recipe

“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

safety
  • Uses the oven
  • Uses a knife
difficulty
  • Intermediate
time
  • 2 hours and 40 minutes, plus 9½ hours rising time, plus 3 hours cooling time
yield
  • Makes 1 loaf

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Prepare Ingredients

3 cups (15 ounces)
all-­purpose flour, plus extra for counter
2 teaspoons
salt
¼ teaspoon
instant or rapid-­rise yeast
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (9 ounces)
room-­temperature water
1 tablespoon
distilled white vinegar
Vegetable oil spray

Gather Baking Equipment

Day 1

Large bowl
Whisk
Rubber spatula
Plastic wrap

Day 2

Ruler
Parchment paper
Dutch oven with lid
Oven mitts
Cooling rack
Cutting board
Bread knife
1
 
3 cups (15 ounces)
all-­purpose flour
2 teaspoons
salt
¼ teaspoon
instant or rapid-­rise yeast
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (9 ounces)
room-­temperature water
1 tablespoon
distilled white vinegar

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.

 
2
 

Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let dough rise until bubbly and doubled in size, at least 8 hours or up to 18 hours.

 
3
 
Vegetable oil spray

Day 2: Lay 18-­by-­12-­inch sheet of parchment paper on counter. Spray parchment lightly with vegetable oil spray. Set aside.

 
4
 

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.

How to Knead Dough Ball

Place heel of your hand in center of dough ball and press down and away from you.

Fold dough over. Rotate dough and repeat steps 1 & 2 until dough looks smooth, about 1 minute.

On clean counter, use your cupped hands to drag dough in small circles to form smooth ball.

 
5
 

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.

 
6
 

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.

 
7
 

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.

 
8
 

Ask an adult to remove pot from oven and to carefully lift parchment and bread out of pot and transfer to cooling rack (pot will be VERY hot). Let bread cool completely on cooling rack, about 3 hours. Transfer bread to cutting board, discard parchment, slice (ask an adult for help), and serve.

 
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