No Knead Dutch Oven Bread

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This easy no knead Dutch Oven Bread comes together quickly without even the need for a stand mixer. Use your hands or a wooden spoon to create a sticky dough that is steamed to perfection in a Dutch oven, finished with a golden, crunchy crust, and has plenty of air pockets to hold softened butter or tonight’s soup.

Close up image of no knead dutch oven bread


Dutch Oven Bread

If you’ve ever wondered if you can bake bread in a Dutch oven, I’m here to gladly tell you that you indeed can! You can cook nearly any bread recipe in a Dutch oven as long as you have the right size Dutch oven and the proper quantity of dough. Of course you will end up with a bowl shape instead of a loaf shape, but the taste will be exactly the same. Dutch oven breads are a go-to for me and my family as we often need large loafs to feed the 8 of us for a couple meals.

The secret to a Dutch oven bread is the use of the lid. By baking bread in the dutch oven with a lid, you’re steaming the dough creating a soft, bouncy inside. Removing the lid at the end is what creates the golden craters on the outside. This means you get the best of both worlds with bread of a crunchy exterior and fluffy interior. You can make artisan bread in the comfort of your own home with just a few ingredients and a few hours time.

Is it Artisan Bread?

Well, that all depends – are you an artist? All kidding aside, there is no true definition of an artisan bread. Though in general, this term refers to the simplicity of the ingredients going into the bread as well as the baker’s experience in making rustic loaves. And artisan loaf can be any shape, size, use any type of flour, fermentation like in sourdough, etc. The one factor that all can agree on is that an artisan loaf is best enjoyed fresh and without preservatives.

What is no knead bread?

No knead bread means we’re just combining all the ingredients until the mixture is mostly uniformed. You do not need any special equipment for this and the dough will look much more shaggy as a result. Shaggy and sticky in this case is good compared to a typical white bread that you want to be soft and firm.

What size Dutch Oven for Dutch oven bread?

This recipe requires a 5 quart or larger. You want to be sure that once the bread proofs and during the cooking process that the top does not rest on the dough and stick. Make sure to use a Dutch oven that does not have a plastic handle on the top. You want a metal or cast iron handle. Traditional Dutch ovens work well for this as do enameled such as Le Creuset, but not all Le Creuset or Staub Dutch ovens have a metal handle on top.

How to make Dutch Oven Bread Video

What temperature do you cook Dutch oven bread at?

The Dutch oven itself needs to preheat with the lid on, in the oven at 450F for about 30 minutes. The Dutch oven is then lined with oven safe parchment paper and the dough placed gently into the Dutch oven. It’s then covered and baked for 45 minutes in the oven at 450F. Once that time is up, carefully remove the lid and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes with the cover removed.

Do I need to score it?

Use a serrated knife or a new razor blade to make a cut right down the middle while in the Dutch oven before baking. This 2-inch deep cut will actually give the bread more flexibility in rising and help to create more craters for the golden crust.

Storing Dough & Baked Bread

If you’ve run out of time in the day, we’ve all been there, this dough can last up to a week in the refrigerator before needing baking. Simply pull out the dough and set in a warm area of the house to allow to come to room temperature, warm, and rise again before adding to a preheated Dutch oven.

Once the bread is baked, wrap in plastic wrap and store at room temperature on the counter. It will be good for about 2-3 days. If it’s feeling a little hard, wrap in a damp paper towel and microwave for about 30 seconds on high to bring back the moisture. Any signs of green or mold, toss it to the chickens.

If you still have a large loaf left after 2 days with no intention of eating it that night, consider wrapping it in plastic wrap, then into a large Ziploc bag, and freezing it! You can slice it or freeze it whole for up to 2 months.

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Everyone loves a fresh, warm bread coming out of the oven. Check out these other bread recipes to add to your secret stash.

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No Knead Dutch Oven Bread Recipe


Course Bread
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Resting Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 35 minutes
Servings 12 people
This easy no knead Dutch oven bread recipe comes together with just 4-5 ingredients. The outside is golden and crunchy texture, while the inside is steamed to fluffy perfection. The perfect side dish to any large family dinner.

Equipment

  • 5 quart dutch oven or larger
  • seratted knife
  • Measuring Cups
  • cooling rack
  • parchment paper

Ingredients
 

  • 4 cups flour all-purpose
  • 2-1/4 teaspoons yeast active dry
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups water warm (about 110F)
  • 1-2 Tablespoons olive oil or avocado oil

Instructions

  • Combine all ingredients into a large bowl with a wooden spoon or hand until there are no dry spots. The dough will be a shaggy, sticky dough.
  • Coat the bowl with olive oil and toss the dough in it, coating on all sides. Cover with plastic wrap tightly and set in a warm area to double in size, about 1-2 hours.
  • Once the dough has doubled in size, preheat the oven to 450F. Add the Dutch oven with lid ajar, to the oven to warm for about 30 minutes.
  • Lay a piece of oven safe parchment paper down and lightly flour. Dump the dough onto the floured parchment paper and lightly shape into a circle loaf.
  • Once the Dutch oven is ready, remove from the oven using pot holders. Transfer the parchment paper with the dough, into the warm Dutch oven. Use a sharp knife or clean razor blade to make a 2-inch deep cut into the top of the dough. This will help it rise during baking and create beautiful craters.
  • Cover with the hot lid and return the Dutch oven to the oven. Bake at 450F for 40-45 minutes. Remove the lid and allow to bake another 10-15 minutes until golden brown.
  • Again, using pot holders, lift the dough using the parchment paper, out of the Dutch oven and set on a cooling rack for about 15 minutes before slicing.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 169kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 295mg | Potassium: 66mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 8mg | Iron: 2mg

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Recipe Rating




14 Comments

  1. Sandra Bylsma says:

    Have you tried this recipe with GF One to One flour? I love using my cast iron and this would be an awesome sitting to my recipes. Thank you!

    1. I have not tried it with the 1:1 flour. If you try it before I do, let me know how it goes!

  2. 5 stars
    This was so easy to make. Everyones mouth was watering as it cooked. Looks and smells delicious. Serving it with homemade potato soup on a windy Wednesday.

  3. 5 stars
    Absolutely the best recipe I tried several but this one is the one. Have you tried add flavor? I am wondering if I could add olive and Parmesan cheese without change the quality of the bread.

    1. I haven’t tried it, but it sounds to me like you would like focaccia! I do have a recipe for that on the blog. It’s a bit more forgiving than a whole dutch oven loaf. I will attempt this though and get back to you in the next few days!

  4. Ok this seems like a basic question, but this is my first time making bread. Does the olive oil go into the dough, or is the amount listed just what you use to coat the dough while it rises? The recipe says to combine all ingredients but I’m just not sure with that one.

    1. Good catch Bethany! While it would not hurt your bread to include the oil, you’re correct in that the oil mentioned is for the bowl and outside of the dough so that it doesn’t dry out or stick as it does the initial rise.

  5. Amy J Schultz says:

    5 stars
    I’ve been looking for a fool proof bread recipe and this is the one! My husband and son would like whole wheat though. Do you have any advice to modify this? I know it needs more moisture (or less flour). Thank you!

    1. Thank you Amy! I’ll get a whole wheat one tested and together for you and then email you when it’s up! I’ll do it this week šŸ™‚

  6. Maureen Hosford says:

    Katie, I have two questions. In a previous post you were going to try and make the bread with whole wheat flour and see if any adjustments were needed. If you did this I would love to know your results/adjustments. Also, I’ve been studying different methods of Dutch Oven Bread. I came across one recipe where you could leaved the dough covered in a bowl with saran wrap and a towel over night and then shape it the same way you shaped your bread. Do you know if your dough would be okay for overnight? Thanks for all you do and share! Maureen

    1. I haven’t had a chance to try the whole wheat yet but I’ll put that on my list for after Easter. I would not leave dough out all night. Yeast tends to start dieing after 12 hours. And leaving it to ferment on the counter all night will have you with a mess on your hands. It will over proof. Just not good all around. You can do a slow ferment in the refrigerator. The yeast will continue to work, but slower. Just do not exceed 12 hours if possible. Check out my recipe on cinnamon rolls or sticky buns for more of the science behind this. I go into depth on those posts. šŸ™‚

  7. This recipe is wonderful! I would like to make this into a loaf too. Can you recommend a cast iron bread loaf with a lid that works with this recipe?

  8. Kristen B says:

    5 stars
    I’ve been making dutch oven bread for a few years with varying results, and this is my favorite recipe by far! The loaf comes out nice and crispy on the outside, and soft on the inside. The proportions of ingredients worked out perfectly, the 4 cups of flour vs. 3 in other recipes really made a difference. I’m not an expert bread maker, and love the ease of the recipe and how well it turned out.