- 1-1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1-3/4 cups water (70° to 75°)
- 3-1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, divided
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 tablespoon cornmeal or additional flour
- In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in water. In a large bowl, mix 3-1/2 cups flour and salt. Using a rubber spatula, stir in yeast mixture to form a soft, sticky dough. Do not knead. Cover and let rise at room temperature 1 hour.
- Punch down dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; pat into a 9-in. square. Fold square into thirds, forming a 9x3-in. rectangle. Fold rectangle into thirds, forming a 3-in. square. Turn dough over; place in a greased bowl. Cover and let rise at room temperature until almost doubled, about 1 hour.
- Punch down dough and repeat folding process. Return dough to bowl; refrigerate, covered, overnight.
- Dust bottom of a disposable foil roasting pan with cornmeal. Turn dough onto a floured surface. Knead gently 6-8 times; shape into a 6-in. round loaf. Place in prepared pan; dust top with remaining 1 tablespoon flour. Cover pan and let rise at room temperature until dough expands to a 7-1/2-in. loaf, about 1-1/4 hours.
- Preheat oven to 500°. Using a sharp knife, make a slash (1/4 in. deep) across top of loaf. Cover pan tightly with foil. Bake on lowest oven rack 25 minutes.
- Reduce oven setting to 450°. Remove foil; bake bread until deep golden brown, 25-30 minutes. Remove loaf to a wire rack to cool. Yield: 1 loaf (16 slices).
Reviews forCrusty Homemade Bread
"I have made this recipe several times. So far the best I have made was with the addition of everything bagel seasoning to the dry ingredients. It makes this bread pop with flavor. The crust is amazing and the inside is wonderfully chewey. A few recommendations I have are that you need to make sure you cover the whole thing in flower so it won't stick to the roasting pan. If you do that it slides around very easily and comes off the pan with no problem. Also instead of hand working the dough I do everything in a stand mixer with a dough hook. No hand kneading is needed and when you do need to kneed it(once an hour) all you do is drop the hook in and let it got for 30 seconds. With the use of a bowl scraper it easily pours into the roasting pan. Ready for shaping. In my experience, this recipe makes a 18 inch loaf that is about 5 inches wide and 3 inches tall."
"All went well in making this bread except for the outcome. I had placed the bread on the bottom rack as recipe calls for but after 20 minutes the bottom had burned to the pan ( I used glass pie pan as someone suggested). I took off the foil cover and baked another 20 minutes at 450 and it browned nicely. However I had to separate the bread from the dish and had to saw with a serrated knife the burned bottom of the bread. bread still tasted good, however getting the burned material off the pie dish was very difficult. I think 500 degrees is just too hot for this recipe and will try again but put the pan in the middle of the oven. Next time I will use a different pan also.Just tried this recipe again and still ended up with a burnt bottom even though I put it on aluminum foil in a 9 X 9 cake pan that I had put down a layer of corn meal on the bottom and placed the sticky dough on that surface. I also put the bread in the middle of the oven instead of the bottom shelf hoping to avoid another burnt bread bottom. Also only left it in the oven uncovered for 18 minutes instead of the 25 to 30 minutes. How do I avoid this bread from burning again. The rest of the bread was fine but not easy to cut off the burnt section."
"Horrible. It was just a sticky mess. No way to fold a pile of sticky wet dough. Put it all right in the garbage. That’s 3 1/2 cups of flour and one hour of my life I will never get back."
"An amazing recipe, I substituted half the flour for King Arthur Organic whole wheat flour and this bread turned out amazing. A wonderful crumb with a delicious chewy inside. The cooking instructions were spot on and worked perfectly even though I was worried bout the high temp and low rack. Going to make it again for Thanksgiving ! Thanks for a great and easy recipe"
"I had a sticky mess. What was feeding the yeast? There was no sugar in the recipe. Either it needed much more flour or a lot less water. Just stuck to my hands and fingers. Was impossible to get into a 3 inch square since it wouldn't hold its shape. Glad the ingredients were not expensive!"
"This bread is amazing. My husband loved the crispy crust. I also baked it in a Dutch oven. I will be making this often. Thank you for posting this recipe."
"This bread is delicious. My husband loved the crispy crust. I also baked it in a Dutch oven. I will be making this often. Thanks for posting this recipe."
"Great bread. Have a good, sharp serrated knife, or an electric knife to slice it, because the crust is wonderfully stout and delicious, with a nice, soft inside. The dough is quite sticky, and I tried using flour on my hands, but I found that olive oil rubbed onto my hands worked like a dream with no ill effects on the bread. I still used flour for the surface, though. I'd love to make a pizza crust with it, but I don't want to mess up a batch."