Tuesday, August 4, 2020

4 Ingredient Crusty Bread

Learn how to make this 4 ingredient, no knead, bakery style crusty bread in under 3 hours! This simple rustic bread is a fool proof bread recipe perfect for beginners.
Making homemade bread is usually a time consuming task with all the kneading, rising and baking. Don't get me wrong, I love a good homemade loaf bread just as much as the next person, but sometimes I just need a quick, crusty bread that doesn't take all hours in the day to prepare. My all time favorite breads are the crusty style breads that you find in specialty bakeries. 

I always thought artisan bread was hard to make, but I couldn't of been more wrong. Today I'm sharing a crusty bread recipe that 
only requires 4 basic ingredients, flour, water, yeast and salt. This crusty bread is the easiest bread you can bake and perfect for beginners. There's no kneading required and the dough is prepared in one bowl, so it doesn't get much easier than that! 

The outside of this bread is a deep golden brown with a soft and tender middle. This simple, rustic bread pairs perfectly with a steaming bowl of soup, spaghetti and meat sauce or served along side of a pot roast.  I suggest making this bread a few times as written, but once you get the hang of it, you definitely need to try a few of my favorite mix in's listed at the end of this post. Let's get started on the recipe.  

In a large bowl, combine flour,  yeast (I used instant yeast) and salt. 

Stir in warm water until well combined.  

Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour. 

after and hour it will look like a loose dough with tiny bubbles. 

 Place the dough on a well-floured surface (the dough will be wet) and sprinkle flour on top.  

Using a scraper (or place the dough on a piece of floured parchment paper and use the sides of the paper) fold dough over several times and shape into a rough ball. 

Line a large bowl with a piece of parchment paper and spray with non stick baking spray.  

Place dough in the bowl. 

Cover with a towel and let sit on the counter for 20 - 30 minutes. I usually place mine on top of the stove as the pot is preheating in the oven.


While the dough rests,  place a 3-6 quart Dutch oven with lid in the oven and preheat to 450 degrees. 


After 30 minutes the dough should will have risen. 

Using oven gloves or mitts remove the lid to the pot and lift the parchment paper out of the bowl with the dough and transfer into the hot pot. The dough will sit inside the pot lined with the parchment paper. 


Cover and bake for 30 minutes.


Using oven gloves or mitts remove the pot out of the oven and take off the lid. The bread should be light golden in color. Leave the lid off and return the (pot) with the bread to the oven and bake uncovered 10 - 15 minutes longer. 

Continue baking until bread gets a deep golden brown. Remove from oven and place on cooling rack. For a crunchier loaf allow the bread to cool directly on the oven rack (with the oven OFF and the door partially open) for about 15 minutes then remove to a cooling rack. 

Cool bread for 30 minutes before slicing and slather with homemade butter



4 Ingredient Crusty Bread 

Ingredients:
3 - cups all purpose flour or bread flour 
2 - teaspoons instant yeast or rapid rise (see yeast note below)
1  1/2 - teaspoon kosher or sea salt 
1  1/2 - cups very warm water (approx 120 degrees)
covered Dutch Oven or covered Cast Iron Dutch Oven 

Instructions:
1. In a large bowl, combine flour,  yeast and salt. Stir in warm water until well combined.  

2. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour. 

3. After the dough has rested for one hour, place it on a well-floured surface (the dough will be wet) and sprinkle with a flour. 

4. Using a scraper (or place the dough on a piece of floured parchment paper and use the sides of the paper) fold dough over several times and shape into a rough ball. 

5. Line a large bowl with a piece of parchment paper that has been sprayed with non stick baking spray. Place dough in bowl, cover with a towel and let sit on the counter for 20 -30 minutes. 

6. While the dough rests,  place a 3-6 quart Dutch oven with lid in the oven and preheat to 450 degrees. 

7. After 20 - 30 minutes, using oven gloves remove the lid to the pot and lift the parchment paper with the dough out of the bowl and transfer into the hot pot. The dough will sit inside the pot lined with parchment paper. 

8. Cover and bake for 30 minutes. 

9. After 30 minutes, remove lid. Bread should be light golden in color. 

10. Leave the lid off and return the (pot) bread to the oven and bake uncovered 10 - 15 minutes longer. Bake until bread gets a deep dark golden brown (not burnt). 

11. Remove from oven and place on cooling rack. Cool bread for 30 minutes before slicing. 

recipe yields: 1 loaf of bread
servings: 8 
  
Instant Yeast:  can be added straight into the flour mixture or dry ingredients. 

Rapid Rise Yeast: Rapid or quick rise yeast can be added directly into the dry ingredients and does not need to be proofed. With rapid or quick rise yeast you can skip the first rise of the dough. Mix all of the ingredients together and let the dough rest about 10 minutes  in the mixer bowl (the dough will not rise) before kneading.  After the 10 minutes, knead the dough, shape into loaves and let the dough rise. Rapid rise yeast omits the first rising all together. 

Active Dry Yeast:  needs to be dissolved in water first according to the package directions. When it gets bubbly and foamy mix in with the rest of the ingredients. 

If you love flavored bread, try adding 1 - cup of mix in's to make a more flavorful bread combination. Make sure to add the mix in's to step 1 of the recipe above.  

A few of my favorite mix in variations: 
Cranberry - Pecan (1/2 cup dried cranberries & 1/2 cup pecan pieces)
Cinnamon - Raisin (1/2 cup raisins + 1 teaspoon cinnamon)
Cheddar Cheese Bread (1 cup shredded cheddar or pepper jack cheese)
Rosemary & Garlic (minced rosemary & minced garlic)
Grated Parmesan Cheese & Italian Seasoning 




Pin this recipe to your favorite Pinterest Board! 


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5 comments:

Unknown said... #

The recipe calls for hot water but the directions say to add warm water. Shouldn't the recipe be warm water?

Tina Butler said... #

I have adjusted the recipe with the exact water temperature.

Unknown said... #

I don't own a dutch oven pot like the one shown can I bake it in a regular loaf pan?

Unknown said... #

To my knowledge, you need a pot with a cover to achieve steam while baking, otherwise you will bot get an outside crust and your bread might be too dry

Tina Butler said... #

You will need to use an oven proof pot with a lid, so a loaf pan will not work with this recipe. You can use a covered Pryex bowl, cast iron dutch oven or a ceramic covered pot.