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Rustic Crusty Bread Recipe
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Rustic Italian Crusty Bread Recipe

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.
Course Baked Goods
Cuisine Italian
Keyword bread
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 8 people
Calories 369.7kcal
Author Florentina

Ingredients

  • 3.25 cups all purpose flour + more for dusting
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1.5 cups warm water
  • 2 tsp active dry yeast

Instructions

  • In a large mixing bowl or your kitchen aid mixer add the flour, salt and yeast. Use a spatula or the paddle attachment and mix to combine well.
  • 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 until doubled in size.
  • 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 will be sticky. Don't panic, this is normal.
  • 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, cardboard or parchment paper and allow it to rest while your oven is heating up.
  • 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. 
  • Once your oven is hot sprinkle the pizza stone with some semolina flour or corn meal and carefully slide the bread loaf on top. Bake the bread for about 30 to 45 minutes until golden brown all over and cooked through.
  • Transfer the bread to a cooling rack and allow to cool off completely before slicing into it. You can also let it cool inside the oven with the door slightly open.

Dutch Oven Method

  • Instead of a pizza stone preheat your oven with a dutch oven inside. Once hot, carefully place the bread loaf inside the dutch oven ideally using parchment paper for easy transfer. Cover with the lid and bake for 30 minutes. Remove lid and bake another 5 minutes until golden brown on top. Remove the bread from the dutch oven and transfer to a cooling rack or it won't stay crispy.

Original Large Loaf Recipe:

  • Ingredients:
    1 package instant dry yeast (1/4 oz)
    6.25 cups all purpose flour + more for dusting
    2 tsp sea salt
    3 cups warm water.
    Large Loaf Italian Bread
  • Instructions: Follow the above instructions and bake at 450"F for 45 minutes.
    Italian Large Bread Loaf

Notes

  • Adaptation Jan. 2021 - because some people were having trouble working with a large loaf, I adapted the recipe to make a smaller loaf that is easier to handle and that will cook evenly even without a pizza stone. Those of you more experienced bakers with a pizza stone or a bread/ pizza oven feel free to double the recipe and make a huge rustic loaf out of this.
  • Water dish - make sure you don't forget to add the dish with water in the oven to create steam If you are after an extra crusty loaf!
  • Parchment paper - If using parchment paper make sure to check the box for the max temperature it can safely be used in.

Nutrition

Calories: 369.7kcal