Crusty Homemade Bread
Total TimePrep: 20 min. + rising Bake: 50 min. + cooling
Makes1 loaf (16 slices)
- 1-1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1-3/4 cups warm water (110° to 115°)
- 3-1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, divided
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 tablespoon cornmeal or additional flour
- In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Using a rubber spatula, stir in 3-1/2 cups flour and salt to form a soft, sticky dough. Do not knead. Cover and let rise at room temperature 1 hour.
- Stir down dough (dough will be sticky). Turn onto a floured surface; with floured hands pat into a 9-in. square. Fold square into thirds, forming a 9x3-in. rectangle. Fold rectangle into thirds, forming a 3-in. square. Place in a large greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. 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.
- Grease the bottom of a disposable foil roasting pan with at least 4-in.-high sides; dust pan with cornmeal. Turn dough onto a floured surface. Knead gently 6-8 times; shape into a 6-in. round loaf. Place into 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.
Test Kitchen Tips
Feb 2, 2020
This is my first time making bread and it’s a success. This recipe not only is easy to follow, but also fail proof. Thanks for sharing. I followed this recipe and make sandwich bread.
Jan 28, 2020
I made this bread and I'm very pleased with the results. If you follow the instructions completely it will turn out perfect. The only modification I would suggest is at the end after you've left it in at the 500 degrees for 25 minutes and lower your oven to 450 do not leave it in another 25 minutes. I took mine out at about 15 minutes and it was starting to burn a little bit. In all honesty bringing it out at 30 minutes at 500 would be perfect!
Oct 30, 2019
I made this for the first time when it came out in the magazine. Amazing! The dough is sticky, and wet, but when you go for your folds a little sprinkling will help with the stickiness. I don't kneed it at all, just smoosh flat and fold into ninths. For a real treat, created 4 small balls from the dough, put far apart from each other in the pan (so they don't raise into each other), and put an x on top of each one. You get four serving size bread bowls that will stand up to even thin soups. I love this recipe so much. I just tried substituting 1/2 whole wheat flour--it does not raise as much because whole wheat flour needs more water, but it was a good nutty (but much smaller) loaf. Use this recipe as is and prepare to explain to people that you made this at home, then pat yourself on the back!
Feb 11, 2019
I’ve made a lot of yeast doughs and found it way to wet as well. I added a good 1 to 1 1/2 cups of flour. We loved it! Great texture and chewy crust! I mistakenly forgot to cover it the first half hour of baking and it turned out great. (It only baked 30 minutes at 500 degrees uncovered and turned out wonderful.)
Jan 29, 2019
I had a little trouble. Followed recipe exactly but my dough was so wet I couldn't handle it at all. Next time I will try adding more flour. I almost tossed it a couple of times through the process but glad I didn't. The end result was pretty good. Very chewy with crunchy outside. Almost too dense, I think I needed to punch and fold more but just couldn't do anything with the wet sticky mess. Any tips would be appreciated, this has a really good taste.
Jan 24, 2019
Has anyone tried this with a breadmaker?
Jan 23, 2019
Best and easiest bread EVER!
Dec 29, 2018
This is my go to bread. I make several Times a year. I have added many fill-in variations but the original is the most popular. I bake mine in a dutch oven.
Oct 27, 2018
This bread is fantastic!! So easy! Everyone loves it. I have made it plain or with herbs!
Oct 4, 2018
I could not believe how good this bread turned out. It had a crusty surface as promised with a soft crewy interior. I made a big pot of soup to go with it. Next time I will add shredded cheddar cheese to the dough to mix it up. Can’t wait to see how good that is.