Mothers work too hard. We do. It’s no wonder we must find shortcuts in the kitchen. Recently, I found a shortcut for making my own bread and thought I would share it with you. You may know about this already. But just in case you don’t, here it is: dutch oven bread. No kneading, no kidding.
If you think you don’t have energy to make your own bread, think again. This bread is so easy, you could have your five-year-old make it. I followed the New York Times no-knead bread recipe and changed it a bit. Feel free to adapt it to your own likes and dislikes.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t like sweet bread. I grew up in Eastern Europe, where bread is savory and crusty and chewy and delicious and not spongy and sweet. When I came to the US, bread is what I missed the most.
Bread machines come in handy and I do have one, which I use about once a month or so. But isn’t it nice you could make bread without a machine?
As you can tell, I am pretty excited about this bread I can make in the iron cast dutch oven with four ingredients and no kneading.
3 cups flour (all-purpose or bread flour)
1 t salt (or more, if you like)
1 t yeast (dry, active)
1 1/4 c warm water
Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl, or let your five-year-old do it. Then, pour the water in and mix it by hand (it will be messy and sticky, but fun) or use a wooden spoon. Don’t mix too much, just until you get a soft dough which pulls from the sides of the bowl. If it’s too dry, add a bit more water.
Cover with plastic wrap and let it sit overnight (12-18 hours is fine) at room temperature. Flexibility, friends! Isn’t that nice in a recipe?
When ready to go to the next step… on a floured surface, let the dough be coated with flour or wheat bran. Your hands should be floured as you handle it. Fold it over on itself once or twice. Shape it into a round and put it on parchment/wax paper. Let it sit for another 30 minutes, while you pre-heat the oven to 450F.
Put your dutch oven in the oven to heat, too. Be careful when you handle it, as everything will be hot: the lid, the oven, and the dutch oven.
Pop the dough with the parchment paper into the dutch oven and bake for 45 min with a lid on and 15 more minutes without the lid.
The best part? My iron cast dutch oven worked hard for me, but it doesn’t even need cleaning. The wax paper took care of everything. I just have the counter and the bowl/spoon to clean up. How’s that for a shortcut?
Let the bread cool for at least 10 minutes before you cut it. Enjoy moderately!