I love it when baked goods are easy to make. This Dutch Oven Bread is extremely hard to mess up. It’s a bit of a process, but it really doesn’t involve a lot of work.
It is something you can make while working around the house. If you need to pop out to run an errand, you can do that while the dough is rising!
4 cups flour
1 1/2 cup water
1 tsp active dry yeast
1 tsp Kosher salt or coarse sea salt
Stand mixer with a dough hook
Knife for scoring
1. In the stand mixer combine the flour, water, salt, and yeast. Mix on medium speed for about 8 to 10 minutes–until dough is smooth and elastic.
When the dough appears smooth, cut off a piece and stretch it. If it stretches to near transparency, you are ready to move on.
2. Remove the bowl from the mixer and cover it with plastic wrap.
3. Allow the dough to rise for 2 to 4 hours.
The dough will nearly double in size. Press your finger into the dough. If it does not spring back, you are ready to proceed.
4. Remove from the bowl. Turn out onto a workspace. *I use a cutting board sprinkled with flour.
5. Knead the dough to release the gas and redistribute the yeast.
6. Shape it into a ball and let stand for 10 minutes.
7. Coat the Dutch Oven in vegetable oil.
8. Reshape dough with your hands into a tight ball. Place in the center of the Dutch Oven. Let rise for 30 to 60 minutes (less if it is hot and humid).
9. Preheat oven to 450F.
10. Using a spoon, rub a tablespoon or two of olive oil to the top of the loaf.
11. Use a knife or razor to score the dough with an X, lines, or a hash mark to allow the dough to expand freely.
12. Place Dutch Oven, covered, in the oven for 30 minutes.
13. Remove lid and reduce heat to 375F. Continue baking 8-12 minutes to brown and cook through.
When the bread is finished, place the loaf on a cooling rack to allow it to cook through.
*If you would like your loaf a bit drier, you can leave it in the Dutch Oven to cool.