Crusty Homemade Bread Recipe

4.5 33 29
Crusty Homemade Bread Recipe
Crusty Homemade Bread Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Publisher Photo

Crusty Homemade Bread Recipe

Read Reviews
4.5 33 29
Publisher Photo
Crackling homemade bread makes an average day extraordinary. Enjoy this beautiful loaf 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 with plastic wrap; 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 with plastic wrap; 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 with plastic wrap; 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.
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.

  • 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 with plastic wrap; 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 with plastic wrap; 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 with plastic wrap; 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.
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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harperauld User ID: 8485309 276329
Reviewed Oct. 15, 2017

"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!"

MY REVIEW
OmaofSix User ID: 6981430 276217
Reviewed Oct. 12, 2017

"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."

MY REVIEW
OmaofSix User ID: 6981430 276215
Reviewed Oct. 12, 2017

"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."

MY REVIEW
mancooking User ID: 4959700 276123
Reviewed Oct. 10, 2017

"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."

MY REVIEW
Charleen User ID: 9271537 274860
Reviewed Oct. 4, 2017

"Can this bread be made in a bread machine and if so, how long should it be baked?"

MY REVIEW
venky User ID: 6759401 271621
Reviewed Aug. 11, 2017

"Good one too good"

MY REVIEW
Daryl User ID: 9213507 269041
Reviewed Jul. 5, 2017

"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."

MY REVIEW
Jacklau User ID: 8935501 268309
Reviewed Jun. 23, 2017

"After baking this bread more than 20 times I have it down perfectly, use bread flour,make sure you flour your hands too,bake in a lightly greased Dutch oven. I have no problems now with this bread, comes out crusty and delicious."

MY REVIEW
wpiler User ID: 2400417 263511
Reviewed Mar. 15, 2017

"Has anyone made it with gluten free flour and xanthan gum?"

MY REVIEW
shannondobos User ID: 5115022 263136
Reviewed Mar. 6, 2017

"I love that this bread can be made in one bowl with barely any handling. I made this in a dutch oven and the outside was super crispy and the inside was so soft and chewy. This is definitely a new favorite recipe!"

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