Prep Time: 1 hour 30 mins
Cook Time: 45 mins
Yield: 1 loaf (about 6 servings)
- 2.25 tsp active dry yeast
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 1/4 cups warm water (about 100 degrees F)
- 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 2.5 cups All-Purpose Flour, plus extra for dusting
- Combine yeast, sugar, and warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook (you could also mix this dough by hand if you like—just use a large mixing bowl instead).
- Let the yeast proof for about 5 minutes, until the mixture looks nice and foamy.
- Add kosher salt to the bowl.
- Add flour to bowl a bit at a time and mix on low speed until all flour is incorporated and the dough has just started to pull away from the sides of the bowl.
- Turn off the mixer and remove the bowl and dough hook.
- Lightly flour all sides of your dough (don’t mix the flour in – it’s just to keep the dough from sticking) and turn it over inside the mixing bowl to coat with flour on all sides. Cover with a tea towel and let rise on the counter for about 1 hour, until the dough has doubled in size.
- When the dough has risen, lightly flour a large cutting board. Tip the dough out of the bowl and onto the cutting board. DO NOT PUNCH THE DOUGH DOWN – you want to keep all the air bubbles intact so you have an airy, delicious loaf of bread. (If the dough is sticking to the bowl a little bit, wet your hand with a bit of water and gently separate the dough from the bowl to get it all out).
- Sprinkle a bit of flour across the top of the dough, then begin shaping it into a round loaf. It’s good to pull each corner of the dough in towards the center (like you’re folding an envelope) a few times, then flip the dough over and tap it into a nice round loaf.
- Flour a proofing basket or a small mixing bowl and place your loaf into it seam-side down. Cover with a tea towel and let rise another 30 minutes or so.
- While bread proofs, place an empty dutch oven (with the lid on) in your oven and heat to 460º F.
- When the oven is hot, use oven mitts to pull the dutch oven out and remove the lid.
- Tip your bread dough gently out of the proofing basket back onto your floured cutting board, and then carefully place it – seam side UP, this time – into the hot dutch oven. (You can use a piece of parchment paper here to make this easier if you like).
- Put your oven mitts back on, put the dutch oven lid back on the pot, and slide the whole thing back into your hot oven.
- Cook bread for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, remove the lid from your dutch oven. The bread should be crusty and lightly browned. Continue cooking, uncovered, for 10-20 minutes more until the bread has deepened in color and you have a beautiful brown crust.
- When the bread is done, use oven mitts to pull the pot out of your oven. Use a long spatula to lift the bread out of the dutch oven and onto a cooling rack. Let cool for at least 20 minutes before cutting into it. Slice, butter, and enjoy!