Prep time1 hour 45 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
1 7 g packet (2¼ tsp.) active dry yeast
1½ tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. sugar
1¼ cups (300 ml) lukewarm water
2½ cups (315 g) all-purpose flour
In a medium mixing bowl combine the yeast and the sugar. Pour in the lukewarm water (make sure it's not too hot) and give it a stir. Let yeast activate for 5-6 minutes. A foam should start forming on the water’s surface. This is the yeast waking up hungry.
In a large bowl, combine the kosher salt to the flour and stir to combine.If you use regular table salt, the bread will turn out a little saltier. Create a well in the centre of the flour for the yeast.
Once the yeast is ready, slowly add it to the well you created in the flour. With clean hands, gently bring the dry ingredients into the centre of the bowl with your fingers. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty - this dough will stick to everything. Continue to mix for a couple of minutes or until the dough is consistent, wet and still a bit sticky. Cover with a slightly damp tea towel and let rise for an hour.
After an hour, spread some flour on a dry surface and remove the dough from the bowl. Carefully flatten the dough with your hands and fold it over itself six times (almost as if you were using the dough to wrap a package. Gently shape the dough into a ball and return it to the bowl. Cover again for 30 more minutes to let it rise.
Meanwhile, place your Dutch oven inside a cold oven and set the temperature to 460℉ (240℃).
Take a sheet of parchment paper and place it on your counter. After its final 30 minutes rise carefully remove your dough from the bowl and place it on the sheet. Carefully remove the hot Dutch oven from the heated oven - it will be very hot. Place the parchment paper and the dough inside the Dutch oven and replace the lid.* Return to the oven for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, remove the lid and continue to bake for another 15 minutes. This gets you a delicious, crispy crust. Once the 15 minutes are up, take your bread out of the oven and let cool on your counter - the aroma will be mouthwatering. Enjoy with butter or your favourite spread.
If you’re feeling adventurous, add some kalamata olives, herbs, cheddar cheese or even some chocolate to the dough just after combining the flour and yeast mixtures.
Parchment paper makes it easier to place the dough in the hot Dutch oven and remove your cooked bread after, but you can make this loaf without parchment paper if you don't have any on hand.