Crusty Country Bread

Recently I admitted to our eating too many carbs, and this is one of the culprits! This crusty country bread loaf doesn’t require kneading! It can also be left alone all night on the counter until the next day’s supper or whenever you have a couple of minutes to toss it into a very hot oven. I have been hearing of these recipes for years, but we didn’t have a pot that would work well for it. A couple of days ago, we just welcomed a fabulously gorgeous Dutch oven into our farmhouse kitchen! The very same night it arrived, we got are hands dusty with flour. Everyone was giddy with expectation! Eva’s first thought in the morning was to check on the rising dough – ha! She ran back upstairs with it, so we could all get our noses in the bowl. Does your family love yeasted carbs as much as we all do around here?

When you grow up in Spain, bread is a culinary fundamental for household happiness. But since my baking abilities are limited (and my time), we were thrilled to finally try our hand at this promising loaf! With only four ingredients that you already have in your kitchen and very little effort, this golden crusty loaf will yield an airy bread that is artisan quality. The long fermentation process allows for the development of good flavor, while the covered pot ensures the moisture needed for a crisp crust. This country bread recipe is as forgiving as it is flexible, too. We have often doubled it with great results. I can’t wait to experiment with aromatic herbs!

Crusty Country Bread

  • 3 1/4 cups flour

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 tablespoon yeast (I used active dry)

  • 1 1/2 cups warm water (95 to 110 degrees)

Incorporate all the ingredients in a bowl. This dough will be very sticky. Mix until there are no flour clumps left. Remember no need to knead! Cover the bowl with clear plastic wrap and allow it to sit on your counter overnight or around 8 hours. When the surface is covered in bubbles (2 hours), the dough is ready, but it can sit longer for more flavor. Cut a piece of parchment paper and dust it with flour. With heavily floured hands, or using a spatula or a spoon, remove the dough from the bowl and onto the floured parchment. Use as much flour as you need to have it not stick as your shape it, but not working any flour into the dough. Shape a round loaf (seam-side down) and cut a cross (x) or score it two or three times to allow for a better rise as it bakes. Cover it with the clear plastic wrap while you preheat the oven. Place the Dutch oven with the lid in the oven and turn it on to 450 degrees. When it reaches the temperature, pull out the pot and remove the lid (carefully-it’s ver hot!). Place your shaped dough into the oven-safe pot keeping the parchment paper under it. Cover with the lid and bake for 15 minutes. Uncover the Dutch oven and bake for 15-20 more minutes until it looks deeply golden and crusty.

You’ve got a huge, delicious, homemade bread loaf in your hands! Leave a comment (I love your pictures too!) if you’ve tried your hand at this easy recipe!

with love. Damaris