Basic Dutch Oven Bread

Fresh, homemade bread is always impressive. But you know what’s really impressive? 6-ingredient homemade bread.

No, this isn’t some sort of illusion or magic trick. Just simplifying the baking process and bringing it back to basics.

One thing I truly love about baking is really how simple the core of it is. Some flour, some sugar, little bit of liquid, and a leavening agent (think yeast, baking powder, and baking soda). Just the amounts are what makes it all different, right?

So that’s why this basic bread makes so much sense! We need to stop overthinking everything in life, including our food. Eat what makes you feel good. Keep your cooking simple.

One last suggestion? While this bread is classic and tasty as is, try melting some butter and mixing with garlic, parmesan, or fresh herbs to brush on top and make it just that much better.

Ingredients
2 cups warm water
½ cup sugar
1 packet (2¼ teaspoons) active yeast
large pinch salt
¼ cup vegetable oil
5-6 cups flour

4-Quart Dutch Oven
1 large loaf
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Rest Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 45 minutes

Directions
1. Pour the warm water into a large bowl. Stir in the sugar to dissolve it fully.
2. Stir in the yeast and let it sit about 5 minutes until foamy.
3. Add in the salt and oil.
4. Start mixing in the flour 1 cup at a time, making sure to fully incorporate it after each addition.
5. When enough flour had been added to make the dough a good workable consistency (dry enough to not stick to your hands but not so dry it falls apart), turn out onto a clean and lightly floured work surface.
6. Knead for about 7 minutes until nice and consistent.
7. Place the kneaded dough into a well-oiled bowl. Cover with a large cloth and let rise in a warm, dark place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
8. After the dough has risen, preheat your oven for 350℉.
9. Punch the dough once in the center, then turn out onto the floured work surface.
10. Knead for about 1 minute. Shape the dough into a large round ball that will fit nicely into the Dutch oven.
11. Coat the inside of the Dutch oven with nonstick spray or a light layer of oil. Place the formed bread dough into the Dutch oven.
12. Bake for 45 minutes until the top is a light brown.
13. Remove from oven and cool thoroughly before attempting to remove.
14. Brush with melted butter if desired, and enjoy!

Recipe inspiration from Butter with a side of Bread

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