So you “don’t bake.” You’re “more of a cook” than a baker. You like flamboyant open flames, dashing salt into pots of simmering stews, even filleting a whole fish, if it comes down to it. But you’re not interested in scales and flour, precision and fussing.
OK, we get it. But how do you feel about homemade bread? Warm bread? Fresh bread you pull apart, with a dreamboat crackly crust and a plush interior?
Is there a body on this planet that doesn’t love the stuff? (Forgive us, gluten-intolerant folks; but you’ve got gluten-free flour and bread mixes!) The simple truth of the matter is that you can get a gorgeous Dutch oven ripping hot, drop some bread dough inside, pop on the lid, and bake up a crusty loaf every bit as delicious as one you might pick up in an artisanal bakery. Like your loaves extra pretty? Go the extra mile and use a razor-sharp lame to score the top decoratively before the dough goes into the oven. Use one of our bread mixes (add water, knead, and bake!) or try your hand at a simple no-knead recipe like our 5-star rosemary-lemon no-knead bread and have a fresh, incredible loaf 45 minutes later. The hands-on time for our killer made-from-scratch bread recipe? Fifteen minutes.
Fifteen minutes! Tell us you can get your hands on warm, super-fresh bread in 15 minutes. Understand that and it shouldn’t be too difficult to get in the habit of making your own. Yes, you have to get started in advance, so the yeast can do its thing, but it’s so worth it. Honestly, the hardest thing to remember is setting out the butter and sea salt while the bread is puffing up in the oven, doing its own thing, so it’s not ice cold when you go to slather it on the stuff. (Or use homemade duck liver mousse. Maybe bean dip. Or prosciutto. The sky’s the limit!)
All you need to get rocking on this project—because, yes, you can bake, and this method is remarkably clean once you get the hang of it—is a really good Dutch oven. Buy the best one you can, and make sure it has a tight-fitting lid. We love our Staub, Emile Henry, Le Creuset and Lodge Dutch ovens, and stock our kitchens with a variety of the brands, but that’s just us.