Thursday, April 3, 2014

No-Knead Crusty Dutch Oven Bread

No-Knead Crusty Dutch Oven Bread

Some would argue that the key to a good grilled cheese is – duh – the cheese.  I would agree, but I would argue that the bread is of equal importance.  I would also argue that a super simple loaf of crusty, no-knead bread is super important.  The outer edge is, as the name implies, amazingly crusty while the center is soft and airy and so flavorful!

I sort-of can’t believe that it took me so long to try this bread.  My eye has been on it since my friend Audra posted it a while back and, this Christmas, I received a very pretty red cast-iron Dutch oven which now proudly sits on top of my stove at all times.  I couldn’t be more in love with a pot than this one.  Obviously it took a slew of grilled cheese ideas for this month to finally propel me to take the plunge.

And obviously, we loved this bread.  I’m somewhat embarrassed (but not really) to admit that this loaf of bread was gone within 8 hours of baking it.  I made a couple of grilled cheese sandwiches with it (perfecto!) and then we snacked on the rest of it with a friend before and during dinner.  There is so much flavor packed into only FOUR ingredients.  Four.

No-Knead Crusty Dutch Oven Bread Steps

The steps are simple:

1. You mix the flour, water, yeast and salt in a bowl (above left).  The mixture will be wet and shaggy.  You then cover and let it sit.  And rise.  And sit and rise some more.

2. Then it will look bubbly, a little smooth, but still wet (above, center).

3.  You turn it out onto a floured surface, shape into a ball (above, right), and then bake it up for less than 45 minutes in a cast-iron Dutch oven (below).  And then devour.

The bread was incredible as-is but even a little better with a slather of butter.  And even a little better than that with some cheese and other stuff sandwiched between two slices.  Bottom line – I’m sold on no-knead crusty bread!

PrintPrint Recipe

No-Knead Crusty Dutch Oven Bread

Yield: 1 loaf

Total Time: 8-18 hours

Simple and fuss-free artisan bread baked in a Dutch oven. And the best part - no knead!


3 cups all-purpose flour + more for dusting
2 tsp. instant yeast (I used Red Star Platinum Yeast)
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees)


Mix the flour, yeast and salt in a large glass bowl. Add the water and stir just until all the dry ingredients are combined. The dough will be wet and shaggy. Cover semi-loosely with plastic wrap and set aside to rise. The dough should rise for a minimum of 8 hours, up to 24 hours. I let this one rise for 18 hours and I kept it on the counter to rise; it more than doubled in volume.

Once the dough has risen, place your covered Dutch oven into the oven and preheat the oven to 450 degrees. While the oven(s) heat up, turn the dough out onto a floured surface with floured hands. The dough will be ultra-sticky, but do your best to shape into a ball without adding too much extra flour. Cover loosely with plastic wrap while the oven heats to 450.

Remove the Dutch oven and (with floured hands) place the dough ball into the Dutch oven. Place the lid on and bake for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove the lid and bake for an additional 10 - 15 minutes, until the top of the loaf is golden brown.

Remove from the oven and cool. Or cut while hot because nothing is better than a slice of fresh hot homemade bread!

Cassie's Notes:
On the dough rising: I let this one rise for 18 hours and I kept it on the counter to rise; it more than doubled in volume.

On the Dutch oven: I used a round 5-quart cast-iron Dutch oven with an enamel lining. You can use an oval one, larger or smaller, but probably will want at least a 3 or 4 quart size. If you do not have a Dutch oven, you can bake on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or on a baking stone. Check out the post by Simply So Good (linked below) for more information.

I absolutely did not need any oil in my Dutch oven...the dough didn't stick. If your pot doesn't have an enamel coating, you might need some, but from other posts I have read, oil or added fat isn't necessary.

I used more yeast in this recipe than any others I have found and I did this because I wanted a heavy yeast flavor. If you aren't such a fan, you can decrease it to 1 teaspoon. I also used a lot of salt because I love salt and I wanted a very flavorful loaf but if you have concerns, play around with the amount until you get it right for you.

Slightly adapted from The Baker Chick with help from Simply So Good.

No-Knead Crusty Dutch Oven Bread


26 Responses to “No-Knead Crusty Dutch Oven Bread”

  1. #
    Brian @ A Thought For Food — April 3, 2014 @ 6:37 am

    Ah yes… I’m quite fond of the no-knead bread. I often use Lahey’s recipe, but I’m always open to trying something new. Especially when it looks to be so successful!

  2. #
    Erin | The Law Student's Wife — April 3, 2014 @ 7:36 am

    TOTALLY agree on the bread, and too funny you say that–I made grilled cheese last night and ran out to buy some good crusty sourdough first. Ben thought I was nuts, but it makes all the difference in the world. Next time, I need to plan ahead to try this loaf 🙂

  3. #
    Victoria Luhrs — April 3, 2014 @ 7:39 am

    I’ve been looking for some “warm weather” reasons to use my new Dutch oven too! Love this

  4. #
    steph@stephsbitebybite — April 3, 2014 @ 8:27 am

    I think the bread is a HUGE factor in a grilled cheese. it’s gotta hold up to that heat and still be nice and crunchy. And this has me wanting to make some home made bread and then a grilled cheese and then sit my butt on the couch for the rest of the day.

  5. #
    Claire Gallam — April 3, 2014 @ 9:26 am

    oh my GOD.

  6. #
    Dixya @ Food, Pleasure, and Health — April 3, 2014 @ 10:37 am

    and what if i dont have a dutch oven?

    • Cassie replied: — April 4th, 2014 @ 9:53 am

      You can try a pizza stone or another (heat-resistant) pot with a lid. Or line a baking dish with foil and wrap the foil around the dough, and then open it up for the last 15 minutes.

      The secret with the Dutch oven is that it allows some steam to form and circulate so that the outside gets crusty and the inside stays soft. So trying something where you can enclose the dough for the first 30 minutes of baking will probably give the best results.

  7. #
    Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough — April 3, 2014 @ 10:58 am

    I have a freezer full of bread right now and I still think I need to make this and eat it immediately. It looks too good to wait for!

  8. #
    Danae @ reciperunner — April 3, 2014 @ 12:42 pm

    Yep bread is equally as important as the cheese in grilled cheese. It needs that nice crisp crust and a soft chewy interior like this one you made has! I’ve been wanting to try a bread like this for a while, glad I have a great recipe now!

  9. #
    Laura (Tutti Dolci) — April 3, 2014 @ 3:55 pm

    Gorgeous bread, love the crust from the dutch oven!

  10. #
    Joanne — April 3, 2014 @ 10:11 pm

    That crust! Those holes!!! I need this.

  11. #
    Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. — April 3, 2014 @ 11:50 pm

    I totally agree! The bread is super important! This looks so perfectly crusty and yummy!

  12. #
    Liz @ The Lemon Bowl — April 4, 2014 @ 7:31 am

    Dude. It’s all about the bread!! I love this simple recipe!

  13. #
    Lauren @ Climbing Grier Mountain — April 4, 2014 @ 8:59 am

    I really need to get on the bread making band wagon!! This looks amazing!

  14. #
    Kelli @ The Corner Kitchen — April 4, 2014 @ 12:44 pm

    I’m all about no-knead bread…so simple and easy. This looks beautiful!

  15. #
    Kayle (The Cooking Actress) — April 4, 2014 @ 9:34 pm

    the bread is DEF a big big factor in making an amazing grilled cheese! This loaf of bread looks so incredibly perfect and crusty and chewy and I cannot believe it’s no knead!

  16. #
    Jenny @ BAKE — April 6, 2014 @ 9:27 am

    Wow! what a brilliant recipe! I can’t wait to try this, not that bunging everything in my kitchen aid is particularly taxing, but the simpler the better sometimes!

  17. #
    ashley - bakerbynature — April 6, 2014 @ 11:41 am

    YES YES YES! This bread is what my life needs right now!

  18. #
    Christine from Cook the Story — April 7, 2014 @ 9:44 am

    Thanks for making it SO easy to love this recipe!

  19. #
    Nicole ~ Cooking for Keeps — April 7, 2014 @ 1:07 pm

    Wow. Four ingredients AND in a dutch oven?? Must try!!

  20. #
    Kelly Senyei | Just a Taste — April 7, 2014 @ 8:04 pm

    This looks awesome, Cassie! Can’t wait to try it!

  21. #
    nicole — April 15, 2014 @ 12:20 pm

    My hubby just bought me a 2.5 qt enameled cast iron braiser any way I could use it to make this or is it not big enough?

    • Cassie replied: — April 16th, 2014 @ 5:17 pm

      Hi Nicole, it might be OK, just will be a little tight. You might try splitting the dough, or cutting the recipe in half, just to see how it does. Enjoy!

  22. #
    Ren — April 16, 2014 @ 4:58 pm

    Just made the dough, I’m going to let it rise overnight. I’m planning on cooking it in a big, heavy enamel casserole dish. The crust looks tasty 😀

  23. #
    Robin — February 1, 2015 @ 11:15 pm

    I’m so going to try this recipe. Looks easy!
    I always have issues cutting it without destroying
    It. Even with a serrated knife it looks like a
    A kid cut it. Any suggestions on how to cut
    Homemade bread without totally mutilating it

    • Cassie replied: — February 5th, 2015 @ 7:30 am

      Hi Robin, my best advice is to make sure to let the bread cool all the way before cutting. Other than that, crusty bread just tends to be pretty messy. Make sure you use a good serrated knife to cut it and gently cut it. Enjoy!

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