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Dutch-Oven Bread

Crackling homemade Dutch-oven bread makes an average day extraordinary. Enjoy this beautiful crusty bread recipe as is, or stir in a few favorites like cheese, garlic, herbs and dried fruits. —Catherine Ward, Taste of Home Prep Kitchen Manager
  • Total Time
    Prep: 15 min. + rising Bake: 45 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    1 loaf (16 slices)


  • 3 to 3-1/2 cups (125 grams per cup) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 cups water (70° to 75°)


  • In a large bowl, whisk 3 cups flour, yeast and salt. Stir in water and enough remaining flour to form a moist, shaggy dough. Do not knead. Cover and let rise in a cool place until doubled, 7-8 hours.
  • Preheat oven to 450°; place a Dutch oven with lid onto center rack and heat for at least 30 minutes. Once Dutch oven is heated, turn dough onto a generously floured surface. Using a metal scraper or spatula, quickly shape into a round loaf. Gently place on top of a piece of parchment.
  • Using a sharp knife, make a slash (1/4 in. deep) across top of loaf. Using the parchment, immediately lower bread into heated Dutch oven. Cover; bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake until deep golden brown and bread sounds hollow when tapped, 15-20 minutes longer, partially covering if browning too much. Remove loaf from pan and cool completely on wire rack.

Test Kitchen tips
  • Double this recipe to make a bread that fills your entire Dutch oven. In a large bowl, whisk 6 cups flour, 2 teaspoons active dry yeast and 2 teaspoons salt. Stir in 3 cups water to form a soft, shaggy dough. Do not knead. Cover and let rise in a cool place until doubled, 7-8 hours. Proceed with recipe as directed.
  • This is a soft, gentle dough that should be baked immediately after shaping. Preheating the Dutch oven prior to shaping and working quickly are keys to success.
  • Nutrition Facts
    1 slice: 86 calories, 0 fat (0 saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 148mg sodium, 18g carbohydrate (0 sugars, 1g fiber), 3g protein.

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    Average Rating:
    • Stephen
      Oct 10, 2020

      Made it twice. The first time it came out perfect. Second, the crust was too hard. People suggest adding moisture to the oven while cooking. I'll try it with a pot of water under the Dutch oven while the bread is baking. Any other suggestions?

    • Debra Jones
      Sep 14, 2020

      It came out....perfect! Crusty outside...soft inside and easy to make for a first time bread maker. :)

    • Betty
      Sep 11, 2020

      I have made this bread pudding many times. It was my mother-in-law's favorite. I did substitute a 1/2 cup of the water with a 1/2 cup of rum Tasty, tasty, tasty! The heat cooked off the alcohol but left a great flavor to mix with the nutmeg.

    • Patricia
      Sep 11, 2020

      What a wonderful way to start Fall 2020! Love Taste of Home Recipes. They are just the best! Thank you!

    • David Olin
      Sep 11, 2020

      Taste of Home, please set it so that Test Kitchen Tips show up when I print a recipe. Thank you.

    • susan
      Sep 11, 2020

      Is it ok to put an empty lecruset in the oven at this temp?

    • Linda
      Sep 11, 2020

      Why is the water temperature so low? It won’t activate the yeast unless it is 100 to 115 degrees.