DIY Artisan Bread - Without a Dutch Oven

Man, oh, man.  

I tried this recipe, then I made five loaves of bread in four days.  

I couldn't stop!  It's so delicious, and a lot easier than the final product would make you think.

Artisan Loaf, adapted from here and here (this is the original dutch-oven loaf, I believe)

3 c. unbleached, all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. yeast
1 1/2 c. water

In a large bowl, stir together flour, salt, and yeast.  Pour in water and stir until combined.  Dough will be "shaggy" (I love that description.  Once you do it, you'll see what I mean).  Cover with an inverted plate or plastic wrap and set it aside in a warm place to rise for 12-18 hours.  This is so important to get the best flavor.  Longer rise time = more sourdough-y taste.
I preheat the oven, then turn it off before putting in the dough.
Perfect place to stay undisturbed!
The dough gets bubbly!  This is exactly what you want.
And now, an aside.  Pretend that we're talking and I just remembered something I wanted to tell you in the middle of an otherwise normal stream of thought.  I've had my eye on loaves of bread like this for a while.  I also thought that I would have to purchase an enamel-coated cast iron dutch oven in order to do it.  I'm all about nice kitchenware, but hadn't quite figured out how I could really justify spending $250 for the dutch oven I wanted.  I knew that baking this bread in a pot with a lid is the key to the crusty crust and chewy crumb, but I thought I had limited options.  

But then I got to discuss the art of artisanbreadmaking with Jessica over at Fifteen Evergreen.  She said it could be baked in anything ovenproof, as long as it has a lid!  I made two loaves the very next day.

I have a 2.5 quart round Corningware dish with a lid - that's my first choice for baking this bread until I find a Le Creuset at Goodwill for $10.00.  (By the way, if YOU find one at Goodwill before I do, please think of me.  I'll pay you back!)

I said I made two loaves at once.  I used the Corningware dish for one loaf ... and this for the other:

Yes!  A loaf pan inverted onto an identical one.  
Now you know that you can make awesome, delicious, artisan bread without a dutch oven.  You just need something ovenproof with an also-ovenproof lid.  Or, you can always borrow Jessica's dutch oven ... 

Now, I'm going to go back to the recipe.  Remember, dough rises for 12-18 hours, etc.  

When you are ready to bake, preheat oven to 450.  Put your baking dish (dutch oven or otherwise) in the oven with the lid for 30 minutes.  

Meanwhile, scrape your dough out of the bowl onto a heavily floured surface.  Fold it over on itself a few times.  Cover and let rest until the 30 minutes of dish-heating is done.

After 30 minutes, remove the dish and lid from the oven.  Dump in the bread dough (I prefer seam-side down, but you can do whatever) and replace the lid.  Bake for 30 minutes, then remove the lid and bake for another 15-30 minutes or until loaf is brown and done.

Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.See, I told you it was easy!

homemade artisan loaf of bread!  
My last set of posts were about making dough ... seems only fitting to follow up with making this kind of dough!


  1. You keep saying you need a Le Cruset, but my enamel-coated cast iron Dutch oven's pretty perfect, and I think my Mom got it at Sam's club for somewhere between $50-100. I'm using it tonight to make some risotto. :)

  2. Lovely! You should try artisan bread in five in your "dutch oven" too. The dough can stay in the fridge for up to two weeks developing flavor all the while.


    how to bake in a dutch oven:

  3. Andrea - Le Creuset is my dream-beyond-a-dream ... really, I'm looking at a more economical one (like the link you sent, or the Ikea one for around $50), but there's always hope that I'll find my dream dutch oven for 75% off ... or better yet, at a yard sale for $5. I'm dreaming big :)

    Val - I'll try it!

  4. We paid $15 at BigLots for a dutch oven like you're describing. Worked great thanks Katherine!