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How to bake bread in a dutch oven

by Emma on November 16, 2010

in Dinner

Baking bread in a dutch oven is nothing new. People have been doing for a long time. If you count clay pots as dutch ovens, then really they've been doing it for, like, all of bread baking history.

Can you tell I totally researched all this. Fact checked everything. Yeah…

But I had never baked bread in my dutch oven before. Until now.

And, it was GLORIOUS.

Turns out, that if you bake bread in a dutch oven, it traps the steam in during the baking process. Resulting in a crustier crust.

My mom and I fought over the heels of this loaf.

We both won. Thank goodness. Otherwise someone could have lost an eye.

It would have been her. I'm ruthless. ;)

What's that? You want see that divine crust again?

So here's the skinny: to make this bread you need a dutch oven (I think it's also sometimes called a french oven). I have a red one and I am smitten with him. It's a bit of an investment, and there are all sorts of brands out there. I won't endorse any specific brand (but I do love my Le Creuset ) but you might think about getting a dutch oven if you don't already own one. They have many many uses.

Like baking bread.

Crusty dutch oven bread. Makes one medium sized loaf.

Ingredients: 1 package active dry yeast, 1 1/3 cup warm water, 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour, 2 teaspoons salt and a pinch or two of sugar.

Proof the yeast by mixing it with the warm water until dissolved. In a large bowl combine flour, salt and sugar. Stir in water until a dough ball forms (you can use a mixer with a dough hook for this, but I do it by hand because I don't have a mixer with a dough hook. I spent all my money on a dutch oven.) Knead the dough for 3-4 minutes. Then place the dough ball in a large bowl that has been lightly coated with oil, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to rise for 1-2 hours (until doubled in size).

Punch dough down, turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead it a few times and then put it back in the bowl and let it rise again (for another hour).

Place some parchment paper in the bottom of your dutch oven. Place the dough ball in the center and using a sharp knife, make a few slices down it's belly.

Slices down it's belly-this is brutal stuff.

Cover with the lid and place in a preheated oven to 400 F. After 15 minutes remove the lid but let it continue to bake for another 12-15 minutes. When its nice and brown take it out and let it cool. Then eat the heels off before anyone else can get to them. :)

xo. Emma


Jenny November 16, 2010 at 8:16 am

I have never heard of baking bread in a Dutch oven, but I had planned on baking my first loaf of bread this week, and I’m totally going to make this, I love crusty bread!

cassijean November 16, 2010 at 8:32 am

I absolutely love to cook, but for some reason breads intimidate me. Perhaps because I’ve yet to be successful at baking bread in my dutch oven. But I’ll be trying again, thanks for the great post!

mary jo November 16, 2010 at 9:55 am

I love your recipe! So glad I found your blog via a write up on your adorable business! Can’t wait to read more!
xo Mary Jo

Michelle November 16, 2010 at 10:25 am

Wow this looks delicious. I would probably sit down with some butter, maybe mix some rosemary in there and eat the whole thing :) I don’t have a dutch oven, but if I ever get married its going on my registry haha!

Brandi November 16, 2010 at 11:59 am

I need to stop reading your blog when I am hungry. Everything looks so wonderful that my mouth starts to water.

J.P. November 16, 2010 at 12:51 pm

yes! i made bread in a make-shift dutch oven a few months ago and it was so good! it turned out super hearty and the crust was very crusty. i’ll have to try your recipe! thanks for sharing :)

Alexa November 16, 2010 at 1:37 pm

Oh man that looks tasty. Now I have to add a dutch oven to my Christmas list :)

Jessica November 16, 2010 at 5:22 pm

I got a really old cast iron dutch oven at a flee market a few months ago and haven’t used it yet. That bread looks so delicious I might just have to make some tonight! :)

Kristina Tuason November 17, 2010 at 1:46 am


SophieSweetVintage November 17, 2010 at 3:28 am

I’ve never heard of a dutch oven, and i’m dutch haha I love making bread, it always smells so tasty en yummy :)

Jenny November 17, 2010 at 9:01 am

I made it last night and it turned out delicious!
I took a pic ;)
Who knew baking bread could be that easy!
Thank you for the recipe!

militantcupcake November 17, 2010 at 9:18 am

that looks delicious! i don’t eat gluten, and i’m still trying to get up the courage to try my hand at baking gluten free bread…..and if i ever do, i will try it in a dutch oven, that looks delightful

Bekka November 17, 2010 at 7:50 pm

I didn’t even know this was possible. Maybe I should ask for a dutch oven for Christmas. I mean, any bread that makes people fight over the heels has to be great, right? :)

Mandy Crandell November 18, 2010 at 10:23 am

That bread looks SO good! I’d love to sample some of the things you make one day!

Kim F November 19, 2010 at 4:24 pm

I actually am in the middle of making Mark Bittman’s recipe that is cooked in a dutch oven and didn’t know you’d written about making bread. :) I’m going to have to try your recipe, too!

Mary-Beth November 20, 2010 at 10:29 am

I made homemade bread last week, and it was devine! nothing quite like it!:)
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Kristy November 24, 2010 at 8:40 pm

I baked this loaf yesterday to rave reviews at our house!
Funny story… on my phone I could only see 1/3 cup of water. You should have seen me all puzzled wondering how to mix the dough with 1/3 c. water. I never noticed the 1-1/3 till tonight, but I think in the end I added that much just guessing.
Thanks for all the great recipes. I will be in springfield in a few weeks and can’t wait to have one of your cupcakes and visit the store. Top on my to-do list.

viagra online December 9, 2010 at 3:56 pm

Natlfy- It’s VERY difficult to come by flour in Norway that is not all-purpose, rye, whole-wheat, spelt, or barley. Meaning, self-rising or any other type of enriched white flour is not common in the Norwegian kitchen, so i just use the regular old all-purpose for most of my baking needs.

Cassie Best January 29, 2011 at 10:44 pm

I just made this tonight. PERFECT soup bread. Many thanks for the recipe!

Mel February 27, 2012 at 2:33 pm

I made this bread last night and it was divine! I added sauteed onions and garlic right before I put it in the oven–just stuffed them into the slits. I recommend it!!