What better way to eat chilli than with a loaf of fresh baked bread? Pop it in the oven right before you serve guests (or a date) and the smell of fresh baking bread will be sure to impress.This recipe is super easy (it requires no kneading), and is completely customizable! For this recipe, you’ll need a few simple ingredients and a Dutch oven or any large oven-safe dish or bowl with a lid (you could even cover a baking dish with aluminum foil).
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 ½ cups lukewarm water
Optional: Herbs, spices, dried fruit, nuts, cheese, etc.
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, salt and yeast. Add the water and mix until the dough just begins to come together. Do not overmix! (If you wanted to add anything extra to the dough such as herbs or spices, now would be the time to mix it in).
Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let the dough sit at room temperature for 8-24 hours. Making it the night before and letting it rest overnight is a good idea.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F (232 degrees Celsius) and place the Dutch oven or oven-safe dish inside, uncovered, to preheat the oven.
While preheating, turn dough onto a well-floured surface. If you have a bench scraper you can use to scoop all the sticky dough out of the bowl (otherwise, your hands are fine). Form the dough into a ball and cover it loosely with plastic wrap to let it rest while the oven is still preheating.
Once preheating is done, carefully remove the Dutch oven or dish and place the bread dough in it. Score the top of the dough with a knife in an “x” pattern. If you are not using an enamel Dutch oven, it’s recommended that you put a piece of parchment paper beneath the dough to prevent the bread from sticking.
Cover the Dutch oven or baking dish and bake for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove the cover and bake for another 7-15 minutes uncovered.
Allow the bread to cool on a cutting board before cutting it.