Easy Dutch Oven Bread (and sweater vest dreams)

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Today’s bread is a really simple one requiring very little work. Most of the time is spent ignoring it while it does its thing and you go about your business. This is a crusty bread on the outside with that wonderful hard crust and a chewy bread on the inside, which I love!

BUT FIRST I wanna tell you a little story…

I am a very motivated person. I get these ideas and I get EXCITED and I run with them. The bad thing is, I generally get a few miles down the road before I get ANOTHER idea and then I get excited about IT and then I want to abandon first idea, because it was cool but I’ve already done it at that point, and go run with idea #2 because it is new and exciting. Welcome to adult ADD, never a dull moment here :)

So I have had to learn self control and acquire the ability to stand back and examine an idea for feasibility. Still, even though the majority of my ideas get filed away these days due to lack of time and energy, others I still allow myself to enjoy for a bit even though it is too impractical to put into practice.

This morning, as I pulled my tenth loaf of bread out of the oven in two days, I thought of how nice and simple life would be if I baked bread for a living out of my home. Think about it. Get up in the morning, knead the risen dough and shape into loaves, place it in pans and allow it to rise while I worked up the dough for the following day’s bread. Hours later pull golden loaves out of the oven and turn them out to cool while I washed my loaf pans (my husband will be particularly excited to see this dream includes me washing dishes).

Then, once the loaves are cooled I would package them and head out of the house to deliver to all of the people just sitting at home waiting on me to bring them fresh baked bread.

Of course, there would have to be a movie soundtrack playing in the background, an upbeat little piano number, and I’d have to be one of those people who never wears makeup but always looks good (I’m pulling out the serious fiction for myself here). My initial thoughts were that I’d hop on a bicycle to deliver them but in my head I can’t help but picture this as some sort of an eighties movie and I’m in a mini van wearing mom jeans and a sweater vest over an oxford shirt. I dream big.

Then the reality comes into play that I do not have the heart of a business person and anytime I’ve tried to sell anything for profit I have always (consistently) lost money because I’d rather give things to people than sell them….so at this point I need to rewrite the movie so I’m married to a wealthy man and we live in a huge mansion, which means my eighties mini van goes poof and delivering bread in a  ~tries to think of a fancy expensive car brand and fails~ Well, a fancy expensive car just doesn’t go along with the happy piano soundtrack and at this point I’m picturing myself looking like more of a Crystal Carington – because I can’t imagine this invisible rich man having the good sense to appreciate a woman in mom jeans and a sweater vest – and then I can’t imagine Crystal Carington baking bread.

Popped that dream bubble real quick.

So in lieu of me riding a bicycle and devoting my life to bad eighties fashion and flour acquisition, I’m just gonna share this bread recipe with you and let you make it on your own.

I’ve seen recipes for bread like this all over the internet and several months back I made it for the first time, loved it, made it two or three more times, loved it again, then forgot about it. How often do you do that with a recipe? I never considered posting it because it had been on someone else’s food blog and I know firsthand how much it costs to run a blog so the last thing I want to do is post someone else’s recipe and take away the traffic that helps them pay the light bill. So I never intended to share this delicious bread with you because other folks had shared it elsewhere….then I got my issue of Grit magazine and saw the bread again in there. Then I opened my eyes and realized this bread is kind of everywhere and we all do little things differently when we make it. For example, I’m even lazier and ignore half of the instructions but it turns out just fine!

So I decided to make it showing the way and the recipe that works for me and telling you how to do it in my own words with love to the original post  where I got the first recipe I tried from, and to Grit magazine who reminded me to make it again. Google search pulls up over 80,000 other versions of this recipe currently so here we go with 80,001 :)

I have a few breads I’d like to eventually show you because I really believe that everyone needs to know how to make at least one bread from scratch. It is an essential skill that literally helped mankind survive for thousands of years and you never know when we’ll need it again – PLUS, it just tastes so stinking good!

When I was expecting my Katy Rose, I got this hankering for these hard crusty dinner rolls with chewy innards that were sold at Atlanta Bread company. I used to ask my husband to stop by a few times  a week just to get me two or three dinner rolls to munch on during the day. Well, this bread reminds me of that, only it’s better.

I’ll probably bring you some other versions of it eventually as well.

Not literally bring, because I don’t currently have a biccyle or a sweater vest, but figuratively bring…because I do have this website :)

You’ll need: Hot water, yeast, bread flour, and salt.

NOTE ABOUT BRANDS : I prefer Red Star yeast when I can find it. It is easy to find in the packets here but I like to buy a jar because I use so much that I prefer less fuss, so I had to get Fleishmann’s last time I shopped. I have had better luck with Red Star yeast so if you see that, I’d suggest making it your first choice.

As for this bread flour, I usually use whatever I pick up first that is cheapest but there wasn’t a lot of selection where I ended up so grab some bread flour but don’t worry about getting this gold Medal. It works fine but one is just as good as the other.

You do need bread flour. All Purpose will work in some way but I’ve never made this bread with all purpose flour so you’re flying solo if you choose to go on that mission :) 

I do love my Kosher salt but plain table salt will work just as well.

You’re also going to need a cast iron dutch oven, such as my Lodge Dutch oven here. 

I got this for Mother’s Day a few years back and it is well used.

Also, it is dirty in this photo because I needed to do dishes in a bad way but the sink was too full of dirty dishes to be able to do them at the particular moment that I needed a photograph.

Life is just crazy like that :)

An enamel coated cast iron dutch oven is important here and the Lodge ones are very affordable. A lot of folks want Le Crueset but my Le Wallet can afford Lodge. Not to mention it understands my Alabama accent because it’s all made in Tennessee.

Place all of your dry ingredients into a medium sized mixing bowl. This means your flour, salt, and yeast.

Let me show you something about the yeast…

When I say a heaping 1/4 teaspoon of yeast, this is what I mean.

Just kinda use a 1/4 teaspoon to scoop it out and then add whatever decides to come with it :)

Now stir all of those dry ingredients together.

 Stir all of your dry ingredients together really well.

Pour in your water.

Now remember that in yeast bread, if your water is too hot, it will kill the yeast. If your water is too cold, it will take ten forevers for your yeast to come alive. The trick is “baby bath water”. Anyone who has ever given a baby a bath knows just how that feels. Hot, but not too hot, more of warm water on the hot end of the scale :)

Stir that up until it is a glob.

You can use a mixing bowl for this but I have these handy little bread buckets I use that have a sealing plastic lid and plenty of room for the bread to rise. However, this particular bread isn’t going to rise very much so a large bowl will be just fine.

I have some breads that overflow an eight quart container!

Spray cooking spray in a bowl (or bread bucket) and cover to seal.

Set aside and let it rise for 12-18 hours.

The ideal thing is to let it rise overnight. This nice slow rise builds a wonderful texture for your bread but mostly it helps the bread’s flavor to develop.

This is what your bread will look like the following morning.

All bubbly and spongey and OH MY GOODNESS IT’S ALIVE-Y. ~smiles~

Dust a surface with flour. 

Okay when I say dust, I mean coat :)

This is what your bread will look like from the top before you dump it out. 

Now dump it out like yesterday’s troubles!

!SPLAT!

Sprinkle some more flour over the top of it. 

Now lay a piece of cling or saran wrap over it… 

Cover with a dish towel. 

Let rise again for about 2 hours. 

When you’re done letting your bread rise, preheat your oven to 475. 

Please note: 475 degrees is hot. 

Place your cast iron dutch oven into the stove with the lid on for 30 minutes.

Please make sure the knob on the top of your dutch oven is heatproof. I purchased a new knob for mine because the original one was not. If your knob is not heatproof it will come out of the oven looking like a deflated balloon that fell on top of your lid. Trust that I speak from experience here…

This is my dough all ready to go.

And as you can tell I did make my bread in the morning so we have a lovely plant shadow from the rising sun.

Remove your hot hot pot VERY Carefully

Please note again: 475 degrees is hot. I’m sooo not kidding here.

Pick up your bread dough with both hands and kinda sorta shape it into a ball as you dump it into the pot, without touching the pot. 

I know I sound like a broken record here but in case anyone missed it and just so we don’t have any McDonald’s “How dare you serve me hot coffee” moments – this pot is going to be hotter than Hades after it’s been cranked up a few thousand years and gotten past the mild stuff.

Put your lid back on the pot and return to the oven.

Bake at 475 for 30 minutes, then carefully remove the lid and bake another 15 minutes. 

Remove from oven. 

This is what you have. Isn’t that gorgeous? 

I could happily live on this bread the rest of my life. 

Well, I might need some pintos…and maybe a little fried chicken from time to time….and perhaps a little apple pie…or banana pudding…and some tea of course.

But I’d be most content, I’m sure!

 

Think you might want to make this later? Save it to your recipe box!

Easy Dutch Oven Crusty Bread

Easy Dutch Oven Crusty Bread

Ingredients

  • 3 cups Bread Flour
  • 1 +1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • Heaping 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast - (not fast acting or bread machine yeast)
  • 2 cups warm water

Instructions

  1. In large mixing bowl combine flour, salt, and yeast. Stir together until well mixed. Add water and stir until a sticky dough forms and there are no dry patches. Cover with plastic wrap or an airtight lid and place in a warm place to rise 12-18 hours.
  2. Turn risen bread out onto a floured surface and dust with more flour. Cover with cling wrap and then a dish towel and allow to rise for another two hours.
  3. Thirty minutes before bread is finished rising, preheat oven to 475 and place cast iron dutch oven, lid and all, into oven to preheat for thirty minutes.
  4. Remove dutch oven and carefully set on a heat resistant surface. Set lid aside on another heat resistant surface. Using both hands, pick up dough and shape into a ball before dropping it into the pot.
  5. Place lid back on pot and return to 475 degree oven for 30 minutes.
  6. After thirty minutes remove lid and continue baking bread for another 15 minutes.
  7. Allow to cool completely.
  8. To Store: The trick to this bread is that you don't want to store it in a plastic bag. It has a lovely crunchy crust, one of those earthy crust breads with a chewy center that I just adore. If you put it in a plastic bag, though, you lose all of that crustiness. Instead, store it uncovered until it's ready to eat, or allow to cool completely and wrap loosely in a dish towel if you must. Once you cut into it, try to eat all you can (this won't be hard to do!) and then slice and save whatever is left in a plastic bag. If you toast each slice before you eat it later it will get crunchy and crusty again.
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http://www.southernplate.com/2012/09/easy-dutch-oven-crusty-bread-and-sweater-vest-dreams.html

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

I received a lot of questions on this post and many of them seem to be the same ones so I thought I’d address them here to be able to help everyone. Thanks for asking !

What size dutch oven do you use? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pictured here is my Six Quart Lodge enamel coated Dutch oven in Spice Red and my L Series dutch oven in Apple Green. You can click on either photo or name to get more information. I got my red one from Wal Mart and my green one last Christmas when I found an incredible deal on Amazon. Both of these can be ordered from Amazon and they usually have free shipping options. All you need is one and you’ll be good to go!

Common sizes are 3 quart, 4 quart, 6 quart, and 7.5 quart. Any of those sizes would work just fine.

 

What else can you use a dutch oven for? 

 

Oh goodness, it is my FAVORITE pot to cook in on the stove top. I LOVE to make stews, chilis, soups, beans, spaghetti sauce, anything that you’d use a pot for you can use this pot for. If you’re making a soup or stew, brown your beef in the dutch oven, then drain it and toss everything else in for one pot cleanup. The reason why I love it so much is because of the heat retention and distribution qualities of cast iron. Regular pots just cook from the bottom but the cast iron distributes and retains the heat all around the pot so it actually cooks from all sides, which makes it quicker and more efficient.

THEN, once you’re done cooking, just put the lid on and turn off the heat and it will stay piping hot for at least an hour (much longer than that but I’ve never timed it or anything). Regular pots lose heat so fast and you end up having to heat things up if you cook a little earlier in the afternoon. Whenever I cook a little earlier, I try to use my dutch oven. I can get it done before the kids get out of school, put the lid on and go pick them up, then come home to a hot supper when my husband gets off work, even though the pot has sat on the stovetop with no heat turned on the entire time.

And yes, I have always used cast iron on my glass stove top. As long as the bottom of your cast iron pot is flat, it works perfectly! 

Where did you get the oven proof knob for your dutch oven?

My dutch oven came with a regular knob that was just fine for temperatures on the stovetop but not for the high temperatures I subject it to in my oven when baking bread. I picked up a stainless steel replacement knob at the Lodge factory outlet store near me but you can order one online by clicking that little box over there. As someone pointed out in the comments, you can also pick up a stainless steel knob at a home supply store and use it as well.

I Don’t Have An Enamel Coated Dutch Oven? What Else Can I Use? 

 

A regular cast iron dutch oven, like is commonly used in camping and such, should work just fine although I’ve only used my enamel coated ones in making this so I’m not telling you that for certain.

Many folks have talked about using a heavy dutch oven with a glass lid. While I know some of the old heavier ones will work, I would steer clear of putting a glass lid in the oven at these temperatures. Tempered glass is not made as well as it used to be and I’ve had one too many new fangled glass “oven proof” dishes explode upon taking them out of the oven to be willing to risk it.

If you have a thick and heavy dutch oven with a lid not made out of glass and an oven proof knob, it should work just fine.

Hint: If you don’t have an enamel coated dutch oven, Christmas is coming so put it at the top of your wish list! My husband and kids bought me mine.  I took them to visit it several times and made sure they each knew exactly what I wanted to increase my odds, it worked! lol 

 

Where Did You Get Your Bread Buckets and What Are They?

I bought my bread buckets at Sam’s Club for around twelve dollars back when I got them. They still have them every time I go in the restaurant supply section. Costco sells them as well and many places online but be careful because some folks are awfully proud of theirs! I’ve seen them priced as high as $30, which is ridiculous

I’d expect to pay anywhere between $12-$20 for a set of three. The ones at Sam’s are labeled with their house brand but in the bottom corner it says they are made by Rubbermaid – those are the ones I have. They came in a set of three with yellow lids that seal. They are technically “food storage buckets” but they work beautifully for bread, giving it plenty of room to rise and allowing you to see through the sides to see how far it has risen. The lids seal airtight as well, which saves me from having to grab saran wrap and dish towels every time I make bread.

These also have markings every inch or so on the outside of the bucket, making it easy to tell if your bread has doubled in size because many recipes call for letting it double.

Can I use All Purpose Flour?

As I mentioned in this post, I’ve never made it this way so I can’t speak from personal experience. However, someone chimed in that they have made it with all purpose and it turned out just fine, yay!

Do Dutch ovens actually understand Dutch? 

You know I have a friend who speaks Dutch and I can’t understand a blessed word she says once she gets to going real good on it. She taught me how to say “apple” once but that was about as far as I got. For all I know, dutch ovens may very well speak Dutch because I only speak Alabamian and mine has spent the entirety of it’s life staring at me blankly from the stovetop. No one really asked this question but sometimes I gotta see if y’all are paying attention. 

 

What is SAF yeast? 

 

A few people mentioned preferring SAF yeast in the comments and a lot of folks had questions as to what that is. SAF is a brand of yeast, owned by the same company that makes Red Star Yeast, which I suggested. I have found that certain brands have better reliability for me, meaning they are active and fresh. This may very well depend on where you live and what the turnover is at your grocery store. Check the dates whenever you buy yeast and if you find a certain kind seems to always work better where you are, stick with that.

 

 

“There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.”

– Ernest Hemingway

Submitted by Jenny (thanks, Jenny!)

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Comments

  1. Cassie Wilkins says

    Oh Christy,, thank you soooo much for doing this single loaf of no-nead bread. For just my hubby and I this makes it soooo simple!
    I use my DO for everything! I have 4, only 1 is the cast iron enameled and the rest are for the oven and campfire!
    this bread makes great buns also, I like to weigh out 3 oz and shape them into little balls and bake them in washed out tuna cans set inside my DO! They only take about 15 minutes! then remove lid and let them crust up another 5. I do spray the insides of my tuna cans.

  2. Mary Lou Ray says

    .

    Back in the Fourties when I was in grade school I had a friend whose Mother baked her own bread.She would bring this bread to school in her lunches.Mine were store bought sandwich bread.We would some times trade as she got tired of her Mothers bread and I was tired of mine.Your bread looks like the same texture and sounds crusty and tasty like my friends.I am going to make this if I can just get control of my drooling.

  3. John Myers says

    I have a Dutch oven with a glass lid. I also have a 10 1/2 inch cast iron frying pan. I’ll try to use the frying pan as a lid instead of the glass lid. Of course I will let you know how it turns out Christy!

  4. Lana says

    One of my favorite things is to walk into the house and be hit with smell of fresh baked bread. When I’m baking, I often go outside just so I can come back in again! I’m fixing to put it in the oven and can’t wait to enjoy it.
    I wonder how it would taste with some rosemary or other herbs….hmmm…

  5. Julie says

    I love the bread and so does my family. I have made 3 loafs so far and as soon as they come out of the oven they are gone. By any chance do you have any pressure cooker recipes? I have a new pressure cook and have tried a few recipes but I am still a little afriad to make up my own recipes until I get a better understanding of it.

  6. C.J. says

    I am no bread baker by no means…buy the frozen bread loaves and bake them…but I had to try this recipe and it turned out great! Everyone loved it. Can’t wait to make some shrimp gumbo and have this yummy crusty bread with it

  7. denise says

    This might be a really dumb question, but here goes…
    can you be so kind as to give us (me) a kind of time line of the process? Like what time do you start this so that you can have bread out of the oven say 5pm-ish ? My home is a bit on the cooler side, if that info helps??? So do you like make the batter 8pm? and then the next part at 2pm the next day? Etc…
    Thanks so much. I accidentally saw you on a show where you were judging the ‘chef’ group versus another group. It was so fun to see pretty you ! I have really enjoyed this site, and am happy I found you !!

    • denise says

      I guess my question for you Christy, WAS a dumb one! I just wondered if YOU had a regular time schedule you make this. I read that someone had done this at 12am each day ! I figured out a schedule for me..not to worry ! NOW..I went onto Le Cruest line and found a similar recipe that seems even easier–if that is possible. You might want to check it out. (You put the dough in the pan, the pan in the fridge, then the whole thing in the oven)…sounds intriguing, doesn’t it?

      • says

        Oh Denise, I sooooo wish I was the type of person who could set a schedule and follow it! I’m so not that though, lol. I can guarantee you that I won’t be up at 12:00 am doing..well anything :) I try to be in bed by nine whenever possible and try to get up between 4:30-5:00 in the mornings. I’m really very much a morning person, not good for anything after 8:00 (truly, 6:00, lol!). and yes, that does sound neat!

  8. Diane says

    I have a Dutch oven and use it for bread more than anything else! It’s a Calphalon, the original kind not the non-stick. It works perfectly. I have used a 3.5 qt. and a 5qt. and the bread comes out perfectly in either one. I have been making this recipe for many years.

  9. JACKIE M says

    Do you grease the pot? Can you use a rye bread type flour?
    I made this and it was delicious!! I did spray the inside of my cast iron enamel pot and it ended up getting very browned..bummer to clean. I think that I should not have sprayed the inside of the pot.
    Thanks for this recipe!!

  10. says

    Now this is bread bakin’ right up my alley! I’ve never fancied myself to be much of a baker, although I’m a pretty doggone good cook, the baking thing just never was something that I was very into. But THIS recipe, well… now, this seems doable for an anti-baker like me. It looks so good, I’ve gotta try making it (your step-by-step guide motivates me to try!).

    Thank you! Wish me luck.

  11. Sharon says

    I was so excited to try this bread but mine didn’t turn out too well. I made one batch and it was so runny that I thought I’d mis-measured, so i made a second batch and it was equally runny. I went ahead and let it rise 18 hours, then the 2nd rise, etc but it was so runny it almost dripped over the counter. I finally added another cup of flour just to get the proper consistency and it did bake with a nice crust but inferior texture inside. The bread flour and yeast I used were brand new. Any suggestions? I want to try it again. Thanks.

    • Lorelei says

      I had the same problem–finally just put runny mess in trash. I cannot figure out where I went wrong. I looked over and over the recipe to be sure I had not misread measurements. I consider myself to be a fairly competent cook, but this was a disaster. I am trying to muster the courage to try again.

          • Mary says

            Someone else commented with a possible reason, posted on 11 Oct 2012. I went through the comments because I, too, experienced the runny dough. I added more flour after turning out the dough, but have to *hope* it comes out right. Since I am giving this loaf to my parents, I won’t even get to try it myself and just have to trust their opinion. Shame on me for not reading through the comments *prior* to trying this recipe. I think the person who commented (A.A. Bruisee) probably has the answer in the different (lower) water measurement from the original recipe.

            • Sherald says

              The recipe as outlined works extremely well. I tried both water amounts. Typically you get a much more “airy” loaf if the dough is slack, unless you are willing to put in a lot of effort. Please read my last comment in this post to see how to rejuvenate your loaf before eating if you like that crusty touch and feel.

    • Sherald says

      You can either use less flour, or you can fold in a little additional flour when you turn it out. I just added enough (a small amount at a time) to give me enough consistency to be able to form a ball, even though the ball was a bit limp when I put it in my Dutch oven. The dough rose and browned perfectly. Also, see my last post to this thread about bread rejuvenation.

  12. sheila miller says

    The one kitchen item I do not think I own…a Dutch Oven. Now I might have one based on what I see yours looks like. we bought a beach house recently and the kitchen was fully stocked with Caphalon. Keep in mind I have never owned a piece of Caphalon before so what did I do? I load up the back of my Tahoe and brought it all home. I’ll carry some of my Wolfgang Puck cookware that I absolutely love back to the beach. Now, on the the recipe and trying to make bread. YUM!

  13. Vanessa says

    Just a little message from southern Spain! Was laughing all the way through reading this recipe. Great fotos and great tips. Every morning I make my own bread for my guests (we have a small hotel) but with a breadmaker (due to lack of time). It is important to use bread flour instead of regular household flour (even tough the latter will also work). Bread flour (also called strong flour) is made of grain with a higher protein content and is better suited for raising and baking at high temperatures. It will produce a better risen bread.

  14. Pam VanOss says

    I just checked with LODGE. Their enamal dutch ovens are only oven safe to 450 degrees with the stainless steel knob. Your recipe says to preheat to 475 . . that may not be safe for the dutch oven?

    • christy says

      Marguritte, that is just part of the code in the printing plugin I use and I’m afraid I can’t change it without hiring a computer tech to completely code the process and then going in and handcoding over 500 recipes on the site. I’m sorry it is frustrating to you and I completely understand because it is doubly frustrating to me :)

  15. says

    Hey Christy, I just saw this recipe, and I usually try to keep up with all your recipes and I saw this one I hadn’t read yet! I was shocked..lol..This bread looks oh so good, and I have see several recipes for this bread, but have not tried it yet. On my next day off I can assure you I am going to make it! I’m like you, we all need to know a basic bread recipe just in case. My hubby and I also just bought a dutch oven from Sam’s don’t remember the brand, but it wasn’t but 40 dollars! We were just tickled pink! We’ve been wanting one for EVER! Thanks for posting all your recipes. You just brighten my days with your giddy self! I just love your humor! Hope you have a good week!
    God Bless :)
    Vickie from Louisiana

  16. Thala says

    Just put my first loaf of this in the oven! Can’t wait to see how it turns out/tastes. A quick note: if you use all-purpose flour, it’s usually recommended–for bread recipes like this one–to invest in a box of what’s called Vital (Wheat) Gluten. It basically allows you to turn conventional AP flour into a higher-gluten flour. I love it because it means I only need one type of flour in my cupboard (you add 1 tsp of the gluten per cup of flour so the vital gluten lasts and lasts too)!

  17. Thala says

    So the first loaf came out impeccably; professional bakery-style perfection and deliciousness! Have another loaf rising right now to bake off for dinner this evening (a nice butternut squash and corn chowder, which is begging for a crusty loaf to pair with it). Thanks for such a great, simple, magnificent recipe!

  18. Darla says

    I know this post is a month old, but I just saw this recipe on a Pinterest post and they were experimenting with flavors. They added herbs and cheese. Sounded very delicious. I need to get the DO and start trying some of these.

  19. A.A. Bruisee says

    Anyone who bakes should use an oven thermometer to verify that the stove thermostat isn’t hugely miscalibrated. I can set my oven thermostat to 425 F and when the heating light goes off, the oven thermometer reads 510 F. Some of the comments referenced runny dough. The original NY Times No Knead Bread recipe called for 1 and 5/8 cups of water for 3 cups flour.

    • Mary says

      I wish I’d read the comments before whipping up the dough last night. Mine was also runny (and I’m a darn good cook and baker, so my measurements were not off). I added flour when I turned out the dough onto the floured surface and can only *hope* the bread turns out right when I bake it up. The bad part is, I’m bringing it to my parents and won’t be able to try it myself — will have to trust their opinion. Anyway, next time I will use the measurement noted here by you, A.A. Bruisee — thank you!

      • christy says

        Mary, I would have never implied that you weren’t a good baker or that your measurements were off. I write my posts and share my recipes in the exact proportions that work for me in my own home kitchen, and I’ve baked a thing or two myself ;). Hope your bread turned out wonderful and make sure you don’t transport it in a plastic bag, just wrap it in a dish towel, to keep it nice and crusty.

  20. Debbie says

    I made this bread a couple weeks ago and it turned out great! The whole family loved it, my son’s girlfriend even said it was the best bread she had ever had :)
    Awesome recipe! Thank you, Christy

  21. Hannes says

    I’ve read all the posts and noted remarks concerning runny dough,living in South Africa I have found that sometimes flour has a higher moisture content(depending on the season).Not much you can do except maybe warm flour in oven(+/- 35 deg)for couple of hours and use while still slightly warm.Worked for me-hoping it does for you all

  22. Sherald says

    I just found this web site today. I am going to try this recipe tomorrow. I have been trying different Artisan recipes for some time. Some are good, some not so good. I am looking forward to trying this with my “infamous” Bolognese on Friday night as well. I love to cook, eat, and drink a few glasses of wine. This will top the whole thing off. Thanks for this easy recipe. Thanks for all the posts from everyone, and the quick replies from Christy.

  23. Sherald says

    Made two separate loaves. One was with the recipe called for here, and the other with 1/2 cup less water. The first needed a lot of flour incorporated at the end, just to make it manageable. The taste was fine. The second came out perfect, and looked precisely like the pictures above. I think the “little less water” recipe works out best for me. Thanks again.

  24. Sherald says

    BTW, for those of you that can’t eat your bread right away, and want that crusty touch and feel of the bread when you eat it, just run your loaf, briefly, under your kitchen faucet. Place on the rack in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 8 to 10 minutes. Voila – your bread is back to it’s original texture as though you had just taken it out of the oven the first time. Also, both loaves came out scrumtious.

  25. Sandy says

    I should have read the comments first. I had to add an extra cup of flour plus some to keep it from being runny. I agree that there’s too much water in the recipe. My dough was still very soft. I also found that 475 was too hot. My first loaf came our really dark brown with some burnt spots. I lowered the temperature to 450 for the second loaf & it was better. Sure smells good.

  26. Tara says

    I had the same problem with the runny dough, i keep adding more flour but its just not staying in a ball shape. I usually use the same recipe but with one and a half cups of water and only tried this to see the difference. I’ll stick with one and a half:)

  27. Merna says

    What happens if you use rapid rise yeast? I’ve been planning this all day and don’t have any “regular” on hand… Tomorrow (while it’s rising) I’ll go get the handle replacement. Thank you so much for the great recipe and info!

  28. Michael Logue says

    Here’s what I found works well: A 3:1 ratio of flour to water.

    For each cup of water, a teaspoon of salt.

    Using active dry yeast, 1/2 teaspoon per cup of water.

    Eight to twelve hours covered.

    Fold with flour.

    Wait another two hours.

    In a preheated DO (30 minutes min), bake covered for 30 minutes.

    Uncover and let bake until crust achieves desired color.

    Remove from DO and allow to cool – if you have the patience…..

    Slather slices with SALTED butter!

  29. Maureen Corbin says

    I just made your bread without reading the comments and mine was runny too. I thought maybe I didn’t measure my flour correctly until I read that a few others had the same problem. I will reduce water next time. My bread looks gorgeous and my husband wants to cut it right away but I noticed you said ‘cool completely’. Is that cool in the pot or cool on a rack? Thanks for your recipe and your pictures…. the pictures are sooo cool!

    • W Kirtley says

      I make a very similar bread. My flour to water is 13.5 ounces of flour to 9.5 oz of water. the odd amounts are to fit a cast iron 2qt Lodge Dutch oven. After a long rise, overnight is good, I shape the loose dough into a round loaf. I then put the well oiled dutch with lid in the oven and heat to 450. When the oven is heated I slice a cross on the dough and spray with water. Drop the dough into the DO, cover and put it back in the oven. In my oven it takes 28 minutes with lid and then 12 with lid off. FYI I use 4 1/4 oz per cup for flour.

  30. Erin Peters says

    Christy:

    Jim Lahey, the original author, actually wrote a book that includes more in-depth information about this recipe as well as adding a whole slew of other recipes. I just checked it out from the library as a preview but I am definitely going to purchase the book after having made a few items now. The book is called “My Bread: The Revolutionary No-Work, No-Knead Method” and if you enjoy this recipe, there is so much more awaiting you within its pages. I highly recommend it. :D

  31. Nancy says

    I will use a regular cast iron Dutch oven to make this bread, not an enamel one. Should I spray it?

    Since we were all sick at Christmas, our family is finally getting together and I’m trying this recipe.

    • says

      I’ve never used a non enameled cast iron pot for this but I’d avoid spraying it, cooking sprays leave a bad residue on cast iron. I’d coat it with cooking oil or Crisco and cross your pinky toes it doesn’t stick! If its well seasoned you should be fine :)

  32. Donald R. says

    Christy I baked your bread last night, great. Sea salt without anything added is better, plus a good bread flour is better. I used King Arthur.. The replacement knob has a set screw, my lid has a knob that attaches through the lid, wher can I get that?

    • says

      I’m glad you found the ingredients you prefer. It’s amazing how vast and varied everyone’s tastes are! My lid’s knob attaches through the lid as well. The screw is on the underside of it so I bet yours is similar. My pot is a Lodge brand :)
      There are others I have seen at Sam’s club that are off brands and their lids attach the same way as well.
      Hope this helps!

  33. Richard Doyle says

    Hi Christy. I made the bread this weekend and it turned out a little different than your pictures. It had a greyish tint on the inside and was very moist (not wet, but a little more than “bread moist”). What could I have done wrong?

  34. Julie Collier says

    Christy,

    My adhd brain is trying to figure out if the spice red DO you bought that had a handle issue, is the same one you listed on Amazon. What I read makes me think that the know is okay with the heat, but I don’t want ruined bread. That would be heartbreaking.

    • says

      I’m not entirely sure I understand what you are asking but I will try to answer anyway :) I haven’t had any problems with the handles on my dutch ovens but I did have to purchase an oven proof knob and replace the factory one before using my spice red one to make this bread

  35. says

    Love this bread. I do use ap flour and SAF yeast. Some bread people led me in that direction! They did find that using an enamel coated cast iron pot 2-3 times a week eventually took a toll on the pot. The enamel will start reacting poorly. Taking their wise advice because I love my Lodge pot very much, I bought the 4 quart Lodge black cast iron pot. Plain Jane cast iron. Rub some butter or your fat of choice, plop your dough and you have the same wonderful bread. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

  36. Jessica says

    Hi there!

    I have actually used recipes similar to this one several time (as I make all the bread in the house). With these recipes my dough always comes out runny. I often wonder if it is because I am measuring my flour differently than the recipes writers. I came across your recipe while I was trying to find this recipe except with measurements in grams (I find these are the more consistent baking recipes), I use a spoon to scoop my flour and pour it into a measuring cup (so it’s not packed) and then level it with a straight edge.

    Do you just use the measuring cup to scoop the four and then level it (so it’s a little packed) or do you use the unpacked method?

    Thanks so much in advance!

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