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SANDRA'S EASY NO-KNEAD DUTCH OVEN BREAD

An easy 5-minute no-knead dough to prepare the night before,
then quick to prepare upon waking the next morning
to enjoy throughout the day...


Yields: (1 loaf)
Prep: 5 Mins.
Total rising time: 9 hours
Bake 45 to 50 Mins.

INGREDIENTS

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon active yeast (not rapid or instant)
1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1-1/2 cups slightly warm water (tepid)

--2 teaspoons olive oil
(For top and bottom of dough ball so it doesn't stick or form crust while rising)

--Dutch oven (should be at least 4 quarts in size) with its lid.
Note: (Do not oil Dutch Oven, bread will not stick while baking).

METHOD

Add flour to bowl. Add yeast and sea salt and stir thoroughly. Add barely warm (tepid) water and stir thoroughly. The dough will look rough and shaggy.

Lightly oil top of dough using a paper towel, then oil your hands (to prevent dough sticking to them); turn dough in the bowl and do so on this side so the whole ball of dough is slightly coated with the oil.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Throw a kitchen towel over top and underneath of bowl and set it in a warm corner. Leave it alone for 8 hours. (Save plastic wrap).

When risen, in the bowl, fold dough over on itself at 3 times, then reform into ball. Using a bit more olive oil on hands and bowl, if need be, to prevent sticking.

Cover dough with same plastic wrap and let it sit for 1 hour.

About 20 minutes before the hour is up, turn on oven to preheat at 450 degrees. Place an oven-safe Dutch Oven in oven to preheat at the same time as well.

After the full hour, the dough will have risen and nearly doubled in size. Quickly shape the dough into a round ball and drop it into the preheated Dutch Oven (be careful because it's really, really hot). Slash an 'X' on top of the dough with a sharp knife that's been sprayed w/oil. Place lid on hot Dutch Oven and carefully place in oven and bake for 30 minutes.

Note: When removing Dutch Oven lid/pot from hot oven, 
be sure to do so using heavy pot holders, 
to a baking rack or stove top 'cold burder' as they will be hot enough to scorch standard kitchen towels.

Remove the lid from the Dutch Oven and bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes. Bread is done when an instant-read thermometer inserted in the top reads 190 degrees.

Remove bread from oven. To keep warm for serving, wrap loaf in a clean kitchen towel. Slice and serve! ~ Enjoy!

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Tips: 

This bread is quite forgiving and can be left to rise from 6 to 12 hours, although the longer you let rise the more yeast flavor you'll end up with.

To make wheat, rye, etc., versions...simply change out, when initially mixing, 1 cup of all-purpose flour with your desired alternate flour.

To make artisan...simply add, after the first rising of dough and before the last 1-hour rise, a few of your favorite sugar, spices, herbs, seeds, nuts, dried fruit, chocolate or other chips, zest,  flavorings, cheese, etc. in modest amounts.

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