Dutch Oven Bread + Variations

Follow this recipe for a classic loaf, or try one of the simple variations below. For our top tips and tricks to mastering the art of Dutch Oven Bread, look here

5.0 from 5 reviews
Dutch Oven Bread
Makes 1 (2-pound) loaf
  • 4½ cups (563 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon (9 grams) kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon (1.5 grams) active dry yeast
  • 2¼ cups lukewarm water (105°F to 110°F)
  • ⅓ cup (50 grams) plain yellow cornmeal, divided
  1. In a large bowl, stir together flour, salt, and yeast. Add 2¼ cups lukewarm water. Stir with your hand until a sticky dough forms. Cover bowl with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel; let rise at room temperature overnight or up to 24 hours.
  2. On a floured work surface, pat dough into a circular shape. (This is a wet dough.) Fold four edges in toward center; turn dough smooth side up. Sprinkle with flour, and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise at room temperature for 2 hours.
  3. Place a 4- to 6-quart cast-iron Dutch oven in cold oven. Preheat oven to 500°F. Sprinkle top of dough generously with cornmeal. Using a large spatula, turn dough over; sprinkle with remaining cornmeal.
  4. Place dough in preheated Dutch oven. (Use a wooden spoon to gently push dough into bottom of pan, if necessary.) Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake 15 to 20 minutes more. Let cool completely on a wire rack.



Rosemary-Cheese Bread

In the first step, stir 1 cup grated Gruyère cheese, 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary, and 1 teaspoon (2 grams) ground black pepper into flour mixture. Continue as directed. After first 30 minutes of baking, sprinkle bread with ¼ cup grated Gruyère cheese.

Multi-Grain Topped Bread

Prepare dough, and let rise as directed. Stir together 3 tablespoons (27 grams) raw sunflower seeds, 1 tablespoon (5 grams) old-fashioned oats, 1 tablespoon (10 grams) dried minced onion, 1 tablespoon (4 grams) wheat bran, 2 teaspoons (6 grams) coarse sea salt, 1 teaspoon (3 grams) poppy seeds, 1 teaspoon (3 grams) sesame seeds, and 1 teaspoon (3 grams) flax seeds. Sprinkle over bread dough (instead of cornmeal) before baking.

Cranberry-Pecan Bread

In the first step, stir together 3 cups (375 grams) all-purpose flour, 1½ cups (195 grams) whole-wheat flour, salt, and yeast. Stir in 1 cup (128 grams) dried cranberries, 1 cup (113 grams) chopped pecans, and 1½ teaspoons (3 grams) ground cinnamon; continue as directed.

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  1. I made the plain Dutch Oven bread exactly as the directions directed. This is the recipe I’ve been searching for, an Artisan bread like they sell in Whole Foods. The entire family thought it was delicious. Tonight I served it with fresh Venison Medallions, home made mac and cheese and some broccoli. Yum. Everyone said the bread was the highlight of the meal. I am making it again tomorrow and the only change I’m making is turning the oven down to 450 degrees. Thank you for a wonderful recipe.

  2. This has been the perfect bread recipe for me. As a novice doing research and trying different things out, this particular recipe gave me the proper tools to understand bread-making basics. I prepare this loaf at least twice a month, and I haven’t bought bread in months! Super happy you shared this.

  3. wow. I’m just beginning to try yeast recipes and this was SO easy and delicious. The bread looked like I bought it and tasted fabulous. I let it rise in the frig for 5 days. Struggled (and failed) to get the perfect rising temp (72 F) but it still worked in spite of all that. The bread is amazing slathered with high quality butter and sprinkled with kosher or Malden salt. And I never buy, make or eat bread normally. But these are not normal times…

    • Hey Mary,

      You can use two seasoned cast iron pans in a pinch. The most important thing to the Dutch oven element is its heavy cast-iron or cast iron enamel material and its top cover. So use a 9- or 10-inch cast iron skillet as a bottom and an equal sized cast iron to cover the top. You need to cover this bread to ensure the bread gets a proper oven spring (when the steam rapidly releases but is trapped inside the pan and helps create a wonderful crust). Make sure both your cast iron pans are properly seasoned!

  4. Greetings from New Zealand! Great recipe! I haven’t made bread for years, but with the virus I could only get 5kg bags of flour, so searched for bread recipes. I have made the basic recipe, raisin and walnut, olive and rosemary and a whole-wheat loaf- all fantastic! I now make bread every other day, get it ready the night before, and cook it mid- morning for lunch. Have adjusted temperatures for fan forced oven. Highly recommend this amazing recipe.

  5. I follow the recipe with one tweak. I use a whole teaspoon of yeast instead of just a half. I also put the dough in a bowl with lots of flour for the final rise. This allows me to tumble it gently into the dutch oven when I cook it to preserve all the air bubbles in the dough. (If it is sticking to the bowl a bit after the final rise i gently use a rubber spatula to unstick the edges).

    • Hi Evelia!
      With an electric convection oven, lower the temperature by 25 degrees F, then proceed as described. Happy baking!

    • Hi Elizabeth!

      We haven’t tested this recipe with bread flour, but because bread flour contains more gluten than all-purpose, you may get a tougher result.

    • Hi Larry,

      Thanks for reaching out! Absolutely, score away! We went with the more rustic-style here, but there is nothing like having a good bread lame in hand.


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