“It was good with butter and salt sprinkled on top. I like the shape, and the crust is crunchy and I like it. The recipe was easy, but the waiting was hard.” —Major, recipe tester, age 8
Have you heard about our Young Chefs’ Club? Members get a themed (and kid-tested) box delivered each month!
Day 1: In large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and yeast. Add water and vinegar. Use rubber spatula to stir and press until dough comes together and no dry flour is visible, 2 to 3 minutes.
Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let dough rise until bubbly and doubled in size, at least 8 hours or up to 18 hours.
Day 2: Lay 18-by-12-inch sheet of parchment paper on counter. Spray parchment lightly with vegetable oil spray. Set aside.
Sprinkle clean counter heavily with extra flour and coat your hands with extra flour. Transfer dough to counter and use your floured hands to knead until smooth, about 1 minute. Move dough to clean portion of counter. Use your hands to form dough into smooth ball.
Transfer ball to center of greased parchment sheet. Use parchment to lower dough into Dutch oven (let any extra parchment hang over pot edges). Cover pot with lid and let dough rise until doubled in size, 1½ to 2 hours.
Adjust oven rack to middle position. When dough is ready, place covered pot in cold oven. Set oven to 425 degrees and bake for 30 minutes.
Ask an adult to remove pot lid with oven mitts (lid will be VERY hot). Continue to bake until loaf is deep golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes.
Most breads require kneading the dough a long time to develop gluten, a stretchy web of proteins that gives bread its structure. But gluten can also develop on its own . . . with time. After a brief mix, letting our dough rest overnight (also called autolysis) lets the flour slowly form networks of gluten—just a quick knead the next day, and it’s ready to bake.