Break bread with a mouthful of this tasty recipe from Big Sky, Little Kitchen
Rising to the occasion during a Montana winter sometimes means kneeling on the floor before the oven and watching a soft cloud of dough blister into a flaky, golden brown dome of perfection. There’s just something about fresh baked bread that will always be magical to me, especially following an invigorating ski through the woods.
Baking bread isn’t as intimidating as it sounds. It’s putting together a few ingredients and letting some yeast work its magic. Then, voilà—a beautiful, fragrant, delicious loaf.
The fragrance that wafts through my little kitchen will always remind me of home. Growing up, my mom seemed to constantly be baking bread. I fondly remember moments when she’d let us know the bread was done, still warm, and offer us a thick slab, topped with rich melted butter and a dollop of honey.
I like to call this the “Homemade Bread for Really Busy People” recipe, but its more formal title is Easy Rustic Dutch Oven No-Knead Crusty Bread. Yes, it’s a mouthful, but a good one. It’s an easy, quick recipe for those who don’t have extra time on their hands, or for anyone who doesn’t want to spend a lot of time mussing in the kitchen. So go ahead, enjoy! Let your guests think you toiled over this bread.
Easy Rustic Dutch Oven No-Knead Crusty Bread
3 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
1 3/4 teaspoons Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon instant or rapid-rise yeast
1 1/2 cups water
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and yeast. Add water to the dry ingredients and mix with a spatula until a shaggy consistency forms and any dry flour is no longer visible. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or with a reusable silicone cover and set aside for 12 to 18 hours at room temperature. Overnight on a countertop is perfect. When ready to bake, preheat your oven to 450 degrees. When preheated, place a cast iron pot with a lid in the oven and heat the pot and lid for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, pour the dough onto a heavily floured surface and gently shape into a ball by tucking edges of the dough under and toward the center. You can either do this with your fingers or a spatula. Transfer the dough to some parchment paper. Do not adjust the dough on the parchment after placing it, so as not to inadvertently incorporate parchment into the bottom of the loaf. Cover dough with plastic wrap and let sit while the pot and lid are heating. Remove hot pot and lid from the oven and drop in the dough and parchment. The parchment will get a bit brown and fragile; that’s okay! Cover and return to oven for 30 minutes. After, remove the lid and bake an additional 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the bread from the oven and place on a cooling rack to cool. Then devour!