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My favourite easy to make bread recipes which are adapted from...

No Knead Dutch Oven Crusty Bread

and No Knead Crusty Ciabatta Bread

Serves 6-8

Mixing time 5 minutes, resting time 12-18 hours.
  • Cooking time 30 plus 15 minutes at 220C or 450FC for pot cooking.
  • 25-30 minutes for free-form loaf at 220C or 450FC .

No Knead Dutch Oven Crusty Bread or Free-Form Loaf - no kneading required, 4 simple ingredients, baked in a Dutch Oven or free formed in a loaf! The result is simple perfection, hands down the best bread you'll ever eat!

Now let me tell you about the bread a bit. It is the best bread I have ever made. No lie! And Iíve made a few breads in my day. It is crusty, it is crunchy and it is flavorful. You know those great Italian loaves of bread with a nice crust to them that you buy from the local Italian bakery, itís like that, but better because you made it yourself.

Making this could not get any easier. Simply mix the flour, salt and yeast together and then add the water to it. Mix it using a wooden spoon or spatula until itís all incorporated, no need to over mix, it will look like a sticky mess. Cover up the bowl, let it rest outside on the counter for 12 to 18 hours.


Ingredients: (add in this order)

  • 3 cups plain flour(OO flour-bread/pasta flour)
  • 1/2 cups plain wholemeal flour
  • 1 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 3/4 cups water room temperature

  1. In a big bowl mix the flour, salt and yeast together with a spatula or wooden spoon. Pour water into the bowl. Mix it until well incorporated.(If the dough mixture is too dry, add a bit more water, the dough should be a sticky, shaggy, doughy mess..)
  2. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit on your counter for 12 to 18 hours (can leave up to 24 hours).

It should look like this after mixing

After 12-18 hours ir will look like this.

If cooking in a Dutch Oven
  • After the 12-18 hours, usinga soft spatula mix the dough lightly until deflated then cover again with plastic wrap and leave for another hour or two.
  • An hour before baking preheat oven to 220C or 450FC. Add your cast iron pot to the oven as it's heating and heat it for an hour.
  • Remove the pot from the oven and remove the lid from it. If you want to make sure your bread doesn't stick to the pot you can sprinkle some flour or cornmeal on the bottom of the pot.(or some glad Bake folded to fit) but it is not really necssary!
  • Flour your hands really well and also sprinkle a bit of flour over the dough. With your floured hands gently remove the dough from the bowl and roughly shape it into a ball... do not overwork it at this stage. Take the ball of dough and drop it into the pot. ( I snip the top in two places with kitchen scissors to make crunchy points....again not really necessary. ) Cover the pot with the lid and place it back in the oven.
  • Bake for 30 minutes with the lid on, after which remove the lid and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown.
  • Remove the bread from the pot, it should fall out easily. Let cool completely before slicing into it and serving. (Crust will soften as it cools)
  • Before serving place in a 180C or 385F oven for 5 minutes to re-crisp the crust!

Free-form Loaf

If making a free-form loaf Follow steps 1 and 2 above, then ....
  • After the 12-18 hours, using a soft spatula mix the dough lightly until deflated then drop mixture onto well floured baking paper placed on a cookie sheet.
  • Gently mold it into a long oval or rectangle shape.

It should look like this.
  • Leave for one to two hours out of any draughts.
  • Heat your oven to 220C or 450F degrees (hot), and when it has reached the desired temperature spary the sides of the oven with water or add a cup of water to a dish under the bread, then when the oven returns to 220C or 450F degrees bake for 25-30 minutes. (I turn the loaf over for the last 5 minutes) and allow to cool. (Crust will soften as it cools)
  • Before serving place in a 180C or 385F oven for 5 minutes to re-crisp the crust!
Recipe Notes
  • Always keep you yeast in a fridge if in sachets, or the freezer if in larger packages
  • I used a small 3.5 qt Dutch oven. A small Dutch oven is better here so that the bread rises upwards, whereas if you were to use a big Dutch oven the bread would spread out over the entire surface of the pot.
  • You can omit the second rise if in a hurry but the bread will be heavier and not so light.

  • NB: You can add other ingredients to the flour before adding the water, such as cheese, olives or herbs, thatís what Iím going to try next.... or try adding raisins and dried fruit plus some cinnamon and 1 tespoon sugar to make a fruit loaf.
Watch a video on the Dutch Oven method HERE

Watch a Video on the Free-form Loaf method on this page HERE


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