Combine the flour, yeast and salt in a large bowl.
  • Add 1 ½ cups of warm water and mix with a whisk or a bread whisk. Continue to mix until the flour is completely incorporated.  The dough will be sticky and somewhat loose.  If you were to use your hands it would stick to your hands
  • Cover the bowl with a dish towel and place in a spot that is away from a draft.  Let the dough rise for 3 hours.
  • While the Dutch oven is heating up, generously flour a surface on your counter and scrape the dough out on to the surface.  Generously flour the top of the dough and using your hands or a dough scraper fold the dough in thirds and flip the dough over.  Continue forming the dough into a ball with your hands.
  • Line a bowl with parchment paper and carefully place the dough into the bowl and cover it again with the tea towel. Let it rest for 30 minutes.
  • While the dough is resting, heat the oven to 450°. Once the oven is hot place a Dutch oven in the oven for 30 minutes.
  • Carefully remove the Dutch oven from the oven as it will be extremely hot.  Take the parchment paper with the dough in it and transfer it to the Dutch oven.  Cover it with the lid and place it in the oven for 30 mins
  • Take the lid off the Dutch oven and let it bake for an additional 10mins.
  • Remove the Dutch oven from the oven and lift the dough out by the parchment paper. Let the bread cool and enjoy!

Nutrition

Serving: 1loafCalories: 1375kcalCarbohydrates: 287gProtein: 40gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 2355mgPotassium: 401mgFiber: 11gSugar: 1gCalcium: 69mgIron: 17mg
Keyword Bread, NO Knead, Yeast, Easy
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


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