First made fall of 2013.
3 cups bread flour
1/2 tsp instant yeast
1 1/2 tsp table salt
1 1/2-3/4 cups water (room temp)
Any add-ins you want (nuts, dried fruits, cheese, spices etc…)
- In a large bowl add in the flour, yeast and salt. You need to make sure the bowl is at least 2 times the size as this will easily double in volume.
- Whisk to combine.
- Add in the water and mix with a wooden spoon – do NOT use a stand mixer.
- Mix it until it’s combined and forms a ‘shaggy’ dough. Just make sure that all the flour is incorporated. It will not be a smooth dough – that’s how it’s supposed to be.
- Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm place overnight for at least 12 hours but no more than 24.
- When you’re ready to bake, put the rack in the middle and preheat to 450F.
- When the oven reaches temp, put your dutch oven pot in the oven WITH THE LID on.
- Let it heat up for 30 minutes.
- While that’s heating up, use a dough scraper and scrape your dough onto a heavily floured surface (or you can flour parchment paper and put it on there). *See note
- Shape into a ball, tucking the sides under. It will be sticky but that’s good.
- Cover lightly with plastic until the 30 minutes is up.
- Remove the pot from the oven and plop the ball down in. Or if you transferred it to a floured parchment paper, you can place the whole thing inside (try to remove the excess flour).
- Replace the lid and bake for 30 minutes. No peaking!
- Remove the lid and bake for another 15 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and using tongs remove the bread and cool on cooling rack.
If you’re not comfortable with shaping the dough, when you remove the pot from the oven after 30 minutes you can carefully just pour the dough into the pot. It won’t be a perfectly round bread loaf but that’s okay – it’s just rustic. If you do pour it in, just jostle the pan around to kind of even out the dough before putting the lid on. But practice with shaping the dough. You can’t screw it up.