I gotta say, I love homemade bread. Especially the crusty, full of flavor kind. I know, it’s shocking. What’s a grain-free blogger/baker/foodie doing talking about homemade bread for? Why? Because I like to torture myself with things like fresh baked bread smell in the house, and using my bread knife to cut through the crustiest bread ever. Yes, torture. But, dear friends, this is what I do to bring you the most amazing bread ever.
This is one of those things you’ll want to make again and again. Now, I’ve been making my own bread for years now, so believe me when I tell you this is the easiest bread I’ve ever made. No mixers, no kneading, no double rising, no fuss. You need a bowl, some simple ingredients from your pantry, a little time, and a dutch oven. Yup, that’s all you need to make crusty artisan-style bread right in your kitchen. No joke.
I’ve been hearing about bread-baking in dutch ovens for a while now. It’s a basic process: make the dough, let it sit for a few hours, heat a dutch oven pot in a really hot oven, and bake your bread. I decided to follow this basic (now extremely popular) process and create my own version: olive oil & italian herb! The olive oil is the secret to making this bread so absolutely flavorful and moist. The herbs are just a bonus. I used my own italian seasoning mix of basil, parlsey and oregano, but feel free to use whichever dried herbs you’d like, or leave them out.
Start now, and in a few hours you’ll have fresh baked bread smell in your house.
Olive Oil & Italian Herb Dutch Oven Bread
- 3 cups all purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning blend
- 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup plus 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 cup warm water
- 2 teaspoons cornmeal
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, italian seasoning, and yeast. Add the 1/2 cup olive oil and 1 cup warm water, and mix with a wooden spoon or spatula until all the flour has been mixed in, and a loose dough forms. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and set it on the counter for at least 8-10 hours (or overnight).
Once the risen dough is ready (it will look puffy and bubbly), preheat the oven to 450°. Once the oven has preheated, place an uncovered dutch oven pot in the oven for 30-40 minutes. Meanwhile, remove the dough from the bowl with floured hands, and set it on a lightly floured surface. Use your hands to shape the dough into a round ball, and let it rest while the dutch oven is in the 450° oven.
Once the dutch oven has been in the 450° for 30-40 minutes, remove it from the oven. Drizzle 1 teaspoon olive oil in the bottom of the pan, and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon cornmeal. Carefully place the dough ball in the dutch oven, and make three or four cuts in it with a sharp knife. Drizzle the dough with the remaining teaspoon of olive oil, sprinkle with 1 teaspoon cornmeal, and place the lid on the dutch oven pot.
Return to the oven and bake, covered, for 30-35 minutes at 450°. After 30-35 minutes, remove the lid from the dutch oven, and continue baking for about 10 more minutes, until the bread is golden brown. Remove the bread from the dutch oven and let cool completely before enjoying!
What a surprice. No, I’d never expected to find a recipe on bred on your lovely blog. But I’m very glad I did, ’cause this loaf looks absolute amazing!
Thanks, Josefine! And, yes it is a surprise!!
I want to try your recipe but I am confused about shaping the dough into a ball. How do u exactly do that without kneading the dough or losing all the bubbles formed in the dough? And do you flour or wet your hands? Please help.
Hi Maitha, thanks for your questions! The dough will form into a ball easily with well-floured hands. The olive oil does not smoke when added to the dutch oven, but you can certainly leave it out!
I have heated my dutch oven to 450° many times, and it’s always fine! The bread will only bake the right way if placed in a preheated dutch oven. Try it again following the instructions, and I’m sure your bread will be great!
Another question (sorry). Does your olive oil not smoke when you add it to your preheated Dutch oven? Is it safe to use it or can I skip this step altogether? many thanks.
Ok I finally tried this bread with a few minor changes. Sadly, the instructions that came with my dutch oven stated that it should not be heated empty and I can only put it in an oven with a maximum temp of 400 :(. So what I ended up doing was putting my rested and shaped dough in the dutch oven then placing it in a cold oven and then turning the heat to 400F. I baked it covered for an hour then uncovered for around 10 minutes. The bread was delicious but it did not have those large holes that I was hoping to get 🙁 Was it supposed to be like that or was it my fault?
I tried your recipe and it was a big hit in my house I tried other recipes and didn’t turn out so well so thank you so much for sharing this I will make it again