Easy and quick Italian rustic crusty bread at home, no knead, no machine, no dutch oven, with only 2 hour rise time. Made by hand, with active dry instant yeast, flour and water and baked on a hot pizza stone.
I made us the perfect bread for soups, stews, bruschetta and to use for sandwiches / panini all week long.
A spin on my Italian pizza dough, except I use warm water to make the bread. Mix together flour, salt and instant yeast and let it rise for 2 hours.
Yes, just 2 hours for crusty bread you guys!
Then you bake it on a preheated pizza stone (<–amazon), for a peasant style loaf that crackles in your hands like a dream, yet still soft on the inside. Perfect for dipping or to dunk into a bowl of vegetable soup.
A good homemade bread will have a soft, fluffy center with big holes and a crust that crackles in your hand with even a gentle squeeze. Very important to not overwork the dough If you are looking for holes in your bread like the ones in the photo.
I swear there’s nothing like the magic of a pizza stone, however you could also bake it inside a cast iron skillet or dutch oven If you really wanted to.
How to serve and eat rustic crusty bread:
- dip in olive oil and fresh herbs.
- serve with a tomato soup or beef stew
- make the ultimate tomato bruschetta
- enjoy it with fresh or roasted tomatoes and goat cheese
- just tear a crusty corner while still warm like nobody’s watching and spread some grass fed butter on it.
- add 2 tablespoons of rosemary to the dough, 3/4 cup of sliced black olives or sprinkle the top with poppy seeds before baking.
What makes the bread crusty ?
The secret is a bowl of water steaming under the pizza stone while the bread is baking. Steam makes crusty bread!
How to store:
Allow the loaf to cool off completely. Place it in a plastic bag and store on the kitchen counter at room temperature for a couple of days. I would not recommend freezing this kind of bread, instead If you find yourself with a stale chunk simply do as the Italians do! Make a big pot of Ribollita or this Tuscan Papa Al Pomodoro soup.
Easy and quick Italian crusty bread recipe you can make at home. No knead, no machine, with only 2 hour rise time. Made with active dry instant yeast, flour and water and baked on a hot pizza stone.
- 1 package instant dry yeast 1/4 oz
- 6.25 c all purpose flour + more for dusting
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 3 c warm water
In a large mixing bowl or your kitchen aid mixer add the flour, salt and yeas. Use a spatula or the paddle attachment and mix to combine.
Pour in the warm water and keep mixing until everything is incorporated and a soft dough has formed. It will still stick to the bottom of the bowl and that is OK.
Cover the bowl with some plastic wrap loosely and a tea towel. Allow the dough to rise at room temperature for 2 to 3 hours.
Preheat your oven to 450”F with a pizza stone inside for about 45 minutes before baking the bread. Fill an oven proof bowl with 2 inches of water and place it on the bottom rack. This will create the steam that will cause the crust to become crispy as it bakes.
Sprinkle some flour on your kitchen counter and dump the bread dough on it. Flour your hands to help it out of the bowl as it might be sticky.
With floured hands fold the dough onto itself forming it into a round ball. Do not knead it, do not handle it anymore than you need to. Use a sharp knife and lightly carve an X in the top of the loaf or just make a few cuts across.
Place the bread dough on top of a lightly floured pizza peel or cardboard and gently slide it on top of the hot pizza stone.
Bake the bread for about 45 minutes until golden brown all over and cooked through.
Make sure you don't forget the add the dish with water in the oven to create steam If you are after an extra crusty loaf!