I fell in love with this recipe a few years ago because of its really delicious and really easy. If you follow me on instagram there's a chance you've seen me make it once or twice in my stories, but there really isn't much to show because of how quick and easy it is.
The original recipe I used is from A Pinch of Yum, and what's great about it is the "neutral" flavor profile it has. Add cheese and herbs, or a pinch of sugar and dried fruits and nuts, once you've mastered this simple bread there are so many variations you can try. Check out their original post for details about making gluten free and whole wheat versions too.
What you'll need (very tempted to make a knead/need pun here but I resisted)
- 6qt dutch oven OR pizza stone/baking steel and a very large metal bowl
- parchment paper
- dough scraper
This dough takes about 12-18 hours to rise, so its best made the night before. If you time it right you can have a hot loaf at for breakfast or dinner, heck, you could even have bread at both. These directions and times are for rooms around 70F so if your home is anything like mine in the summer pushing 90+F it'll probably take less time. Go with your gut on this, its a very forgiving loaf.
Makes one Loaf, about 8 servings
Adapted from A Pinch of Yum
Ready for this? Okay, about 12 - 18 hours before you want bread combine all of the ingredients in a bowl, or large container with a lid. I like to mix my dry ingredients together then add the water so you don't end up with a chunk of yeast or salt but you do you. A wooden spoon is great for mixing here because it'll be more likely to release this shaggy dough mixture.
If your dough looks dry you can add a few more tbsp of water, but it shouldn't be a wet mess, really just mix it until it just comes together. Over the next couple of hours the flour particles will absorb the water and become more hydrated.
Cover your bowl (think about using a plate or cutting board to cut down on plastic wrap!) and let sit for 12-18 hours. In the winter I try to find a warmish spot in my apartment but it'll really rise wherever.
After your dough has risen, preheat your oven to 450F with either your dutch oven or pizza stone inside. It's going to preheat for 30-45 minutes and while it's doing so, shape your dough.
Gently scrape your dough onto a well flour table, and ease it into a loaf shape. Be careful not to knead this dough and destroy the air bubbles inside. Plop it (gently) onto your parchment paper and cover while your oven heats (invert the bowl it was in over the top, or put plastic wrap over the top)
After your oven + Dutch oven have heated, remove the pot and take the lid off. MAKE SURE YOU USE OVEN MITTS. Generally your instinct is to touch the lid. Don't. It's literally 450 degrees.
Dutch Oven Instructions: Pick up the corners of your parchment paper and drop the loaf inside the hot pot, sometimes I'll splash a little water in there too to create steam, and quickly put the lid on with an oven mitt. Put it in the oven and bake for 30 minutes covered. After 30 minutes, remove the lid, ohh and ahh over your loaf, and bake for another 15-20 minutes. Remove and cool immediately on a wire rack. Try to resist eating it immediately, waiting 20 minutes will help the crumb dry out a bit and keep it from being gummy.
Pizza Stone Instructions: Full disclosure, I have NOT personally done this, but I've read about it in my bread baking books, and this is the idea. Slide the dough onto the pizza stone using a pizza peel or a thin wooden cutting board, then cover the loaf with the metal oven proof bowl. After 30 minutes, use a spatula/tongs to remove the bowl and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes. Remove and cool the loaf on a wire rack. Try to wait 20 minutes before digging in, then enjoy!
I hope you guys love this bread as much as I do. Some other fun flavors to try:
Sea Salt + Rosemary
Caramelized Onions + Gruyere Cheese
Cheddar + Scallions
Cranberry + Walnut
Have fun! Send me your bread pictures!