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Dutch-Oven Bread

Crackling homemade bread makes an average day extraordinary. Enjoy this beautiful crusty bread recipe as is, or stir in a few favorites like cheese, garlic, herbs and dried fruits. —Catherine Ward, Taste of Home Prep Kitchen Manager
  • Total Time
    Prep: 15 min. + rising Bake: 45 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    1 loaf (16 slices)

Ingredients

  • 3 to 4 cups (125 grams each) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 cups water (70° to 75°)

Directions

  • In a large bowl, whisk 3 cups flour, yeast and salt. Stir in water and enough remaining flour to form a moist, shaggy dough. Do not knead. Cover and let rise in a cool place until doubled, 7-8 hours.
    Preheat oven to 450°; place a Dutch oven with lid onto center rack and heat for at least 30 minutes. Once Dutch oven is heated, turn dough onto a generously floured surface. Using a metal scraper or spatula, quickly shape into a round loaf. Gently place on top of a piece of parchment paper.
  • Using a sharp knife, make a slash (1/4 in. deep) across top of loaf. Using the parchment paper, immediately lower bread into heated Dutch oven. Cover; bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake until deep golden brown and bread sounds hollow when tapped, about 15-20 minutes longer, partially covering if browning too much. Remove loaf for pan and cool completely on wire rack.

Test Kitchen tips
  • Double this recipe to make a bread that fills your entire Dutch oven. In a large bowl, whisk 6 cups flour, 2 teaspoons active dry yeast and 2 teaspoons salt. Stir in 3 cups water to form a soft, shaggy dough. Do not knead. Cover and let rise in a cool place until doubled, 7-8 hours. Proceed with recipe as directed.
  • This is a soft, gentle dough that should be baked immediately after shaping. Preheating the Dutch oven prior to shaping and working quickly are keys to success.
  • Nutrition Facts
    1 slice: 86 calories, 0 fat (0 saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 148mg sodium, 18g carbohydrate (0 sugars, 1g fiber), 3g protein.

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