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make-ahead recipes for dutch oven bread

Dutch Oven Bread

Once I stumbled upon this method, I was hooked! Mixing the dough takes about 5 minutes, then leave it on your counter overnight/for up to 18 hours (the longer it sits, the better it turns out). The loaf is perfectly crusty on the outside and soft inside – great for dipping in the marinara sauce.


Units Scale
  • 3 1/2 cups white flour
  • 1 tsp. active dry yeast
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water


  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, salt and yeast. Stir in water (and a little more flour as needed) until a sticky, shaggy dough forms. Cover tightly and let rise on countertop or in a cool place for 8-18 hours.
  2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place a Dutch oven with lid on the center rack and heat for 30 minutes.
  3. In the meantime, use a generous amount of flour on your fingers and remove the dough from the bowl. Quickly form it into a ball and set it on a heavily floured surface. Remove Dutch oven from oven, take off the lid (careful – it’s very hot!) and place the ball of dough inside. Replace the lid and bake at 450 for 20 minutes.
  4. Remove the lid and bake for another 7-10 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and bread sounds hollow when tapped. Cool on a wire rack. Serve while still warm.