When I began to type out my intro to the thoughts on this Dutch Oven bread recipe, I’ll admit, I got a little sentimental when I realized that it was the first photo I had taken of a food I had created that turned out so beautiful, it seriously made me considering following my dream of food blogging.
Everything about this bread is beautiful. Starting with the container it is created in. My Staub Cast Iron Cocotte is one of my most prized possessions. Not only is it a kitchen item so beautiful I cant even bring myself to put it away in a cabinet, when you google Staub Cocotte, the first result describes it as “inspiring cooks everywhere,” and YAS, queen, PREACH. That is EXACTLY how I would describe it.
I will readily admit, that while I am extremely proud of my skills in creating a meal or a savory side dish, I am quite a bit intimidated by baking. That is another amazing thing about this recipe, the bread will come out photo ready and stunningly beautiful with hardly any baking skills involved.
While the recipe may be considered simple, it is a labor of love, which means you will need to begin preparing your steps approximately 24 hours before you plan on eating the bread. I have achieved the best results by doing the first two steps the evening before (say for example, at 8:00 pm), to allow the dough to rise for a full 12 hours before picking back up at step 3 at 8:00 am.
Now, everyone’s oven cooks quite differently. In regards to the crispness and final color of the bread, I have achieved the best results baking mine for 30 minutes with the lid on, 15 minutes with the lid off. If you find your bread is browning too darkly to quickly, you may want to slightly adjust this time, cooking approximately 35-40 minutes lid on, 5-10 minutes lid off. Or if your bread is not reaching your desired brownness, you may want to move your top rack up one notch in the final 5 minutes of baking.
In summary, don’t be intimidated by baking bread from scratch. This recipe will make you feel like a true pro when you see how truly beautiful it turns out. Don’t forget to Instagram your beautiful creation, heck, you can even tag #prescriptionpantry if you feel like it.
Made from Scratch Dutch Oven Crusty Bread
- 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
- 1 1/2 cups warm water
- 3 cups all purpose flour plus more for dusting
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
Dissolve yeast and water in a large bowl. Add the salt, then add the flour, about 1/2 cup at a time, stirring until uniform and sticky.
Cover tightly with plastic wrap and allow to rise at room temperature approximately 12 hours until surface is bubbly.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Sprinkle the top of the dough lightly with more flour, then fold it over on itself twice.
Lay a loose layer of plastic wrap or a towel over the top and allow to sit for 15 minutes.
Coat your hands with flour and gently shape the dough into a ball. Place the dough, seam side down, on the floured surface, then recover with the towel to rise over an hour and a half.
When the dough has doubled in size and has a slight spring to it, it is ready to be baked.
Preheat the oven to 475. Place the Dutch oven in to warm while it is preheating.
When the oven is preheated and the Dutch oven is warm, place the dough into the Dutch oven seam side up. Shake the pan to distribute the dough evenly to all sides.
Cover with the lid and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and bake for an additional 15 minutes or until browned and crispy.
When the bread is finished baking, allow to cool, then flip out onto a cutting board.
You can slice the bread and store it in an airtight bag or you can leave the bread in one solid piece, slicing as needed, wrapped tightly in a solid layer of plastic wrap.