18 Hour Crusty "Slow Bread" Cooked in a Dutch Oven

18 Hour Crusty "Slow Bread" Cooked in a Dutch Oven
Recipe type: Bread
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 loaf
This is the antithesis of a "quick bread" taking 18 hours or so to make, but with very little effort and the wait is worth it. The bread comes out crusty with a chewy interior and a slight sourdough flavor. Mix up this no-knead dough after dinner and bake it for breakfast or start it at bedtime and bake it for lunch or dinner. This is a simple, rustic bread with a hard crunchy crust that is perfect for sandwiches or dunking into soups and stews.
  • 4 cups unbleached AP flour
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt or iodized salt
  • ½ teaspoon active or instant rise yeast
  • 2 cups water
  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Add water and mix with a wooden spoon until combined into a rough stiff dough. Get all the flour combined but don't worry about how bad it looks.
  2. Cover bowl with plastic wrap (I like Press-n-Seal) and set aside in a warm place for 12-18 hours. Overnight works great.
  3. Set oven temperature to 450 degrees. While still cool, place a cast iron pot with a lid in the oven and heat the oven and pot/lid for 30 minutes.
  4. While oven and pot are heating, pour dough onto a heavily floured surface, punch down with fingertips, and shape into a ball. Roll ball loosely between well-floured hands to smooth the surface of the dough ball.
  5. Cover with flour-powdered plastic wrap and leave on countertop while oven heats.
  6. Remove hot dutch oven from the oven and drop in the dough. Replace lid and return to oven for 30 minutes.
  7. After 30 minutes remove the lid and bake an additional 15 minutes.
  8. Remove bread from oven and place on a cooling rack to cool.


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