The Food Zone – No Knead Dutch Oven Bread
No Knead Dutch Oven Bread
Please note the title says no “kneading,” not no “needing.” And that’s because you will be needing this simple yet incredibly tasty bread recipe.
There is one major downside. By not kneading, you need to let it rest for 12 to 18 hours. In other words, plan ahead and just make it the night before.
The upside? Four simple ingredients and probably some of the best bread you will ever taste. There’s some science involved, which I’m really not in the mood to explain mainly because I don’t understand it myself. But I will say it involves the way the dutch oven steams the bread.
Now there are, as my grandmother used to say, about a gazillion recipes out there. Here’s what Youngest SON of Thunder and I are currently playing with:
3 cups of all-purpose flour
1 and ¾ tsps of salt
½ tsp of active dry yeast
1 and ½ cups of room temperature water.
I told you, four simple ingredients.
If you’ve been following this column, you know we have lots of cast iron cookware. All from Lodge and American made thank you very much. We first made this in a 5-quart pot, but have gone down to a 4-quart because the bread gets a little rounder and taller and not spread out as much.
So, take a big bowl and mix the flour, salt and yeast together. Next, pour in the water and mix it all up with, if you are like us, a big wooden spoon. It will be a little sticky, but that’s okay. Try to get it into a nice round formation and then cover it with plastic wrap. Let sit for 12 to 18 hours.
When you are ready, preheat your oven to 450 degrees. And put that dutch oven (with the lid on) in there at the same time. Again, it’s science and I don’t understand it but you want that dutch oven hot.
You will notice your flour mixture has probably tripled in size. Just sprinkle a little flour on your hands and mold that mixture into a ball.
Before you take out the dutch oven that’s been sitting in a 450-degree oven, grab some oven mitts or something similar. Just trust us on this one. That dutch oven will be scorching. Sprinkle a little dash of flour into the bottom of the dutch oven. Place the flour ball right in the middle. Again, please remember the dutch oven is freaking hot so watch the sides.
Put the lid on the dutch oven, put said dutch oven back in the regular oven and cook for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and let it cook for another 15 minutes. Don’t forget the oven mitts – and remove the dutch oven from the regular oven. You can just flip the dutch oven over and the bread, which is now golden brown and in – hopefully – a nice ball shape, will just fall out.
Let it rest a few minutes and then slice it up.
You can thank me later
(John A. Winters is president of Winters Media & Publishing, Inc., which publishes The Paper. You can usually find him, his wife the Little Black Dress and their three boys known as the SONS of Thunder somewhere near the kitchen or a fire pit.)