Crusty Bread

Crusty Bread Easy Overnight No Knead

Here’s a bread, Crusty Bread Easy Overnight, done in its simplest form. Sometimes you’ll see it called Le Creuset Bread, Pot Bread, Artisan Bread, Overnight Bread or No Knead Bread. They are all names for this super easy, quick to mix, no-knead bread that slowly rises overnight and gets popped in the oven the next day.

Crusty Bread Easy Overnight No Knead

Crusty Bread Easy Overnight No Knead


 

Crusty Bread, Easy Overnight is kind of a miracle, one of the most basic breads you could ever make with only four ingredients, but you’d never guess it from the taste which is divine and the texture, which is amazing. There’s that crust for one, and then the holey, kind of chewy dense bread itself.

About Crusty Bread Easy Overnight:

I just gotta mention that crust a little more. I mean that’s why I call this bread crusty! You all know or maybe you were one of those kids that took the crust of the bread? Not this bread. I think it’s the best part. I’ve had people ask for more bread, only to see them pick off the crust and eat it, leaving the bread on the plate!

And ya know you’re ALWAYS supposed to wait for bread to cool, right? We have never had the willpower. We’re cutting it up and digging in as soon as we can safely do so. If I want to serve this for dinner, I have to make two because it never lasts. And there’s no sense in hiding it because I’m part of the problem the smell of freshly made bread wafting through your kitchen is a dead giveaway!

I love that this bread is rustic and each loaf seems to have its own personality – it’s so fun to open that pot and see what you’ve got! Sometimes I get a gorgeous perfect round and I have a few hints, below, that help ensure that. Sometimes it’s a little more freeform. Notice in the photos I show a variety of loaves I’ve baked so you can see for yourself. You can also see all the loaves everyone shared on Pinterest. Thanks all so much for sharing & helping to make this post a success! And thank you everyone for your comments – they help me fine-tune these instructions!

 

Crusty Bread

Crusty Bread

Why I Like Making This Bread So Much:

This is one of my favorite kinds of recipes, low effort, and high payoff. Flour, Salt, Yeast, Water, the recipe couldn’t be easier or more “hands-off.”

It literally takes 5 minutes to mix and then has an admittedly long overnight wait time for the yeast to work its magic. When you’re ready to bake, take 2 minutes to shape the bread on floured parchment and let it rise as the Dutch oven preheats, then give the dough a couple of slashes. Pick up the parchment, dough and all, place it in the hot Dutch oven, toss in 2 tablespoons of water and add the lid. Bake 30 minutes then remove the lid and bake another 10 to 15.

I’m a food blogger. I made my first bread around age 12. And I fell in love with the magic and the taste. Over the years, I’ve made more complex, perfect and/or showy bread. I’ve gone through stages when I’ve fermented my own wild yeast for sourdough, fooled around with bigas, French ferments, misting, cooking stones & bricks, blah blah blah, but I don’t really do that any longer – too much babysitting, too much attention and too much time!

This Crusty Bread, I make all the time because it’s delish AND it’s SO do-able.

 

Crusty Bread Easy Overnight No Knead

Crusty Bread Easy Overnight No Knead

Just Go For This Bread:

This is a bread that doesn’t need to be and shouldn’t be “over thought.” Whether you’ve never made any bread or are an experienced baker it’s simplicity is refreshing, it’s fun and it’s so low effort! Running pennies to make with so little effort (though admittedly there is that long rise) it’s the kind of recipe you can just plunge into and go for!

If you’ve never made bread before, I get that bit of anxiety that can come about when thinking about using yeast. Put your fears aside because there’s really no going wrong. You might want to make it as is the first time, but I’m betting you’re going to be using it as a jumping-off point and turning out loaves with all kinds of add-ins and your own special touches before you know it.

If you should run into any issues, comment below and we’ll run through what happened and come up with a fix…because it’s likely you’re going to have more yeast and flour to use! In the meantime, Happy Baking & Happy Bread Breaking!

Q & A and the Whys Behind the Recipe:

I have updated this section on 4/2020. First of all, for those prone to overthink, and I’m one of them, here’s more information and a little hand-holding because sometimes it’s nice to know why. 🙂 Don’t think for a minute that all the information below means this bread is fussy because it’s not!

It’s actually super simple, but these hints will keep you from going astray and a few will give you a slight edge in getting a beautiful, rounded bread.

 

If you’re bold, just skip all this and just mix it up and go for it!! I did and have had 10 years of wonderful bread!!!

  • Flour Type: I call for unbleached flour because that’s the standard. Bleached flour is fine, too. I have seen people make this bread with all kinds of flour and combinations and it always seems to be a success, but I personally don’t know anyone who has used gluten-free flour. Using flours other than white can make a heavier, denser bread, and some bakers, when using different flours, like to add Vital Wheat Gluten. It will make bread made with heavier and/or whole grains fluffier. The rule of thumb is 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons of gluten to 3 cups whole wheat flour but do check your package.
  • Flour Amount: This easy recipe is measured by volume, not weight. Measure by stirring flour to lighten, then scoop lightly with measuring cup. Do not compact flour at the final sweep. If necessary, tilt the bag or canister and let the flour flow over the top of the cup then level off. Measuring this way will give a cup of flour slightly heavier than the spooning method, probably around 4 3/4 ounces, more or less. It is more important that the dough be a shaggy mass than to adhere to a particular measurement but the dough is very forgiving and there is a range of moisture to flour that works well.
  • Salt: Salt serves two purposes. It flavors the bread and slightly retards the yeast and helps to give a predictable rise. Vary the salt and you vary the recipe. Plain old table salt is used in mine, but if you use another, check this conversion chart from Morton’s or consult the label or brand of salt you are using.
  • Yeast: My preferred is Instant yeast. I’ve also used Rapid Rise and Bread Machine yeast and even Active Dry yeast. The dough is so wet it the active dry yeast doesn’t seem to need to be “proofed” (Mixed ahead of time with proper temperature water) but you could if you wish.
  • Water: Plain tap water is fine for this bread. A purist may want to use distilled but I never have. The temperature should be neither hot or cold but hold your wrist under the stream of water and the water should feel barely warm. Technically you’re looking for a temperature of about 105 to 110 degrees F. Sometimes warmer water is used to speed the rising of instant yeast to compensate for the room temperature flour but in this case, a long, slow rise is wanted. I have never once checked with a thermometer.
  • The Bowl: It’s best to use a bowl that is not too wide and shallow if you have a choice, although any bowl will work. A bowl just a little larger than your ball is ideal.
  • Covering the Dough: After the dough is mixed, cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a tight lid. The dough will always rise better if it does not become dry at the top or form a crust. Do not use a towel.
  • Overnight Rising Temperature: Yeast works best at temperatures between 70°F and 80°F and an ideal proofing temperature is closer to 78 degrees F. If your house is cool, place the bowl somewhere warmer, like the top of a fridge or in a warm (but turned off!) oven. If you put the dough on any kind of heater to rise, insulate the bottom of the bowl with a few fluffy towels. If your house is very warm, the dough may rise more quickly than expected.
  • Overnight Rising Time: Part of the reason the recipe takes a long overnight rise is that it uses very little yeast to start with. The yeast multiplies slowly and that helps the flavor develop without multiple risings like some breads. It also makes this bread incredibly cheap to make!
  • Can it Rise for Too Long: Yes it can. If the level of dough begins to drop in the bowl or collapse, it may be that you left it too long. If you catch it before the yeast is played out and add a little sugar (I would guess a 1/2 a teaspoon) you might be able to encourage any remaining yeast to multiply. If the dough is just a wet pool, add in more flour. You could also add 1 1/2 cups more water and turn it into a sourdough starter. There are other things to do with failed dough, although all the years I’ve made this, mine has never failed.

A Few Tips & Tricks When Ready To Bake:

Over the years I’ve come up with some little tricks to the basic recipe to get just a little bit better results. Here’s how to get the bread into the Dutch oven and finish it.

  • Use Parchment: While the bread can be made without parchment, and I’ve done it plenty of times without, parchment allows for the best rise because the dough can be gently transferred right on top of the parchment and you won’t be risking any deflation like you might if you just pick up the dough ball and drop it in. The parchment also makes it incredibly easy to safely add the bread to the screaming hot pot and to remove it when finished. Use enough so the parchment reaches above the dough so it can be used as “handles.”
  • About the Parchment: Some better parchments are thick and heavy and don’t conform well to the Dutch oven as you place it with the bread on it into the Dutch oven. That can cause a little deformity in your bread. Before you start the recipe, you can try putting the parchment in the cold Dutch oven and press it down and kind of shape it. Then take it out and form your dough on it.
  • Transfer Dough to Parchment: Be very gentle and nudge with a spatula, trying not to deflate the dough as you move the dough out of the bowl it has risen in. Save the plastic wrap to cover the dough later.
  • Shaping the Dough: A slight shaping will help the loaf be rounder. Sprinkle three to four tablespoons on the parchment (use less if the dough seems dry, a little more if it seems wet) and a little on top of the bread and on your hands. Cup the dough by using your hands. Put your hands on either side of the dough ball as if you are going to pick it up, pinkies and the edge of your palm down, but instead of picking it up, push in at the bottom of the dough, where the dough meets the parchment, slightly turning as you go. That turning makes the dough a bit tauter (it will still be very soft) and helps it keep a nice round shape with an interesting crust. In only a few turns your dough will turn into a ball. It might relax a bit on its own. Don’t worry about it. And don’t go overboard on the turning or you’ll have a weird spiral on the bottom.
  • Amount of Flour to Add: If your dough is very wet and sticky when you turn it out, be more generous with the flour you add. Trust that the dough will tell you how much flour it needs; don’t stir or force flour in. It will pick up the right amount as you work with it, pushing and turning it.
  • The Dough Texture: Even when your dough forms a ball, it will be very soft and still a little on the wet/moist side, not springy like a standard bread dough (if you’ve made regular dough before) and that is why you get a great oven spring (more on that later) and hopefully lots of holes in your finished bread. At the same time, although the ball might slump a little, it shouldn’t be so soft it just collapses!
  • Remove Excess Flour and Cover: Once shaped, you should be able to shake off any excess flour. If you can lift the dough a little, shake any that’s under it then reshape the dough if needed. It’s not absolutely necessary to remove excess flour but it helps keep the bottom on the dough from becoming too tough. Cover lightly with plastic wrap so the dough can release any gasses and can expand.
  • Rising After Shaping: If your kitchen is on the colder side you will need to let your dough sit on the counter more than the preheat time of the Dutch oven. To speed things up put your parchment on a sheet pan or plate and place it on top of your oven as it preheats, being careful to not create a hazard with the parchment and don’t place the bread on an area of the stovetop that is too hot. Know your stove and keep the dough well away from the warming burners and/or the back of the stove where there is usually more heat. Know and monitor the situation on your stovetop if you are letting your dough rise there.
  • Doubling: Many recipes call for allowing the dough to double before baking. This has great “oven spring” and literally springs up in the first few minutes of cooking so a full rise isn’t necessary but do let it rise enough. Test it by giving a discrete and gentle little poke on the side. The dent should slowly spring back about halfway when ready. If it quickly springs all the back, let it rise a little more. If it stays completely, it’s really risen a little too much. Get it in the oven immediately! When the dough is placed on my stovetop as the oven preheats it is usually ready in about 25 to 30 minutes.
  • Setting Oven Rack: Preset your rack. You’ll want the highest rack that allows you to easily reach in and get the lid and the Dutch oven. Make sure you have a little extra room – the preheat requires the lid to be slightly ajar and an accident could happen if the clearance is difficult. You don’t want to be too close to the bottom of the oven, though.
  • Preheating the Dutch Oven: The pot really needs about 10 minutes after it reaches 450 degrees F. It can stay in a little longer if needed, but try to time it so the Dutch oven is hot as the dough is ready. My gas oven takes 10 minutes to get to 450 degrees F. Electric ovens will cycle up and down in heat so you may want to go for the whole 30 minutes.
  • Slash the Dough: Giving the dough a couple of slashes on top helps the rise. Don’t go too deep or you’ll get free form ears like the pic towards the top of the page. It was still delish, though. Shoot for a 1/4 of an inch with a very sharp knife or razor blade. It sometimes takes a time or two of baking bread to get a real feel for slashing.
  • Work Quickly & Safely: Once the screaming hot Dutch oven is ready, make sure to have two clear burners, the safest place to put the Dutch oven and lid. Quickly but gently place in the parchment (you can give the Dutch oven a shake if the dough is lopsided and it might straighten out) and quickly toss in the pre-measured water and lid again.
  • Toss Water on the Dough: The dough is wet and this is not entirely necessary, but a little extra water helps with that spring and helps form the gorgeous crust. Aim to toss so a bit (measure the 2 tablespoons) hits the bread and some goes down the side (not the parchment) for steam. Do that really quickly in one shot and immediately add the lid. Getting that lid on right away after the water is tossed on is more important than anything else. Don’t overthink, toss it in and lid immediately.
  • Bake: Bake the first 30 minutes, or until the top is lightly browned, with the lid on, then remove the lid and allow to finish browning. Err on the side of darker. Remove immediately from the pot and parchment when done. Check for doneness by taking a peek at the bottom and giving the bread a thump. It should sound hollow. Allow to cool on a rack. If possible.
  • Cut: Use a serrated knife if possible. The crust can be prone to being tough on the bottom. Not cooking too close to the bottom and getting rid of that excess flour helps that from happening but you may have to turn the bread and power through that bottom crust.
  • Store: If stored in plastic, the crust will soften. Professionals use special materials but a tightly closed paper bag will help it keep overnight at least. This is at it’s best the first day and makes great toast after!

Special Equipment for Making your Crusty Bread Easy Overnight:

You are going to need An enameled cast-iron Dutch oven, regular cast-iron Dutch oven or any pot/pan with a lid that will withstand this very high oven temperature for the amount of time. If you improvise, let me know what works for you!

  • If you know the make of your Dutch oven, check the manufacturer’s site (if you no longer have the booklet) to see if your pot will be okay. Most are and I’ve used several brands.
  • If the problem is the plastic knob, remove it and cover the hole with a bit of dough to seal it. Don’t push it in where it could get caught in the threads, just press the dough lightly on top. Just don’t forget to screw the knob back on after everything is washed; it would be a shame to misplace it!
  • An old-fashioned speckled casserole does work but gives just a bit of a strange bottom due to the indentations and the loaf usually is a little more free form than round.
  • I haven’t tried this, but if your baking stone will take the temperature and length of time (and it should) it could be used with a stainless steel bowl as a lid – in this case, don’t toss the water on, but do mist, then pop the bowl over. Be very careful lifting up the bowl when removing it. A thin spatula you can slip under the bowl to lift it and a pair of tongs to grab it with will help.

Cleaning Up:

  • Flour/Water Mess: Cold water does a much better job of dealing with any sticky floury, doughy mess. The easiest way to clean up your dough mess from the bowl (the parchment does save a lot of the mess) is to soak for a few minutes in cold water, then wipe it with a dishcloth and only then use hot soapy water. If dough is on your counter, scrape it off first, then swipe the rest with a dry dishcloth. Wet your dishcloth with cold water and wipe up the mess, soaking it if it needs it. Rinse the dishcloth in cold water, then turn the faucet on to hot and finish the job.
  • The Dutch Oven: Fair warning, you might want to be aware that this recipe at its high temp can wreak a little havoc on your enameled Dutch oven. Barkeeper’s Friend is going to be your friend. Make sure your Dutch oven is perfectly clean before starting – any smudgy residue, for instance from the last time you used it, will darken and burn on in the high temps.
Crusty Bread Easy Overnight

Crusty Bread Easy Overnight No Knead

Saving Money on Crusty Bread Easy Overnight:

Talk about cheap! When I first posted this recipe in April of 2012, my Crusty Bread Easy Overnight, ran about 25 cents. I’m guessing now, using yeast from a jar, about 30 to 35 cents. A loaf of “Artisan Bread” at my store ran $4.99 in 2012, and I can’t even tell you how much a loaf runs for now. I never have to buy that anymore and haven’t looked at store-bought since the fateful day I came across this little recipe! That store bread, by the way? Not nearly as good, it was a pale anemic, dismal thing compared to this, and it only weighed a pound – if it were 1 1/2 pounds like this bread, it would have cost $7.49.

Shop well for your baking items; I used to really stock up during holiday sales, like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter but now I find great prices at Aldi. I never bring anything made of or containing flour into my home without freezing for 3 days or refrigerating for 30 to avoid “peskies.” The yeast I buy in jars and keep in the freezer. It will be fine for decades!

Consider Crusty Bread as a Gift: This bread is great for a hostess gift or a gift for a friend, but beyond that, consider giving a young person his/her first enameled cast iron Dutch oven (something I didn’t even have until later in life) filled with a container of the premade dough, some butter in a butter saver or butter dish or a good olive oil in a pretty, reusable cruet, a small bag of flour & a container of yeast. And of course, a copy of this blog page! Walk them through the first baking, if possible.

Crusty Bread Easy Overnight No Knead

Crusty Bread Easy Overnight No Knead

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Crusty Bread

Crusty Bread Easy Overnight No Knead

This simple, overnight Crusty Bread has a few little tricks to make it the best you’ve ever had, let alone made!

  • Author: mollie kirby
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: varies
  • Yield: one 1 1/2 pound loaf 1x
Scale

Ingredients

  • 3 cups unbleached all purpose flour + a little additional for shaping loaf
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon yeast (see note)
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • When ready to bake, have ready in a small container, about 2 tablespoons of water, already measured out; this is in addition to the water for the dough.)

Instructions

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, measure out flour, salt, and yeast. Use a fork or whisk to mix together. Add water (see notes) and mix (a spoonula works great) until a shaggy mixture forms. Cover bowl with a lid or plastic wrap and set aside on the counter for 12 – 18 hours. Overnight works great and the timing is not particular.

Adjust oven rack to the highest level that will accommodate your Dutch oven and allow you to easily get it in and out of the oven.

When ready to cook, turn dough out, very carefully, without deflating the dough (nudge it with a spatula, gently, if it sticks) on a heavily floured piece of parchment paper that’s a little larger than the bottom of the Dutch oven. You’ll want the parchment to go slightly up the sides for easy removal of the bread.

Flour hands and place a sprinkle of flour on top of the dougg. Gently cupping at either side of the bread, keeping pinkies and sides of palm down, form a little, loose “ball” of dough by pressing in at the bottom of the dough as you turn it bit by bit. If the dough sticks, add a bit more flour. Cover with plastic (the same one you used to cover during the rise is fine).

Carefully place parchment on a sheet pan or plate and set in a warm place (perhaps the front, not the back, which is too warm, of the stove) to rise. Dough does not need to double but should rise to the point that it does not readily spring back when gently poked. Place three slashes about 1/4 inch deep across the top of the  dough if desired.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 450 degrees F, with the Dutch oven inside, lid ajar, for 20 to 30 minutes, keeping in mind ovens vary in the time it takes to preheat. You’re shooting for about 10 minutes after it gets to 450 degrees F. Electric stoves cycle, so go the full 30 if using one.

Working quickly to retain as much heat as possible, remove hot Dutch oven from the oven and gently drop in the dough, parchment and all. Toss in the water, most right over the dough, but let a little go down side to the bottom of the Dutch oven for steam and immediately place the lid back on.

Return immediately to the oven and bake for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove the lid and bake an additional 10 to 15 minutes until the top is golden brown (a few dark places are just fine.) Place on cooling rack.

Notes

  • Just about any yeast, it seems, works in this recipe. My preferred is instant yeast. I’ve also used Rapid Rise and Bread Machine yeast and even Active Dry yeast. The dough is so wet it the active dry yeast doesn’t seem to need to be “proofed” which means mixed with water before using.
  • If you’d like, you may make three slashes across the dough with a very sharp knife before adding it to the Dutch oven.
  • If the humidity is very low, which may happen, usually in winter, the amount of water may need to be slightly increased a tablespoon at a time until a shaggy dough is formed. You’ll know because your dough will be a tight ball rather than a shaggy one.

 

if you like crusty bread easy overnight, you might also like:

No-Knead Overnight Crusty Bread: It couldn't be easier or more "hands-off." 5 minutes to mix up, toss in the oven the next day. You'll look like a genius! #CrustyBread #ArtisanBread #NoKneadBread #BreadRecipesHomemade #HomemadeRecipes #EasyBread #BreadBaking #Bread

77 thoughts on “Crusty Bread Easy Overnight No Knead

  1. Patricia Nealis Neligan

    I make this bread about once a week or until my husband finishes a loaf!! He loves it. I had a heck of a time slicing the bread until I saw a hint on another recipe that said to wrap the loaf in a damp kitchen towel for a bit after removing it from the dutch oven. I do that now and it is a lot easier to slice. Still has a crispy crust, but bottom is softer. I never tried adding the 2 tablespoons of water to the pot. Maybe this would have the same effect? I’m going to try it and see.

    • FrugalHausfrau

      Good morning, Patricia. I’m so glad you guys like it!! I find it hard to slice sometimes, but a good serrated knife helps. I do try to make sure there’s not too much flour on the bottom, which I think is responsible for those loaves that are hard to cut through on the bottom only, but I am looking forward to trying your hint with the towel!! The water just gives it extra steam at the beginning and helps it rise up fast and a little rounder, I think. And that little extra boost and bit of extra moisture helps you get a lighter bread inside with holes. I don’t think it will help make it less crusty but you might want to give it a try and see what you think.

      The extra water is not always on recipes like this, it’s kind of my own special touch that I learned years ago from making sourdough.. Have a great day (and a wonderful 4th!) and thanks for stopping back by and commenting!

      Mollie

  2. Bettinas Cucina

    Hi! I am wondering if it would still work if I added herbs or seasonings – like rosemary, minced garlic. If so, how much would your recommend? At what point would you add it? I don’t think it would work if I just sprinkle it on the top. Thank you.

    • FrugalHausfrau

      Hi Bettina, I think you could add all kinds of things! Rosemary can be strong, I’d probably start with a teaspoon dried/tablespoon minced fresh, and with garlic, maybe it just depends on how garlicky you’d like it! If it were me, I’d add a lot because just a hint is never enough….maybe three or four cloves, minced. It could be put in raw for a strong garlic taste or sauteed in a little butter first. From an absolute food safety standpoint dried herbs are fine overnight as the bread rises but I suppose technically, fresh herbs or garlic should be mixed in as the dough is prepared in the a.m. but I’d worry about even distribution. Personally, I’d probably add it as I mixed it and not worry about it but that might not be the “most correct” answer if that makes sense!

  3. Matt

    Love the simplicity of the recipe. Having an issue. After the days rest, the dough is more wet and runny than i like. The outcome is a flat but still tasty bread. I added pinches of flour night before and the next morning when shaping. Still runny and wet. How much more flour can it take? I feel i will get into adding almost a half cup. Thought? Thanks Frau.

    • FrugalHausfrau

      Hi Matt. Thank you for commenting!

      The dough is stickier in the am. It’s stickier in the summer and how much extra flour it needs might depend on the weather and where you live and how humid it is, the temperature and even whether you use air conditioning. I live in Minnesota where it’s not (usually) as hot and humid as some areas. I usually start out with 4 tablespoons (a quarter cup on the parchment) and two tablespoons on the top but I did have a couple of people tell me they needed a little more and two people told me they did use up to half a cup.

      Make sure your dough is good and stiff and shaggy the night before. In your case, it sounds like you might need to add a couple of extra tablespoons of flour initially to get that good shaggy mass. Then be really generous with the amount of flour you add to the parchment before you turn it out. You still want the dough wetter than a standard kneaded dough, so maybe try a third of a cup spread around the parchment with about two tablespoons on the top (by now you’re basically at a half a cup but it’s not all worked in yet) and as you work with it, pull in more flour from the parchment as you need to.

      You really will “feel” it when it’s right and notice the dough stops absorbing the flour and it takes surprisingly few turns. It should hold it’s shape as a ball (but does relax a bit as it rests) and if you’re gentle with it as you shape it should pick up all the flour it needs. Notice in my pic before I cover it the dough is basically covered with flour because it had already taken in everything it needed. Don’t force the flour in. Keep in mind the wetter the dough the more holes!

      Hope that helps!!

      Mollie

  4. I am wondering if / how you could add sourdough starter discard to this recipe? I think it would still sour a bit overnight, which is great, but sounds much quicker to make and much less tending. Any suggestions?

    • FrugalHausfrau

      Hi, I haven’t used this with sourdough so I went on a little search for you…I have made recipes from this site b/4 (her crackers are fabulous) and I really like that she’s got great explanations and her recipe is in both grams and cups. Sourdough is really pretty wet, and she uses a little stretch and pull method to add some structure and shaping and gives clear instructions on how to deal with the starter and still keeps things easy and uses basic ingredients and a Dutch oven. I hope this helps you!

      https://www.baked-theblog.com/everyday-sourdough-bread/

      • Thank you – I have been making sourdough for a while and I love it, but don’t always have the 2 full days to bake a loaf. That is why I was wondering if I could use some of my starter to add an influence to this bread. (I do love your recipe – I used to make bread in the traditional method but artisan bread may take the place of that – I also found that if I heavily butter the parchment before sitting the dough on it to rise, when it cooks it has a lighter, crisper crust on the bottom than without.) I think I will give it a go. Thanks for this recipe!

        • FrugalHausfrau

          Oh, great!! My sourdough experiments have always been relatively short-lived, although when I was a young mom I made quite a bit and had a good long run. But I had more people to eat bread, too! But those were nothing like the sourdough that people make these days!!

          I love the butter tip!! Every now and then I get a crust that has to sawed through!! You’ll have to let us all know how things turn out!

          Mollie

  5. Fran

    Wow this was so easy and perfectly delicious. It was my very first time ever baking bread and I think it was a complete success!!!

    • FrugalHausfrau

      Hi Fran, I’m so glad you enjoyed it!! It’s a great one for the first time, and I saw you posted a pic on FB and gave me a shout out there! Thanks so much! I hope you’re having a fabulous three day weekend (although all my weekends are seven day weekends these days and maybe yours, too>)

      Mollie

  6. Barbara A Gillespie

    I am new to this. Saw posts about making bread and bought myself a littlen 3 qt dutch oven. Will this recipe fit in this pot?

    • FrugalHausfrau

      I think “just” Barbara! I believe I have one about that size and haven’t baked bread in it, but I have looked at it before and thought ti would work. I;m not very good at conceptualizing the sizes of the D/os and I’d run and look (or pour and measure the liquid) but I’m not at home! I think you’ll be fine though and it might even make your loaf rounder. As soon as I can get to it, I’ll comment back!

      Mollie

      • FrugalHausfrau

        Hey, Barbara, I measured my smaller Dutch oven and it is a 3 quart. I think you’re bread will work out just fine with it! Let me know how it goes.

        Mollie

  7. dammitphilomena

    thank you so much for the update! I’ve been trying out these recipes and had a semi failure which i managed to save, I have been putting my dough in my off oven overnight with the light on to rise. my house is fairly drafty so I was worried it would get too cold. (it stays around 65-70 overnight, so I was concerned it would be too cold. I figured the off oven would be good and turned the light on just to maybe make sure it had enough warmth. I also use active dry (not instant) yeast. Well 14 hours later when I checked the dough, i could tell it had collapsed and was just a sticky wet messy loose paste. there was no way it was going to be shaped. Panicking, I grabbed the flour and added probably 2 – 3 cups more flour and kneaded it all in for maybe 2 minutes until it came to a nice soft dough. I set that to rise and began to preheat my oven. It managed to come out fine. whew. a friend suggested, and your update validates that my yeast got all used up and the dough collapsed. It must have gotten too hot in the oven during the day and the yeast got a bit hungry and ate all its food! One question I do have is regarding the amount of yeast when using active dry versus instant. are the amounts the same? Ive read somewhere that if using active not instant, you should use more yeast. Also, could one use bread flour for this recipe instead of plain all purpose?

    • FrugalHausfrau

      First of all, I love your user name! That must have a story behind it. We had a dog who was so incorrigible I used to joke he thought his name was DammitBlitz!

      So yeast can be tricky, especially when you’re looking for an immediate rise. In this case with the small amount of yeast and the long rise time, it seems to make little difference at all what kind of yeast is used and I *think* that the instant makes it start out just a little quicker but with so many variables, temperature and so on, it’s hard to tell for sure. Maybe if I can ever get to a store again (high risk) I’ll do side by side comparisons!!

      All the photos with the parchment paper with the red and white towel in the corner and the photos of the process were made using Active Dry Yeast (that’s all I have in the house).

      I have used all of the different kinds of yeasts, except for the live cake yeast which is hard to find, over the years and I always use the same amount.

      I would think that high gluten bread flour would make the bread a little denser and chewier. Gluten is developed more when the dough is wetter and with the long rise time, even though this isn’t kneaded so even with plain old flour, I find this dough pretty “chewy.” Too much gluten can be an issue because it makes a stronger dough, if that makes sense, and might inhibit the “oven spring” that helps this dough get the nice rough bubbles and rise. Think pizza dough which is dense and chewy as opposed to cinnamon rolls that are soft and fluffy. I don’t know why I’ve never made this with high gluten flour because I have it around from time to time. If you do make it let us know what you think.

      As far as the yeast being spent, it’s easy to tell collapse in this recipe because it usually sticks to the side of the bowl so you can see how high the dough was at it’s “peak” as opposed to where the level is when you look at it. In my photo labeled “The next day” I was getting pretty close to that point! The dough should be very loose the next day, as you can see, but I think I use about 1/2 cup or so between the bottom, the top and my hands! The dough kind of “tells you” how much it needs, but I find it’s still very soft and wettish even after it comes into a ball compared to standard bread dough. I’m glad you saved yours!! I’ll add your “save” to my list because I never thought to just add more flour…but fresh flour probably helped give that yeast a boost as well as adding the structure you needed.

      And thanks for stopping by and commenting! If you give it a go with the high gluten flour, let me know! 🙂

      Mollie

      • dammitphilomena

        Thank you! LOL…yes there is a story behind the name. We were playing a game of Cards Against Humanity and kept winning rounds. Each time i would win, my friends would yell out…Dammit Philomena! and so that has now become my nickname. thanks for your reply. I could definitely tell in the bowl that it had collapsed, I could see the traces of how high it had gotten in the bowl and how far it had fallen. Mine was so loose there was absolutely no way that it would hold a shape. it was basically like thick sticky pancake batter. I probably erred on the side of caution and added more flour than I needed to, but i was really worried about saving it. The bread was a little dense in the end, but still extremely tasty. it was a bit dense for sandwiches, but made for wonderful toast. Im going to try a batch using bread flour tonight and I’ll update and let you know how it went!

          • dammitphilomena

            oh man Mollie, this was my best attempt yet! I wish you could see the pictures of how beautiful it came out! a little dense, definitely like artisan bread, not sandwich bread, I think it might could have used a little more salt, or a little longer rise…not as strong a taste as the batch that collapsed last week, but thats ok cause the texture and look of this one is gorgeous!

            • FrugalHausfrau

              I wish I could!! You could add it to Pinterest, the link’s towards the top. (I really should get Instagram) and I think FB lets you post the pick, the link’s on the right of the page. Sounds like your name is gonna change to dammitphiomenathat’sdarnedgoodbread, lol!!

              I’m glad you stuck with it & checked back and since I can’t go to the store bread flour (and whole wheat) are on my list, now, lol! I have been wanting to post a no knead focaccia bread and that does need the bread flour!!

              So what are you making to go with all lyour bread, lol!!?

      • Sue

        I’ve made this bread many times, but the last two I’ve had to use way more flour when forming the dough. After 15 hours it has less structure than when it was a shaggy mess. I’m not sure what is going on, but I knead in a lot of flour and it turns out just fine. I’m now leaning toward it being the yeast. Regardless, the final product looks just like yours.

        • FrugalHausfrau

          Where are you located, Sue? Is it very humid there right now? That could be some of it.

          If the weather is humid, the flour has more moisture (which is why bakers measure on a scale) and the dough could be wetter. This bread isn’t a measure by gram kinda bread and it is so forgiving. If that’s the case, the extra flour makes up for it. It sounds like you’re having to add a lot of flour, so that might not be the full story.

          Could be that the yeast is developing faster because it’s warm and then exhausting itself and kind of collapsing because it’s eaten a lot of the available food (the natural sugars in the flour). You would know that because you will probably see a higher level on the sides of the bowl where the yeast sticks a bit and then the top of the dough will be sunken, maybe just a little or maybe more. Adding flour gives it more substance but at the same time feeds that yeast. I think that might be what’s happening – and maybe happening in conjunction with the flour having a little extra moisture, too.

          As long as your mixture is good and bubbly, it’s probably not the yeast. And even if your yeast isn’t as potent with this long rise it has plenty of time to multiply and grow and it sounds like your bread is turning out fine and rising right.

          You’re doing the right thing, though, adding more flour and going by feel. I use a lot of flour on the counter and on top and it always picks up what it needs. I’m still pretty gentle with it and don’t force it in, just let it take on the flour as I work with it.

          You could try adding a little more flour up front, but then the question is how much? But I’d just watch it first towards the end of the rise and see if it isn’t developing faster, reaching that peak and exhausting itself.

          Hope that helps!! Glad to hear you’ve been liking this!

          Mollie

  8. kiki

    hi there im gong to try your recipe again, made it last week and it was absolutely delicious! I did have some problems and felt so sad because i was sure it would flop but with some fiddling it came out perfectly. All was great till it was time to take it out and shape it, it was still so sticky there was no way i could do the palm cupping without loads of flour and then the dough wouldnt stay round. Im going to add a bit more flour at the first step and see how that works. It tastes almost like ciabatta, my family inhaled it lol! i want to have it with soup tomorrow. Fingers crossed that i wont have to fight with it. thanks again for this detailed recipe, its definitly a keeper!

    • FrugalHausfrau

      Hi Kiki,

      I’ll add a note about flour and humidity. I didn’t add it before because I’ve never encountered an issue with the relatively small amount flour in the recipe. Nine times out of 10 though, I’m making this in the winter when it’s really dry and in the Spring, there is obviously more humidity. See flour can pick up moisture from the air and that can affect the amount of moisture in the dough. That’s why bakers often weigh things out by the gram. The dough still should be pretty wet in the a.m, and I do use a lot of flour when I shape it but it sounds as if yours was flattish like a ciabatta it could use an extra tablespoon or two of flour in the dough. It probably won’t take much! I hope the pics help and if you make it, maybe you could stop back and let us know how it worked?

      Thanks Kiki, for stopping back and reporting and I hope your next go is marvelous perfection!!

      Mollie

  9. I weighed my bleached flour white dough at 120 grams = 1 cup. However, my dough was much, much wetter than yours, almost runny. How many grams is the all purpose flour that you use? Are you sifting the flour into your measuring cup or just dipping the measuring cup in a bag of flour?

    • FrugalHausfrau

      Hi Kathryn, the beauty of this recipe is that it’s just a super easy method for everyone, but you obviously have some skills! I give my flour a little stir so it’s not compacted and then just dip but lightly and I actually tilt the bag with the measuring cup in it so I don’t overly compact it. I’m a little pressed for time or I’d go measure by ounce and gram right now.

      I’m glad you asked and love that you commented because if you have that question, others must, too. I will be updating this post, too in the very near future!

      And yes, if it is too loose, add in more flour. It should be shaggy. I hope that helps!!

      Stay safe!

      Mollie

    • FrugalHausfrau

      I had a minute and mixed up the bread just so I could weigh (and of course, I don’t mind having the bread!) and came out with 4 3/4 ounces or about 135 grams. I measured it four times and came up with the exact amount in ounces each time. The weight of the flour measured by the cup will vary depending on the humidity but should get you closer. My apologies I couldn’t get to it immediately!

      I hope your bread turned out to your satisfaction!

      Mollie

    • FrugalHausfrau

      Interesting. Thanks for commenting & maybe this will help someone else, too. If you put yeast and flour and water together, the yeast will always grow and consequently, the bread will rise if the conditions are right.

      So let’s troubleshoot:

      So we know it’s not the recipe. I am assuming since you followed the recipe you didn’t add extra salt which retards yeast, used enough water to form a shaggy dough, and covered it with plastic wrap or a lid, not a towel. That keeps the dough at a level that’s humid enough to not form a crust which keeps the dough from rising well.

      We know it wasn’t the yeast since you used it yesterday unless you somehow killed it in the meantime which seems unlikely. Usually, too much heat kills yeast, leaving it sitting on a hot stove while baking, etc. And you didn’t mention flour. I’m assuming you used the same flour you used for your other bread which worked well, although different flours can affect the rise as well as how heavy and dense the bread is although you should get some rise with just about any flour I can think of, so I think we can eliminate that.

      That means something else went wrong. The most common issues (other than the yeast itself) when bread doesn’t rise are below so I suspect it was one of them:

      The yeast can be retarded or killed by too high of a temperature. Temperatures over 120 degrees (for instance, adding water that’s too hot or putting the dough in an area that’s too hot) will likely injure and kill at least some of the yeast, by 140 degrees, it’s likely to kill all of it.

      The room may have been too cold; it would be hard to have it too hot. Yeast will multiply best between 75 and 95 degrees. Optimal temperature is 75 to 78 degrees but that’s hard to maintain for any home cook; luckily as long as it’s not too cold this recipe is really forgiving.

      Time is the last factor that affects the growth of yeast. This is a slow rise using very little yeast, so it does need a good amount of time to multiply. I’m assuming that time wasn’t the factor here (12 to 18 hours) because even if the bread wasn’t rising on the counter if the bread didn’t rise even a little in the oven, at that point there was a) too little live yeast in the bread or b) the yeast was completely dead at that point.

      I’m sorry, though, about your bread!! I’m glad you stopped by and related your experience and because of it, I will put more information about yeast/rise/temperature and conditions in my post. I feel that if I would have included some of those basics, you would have been more successful!

      Let me know if you give it another go (I hope you do) and how it worked out and most of all, stay safe and keep your spirits up in these difficult times!

      Mollie

  10. Hey Blogger Buddy, it’s been a long time. 🙂 I caught this on one of your FB posts I think. I do make this bread fairly frequently – but yours is slightly different. I want to try it with the overnight rise, and splashing the required water on the top as you indicate. I do have one question though. When you leave the dough overnight, where do you leave it? Counter? Refrigerator? Cold oven?

    • FrugalHausfrau

      Right on the counter! I will specify that! I noticed you Johanna had a faster version posted on FB and I need to do that one!! I’ve been meaning to scroll back and see if I can find it!!

  11. Holy cow. I was super skeptical about this recipe as I have NEVER EVER made my own bread. This was incredibly easy. The photos and descriptions helped me determine if I was doing it right. This bread is incredible–the kind I’d overpay for at our local bakery. I live at 6,500 feet and didn’t make adjustments and it came out deliciously crispy on the outside and soft in the middle. I may have put a little too much “steaming” water in the pan as there’s a little soggy spot in the bottom center. I will definitely make this again and again and take it to homes for gifts. Rusty, impressive, delicious.

    • FrugalHausfrau

      You made my day with your enthusiastic reply! I’m glad you loved it and it is a pretty gratifying thing to bake bread; it’s kind of a small everyday miracle isn’t it! I’m glad you took the plunge! 🙂 I am sure right now with everything going on, a few people would love to have a loaf as a gift!!

      It’s so great to hear it worked out well at your altitude, but I wonder if that little soggy spot might have been the altitude? Try it with less steaming water next time since it sounds like you’ll be making more, so I guess you’ll know soon enough.

      If after that, you still have a little area on the bottom, you might want to take it out of the pan and put it right on the shelf of the oven for a few minutes, watching it closely, maybe even with the oven turned off just so the bottom gets a little dry heat.

    • FrugalHausfrau

      Laurel, Hi. I wouldn’t personally but’s its so easy to make as is. If I did attempt it I would only use the baking portion of the bread machine cycle. But you reminded me, maybe I should pull out my bread machine. I literally have not used it since I started making this bread.

  12. I made this… couldn’t believe only 1/2 tsp yeast so I used 1/2 packet Dry Active Yeast and bread worked fine. Also cut water back to 1-1/4 cup in dough. Used cornmeal in bottom of my Lodge #10 Dutch oven and added two crisscrossed parchment as insurance. Cornmeal worked bread and made a nicer bottom…. be sure to use plenty and add just before adding dough. GREAT BREAD!

    • FrugalHausfrau

      Hi Barbara, as much as I hear that baking is an “exact” science, all the rules go out the window when it comes to bread. It’s so forgiving. And yes, 1/2 a teaspoon of yeast is correct if made by the recipe.

      I always love hearing how recipes are tinkered with and varied! It’s so fun! I’m guessing yours was would have been “sturdier” with less water but the extra yeast would have given it a lot more lift counteracting that! I love the idea of the cornmeal bottom!

      Thanks for stopping back!!

  13. FrugalHausfrau

    Hi Anne, I haven’t done bread at all in my IP. I did look at several recipes for IP bread and my concern would be that this has very little yeast since it’s for an overnight rise and it seems bigger than most of the instant pot recipes. Almost all of them call for 2 1/4 cups of flour.

  14. Michelle

    Hi, .great, great recipe and instructions. I want to bake the batch as two loaves, for gifts. How long should the oven time be? Thank you in advance if you can help me!

  15. Cheri

    Hi I don’t have a do, I do have a cast iron skillet that is about 4-5″ deep. I have no lid for it. The markers on the bottom are 8CF,would this work for the bread?

    • FrugalHausfrau

      Hi Cheri.

      The pan sounds like it is a Lodge https://shop.lodgemfg.com/deep-skillets/3-quart-cast-iron-covered-deep-skillet.asp and should have a heat tolerance of 500 degrees so it should be fine. I’ve made this with cast iron before with no problem.

      You need a lid, though, something that will take the heat that fits or is larger and overhangs. I have this weird univeral lid that expands to fit different size pans that I picked up at the hardware store years ago next to the cast iron – it was cheap, around 12 bucks. You might want to keep your eye out for something like that, but that doesn’t help you today!

      You could also try to improvise, maybe press down several layers of heavy duty aluminum foil – be careful! Or lay a sheet pan over the top. Those options wouldn’t give you the bit of extra space a lid might. So really, the worst thing that could happen is that the loaf might rise high enough (and this bread rises higher sometimes than others) to touch the bottom of whatever you use, but it’s not a super big loaf and I think you’ll fine. And if it doesn’t work out, this is so low effort to make and so inexpensive that it wouldn’t be a huge loss to have an imperfect loaf.

      Hope that helps!

      Mollie

  16. Christine

    I don’t have a cast iron DO. Do you think I could successfully make this in a hand thrown covered crock?

    • FrugalHausfrau

      Absolutely, if it can withstand the heat! I’d hate to see you possibly mess up what sounds like a very special crock! Basically, anything that has a lid and can retain the heat should work. Since it’s nothing to mix up, I think I’d make two, and consider the first an experiment, then if there are any timing issues, you can adjust for number 2. And if they both turn out great, bonus, right?!

    • FrugalHausfrau

      I have used several different sizes and the only difference is the smaller one seems to make the loaf just a bit rounder – I’m going to go check the size….

    • FrugalHausfrau

      Ok, Barb, the one I use the most is a 4 quart because that’s the one that’s always at the front of the cupboard and handy because I cook with it the most. If I make an effort to pull out my three quart, which is at the back of the cupboard, I do think the loaf turns out very slightly rounder. It’s hard to say because sometimes they’re nice and roundish, other times a little flatter and it may be due to variables other than the size of the DO. So long story short, use what you have. How’s that for a non-answer? Anyway, the recipe is very forgiving, a little free form so have fun!

  17. Anda

    I’ve made this several times but always in my cast iron Dutch oven. Yummy. Tradition for Christmas Eve with some different soups. Takes all the work out of the celebration

    • FrugalHausfrau

      Perfect with soup! And I love traditions like those – I’ve made it with my cast iron Dutch oven, too. I have a very old one and I love it because it’s just the perfect size and not as heavy as my enameled one!

    • FrugalHausfrau

      Thanks! I think the no sugar is because this is such a very long and slow overnight rise. That slow rise helps develop the flavor of the bread, too. I think the reasoning is probably if it had sugar, it might rise to the point it collapses upon itself. It’s something, though, that you can always fiddle with a bit – I might even do that sometimes. Make one with a bit of sugar and another w/o and see what it looks like the next day!

      • Thanks! My bread making skills are pretty limited and I often experience less than great results so maybe I’ll just play around with it and see what works best in my high altitude area which probably also contributes to some of those results.

        • FrugalHausfrau

          I lived in Georgetown & outside of Frisco Colorado for years and I didn’t have great results with making bread as I recall. But I was young, in my late teens and early 20s and that was decades ago and I was trying to make whole grain and sprouted breads.

          I think this is a great bread to start with because it’s so low effort (and it’s so cheap) to make that you can give it a go without too much investment. Plus, it’s rustic! There’s no real “perfection” to worry about. 🙂

          • Excellent and thank for sharing! Always love hearing from a fellow/former Coloradan. Do you recommend bread flour or is all purpose sufficient? P.S. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE rustic breads, and the crunchier the crust, the better. 🤩

            • FrugalHausfrau

              I’ve always just used plain old flour, but I didn’t have an answer to that so I did some checking. Bread flour has more protein and might be the way to go for you. I also found some “rules” of thumb on this site: https://www.wheatmontana.com/content/high-altitude-baking-how-make-your-recipes-work-mountains

              So keeping in mind that I haven’t tried this myself, I’d use the high protein flour, no sugar decrease the yeast by a smidge – it hardly has any yeast to start with so that would be decreased by 1/8th teaspoon. You probably won’t want to turn up your oven or maybe even can’t because most ovens won’t go that high. As far as increasing, decreasing flour, I’d start with the amount stated and just add a little more water by the tablespoon if you don’t get a “shaggy” dough. You’re not looking for a good, springy round ball. But honestly, if you don’t have high protein flour on hand and have to run into town for it, I’d just try with regular flour first. And maybe be prepared for a shorter amount of time for it to rise! Maybe we’ll have a high altitude baker stop by and comment, but let me know how it turns out. I’m curious, now!! 🙂

    • Kathryn Gannon

      You do not need sugar in bread making as there is enough food in the flour for the yeast. I t is mainly for the taste and the crust.

      • FrugalHausfrau

        Hi Kathryn, thanks for the weigh in! Now that you mention it , that rings a bell, but it’s been a long time since I did any “serious” bread making! Especially since I usually make this, now!

  18. In regard to the water–do you add the 1 1/2 cups of water to the yeast, flour and salt at the beginning and reserve 2 tablespoons to sprinkle over the dough when you are about to place in the oven? Recipe looks great just confused about the water part. Thanks so much!

    • FrugalHausfrau

      Sorry I didn’t get to you yesterday; have a relative in the hospital; he’s ok now but it was crazy! And yes you are correct; I’ll take a look and make sure the recipe is clearer! Thanks Margie!

  19. shirleyakis

    I noticed you mention sugar in the explanations but in the Ingredients section you say only four ingredients, flour, salt, yeast, and water. If we need sugar, which most bread recipes that contain yeast do, why haven’t you mentioned it in the ingredients? After reading your explanation of how to begin I saw sugar so I got the covered bowl out of the refrigerator and added some sugar because I want this bread to rise some. Please explain why in one place you say sugar and in the ingredients you don’t include the amount. Thanks

    • FrugalHausfrau

      Hi Shirley, The recipe ingredients and instructions are correct, no sugar. I rewrote the narrative late last year, December, I think. I meant to say four ingredients flour, salt, yeast and water. I don’t know what I was thinking, except for most breads do have sugar and my brain must have been on some kind of automatic mode. This particular recipe does not have sugar which would give it a quicker rise and this bread needs that long, slow rise. Thank you for catching my error and I’ve crossed sugar off that sentence under Making Crusty Bread!

      I hope your bread turned out fine; I wouldn’t think a little sugar would do any harm unless it rose too quickly and collapsed on it’s own, exhausted and didn’t recoup. I apologize for the confusion I caused,

    • FrugalHausfrau

      Hi Lynn, I just usually use Instant Yeast. I guess I could have specified but this works with pretty much everything. I’ve even used active dry by accident and it was just fine. There’s not much yeast so I think that’s why even this slow rise worked ok with it. And I’ve tossed in the basic bread machine yeast, which I believe is a strain of active dry, too.

      I think you’ll like the way this turns out – it’s very low effort for a decent result.

  20. Pingback: attempts at multitasking & a ping back to my fav bread recipe | Reagan the Recipe Hoarder

    • Dutch Ovens are perfect, and I use my enamel cast iron pot, and have made this outside in my plain old cast iron DO with the legs. But if it has plastic on the handle it won’t survive the heat. A plastic handle can often just be unscrewed and a little bit of dough can be placed over the hole. Hope that helps, Reagan! 🙂

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