5 from 17 votes

Sublime Crusty Bread

A marble countertop with crusty bread inside an Emile Henry Sublime Dutch Oven and another pot with lentil soup.
Dutch Ovens from Emile Henry Sublime Collection

A shatteringly thin crust and a super light and stretchy interior is the bread most beloved by my family. This crusty bread delivers on all of it. The simple ingredients mixed with a short autolyze (just a fancy word for making a slurry of flour and water, then a quick rest), gives the bread the beautiful interior texture.

It is the baking that delivers the gorgeous crust. By baking the dough in a preheated Sublime Dutch Oven by Emile Henry, you’ll get the most exquisitely thin crust on your bread. No need to add water for steam, since the lidded pot traps the dough’s moisture and creates the perfect environment for a shiny, delicate, crisp crust that shatters when you slice it.

Emile Henry Sublime Dutch Oven in a wall oven

The Sublime Dutch Oven is super lightweight and because of its new ceramic technology it retains and conducts heat even better than cast iron or stainless steel. Not only does it bake gorgeous bread, but it is also perfect for cooking the soup I served along with it. We all need a pot that can go from high temperatures for frying to a gentle, low simmer on the stovetop, can be baked at high temperatures in the oven, and is elegant enough to serve at the table. Sublime can be used on direct flame, stovetop – gas, electric or glass, charcoal or gas BBQ grills, in the oven, microwave, and is dishwasher safe. That’s a game changer!

Lentil soup in a navy blue Emile Henry Sublime Dutch Oven on Zoë François's stovetop.

I served this crusty bread with a delicious, bright lentil soup! Everything from sauteeing the onions to simmering the stock was flawless. The Dutch Oven conducts heat so evenly that you never have to worry about hot spots that may burn or stick while you’re cooking. The Dutch Oven is so beautiful I used it to cook and then brought it straight to the table to serve the soup. You’ll find the recipe at Eat Something Vegan. I used the 7.5-quart Sublime Dutch Oven, but it will also fit in the 6-quart. One of the best qualities of the Sublime is that it is dishwasher safe, which sets it apart from my cast iron and metal pots.

This post was sponsored by Emile Henry, but all opinions are my own!

Emily Henry Sublime Dutch Oven with a crusty boule inside

Sublime Crusty Bread

A shatteringly thin crust and a super light and stretchy interior is the bread most beloved by my family. This loaf delivers on all of it. The simple ingredients mixed with a short autolyze (just a fancy word for making a slurry of flour and water, then a quick rest), gives the bread the beautiful interior texture.
5 from 17 votes


  • 500 g flour I used King Arthur all-purpose flour
  • 375 g water room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tsp yeast I used Platinum Yeast by Red Star*, but any granulated instant yeast will work.
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp kosher salt


  • Using a spoon mix 125g flour and 100g water in the bowl of a stand mixer and allow to rest for 15 minutes. 
  • Add the remaining flour, salt, water, yeast, and honey to the flour/water mixture and knead with the dough hook attachment on medium-high speed until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. 
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp towel and allow to rest for 20 minutes.
  • Reach into the bowl with a plastic bowl scraper and stretch the sides of the dough up and over the center of the dough, it may take about 5 or 6 times to move all the way around the bowl, creating a loose ball. Cover the bowl and allow to rest for 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size. 
  • Turn the dough out of the bowl onto a lightly floured surface. Pull the dough into an oval with the short end closest to you. Fold the top end of the dough into the middle. Stretch the bottom end of the dough out to the sides, to create a rough triangle shape, then fold those two stretched points into the center. Flip the dough over, so the smooth side is now up and scoot the bottom of the dough in a circular motion on the counter to create a tight ball. 
  • Dust a proofing basket** with flour and put the dough ball, smooth side down into the basket. Cover with plastic and allow to rest about 1 hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 475°F. On a rack in the middle of the oven, heat a 6-quart Sublime Dutch Oven*** for about 20 minutes before baking. 
  • Invert the dough onto a sheet of parchment paper. Using a knife or Lame, score the top of the dough with ½-inch-deep slashes. 
  • Using the parchment as a sling, gently drop the dough into the preheated pot, cover and bake for about 35 covered. Remove the cover and continue baking for 10 minutes or until the bread is deeply caramel brown.
  • Carefully remove from the Sublime Dutch Oven using a spatula to help lift it out and cool to room temperature before cutting. 

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*platinum yeast has dough enhancers in it, which are enzymes that create a stronger gluten structure. I find the dough has more stretch and therefore rises better. 
**If you don’t have a proofing basket, you can set the dough on a lightly floured piece of parchment, smooth side up. Cover with plastic and proceed as directed without inverting.
***You can make half a batch of dough and bake it in the 4-quart Sublime Dutch Oven.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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29 thoughts to “Sublime Crusty Bread”

  1. I know that salt inhibits yeast growth and is not always added at the start of a dough. But, you left out the salt addition to the recipe. When do you feel is the correct time to add it?

    1. Hi Stuart, thanks for mentioning this. The recipe has been updated. The salt should be added when you add the remaining flour in step 2. Happy baking!

  2. Zoe, this is exciting to me as at 75 I cannot lift heavy items per lower body items falling due to gravity (if you get my drift). I could no longer lift my Challenger cast iron at 30 pounds!! Now this is only 7 pounds! I’m ordering it due to your bread baking article above. Please tell me if the sizes they state include the handles? On the 7qt. What is the internal size? The website doesn’t say if the size includes the handles.

  3. 5 stars
    Amazingly wonderful bread, and so easy. I just can not believe this works. I have been baking breads for years, experimenting with more recipes than I can remember, sometimes with success and other times with disappointment. This bread recipe is my favorite by far, I really love it!

  4. The store was completely out of instant yeast..I got the Red Star active yeast..will that work or does it have to be instant..

  5. 5 stars
    I love this recipe. So good. I only wish you would publish the nutritional information as I’m watching calories

    1. Hi Maggie, Zoë uses grams when baking bread because it’s the only way to get the recipe accurate. People measure flour in so many different ways and the recipes can end up vastly different when measured that way. The rest of her recipes use both cups and grams. An estimate for you would be about 3 3/4 cups flour and about 1 1/2 cups water.

  6. Hello. In instruction #1 are you to add yeast to the 125g of flour and 100g of water? Curious because instruction #2 says add the remaining ingredients to the flour/yeast mixture? The mixture is just flour and water.
    Thank you.

    1. Hi Madeline! Thank you for the question and sorry for the confusion. You hold off on adding the yeast until step 2 — recipe is updated now. Happy baking!

  7. Using 500g of flour as per recipe instructions, what size loaf does this make? 1 pound? 1.5 lb? 2 lb? Thank you for your help.

    1. Hi Jeannette, the dough weighs about 2 lbs. That won’t be exactly the weight after baking, but hopefully this approximation helps!

  8. Converted this to fresh stone ground whole-wheat
    Added additional water for the whole wheat. Turned into kneading in more flour and going to a third rise but the dough survived! The measure by weight ws a real help in the process even though I have never baked with a scale before. Now o can adjust the water back in grams to relate to weight of flour. 60 whole wheat flour to 40 water. And only 2 proofings! Cheers.

  9. I have 2 questions I have cast iron pots will they do?

    Can I use Bread Flour or Wheat Flour? Will I follow the same recipe? Thanks

  10. 5 stars
    Will never look for another quick crusty dutch oven
    baked bread recipe again! Thank you Zoe! I am so happy to have found you watching your show within The Magnolia Network. I can’t wait to receive your books and look forward trying your additional recipes! I followed this recipe as stated, the only thing recommendation that would be helpful is to specify the baking time when splitting the dough in half? I have a 4 quart dutch oven and took a guess on baking time, I wished I would have weighed my finished dough prior to splitting? My first loaf I let proof as stated in step 6 – however covered on a floured parchment paper as I do not have a proofing basket. Once hour passed, I placed on heated dutch oven as instructed and baked for 30 mins. Now the second half of dough, also sat proofing in counter while I was baking the first and 20 mins into the first loaf baking I am happy that I decided to take second half, knead a couple of times and roll tighter into a boule shaped roll. I then baked that loaf 28 mins covered and 12 mins uncovered. I wished I could share photos because regardless both loaves turned out beautifully and absolutely delicious! I was faithful and waited the hour cooling period and also listened for the cracks! Can’t wait to try different variations of this recipe by adding olives, garlic, onions etc! Thank You!

  11. Help.
    I got everything ready to try this. On the Zoe bakes bread episode on Magnolia network when making the olive boule she never mentions the oven temp???? Preheat the dutch oven for 30 mins… no TEMP? Bake for 35. 25 with lid and 10 w/out the lid. No temp???

    I’ve been trying to find it in on this site and the 5min bread site. Showing 475 degrees? Another preheat at 500 for 1.5lb artisan. This one is a 1 lb with olives.

    The issue is my dutch oven with metal handle on lid shows it has a oven safe max temp of 450 – will this still work if baked at 450 in a convection gas oven?

    Thank you.

      1. Hi Stephani,
        Thanks for getting back to me so fast. I cannot open the link its says Magnolia is not available in your area. I’m in Montreal, CAN. I have made the dough and don’t want to waste it, so I already following the 910g flour, 3 cups water, 1.5 Tbsp yeast, 1 Tbsp Kosher salt. Its now rising.
        Plan to use as shown 1lb of the risen dough with 1/4 cup of pitted olives. Its the bake temp that I’m concerned about. I can preheat and bake the dutch oven to a max of 450. Will that still work?
        My dream is to buy a Le Creuset but they are $590. ouch 😉

        1. Ahh! Let’s see if this will work for you instead. I uploaded it as a PDF so hopefully this link will work for you. Since your Dutch oven can only handle up to 450, I’d just keep the oven at that temperature, rather than starting at 500 and then reducing as it states in the recipe. You may want to extend the bake time by about 5 minutes once you’ve removed the lid, but that is at your discretion as you check the color of the loaf. I hope this helps! Enjoy!

  12. 5 stars
    That worked perfectly thank you. I had already made it and used 450 max which turned out great.
    I’m so pleased with the result and look forward to using the remaining dough for other breads varieties.

    Thanks your the link – it works.

  13. 5 stars
    Exactly as described and foolproof if you follow the instructions. I use my 6 quart cast iron dutch oven with perfect results every time. Thanks Zoe for another favorite bread recipe.

  14. 5 stars
    Fabulous! Easy and very forgiving. My bread slashing skills aren’t the greatest, but the boule still rose nicely. I baked it in a 5 qt. enameled cast iron dutch oven which was the perfect size. That crust is just the BEST! Thank you for introducing me to my new favorite “go to” boule recipe.

    1. Hi Susie, Yes, sourdough can be used in place of the yeast, but it will depend on a few factors to know how much you should use. If you’re not an experienced sourdough baker, it’s better to start with something that you don’t have to adjust the recipe for. Zoë recommends this recipe from Heartbeet Kitchen. Cheers!

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