A few years ago I posted a recipe for bread and it was my go-to…but it didn’t always come out that well. Part was the ingredient ratio, part was getting a good amount of steam while cooking and part was probably not letting the dough rise way beyond what the recipe suggested. I recently found something similar and easier, and I get a good excuse to bake in my little 2.5 quart dutch oven! This can also be made in a larger dutch oven; I think most people probably have a 5-6 quart size if they’ve got one at all, but it makes a slightly more oval loaf instead of round. Great flavor, crusty on the outside and soft on the inside.
Mix with a whisk in a medium-large bowl:
- 3 c. flour (all purpose, or 1/2 AP and half bread flour)
- 2 tsp. salt
- 1 packet dry active yeast
Add warm water – I usually use @1 3/4 cups but you might want to start with 1 1/2 cups and see if you like that consistency. I like my dough a bit on the wetter side.
Cover tightly with plastic wrap and set somewhere out of the way…FOR HOURS AND HOURS. Seriously, I usually do this at night before bed and then I can bake bread the next morning, or even leave it until I get home from work the next day. Then:
Turn oven to 450 and put your dutch oven in (including lid) to preheat.
Turn out your dough onto a floured piece of parchment paper, cover with plastic wrap and let sit 30 minutes while the oven warms. I find it’s easier to put the parchment paper in a bowl about the size of my D.O. and cover with plastic wrap. Then I don’t have all the dough sticking to the plastic. After 30 minutes I just lift the paper & dough out of the bowl and pop it in the hot D.O.
Put the lid on and put it in the oven for @35-40 minutes (I do 40, depends on your oven).
At 40 minutes, I took the lid off for another 5 minutes. The idea is to brown the top, but really, my little loaf was already browned because it filled up the D.O. nicely and touched the lid while baking. Trial and error.
Done! Lift paper and bread out and dump bread onto a rack to cool!