I love the ease of using a breadmaker, but I find that the one thing I’m missing is the crust on my white bread. After experimenting for a while, I discovered that baking the bread in my trusty cast iron pot produces a wonderful loaf, soft on on the inside with a wonderful golden trust. The dough is made in the breadmaker first, then transferred to preheated pot and baked in the oven. That’s it! Just let the pot work its magic.
Recipe: The Easiest Crusty Homemade Bread in Cast Iron Pot
The dough recipe is for French bread. This makes a loaf of a medium size.
- 1 1/4 cup water
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp sugar
- 3 1/3 cups flour
- 1 1/4 tsp breadmaker yeast
Add water, salt, and sugar to the breadmaker pan. Then carefully add flour; sprinkle yeast on top. Start the dough program on your breadmaker. My breadmaker is a very basic Black and Decker model with a single paddle. It takes about 1.5 hours for the dough program to run. There is no need to knead it by hand or give it a second rise after that.
After the dough program is done, preheat your oven to 450 degrees F. Put the cast iron put into your oven and let it heat for 20 minutes.
Once the pot is heated, carefully take it out of your oven. Take the dough out of the breadmaker, taking care not to knead or pinch it anymore, but still keep it in the shape of a ball. It’s OK if it’s not a perfect ball, it will be fine as long as it roughly resembles one. Now carefully drop the dough into the pot, close the lid and put into into the oven. The beauty of this recipe is that there is no kneading by hand, and your pot doesn’t need to be greased, doused with flour, or lined with anything – the bread won’t stick.
Now let it bake for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, take the bread out of the pot and put on a wire rack, or inverted plate or cup to let it aerate and cool. That’s it! It comes out perfectly crusty and golden every time.