No Knead Crusty Round Bread in a Dutch Oven
Homemade bread is something I prepare every week for my family. Nothing can beat the taste of that freshly baked, crusty loaf. The aroma that spreads in the house is so comforting and tempting. Most people feel that bread making is hard and it requires experience and skills, but this is a recipe for the easiest no knead crusty round bread. I promise you that anyone can make this bread. The hard part is waiting for it to proof and bake. You need to create a wet dough by stirring and combining all the ingredients. No kneading and needed. You can mix the dough with a wooden spoon or a stand mixer.
This no knead crusty round bread is very easy to make, but you need to have some basic information before you start.
How to measure the flour?
Always scoop more flour than you need in your cup and use a knife to level it off. If you have a scale use it, because measuring ingredients by weigh is always more accurate. One cup of flour contains exactly 4 oz or 125 grams of all purpose flour.
You need deep mixing bowl. You can use a bowl of any material here. I use my stand mixer bowl.
A wooden spoon or a large mixing spoon. You can also use the dough hook on a stand mixer, but remember that we don’t have to knead for this recipe. We only mix the ingredients in that bowl.
You also need 4-6 – quart Dutch oven. Don’t worry if you don’t have it. Keep reading and you will find a solution for this problem.
Other needed equipment: oven mitts, parchment paper, 9-inch proofing basket (or a regular 9-inch bowl) and a flat working surface.
Frequently Asked Questions
What if I don’t have Dutch Oven?
1. Use a cast iron pan. Preheat the cast iron pan and carefully remove it from the oven (with oven mitts). Transfer the dough from the proofing basket to the hot pan and return it to the oven inside. Throw 4-5 ice cubes in the hot oven or in another hot, oven safe pan. The goal is to create steam, which will make the thick and crunchy crust of the bread.
2. Oven safe pot and a sheet pan for a lid. Preheat a pot that is oven safe. Do not use glass or ceramic pot. Aluminum would work well. Once the dough is placed in the preheated pot cover it with a sheet pan and return it to the oven.
3. Pizza stone. Preheat the pizza stone place the dough on it and create steam. You can create steam by spraying some water in the oven, using ice cubes or placing water in another oven safe dish or pan.
I don’t have a proofing basket. What should I use?
Don’t worry. You can use any salad or mixing bowl. It is best if the bowl has 9-inch diameter.
My bread turned out flat and dense. Why?
Here are some possible explanations. Your dough was too dense. Maybe you added too much flour and the dough wash too heavy and thick.
Not enough proof time. Every bread that is made with yeast needs time to proof. Give it a minimum of one hour to proof after it is mixed. Then shape it and proof it for thirty more minutes. During this process don’t allow rapid change in temperature in the house. Keep the dough away from drafts and vents.
Your baking pan (Dutch oven) was too big. If this is the case the bread might spread to the sides and become flatter.
Ask any additional questions in the comment section bellow.
No Knead Crusty Round Bread in a Dutch Oven
- 2 cups lukewarm water
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 Tbsp active dry yeast
- 4-4½ cups all purpose flour (bread flour works too)
- 1 tsp salt
- more flour for dusting
- Add the water, sugar and yeast in a deep bowl. Then add one cup of flour and the salt and stir well (with a wooden spoon or silicone spatula) until the flour is incorporated.
- Continue adding one cup at a time and stir until all the flour is well incorporated. Depending on the brand of flour you use you will need 4 to 4½ cups of flour. The dough should be sticky, but not too liquid.
- Once all the flour is incorporated and the dough is smooth cover the bowl with a towel or plastic wrap and allow it to rise for one hour.
- Generously flour a surface and transfer the proofed dough there. Pull each corner of the dough in towards the center. Form a round loaf. Look at the video to see exactly how I do this.
- Dust a bowl or a proofing basket with flour and carefully transfer the dough there, seam side down (smooth surface up).
- Proof the dough in the basket or bowl for another 30 minutes. It should be covered and away from drafts and vents. I use a clean shower cap to cover my proofing basket.
- While the dough is proofing for a second time put an empty dutch oven (with the lid on) on the middle rack or the oven and preheat it to 460F.
- When the oven is done preheating use oven mitts to remove the dutch oven and take the lid off. Flip the dough on a parchment paper. Score the surface of the bread with a sharp knife (optional).
- Carefully place the dough in the hot dutch oven. Put the lid on and place in the oven.
- Bake the bread for 30 minutes with the lid on. Then bake 10 more minutes without the lid.
- Use a spatula to remove the bread form the dutch oven and place it on a cooling rack. Allow the bread to cool down slightly before you slice it.