I can’t stand the kitchen. Truly, I’d rather be anywhere else. I can promise you Martha Stuart wouldn’t be my biggest fan.
Nevertheless, in as much as I dislike the kitchen, I enjoy delicious food. Trying to combine those two facts can be incredibly difficult, which is why I seek out the simplest and most painless of recipes wherever possible. Even the slightest hint of complicated and I turn the other way.
Throughout the multiple shutdowns that COVID-19 brought we all saw the many ways our friends, families, and loved ones got creative and filled their time. Trends like whipped coffee, tie-dye, at-home haircuts, and crocheting were on the rise. Perhaps no trend was more popular than that of bread baking.
When I started to see my feed fill with fluffy, decadent loaves of homemade sourdough and artisanal bread, I couldn’t help but gaze in envy. My mom and I sat at home reveling in other people’s bread glory thinking “that could never be us.”
That’s why when I found @themodernnonna's no-fuss, no-knead bread, I was skeptical. It was just too good to be true. Nevertheless, my mom took it upon herself to put the recipe to the test, and it has been a staple in our house ever since.
We’ve even gone on to find 2 variations of the recipe depending on your personal bread preferences! Continue below for the quickest, simplest, easiest, and most delicious bread recipe you’ll ever encounter.
Do note you’ll need a Dutch oven to complete this recipe. Mine is by Crockpot and it wasn’t too expensive off Amazon. It’s a really versatile dish that you can use for stir-fries, stews, soups, and of course, bread.
For the traditional loaf
6 cups bread flour (this is in fact different than all-purpose flour.)
2 tsp salt
1 tsp active dry yeast
3 1/2 cups warm water
NOTE: Be sure to place the yeast and the salt on opposite sides of the bowl. The yeast is alive, and the salt will kill it if they come into contact too soon.
In a large bowl, mix all ingredients until just combined.
Cover and set aside overnight.
Place dough on a floured surface and divide in two (this recipe makes two loaves).
Form each loaf into a round ball and set one aside.
You may need to add flour to your dough as it can be quite sticky. This recipe is very forgiving, so trust the process and don’t worry about being heavy-handed on the flour if need be.
Line your Dutch oven with parchment paper and place your first dough inside.
Place in a cold oven with the lid on
Set to bake at 450F for 30 minutes
After 30 minutes, remove the lid and bake for another 30.
Allow to cool for 15 minutes and enjoy.
For the cinnamon raisin loaf
Now, this recipe does require a few more steps, but if my mom says it’s easy, then anyone will say it’s easy, I can promise you that.
3 cups flour (+1-2 tablespoons if necessary)
¾ cup raisins
½ tsp active dry yeast
1 ½ tsp sea salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
3 tbsp brown sugar
1 ½ cups water, room temperature (+1-2 tablespoons if necessary)
Flour hands and shape dough into a ball.
Place in the bottom of a large bowl.
Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 12-18 hours.
Place empty Dutch oven into a cold oven.
Preheat to 450F.
Flour hands well, shape dough into a round ball and set on a piece of parchment paper dusted with flour.
Dust the top of the dough ball with flour.
Cover with a clean towel and let stand for 25 minutes.
Remove Dutch oven from the oven.
Using the parchment paper, carefully lift dough and place carefully in the bottom of the Dutch oven.
Using a knife, make two shallow slices on top of the loaf, forming an “X”.
Cover Dutch oven with lid and bake for 30 minutes.
Remove lid and bake another 10 minutes.
Transfer to a cooling rack using parchment paper.
Allow to cool completely before slicing.
For the sharp cheddar loaf
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ tsp salt
1 tsp active dry yeast
1 ½ cups lukewarm water
8 oz sharp cheddar cheese cut into ¼ inch cubes
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and yeast.
Toss in the cubed cheese so the cubes are coated in the flour.
Gradually mix in warm water using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula.
Mix until just combined.
The dough will be very sticky.
Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and let rest for 12-16 hours in a warm, dry place.
Preheat the oven to 450F with a rack in the middle of the oven.
Place your Dutch oven (no smaller than 4qt) in the oven while it preheats allowing the pot to heat up for 30 minutes.
When the Dutch oven is preheated, transfer the dough to a large piece of parchment paper. Quickly remove the Dutch oven from the oven and carefully lift the parchment paper into the Dutch oven.
Put the lid back on and put it back into the oven.
Bake for 30 minutes with the lid on.
Remove the lid and bake uncovered for an additional 20 minutes until the dough is golden and has a hard crust.
Carefully remove the parchment and bread from the Dutch oven and allow it to cool before slicing or tearing the bread.
Which recipe will you be trying first? Let us know in the comments!