Homemade rustic bread is easier than you think! A few simple ingredients to create the most delicious crust and perfectly airy and chewy crumb.
Making bread is an art and science, and can be a very time consuming process. I promise you this recipe is foolproof and there is no way you can mess it up! This is the easiest and most delicious rustic bread you will ever make.
It's perfect for people, like me, who have little patience. I've made this bread over a dozen times since I discovered it a month ago.
Something about making bread makes me so fulfilled, it's like how can four simple ingredients result in the most beautiful, delicious and fluffy loaf?
This recipe uses ingredients you already have on hand and no special equipment! Instead of kneading, the bread develops gluten from higher water content and a longer rise time. Basically, you're letting the dough do it's thang.
Weather and humidity levels affect how long it takes for bread to rise and how much water to use. In the summer, I use ¼ cup less water and in the winter I use the full 1 ½ cups of water. Nonetheless, don't worry about the small details because your bread will turn out delicious. Just mix all the ingredients, let it chill out on your counter for up to 12 hours, fold the dough and bake!
Ingredients for No Knead Bread
- All purpose flour is all you need for this recipe. Use bread flour, which has higher gluten content, if you have it on hand. Bread flour will result in a fluffier and taller loaf.
- Salt. I used one teaspoon of salt in this recipe but you can use as much as two tsp.
- Instant yeast. I prefer to use instant yeast since it can be mixed right into the flour. You can also use active dry yeast and prepare according to package instructions.
- Room temperature water. A lot of recipes call for lukewarm water but that just speeds up the proofing process. Instead, we want a slow rise so the flavors of the dough can develop.
Tips on how to make the best rustic bread
- Don't overwork the dough. Mix the dough until just combined. For the second proofing, form the dough just enough for it to form into a ball. We want to keep as much air in the dough as possible. The dough will be very sticky and it will be tempting to add a lot more flour but try not to. This high hydration dough results in a fluffy interior and delicious crust. Flour your hands well or use a bench scraper or spatula.
- Proof the dough for 6-12 hours. You can also proof in the fridge for a few days. I highly recommend proofing overnight as longer fermentation creates more flavor and allows more gluten strands and air bubbles to form.
- Score the bread with a sharp knife, bread lame or razor to at an angle about ¼ to ½ inch deep. This allows steam from the bread to escape and gives the bread an artisanal touch.
- Let it cool. It's very tempting to cut into a fresh loaf right after it comes out of the oven but resist the urge and let it cool for 20-30 minutes. This will allow the steam to escape and the flavors to develop. Slicing the bread while hot will result in gummy and sticky slices. If you insist on digging in immediately (I wouldn't blame you), tear into the bread with your hands instead of a knife.
- Create steam for the perfect crust.
Two Hour No Knead Bread
If you're in a hurry, increase the yeast to 1 tsp, use warm water and let the dough rise for two hours.
Don't have a Dutch oven?
Bakeries add steam into their ovens to create the perfect crispy crust. An easy way to mimic this is by using a Dutch oven or any pot with a lid that is oven safe up to 450°F. As the bread bakes, the water from the dough releases steam to create the ultimate artisanal bread crust.
If you don't have a Dutch oven, you can bake on a cookie sheet or pizza stone and put a pan of boiling water on the bottom of the oven or spray the loaf with water to create steam.
How to Serve Rustic Bread
This bread is so good by itself but you can also serve it so many different ways!
- With butter
- Dip in olive oil, salt, pepper & herbs
- French toast
- Avocado toast
- Grilled cheese
- Homemade croutons
- With beef stew, ham and bean soup, pasta and chili
- Give it as a gift, I love giving homemade bread as part of a housewarming gift
How to Store Rustic Bread
Fresh bread lasts about 2-3 days since it has no preservatives. For longer storage, freeze a whole loaf or slices of the bread and place in a freezer bag for up to three months.
Toast it directly from the freezer until warm and it tastes like freshly baked bread!
No Knead Bread
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon instant yeast
- 1 ½ cups water
- In a large bowl, mix flour, salt, yeast and water until combined. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise for 6-12 hours at room temperature.
- Transfer the dough onto a floured work surface and dust the top of the dough with flour. The dough will be very sticky, gently shape the dough into a ball using a spatula or your hands. It doesn't need to be perfect!
- Place dough in a bowl lined with parchment paper. While the dough is resting, preheat the oven to 450°F with the Dutch oven. Once at 450°F, let the Dutch oven preheat for 15 more minutes.
- Remove the Dutch oven, lift the dough with parchment paper into the pot. Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and bake for 10-15 minutes.
- Transfer the bread onto a cooling rack for 20-30 minutes before slicing.
- Fresh bread lasts about 2-3 days. Freeze a whole loaf or slices of bread for up to three months in a freezer bag.