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.
Crusty Homemade Bread Tips
Why do bakers put flour on top of bread?
Bakers dust the tops of bread loaves with flour before scoring to give the bread a rustic appearance.
Why does steam make bread crusty?
Once steam hits the outer layer (crust), the starches on the surface gelatinize. When mixed with the oven's heat, this causes the outer layer to harden and give it that crackly consistency.
What do you eat with crusty bread?
This bread is so delicious on its own with a heavy smear of butter, jam or honey. But it’s also perfect for dunking in your favorite sauce or soup (like
creamy white chili) or marinara sauce
. A fresh green salad
is also a nice accompaniment.
How can you tell when bread is finished baking?
The traditional method to test the doneness of bread is to tap on the bottom of the loaf and listen for a hollow thump. But if you are unsure, double-check the internal temperature of the loaf; it should be 200° to 210°. Don't have a foil pan for baking? A Dutch oven works great as well, but you should halve the recipe.
What temperature should you proof yeast at?
To proof yeast
, it should be proved and dissolved in warm water with a temperature between 110-115°.
What variations could you make of this crusty bread recipe?
You can make cheddar cheese, rustic cranberry and orange or garlic and oregano variations. After refrigerating dough overnight, knead in 4 ounces diced sharp cheddar cheese, 1 cup dried cranberries and 4 teaspoons grated orange peel or 1/2 cup liquified garlic (to liquify, just add 1/4 cup 2% milk, microwave on high for 45 seconds and discard milk) and 2 tablespoons minced fresh oregano before shaping.
1 piece (calculated without add-ins): 105 calories, 0 fat (0 saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 296mg sodium, 22g carbohydrate (0 sugars, 1g fiber), 3g protein.