Are you out of bread, trapped at home and can’t get to the grocery store? We’ve got you covered with this Quick No-Knead Dutch Oven Bread! You will be rewarded with a beautiful, crusty loaf of fluffy artisan-style bread right from your oven!
Why spend the money on a loaf of bakery artisan bread when you can make artisan-style Dutch oven bread yourself in just two hours.
Yes, just two hours! It is astonishing how easy it is to make this quick no-knead Dutch oven bread. You do not need a bread machine, mixer with a dough hook or any special equipment. The only equipment you need to make this 2-hour bread is:
- Mixing bowl
- Dutch oven
If you happen to have some parchment paper then great, but if you don’t, then no worries. You can make this fast and easy bread without parchment as well.
What else do you need?
You will also need 5 minutes of your time and the ingredients. Here is the list of ingredients.
- Instant yeast
Keep reading to find out some tips about the ingredients and the process for making this 2-hour bread.
About the ingredients.
If you want to count water as an ingredient then it only takes 4 ingredients to make this no-knead Dutch oven bread. To help make the process easy and successful I will tell you what you need to know about each of the ingredients.
The dough will sit in a warm spot for one hour to puff up. My favorite spot is on top of the refrigerator.
We are using all-purpose flour for this recipe as it is probably the one you have in your pantry. Measure out 390 grams or 3 cups of the flour into a large bowl.
If you have bread flour then use that instead. Bread flour will give this yeast bread a better rise and chewier, more artisan-like texture. If you do use bread flour, you will need to increase the water a bit.
The type of yeast you use in this recipe is important. The reason this yeast bread is so fast and easy is because of the rapid rise yeast. It is sold as RapidRise from Fleishman or as Quick-Rise yeast from Red Star.
It is a type of instant yeast that is very quick-acting. If you have instant yeast that is not rapid rise, you can still make this bread but give it a little more time to rise. I usually add 20 to 30 minutes if I am using regular instant yeast.
Another reason instant yeast makes this recipe so fast and easy is because you do not have to proof it first. You can mix this yeast right into the flour. You don’t have to let it sit in water before you add it to the dough. This recipe really is the easiest yeast bread ever.
Measure and add 1-1/2 teaspoons of regular table salt to the bowl. Do not reduce or omit the salt. Salt is needed for two reasons.:
- It enhances the flavor of the bread.
- It tightens the gluten structure in the flour giving it strength and volume to the bread.
If you prefer to use a coarse salt such as Morton Kosher Salt, use 1 full tablespoon. Or if using Diamond Kosher Salt which is the coarsest of all, use 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon.
But make sure you do not use too much salt. Too much salt will kill yeast. This recipe uses just a pinch over 2% of salt in the dough. It is the perfect amount of salt to do the job.
You want to use 1-1/2 cups (or 338 grams) of lukewarm water from the kitchen tap. Lukewarm means baby-bottle warm, about 100°F. Definitely not hot! Hot water will kill the yeast. This probably seems like a lot of water but trust me, it works.
More tips for success:
A digital scale helps make measuring more accurate. We love using a digital kitchen scale set for grams as it gives a reliable measurement every time. If you prefer the cup scoop-and-level method, be sure to fluff the flour before scooping.
Preheat the Dutch oven for the best results. If you get the Dutch oven hot before you place the dough inside, the bread will rise higher and get a prettier, crispier crust.
In our Easy Sourdough Bread Recipe, we gave options to use a Dutch oven or baking sheet. We also gave an option to pre-heat the Dutch oven. If you are new to baking bread then keep things simple. Also, not all Dutch ovens can be preheated while they are empty. If you are concerned about damaging your Dutch oven then do not preheat it.
Let the dough rise in a fairly warm spot. Usually, the top of the refrigerator is the warmest place in the kitchen. That is usually warm enough. Don’t worry if the kitchen isn’t very warm though this bread will still rise in a cooler kitchen
Spray the top of the bread with water before you put it in the oven. This is a trick I learned to help get a bit more steam inside the Dutch oven. The dough will have enough moisture to create steam but an extra bit of water will help even more. The steam helps the bread rise higher and the Dutch oven traps the steam.
Take the lid off the Dutch oven after the first 30 minutes. If you leave the lid on then the crust will get a bit too thick and over-cooked.
A tip for shaping the dough:
A bench scraper makes it really easy. Use a bench scraper to turn the edges of the dough up folding the dough 5 or 6 times to shape into a rough ball. Do not mash or overwork the dough as it will release the bubbles in the dough. You want to just turn the sides in toward the middle. Lift the dough with the scraper and place it upside down on the center of the flour-dusted parchment paper. If you don’t have a bench scraper you can still do this with your hands.
Mix the dough and let it rise:
This really is fast and easy.
- Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. The dough will look rough and “shaggy”. It will also be very sticky.
- Cover the dough with plastic and let it rise for 1 hour. Coat the plastic with oil so it doesn’t stick to the dough.
- Halfway through the rise time, stick the Dutch oven in a COLD oven then turn the oven on to preheat.
- Turn the dough onto a floured counter and shape it into a ball. Slide it onto some parchment paper and let it rest for 15 minutes.
Baking the Quick No-Knead Dutch Oven Bread:
- Transfer the hot Dutch oven to a hot pad on the counter. Set the lid aside.
- Use the parchment paper as a sling to lift the bread into the Dutch oven. Spray the top of the bread with a bit of water and put the lid on the Dutch oven.
- Bake for 30 minutes then take the lid off and continue baking for the next 15 minutes.
- Use the parchment paper to lift the bread out of the Dutch oven and let it cool completely.
How to know when the bread is finished baking.
Tilt the bread on edge and thump the bottom. If it has a hollow sound it is cooked completely. You can also use an instant-read thermometer to check for doneness. When done it will register 210°F when inserted in the top of the bread.
Memories of By-Gone Days:
I have fond memories from my youth of watching my grandmother bake bread. Grandma would begin early in the morning and it was an all-day event. With a crew of farmhands to feed she didn’t mess around with making just one loaf either! She made her bread the old-fashioned way with a lot of kneading. First, she mixed it all together in a huge lump. Then she let it rise. Punched it down. Kneaded it again.
To my 13-year old self, this was a long process and I loved it when she would let me punch down the dough and that wonderful fragrance whooshed up from the dough. ❤️
She would shape the dough into loaves, put them in pans, give them one more rising. Finally, the loves went into the oven to bake and the kitchen smelled phenomenal!
I can still visualize those four beautiful loaves of bread cooling on a rack on the table. And, if I was lucky and it wasn’t too close to dinner time she would slice off the heel of one of the loaves and slather it with butter for me. It was homemade butter, too!
Bread baking has made some changes since those days and I think my grandma would love this easier, 2-hour bread. 😋
If I have a choice I will take a thick slice of toasted, homemade 2-Hour Bread, slathered with butter and raspberry jam over a slice of chocolate cake any day!
SOME OTHER RECIPES WE ARE SURE YOU WILL LOVE:
- Einkorn Sourdough Bread: The long slow fermentation of sourdough makes a bread that is healthier and so delicious. Using the healthy ancient grain of einkorn amplifies the flavor and healthiness of sourdough bread.
- Spelt Irish Soda Bread: This Irish soda bread is made with four ingredients: Spelt flour, salt, baking soda and buttermilk. This simple and quick bread has a great flavor from spelt flour.
- Sprouted Rye Bread: A soft, fine-textured sprouted rye bread with a distinctive rye flavor and a sprinkling of caraway seeds. Made from organic sprouted whole wheat flour and organic sprouted rye flour.
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- 3 cups (390g) all purpose flour, or bread flour
- 1 packet (7g) or 2 teaspoons Quick Rise or RapidRise instant yeast
- 1-1/2 teaspoons table salt (9 grams)
- 1-1/2 cups lukewarm water (up to 100°F) (338 grams)
Make the Dough:
- Fluff up the flour before measuring or weighing; then add the flour, yeast and salt to a mixing bowl and stir to combine. Make a well in the center and pour in the water, stir and mix completely . The dough will be soft and sticky.
- Cover the bowl with an oil-sprayed plastic wrap and let stand in a warm spot at room temperature. Let rise for 1 hour. (I like to set the covered bowl on top of the refrigerator).
- After 40 minutes, place a 4 or 6-quart Dutch oven with lid in the oven and preheat to 450°F.
- Sift a light dusting of flour on a large piece of parchment paper and set aside.
- When the dough has rested for the 1 hour, turn it out onto a lightly flour-dusted work surface. Use a bench scraper to turn and fold the dough 5 or 6 times to shape into a rough ball. Dust lightly with flour.
- Place the dough with the floured side down, in the center of the reserved sheet of parchment paper. Dust the exposed top lightly with flour and cover with a fresh piece of plastic wrap. Let the dough rest on the counter top for 15 minutes.
Bake the Bread:
- Carefully remove the Dutch oven from the oven, remove the lid. Remove the plastic wrap covering from the dough, and using the parchment paper as a sling, lift the dough and set it into the Dutch oven. Spray the top of the bread with some water (see notes).
- Replace the lid and transfer to the oven.
- Bake for 30 minutes, then remove the lid from the Dutch one and bake the bread for an additional 15 minutes.
- Transfer the hot Dutch oven to the work area and using the parchment paper, lift the bread out and place on a wire rack. Let cool before slicing.
- The protein content in all-purpose flour is generally about 10 percent. Bread flour has a slightly higher protein of 12 percent and the water should be increased by 1/4 to 1/3 cup. The dough should be sticky and soft.
- Yeast will have an expiration date on the package or container, use within the date limit.
- Keep yeast in the refrigerator.
- Use lukewarm water, 100°F, hot water will kill the yeast.
- If you spray the top of the bread dough with water before placing it in the oven, it will produce more steam and help the bread rise even higher.
- Bread baked in a Dutch oven works because the Dutch oven holds the steam in and helps the bread rise better. This produces a lofty loaf with a crackling crust. Don't leave the lid on for the entire bake time. Remove the lid after the first 20 to 30 minutes so the crust does not get too thick.
- To determine that the bread is cooked completely, tilt the bread on its side and thump the bottom. It should sound hollow. You can further check the temperature with an instant-read thermometer when done it will register 210°F when inserted in the top of the bread.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 14 Serving Size: 1/2 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 134Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 304mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 4g
Nutrition information is a guideline only, is calculated automatically by third-party software, and absolute accuracy is not guaranteed.