Our favorite recipe for easy, homemade, rustic style bread made right in your dutch oven!
Are you interested in learning to make your own homemade bread? This is the perfect recipe to get you started. Its so easy! There is no kneading required, all you need is a little preparation and time.
One of my favorite things to do in the kitchen, is make things that I wouldn’t normally make. I would ideally like to get rid of all (mostly all) of the packaged foods that we buy, and replace them with all of the homemade goodness I can.
What would that look like? Let’s dream a little… I’d have our pantry full to the brim with home grown and home canned goodies like Italian style stewed tomatoes, canned green beans, preserves and jelly’s, and so much more.
Our freezer(s) would be packed with meat that we raised and butchered ourselves, and our fridge would house all of my homemade condiments, raw milk and cream, homemade cheese, fruit from the garden, etc. And finally, I would always have a bowl of this homemade, rustic, bread dough rising on the counter to slide into the oven that evening for dinner.
I am pretty far away from that goal, but girl can dream right?! I’m a big dreamer and idealistic in a lot of ways… I romance the thoughts of pretty fields and white picket fences and beautiful Jersey cows waiting to be milked. I just think life was much simpler when homemade bread was commonplace rather than a rare occurrence.
Okay, enough dreaming, back to the delicious homemade bread! As said before, this bread is SO easy! There is no kneading required. All you do is toss all of your ingredients together in a bowl, give it a good mix, lay your favorite tea towel on top, and let it sit until its ready to bake!
One of the biggest things you want to remember is to plan ahead. This bread needs to rise for a minimum of 12 hours, so just be sure to get it all mixed and ready to sit at least 12-24 hours before you are planning on baking it.
I love to bake this rustic bread in my dutch oven. If you don’t have a dutch oven, that’s fine! Just make sure you have a pot or a pan large enough to house the bread, something that’s oven safe, and that has a lid!
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This is a basic recipe but don’t be afraid to get creative with it! My husband has been asking me to make a few loaves with roasted garlic cloves mixed in. Its on my to-do list;) Adding in garlic salt instead of or in addition to regular salt would be delicious as well.
Finally and arguably most importantly, this bread is best served right out of the oven, sliced, and slathered in a generous amount of grass-fed butter.. and maybe a squeeze of honey if you’re feelin’ it.
Read along to get the recipe!
Homemade Rustic Bread Recipe
6 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
3 cups water
1 tsp yeast
3 teaspoons salt
Combine flour, yeast, and salt in a large bowl. Add water and stir to combine. Use hands to mix until all flour is absorbed and mixture resembles a rough dough. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rise four 12-18 hours. I have let mine rise 24 hours before; it just gives it a stronger, more yeasty flavor. I would not recommend letting it sit any longer than that though.
When you are ready to bake, place Dutch oven with lid into oven and preheat to 450 degrees. Lay out floured parchment paper or baking sheet, and separate dough into two separate balls before placing on floured surface. It will be very sticky!
Sprinkle with more flour and cover with plastic wrap until oven is preheated, or about 30 minutes. Remove Dutch oven and gently place one of the halves of dough inside. Cover with the lid and bake 30 minutes. Remove lid and bake an additional 5-10 minutes until outside is golden brown.
Do the same with the remaining dough.
Serve warm with a generous amount of butter, and local honey or homemade jelly! This is our favorite butter, especially with bread.
Note: if using parchment paper you can use the paper to pick up the dough and transfer it directly into your pot, baking it with the paper. It won’t make a difference in the bread and it will keep your hands from getting sticky. Sometimes I use it and sometimes I don’t!
Store your homemade bread uncovered at room temperature. I always freeze one half and use the other half right away. To freeze, cover bread completely in plastic wrap and then place in a well-sealed bag before placing in the freezer. After your fresh bread has been sliced store it in a paper bag.
It makes great toast, grilled cheese sandwiches, french toast, etc. I like it best toasted or warm, so if I ever freeze a loaf I’ll thaw it and then I’ll stick it in the oven for a few minutes to warm it up before serving.
Without any preservatives, this bread goes bad much quicker than other bread will. If it gets stale, use the crusty pieces to make bread crumbs, croutons, etc.!
Do you guys have any favorite bread recipes? Let us all know in the comments below!
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