Using a Dutch oven as your 'oven' - This recipe for a quick no-knead crusty rye bread yields a beautifully crusty, dense, loaf of bread - with delicious rich rye flavor, in about 4 hours' time. Perfect for a Reuben sandwich, grilled patty melt, or just to toast up and eat with a pat of butter.
How to make - A Quick No-Knead Crusty Rye Bread
Why you should make this recipe
Because it makes a delicious fresh dense crusty rye bread.
You can scroll past this to the ingredients list and step by step if you don't care about the why
I love myself a good Reuben sandwich. It’s after St. Patrick’s day, and I have some left-over corned beef but once again find myself unable to find a decent rye bread. Rye bread, corned beef, sauerkraut, and Swiss cheese along with some Thousand Island dressing, grilled to crusty perfection…that’s what you need to make a Reuben.
So if you don’t have the rye, you don’t have the Reuben.
Not being able to find good rye bread is the norm here.
So I thought I would just make some.
My first thought was making it in my bread machine, but that wasn’t going to give me the crunchy crust I wanted, or the texture.
So to the internet, I went. I found one that promised an artisan crust by being made in a Le Creuset Dutch oven (about $350+) that had been heated before cooking.
And while it turned out good, it was a little flat. Not quite the “rise” I was looking for.
And it took 18 hours to make!
I don’t have 18 hours to wait, or I don’t have 18 hours to plan ahead…so I kept looking. I found more recipes, using varying techniques, and finally combined them to come up with this, perfectly lovely, crusty, artisan loaf of rye bread.
"You don't "need" much to make this Quick Crusty No-Knead Rye Bread"
The Ingredients List
- Flour(s)- As I state in the recipe, you can use any type of flour you wish to, just know that each type will react differently and absorb the water differently. The key to the dough is to have a loose, shaggy dough. Shaggy dough means a "wet" dough.
- Rye flour - To make it rye bread.
- Active Dry Yeast- To ensure your yeast is good, you should always prove it. I like to use jarred yeast, which I keep in the refrigerator. But even with the date on it, one cannot be sure if it is alive or not. While this recipe uses no sugar in it, the best way to prove yeast is to mix a small amount of yeast along with a pinch of sugar in some warm water. Within a few minutes, you should see some vigorous bubble action. If you don't, your yeast is dead and must be replaced.
- Caraway Seeds- caraway seeds are optional but I do like them in my rye.
- Warm Water - You want it warm, not hot. About 100º which is only slightly warmer than your body temperature. So you could use a thermometer, or just put your finger in the water. If it feels slightly warm to you, it's good to go.
Step by Step Instructions
Steps 1 and 2
- Mix the dry dough ingredients together in a large bowl, make a well in the center and add the warm water. You will have a very shaggy dough. Remember, you want wet and shaggy.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a tea towel, and allow to rise in a warm place for about 3 hours.
Steps 3, 4, and 5
- Once the dough has risen, it should have doubled in volumn, remove it from the bowl onto a well-floured board or counter top.
- Using your well-floured hands and fold it over a few times, then form a ball sealing the bottom seam as best you can.
- Cover with plastic wrap and let it rest while your "oven" is heating.
Steps 6, 7, and 8
- Heat your oven to 450ºF (232ºC) and place your Dutch oven, along with the top into it to heat for at least 30 minutes - it will be very very hot.
- Remove the pot (carefully) open it and drop your ball of dough, seam side down, into the center. Cover, return to the oven and cook for 30 minutes.
- Uncover and cook 10 to 15 minutes more, or until the internal temperature reaches 200ºF (93ºC) using an instant read thermometer, OR, you can use the old fashioned way of knocking on the crust. If it sounds hollow, it should be done.
My preferred flour for this recipe is bread flour mixed with rye. Bread flour is softer and has more protein, which gives a more chewy texture. All-purpose white and whole-wheat flours also work well. Whole wheat, of course, would give the bread an even firmer texture, and a denser loaf and requires more water. So watch the dough and add water if it seems dry.
Remember, you want a shaggy dough, not the kind you would normally use to make bread which requires kneading.
In theory, yes. By using gluten-free flours you could make this gluten-free, however, this loaf is pretty dense when made with bread flour which is much softer, so if you use all gluten-free, I imagine it would be even more so.
Basic bread contains flour, water, salt, and yeast. There is no sugar required. Sugar will make bread rise faster and taste sweet.
There are alternatives to Le Cruset. When making this Quick No-Knead Crusty Rye Bread, I used my Lodge enameled Dutch oven (<$100) ). This pot does all the work as Le Cruset but at more than half the cost.
Just make sure to use a heavy, enameled Dutch oven so the bread comes out easily.
Try to drop the dough as close to the center of the pot as you can, but if you don't make it exactly in the center, don't panic. It will be o.k. I've even had drops that were more side drops than center drops, and the loaf turned out fine.
Do not try to move the dough once you have dropped it. Not only is it too hot for you to be putting your hands inside that pot, but the dough will stick. So just leave it where it falls. Cover and stick in the oven to cook for 30 minutes, then remove the cover, again, very carefully, and bake for about 10 minutes more, or until a thermometer registers 200º, or, use the old-fashioned knock on the bread method. If it sounds hollow, it's done.
Tips for success
1. Remember, a wet, shaggy dough. Do not think of it as a regular bread dough.
2. Make sure to preheat the Dutch oven in your hot oven for at least 30 minutes.
3. Use extreme caution when working the hot Dutch oven.
4. Your rise time may vary depending on the temperature.
- The ideal temperature to rise dough is around 85º F. Since most of us don't keep our kitchens that warm, you may need to place the bowl under a light, near a furnace register.
- If you have a proofing setting on your oven you can use that.
- Cooler room temperature will only cause the dough to rise slower, so if that's the case, just let it sit for another hour or so until it has doubled in volume.
5. Make sure your surface and your fingers are well floured. It is a very sticky dough.
Don't feel like a Reuben? This dense bread is also great served with one of these hearty soups.
LindySez: Heating your enameled Dutch oven empty in a hot oven will, over time, discolor the inside enamel coating. While unsightly, it will not affect the pot's performance. With some elbow grease and Bar Keepers Friend, you can get it looking almost like new again.
A Quick No Knead Crusty Rye Bread
- 3 ½ cups flour for the rye bread I used 2 cups all-purpose and 1 ½ cups rye, you could also use whole wheat and white, or all white, up to you
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 1 ½ cups warm about 100 degrees water, or more as needed
- 2 teaspoons or more caraway seeds optional
- In a large bowl stir together the flour, salt and yeast. Add the caraway seeds, if using. Make a well in the center then add the water into the well. Mix, incorporating the water into the flour until you have a very sticky shaggy dough (if the dough seems to dry, add a little more water). Cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit in a warm place for 3 hours.
- Heat the oven to 450º F. Place your enamel Dutch oven and its cover (I used the oval oven, as long as it’s enamel, the bread will NOT stick) in the oven and heat for 30 minutes.
- While the “oven” is heating in the oven; scrape the very sticky dough out onto a well-floured counter with your very well-floured fingers (did I mention the dough is sticky?, well it is). Fold over a few times then form into a ball, sealing the bottom into a seam as best you can. Cover with plastic while you wait for the pot to get hot. Once the pot AND its cover have been in for 30 minutes, CAREFULLY remove, open and drop your ball of dough into the center; cover and return to the oven. Cook for 30 minutes; uncover and cook 10 – 15 minutes more, or until the internal temperature reaches 200 degrees when read with an instant-read thermometer. Or you can use the old knock on the crust and see if it sounds hollow, not exactly the most scientific way, but works most of the time.
- Again, carefully remove the bread from the hot hot pot, and transfer to a cooling rack to cool