This Le Creuset overnight artisan bread recipe is the perfect homemade bread recipe for beginners and seasoned bakers as well! So simple, and so easy, but really makes you feel like you’ve accomplished something special. 🙂
I used to make this simple homemade bread recipe all the time when Kennedy was really little. We’ve always been big bread fans in this house and nothing gets everyone as excited as when we bring home a baguette from the store for everyone to snack on. I’ll often buy a loaf of artisan bread to use in photo shoots and I always get questions about when I’ll be done with it so we can actually eat it. So, we like good bread. I’d gotten out of the habit of making fresh bread though for some reason, but my new Le Creuset that I bought myself for my birthday this year was just the motivation I needed to get back into it. I have to say that looking at the dough ball before it went into the oven, I was sure I had messed this up. It turned out absolutely perfectly though, so this is definitely a fool-proof recipe. Here’s how to make my easy overnight artisan bread recipe!
See also: How to Clean Your Le Creuset Dutch Oven
Ingredients and Tools Needed for the Overnight Artisan Bread Recipe
So, I have to start out by saying that you definitely don’t need a Le Creuset Dutch Oven to make this bread. Any regular Dutch Oven that came with your cookware set will work just fine. I wanted to mention Le Creuset in the title for this recipe mainly so that anyone else who just got a new one and is looking for fun recipes to try out with it will find this if they didn’t know that making bread it it was an option. 🙂 I have the 4.7L (5 quart) oval Dutch Oven and it worked perfectly for this. A sheet of parchment paper (this type is my favorite) also comes in handy when making this recipe, but you can also just pick the ball of dough up with your hands and carefully plunk it into the Dutch Oven when the time comes if that’s easier for you.
You’ll also need:
- All-purpose flour
- Instant Yeast
It’s really that simple!
How to Prepare the Overnight Artisan Bread
You’ll start out by mixing your dough in a large bowl, which you’ll then cover with a clean tea towel or plastic wrap and leave in a warm spot to rise for about two hours.
This is where my method varies a bit from other similar recipes I’ve seen: Typically, people will leave the dough out on the counter to rise overnight. I don’t love to do that because one time, many years ago, after leaving my dough out, I woke up to find that it looked like it was growing something on top. Something blue and fuzzy and moldy-looking. Not ideal when you’re expecting to have freshly-baked bread to enjoy soon, so now after the two hours of rising time, I just transfer the bowl of dough to the fridge to stay overnight. Just like with my Sunday Morning Cinnamon Rolls, the dough does just fine in the fridge and maintains its rise, so I just like that extra little bit of insurance against anything going wrong.
In the morning, you’ll remove your dough from the fridge, scoop it out of the bowl, and plop it down on a lightly-floured surface to kneed for about a minute. Once you have a nice, smooth little dough ball, plunk it onto a sheet of parchment on your counter and cover it again to rise for about an hour.
After your hour is up, you’ll place your Dutch Oven onto a rack positioned in the middle of your oven and preheat your oven and your Dutch Oven together to 450°. This should take about 20-25 minutes-ish. When your oven has come up to the right temperature, you’ll take a sharp knife and cut about three slits in the top of your dough ball, then carefully remove the Dutch Oven from the oven, open the lid, and use the parchment sheet to lower the dough ball into the Dutch Oven. Replace the lid and put the whole thing in the oven.
You’ll bake your bread covered for a little bit, then uncover it to finish it off and let it brown up a little bit.
You can slice and enjoy the bread right away if you like, or wait about 20-30 minutes for it to cool so it will be a bit easier to slice cleanly.
Here’s the full printable recipe!
This Le Creuset overnight artisan bread recipe is the perfect homemade bread recipe for beginners and seasoned bakers as well! So simple, and so easy, but really makes you feel like you've accomplished something special. 🙂
- 3 cups Flour
- 1.5 tsp Salt
- 1 packet Instant yeast
- 1.5 cups Warm water
- 1/4 cup Flour (additional, for flouring surfaces)
Add your warm water to a measuring cup or small bowl. Water should be warm to the touch, but not so hot that it burns. Technically, about 105℉ is the perfect temperature, but you can just go by feel. Add your packet of yeast to the water, stir, and let it sit for about 5 minutes.
Add your salt and flour to a large bowl. Mix. Add your water/yeast mixture to the bowl with the flour and stir to combine. You'll end up with a loose, shaggy dough ball. Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel or plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm spot for about 2 hours.
Place your dough bowl in the fridge overnight, then remove it in the morning when you're ready to work with it again.
Flour a clean surface and remove your dough from the bowl. Knead your dough for about a minute or two until it comes together into a smooth ball. Place the dough ball on a sheet of parchment and cover with a tea towel. Leave it to rise for an hour.
After an hour, place your Dutch Oven in the oven and preheat to 450°. When the oven has come up to the right temperature, carefully remove your Dutch Oven from the oven. Cut three slits in the top of your dough ball with a sharp knife and use the parchment to lift it up and place it down into the Dutch Oven. Replace the lid and return the Dutch Oven to the oven.
Bake for 30 minutes, then remove the lid from your Dutch Oven and continue to bake for an additional 15 minutes to allow the loaf of bread to brown up nicely.
Allow the bread to cool for about 20 minutes for easy slicing. Bread will keep well for a few days at room temperature as long as it's well-wrapped.
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Courtenay Hartford is the author of creeklinehouse.com, a blog based on her adventures renovating a 120-year-old farmhouse in rural Ontario, Canada. On her blog, Courtenay shares interior design tips based on her own farmhouse and her work as founder and stylist of the interior photography firm Art & Spaces. She also writes about her farmhouse garden, plant-based recipes, family travel, and homekeeping best practices. Courtenay is the author of the book The Cleaning Ninja and has been featured in numerous magazines including Country Sampler Farmhouse Style, Better Homes and Gardens, Parents Magazine, Real Simple, and Our Homes.