Whether you’re new to bread making or in a hurry, this Crispy Bread recipe will have you baking it daily! French bakery-style crunchy bread on your table in under an hour!
When you are married to a Swiss man, crispy crunchy bread is almost a marriage prerequisite. I like to use this recipe when I need a quick loaf to accompany dinner or when I’m short on time. It’s a great recipe to have in your arsenal and perfect for beginner bakers!
How to make Dutch Oven Bread in under an hour-
- Use a Quick Rise Yeast aka Rapid or Instant Yeast– this is imperative to making the bread in under an hour (depending on the size of the loaf). The difference between regular yeast and rapid rise yeast is that you do not have to wait for the yeast to activate to begin the rising of the dough. Active dry yeast (regular yeast) has a larger granule and needs to be activated/dissolved in a warm liquid before mixing with flour. Instant yeast has a more fine texture and can be mixed right into dry ingredients. When making this bread, I still try and activate the yeast in the water for a couple of minutes just to speed up the process a bit more. If you only have regular yeast on hand, you will need to give the dough at least an hour to rise and double in size before baking. I linked to a different brand above, as they did not have the same brand available right now.
- Use warm water- for this recipe you need to use warm water. Think baby bathwater here.
- Knead the dough– once you’ve combined all the ingredients knead the dough until it forms a ball and no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl. You can use your mixer fitted with the hook attachment, or your hands.
- Let dough rise for 15 minutes– After you have kneaded your crispy bread dough, cover with a damp cloth and let it rise while you heat your pan.
- Use a Dutch Oven– I typically divide this dough into two and bake separately in my 5-quart dutch oven. If you have a larger cast iron pot, you can make one large loaf. Simply increase the baking time by 15 minutes. See notes in the recipe card for more explanation.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees– yes, you read that right! Before preheating the oven, place your dutch oven and lid, in the oven and let it come to the same temperature. This is how you get the crispy crust!
- Carefully remove pan from oven– I have burned myself more times than not with this step! Make sure that you are using oven mitts when touching all parts of the pan, including the lid! When you remove the pan from the oven, place it on a heat-proof surface.
- For dough into a ball and place into hot pan– if making two loaves, divide dough in half and form into a ball. Place into the dutch oven, cover with lid (use oven mitts!), and return to oven. Cover remaining dough with a damp cloth and set aside. If making a large loaf, form into a large round and place in large cast-iron pot.
- Bake the loaf with lid for 20 minutes for small loaves and 35 minutes for a large loaf.
- Remove the lid- again with oven mitts, remove the lid and bake for an additional 10 minutes for the small loaf and 15 minutes for the large loaf!
- Remove from the pan from oven and all bread to cool– If making 2 small loaves, immediately remove bread from pan using tongs and place on a cooling rack. Add the 2nd dough ball, cover with lid, and repeat baking steps.
How to make a crunchy crust-
Just like with the traditional No-Knead Bread recipe that took the internet by a storm a few years ago, this recipe is for Dutch Oven Bread. Baking the bread in a hot dutch oven with its lid for 3/4 of the time steams the bread at a high temperature and creates the crunchy exterior and perfectly baked interior, just like you find in the fresh bakeries.
How to store extra bread-
Bread freezes beautifully so I always make an extra loaf when I can. Here is how to store it-
- Wrap bread in foil and place in a large freezer bag
- Try to remove excess air from the bag
- Freeze for up to 3 months.
- Defrost for 1 hour before using
- To crisp bread up again, lightly spritz with cold water and bake for 5 minutes at 400 degrees.
For more bread recipes you’ll love, check out these posts-
Whether you're new to bread making or in a hurry, this Crispy Bread recipe will have you baking it daily! French bakery-style crunchy bread on your table in under an hour!
- 2 cups warm water warm to the touch but not hot
- 2 1/4 teaspoons INSTANT dried yeast
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 5 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
In a large bowl, combine water, yeast, and sugar. Allow to sit and “bloom” for 2-3 minutes.
Add flour and salt. Knead until the dough forms a ball and is no longer sticking to the sides of the bowl. Cover with a damp cloth and set aside while the oven is preheating.
Place dutch oven with lid in the oven. Preheat oven to 450 degrees for 15 minutes.
About 3-4 minutes before starting the bake, divide bread dough in half. Shape one half into a round. Return the other half of dough to bowl and cover.
Once oven is hot, carefully remove the dutch oven and place it on your stove. While still using oven mitts, remove the lid of the pot.
Place the shaped dough into the hot pot and use oven mitts to replace the lid. Place the whole pot into the oven and cook for 25 minutes.
Once bread has cooked for 20 minutes, remove the lid and cook for an additional 15 minutes.
Once done, carefully remove from oven and use a tong to remove the loaf. Place loaf on a cooling rack.
While pan is still hot, add the second half of the dough. Cover and place in the oven to cook for 25 minutes, then remove the lid and cook for an additional 10 minutes.
Cool for 10 minutes before slicing.
Bread can be stored at room temperature for 2 days or cooled and wrapped tightly and frozen for up to 1 month. Thaw before serving. To crisp loaf up, spray with cold water and warm in an oven preheated to 400 degrees for 5 minutes.
To make a larger loaf, use a 7.5 qt dutch oven. Cook bread for 30 minutes with lid, then remove the lid and cook for an additional 15-20 minutes or until golden brown on the outside.