18 Hour Crusty "Slow Bread" Cooked in a Dutch Oven
Recipe type: Bread
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
- 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.
- Cover bowl with plastic wrap (I like Press-n-Seal) and set aside in a warm place for 12-18 hours. Overnight works great.
- 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.
- 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.
- Cover with flour-powdered plastic wrap and leave on countertop while oven heats.
- Remove hot dutch oven from the oven and drop in the dough. Replace lid and return to oven for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes remove the lid and bake an additional 15 minutes.
- Remove bread from oven and place on a cooling rack to cool.