Crusty Homemade Bread Recipe

4.5 45 37
Crusty Homemade Bread Recipe
Crusty Homemade Bread Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Publisher Photo

Crusty Homemade Bread Recipe

Read Reviews
4.5 45 37
Publisher Photo
Crackling homemade bread makes an average day extraordinary. Enjoy this beautiful crusty bread recipe as is, or stir in a few favorites like cheese, garlic, herbs and dried fruits. —Megumi Garcia, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
MAKES:
16 servings
TOTAL TIME:
Prep: 20 min. + rising Bake: 50 min. + cooling
MAKES:
16 servings
TOTAL TIME:
Prep: 20 min. + rising Bake: 50 min. + cooling

Ingredients

  • 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

Directions

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).
For Cheddar Cheese Bread: Prepare dough as directed. After refrigerating dough overnight, knead in 4 ounces diced sharp cheddar cheese before shaping. For Rustic Cranberry & Orange Bread: Prepare dough as directed. After refrigerating dough overnight, knead in 1 cup dried cranberries and 4 teaspoons grated orange peel before shaping. For Garlic & Oregano Bread: Prepare dough as directed. After refrigerating dough overnight, microwave 1/2 cup peeled and quartered garlic cloves with 1/4 cup 2% milk on high for 45 seconds. Drain garlic, discarding milk; knead garlic and 2 tablespoons minced fresh oregano into dough before shaping.

Test Kitchen Tips
  • Don't have a foil pan? A Dutch oven works great as well, but it's quite a bit smaller so it's best to halve the recipe.
  • The key to this loaf's crusty exterior? Steam! Trapping moisture in the pan for the initial cook time and using high heat ensure bread your guests will think came from the local bakery.
  • Originally published as Crusty Homemade Bread in Taste of Home November 2014, p20

    Nutritional Facts

    1 slice (calculated without add-ins): 105 calories, 0 fat (0 saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 296mg sodium, 22g carbohydrate (0 sugars, 1g fiber), 3g protein.

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    • 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
    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. Punch down dough and repeat folding process. Return dough to bowl; refrigerate, covered, overnight.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. 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).
    For Cheddar Cheese Bread: Prepare dough as directed. After refrigerating dough overnight, knead in 4 ounces diced sharp cheddar cheese before shaping. For Rustic Cranberry & Orange Bread: Prepare dough as directed. After refrigerating dough overnight, knead in 1 cup dried cranberries and 4 teaspoons grated orange peel before shaping. For Garlic & Oregano Bread: Prepare dough as directed. After refrigerating dough overnight, microwave 1/2 cup peeled and quartered garlic cloves with 1/4 cup 2% milk on high for 45 seconds. Drain garlic, discarding milk; knead garlic and 2 tablespoons minced fresh oregano into dough before shaping.

    Test Kitchen Tips
  • Don't have a foil pan? A Dutch oven works great as well, but it's quite a bit smaller so it's best to halve the recipe.
  • The key to this loaf's crusty exterior? Steam! Trapping moisture in the pan for the initial cook time and using high heat ensure bread your guests will think came from the local bakery.
  • Originally published as Crusty Homemade Bread in Taste of Home November 2014, p20

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    Reviews forCrusty Homemade Bread

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    MY REVIEW
    LegalSec User ID: 548619 286392
    Reviewed Apr. 9, 2018

    "OMG, absolutely delicious. You need to follow the directions exactly and it will come out looking like the picture! And the taste is stellar. Thanks Megumi for a great bread recipe. We ate over half the loaf in one sitting.

    Answering "Mary's question" about the foil pan, if you don't buy a foil one use a 9x9 square, that should work, but a foil roasting/baking pan from the local grocery store works perfect."

    MY REVIEW
    Mary User ID: 9446655 286153
    Reviewed Apr. 5, 2018

    ""Foil roasting pan????" Does it come one size only? What is an equivalent regular kitchen pan? I will not buy a foil pan."

    MY REVIEW
    CynD01 User ID: 8167911 283633
    Reviewed Feb. 12, 2018

    "Why the patting out and folding on a floured surface? Why not just fold it a few times in the bowl?"

    MY REVIEW
    Marta User ID: 5522231 283447
    Reviewed Feb. 9, 2018

    "I wonder why this bread is described as Crackling bread in the first paragraph...as there are no cracklings in the ingredient list. My family cooked crackling bread in Alabama when I was growing up. This Crusty recipe sounds delicious! I am a long time bread maker but this recipe is new to me.."

    MY REVIEW
    SA User ID: 7951217 282660
    Reviewed Jan. 25, 2018

    "This looks fabulous. quick question, has anyone tried to make this into a pizza crust? I bet it would be great with the cornmeal addition. Love a pizza crust with cornmeal!"

    MY REVIEW
    Jolayne User ID: 7710825 282642
    Reviewed Jan. 25, 2018

    "I have been making this same recipe for several years and love the results every time. mancooking, you need to follow the directions and your bread will come out perfectly. Use the aluminum roasting pan and line the pan with parchment paper. The bread won't stick and burn. The temperature of 500 degrees to start is perfect for 25 minutes, then take the foil off the top of the pan and lower the temp to 450. It works every time.

    To those of you who found it a sticky mess, you needed to add a little more flour so it wasn't so sticky. baking bread is kind of intuitive and you have to practice to get the feel of what the dough should be."

    MY REVIEW
    Muddyboy User ID: 3030887 282625
    Reviewed Jan. 25, 2018

    "I made this bread this morning for a friend for her birthday. I have been using this recipe for a couple of years. Every time I make it, it gets rave reviews and of course, they want the recipe. It is very important to use parchment paper at the bottom of the foil roasting pan. I do use a whole package of yeast and heat the water to 110-110 degrees like the yeast package indicates. It has always come out beautiful and delicious."

    MY REVIEW
    Muddyboy User ID: 3030887 282624
    Reviewed Jan. 25, 2018

    "I made this bread this morning for a friend for her birthday. I have been using this recipe for a couple of years. Every time I make it, it gets rave reviews and of course, they want the recipe. It is very important to use parchment paper at the bottom of the foil roasting pan. I do use a whole package of yeast and heat the water to 110-110 degrees like the yeast package indicates. It has always come out beautiful and delicious. Thank you TOH."

    MY REVIEW
    Richard User ID: 9397941 281785
    Reviewed Jan. 9, 2018

    "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."

    MY REVIEW
    Kathryn User ID: 9139299 281617
    Reviewed Jan. 6, 2018

    "In the last month or so I have made this bread no less than 15 times. Made 4 loaves for Christmas gifts for people who had tasted it and loved it. We haven’t bought bread since I started making this. So simple and soooo good! Have one in the oven now!"

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