This amazingly easy no-knead Rustic Bread is a super tasty bread with a delightful crust and the perfect amount of chewiness! Mix up your dough, let it rise, then turn it out and shape it with as little handling as possible for a super all-purpose bread that the whole family will love!
Rustic Bread Recipe (Easiest Ever No-Knead Method)
When it comes to bread baking, I love simple homemade bread recipes like this easy no-knead rustic bread! It doesn't require a stand mixer, there's no kneading, all you have to do is just mix it up by hand and let it rise!
- Water - warm water to be exact! Your water needs to be between 100ºF ( 38ºC ) and 110ºF ( 43ºC ) for the yeast to 'bloom' correctly. Use a digital thermometer to make sure that the water isn't too cold or too warm.
- Active Dry Yeast - one packet of active dry yeast, which equals 2 ¼ teaspoons.
- Sugar - to feed the yeast and start the blooming process!
- All-Purpose Flour - about 6 cups or 750 grams of flour to start out with. Depending on the weather, I have added up to 1 additional cup of flour to reach my desired dough consistency. I also typically use between ½ to 1 cup for my working surface and then sprinkle flour over the dough to prevent it from sticking to my fingers.
- Salt - just enough to add delicious flavor to your bread!
Can I Use Instant Yeast?
Yes! Definitely! If you're like me and have been to the store and only found one type of yeast available at a time lately, you can also use rapid rise ( or instant ) yeast. To use instant yeast, reduce the amount of yeast by 25% to equal 1.6875 teaspoons ( or 1 ½ teaspoons plus a dash, which is 1/16th of a teaspoon or half a pinch ).
Of course, you don't have to be so exacting, a simple substitution of 1 ½ teaspoons instant yeast will work quite well!
Check out my perfectly chewy Pretzel Buns too! They're super tasty and the recipe is chocked-full of tips including video for making these burger buns amazing every time!!
How To Make Rustic Bread
Making this easy, crusty artisan bread is a snap! The hardest part? Trying to NOT handle the dough too much!
Mix the Bread Dough
Get everything started with your liquid and yeast combined in a large mixing bowl. You'll need the room for the rising dough 🙂
- Combine 3 cups of warm water ( 100-110ºF or 38-43ºC ) with a packet of your active dry yeast and 1 tablespoon of sugar.
- Allow the yeast to 'bloom' for 5 - 10 minutes or until frothy.
- Weigh or measure out your flour and add it to the yeast and water, then add the salt.
- Mix the ingredients until all of the flour has been incorporated. Add more flour if the dough is too wet. It should form a loose ball that, when stirred, pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
- Cover the dough with a damp towel or greased plastic wrap and allow to rise for 1-2 hours, or until doubled in size.
Shape the Bread Dough
Once your dough rises, prepare your pastry mat or work surface with a generous amount of flour.
- Turn the dough out onto your work surface, sprinkle with flour until you can handle the dough enough to turn it under itself. Shape the dough so that it can be cut into two even halves. Using a bench scraper, cut the dough into two portions.
- Shape two loaves or round boules from the halves with minimal handling. Use a sharp knife and make 3 - 4 slits ( between ¼ inch to ½ inch deep ) in a loaf or crossed slits over the top of round boules.
- Allow the shaped loaves to rise for 20 - 30 minutes. For easy transferring to my preheated oven, I leave my loaves on individual sheets of parchment paper. *You want enough parchment paper to handle the bread spreading, and to allow you some edges to pull and transfer the dough. Excess parchment paper that touches the sides of the oven may burn, so trim accordingly.
Baking Your Rustic Bread
There are a couple of ways to bake your bread, but I do prefer my loaves that are transferred directly onto a heated pizza stone or cookie sheet. I use my large jelly roll sheets and turn them upside down so that I can easily transfer bread on and off while baking.
- While the shaped dough is rising, start your oven preheating to 450ºF ( 232ºC ). Leave a pizza stone or cookie sheet in the oven to preheat as well.
- Fill a baking dish with 2 inches of water and have it ready to add to the oven with your bread loaves. Then carefully transfer the risen bread loaves into your oven once it is fully heated.
- Bake for 25 - 30 minutes or until the bread is golden brown and has an internal temperature of 190ºF ( 88ºC ). Tapping on the bottom of the loaf should also produce a hollow sound when the bread is nicely done.
- Once done, remove the bread and allow it to cool on a wire cooling rack for one hour before slicing, serving, or storing.
Can I Use An Egg Wash or Melted Butter On My Bread?
This is another resounding yes! I love the resulting chewy, pull apart crust that the bread bakes up with after whipping up a quick egg wash and brushing it onto the shaped loaves! Or brush some melted butter and coat the whole loaf before making the slits!
Can I Use Whole Wheat Flour?
Partially. 100% whole wheat flour makes a dense loaf that doesn't rise as well for this easy rustic, artisan bread.
Instead, use 4 cups all-purpose flour + 2 ½ cups whole wheat flour for a beautifully tender, chewy bread loaf!
Can I Bake This Artisan Bread In A Dutch Oven?
Yes, and it's a perfect loaf that bakes up! Instead of transferring your round boule loves onto a preheated baking sheet or pizza stone, preheat the Dutch oven instead.
The pot will be hot, so use care when lifting it out of the oven and transferring the loaf in!
Use the edges of the parchment paper to transfer the round loaf into the heated Dutch oven, cover, then return to the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and bake an additional 10 - 12 minutes or until golden brown.
Storing Your Bread Loaves
To best maintain the delightfully crisp crust of your easy homemade artisan bread, use a paper bag for storing the remaining bread. However, because I want some longevity to my loaves, I wrap in aluminum foil over plastic wrap and then refrigerate or freeze the unused loaves.
Even slices can be placed into plastic storage bags and stored for later! To thaw any frozen bread, leave it in the wrapping or storage bag and allow it to thaw on the kitchen counter.
- 3 cups water (warm - between 105-110 degrees F,40-43 degrees C)
- 1 package active dry yeast (or 2 ¼ teaspoons)
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 6 cups all-purpose flour (plus more for your work surface after rising)
- 3 tsp salt
Mix the Rustic Bread Dough
- In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer, add the warm water, yeast, and sugar. Allow the yeast to 'bloom' for 5-10 minutes until frothy.
- Add the flour (weighed at 750 grams is best practice) and salt on top of the flour. Mix until the dough comes together, pulling away from the edges of the bowl. Be sure that all of the flour has been incorporated into the dough evenly.
- Cover the bowl of dough with either a damp kitchen towel or a sheet of plastic cling film (it's best to grease or spray the cling film with non-stick spray as the bread will rise and meet the plastic wrap). Allow the bread to rise for 1-2 hours, or until doubled in size.
- The risen dough should double in size to the point where, depending on the size of your bowl, you may need to remove the covering. Prepare your work surface with a generous amount of flour for turning out the dough.
Shape the Bread Loaves
- Turn the dough out onto your floured work surface and sprinkle with enough flour to handle the dough. Gently fold dough under itself into a loaf shape so that you can cut into two halves.
- Using a bench scraper, cut the dough into halves.
- Shape the dough into two loaves or round boules without handling them too much.
- Slice 3-4 slits into the top of loaves or a cross pattern into a round loaf using a sharp knife. Leave the shaped loaf on a sheet of parchment paper to easily transfer to a preheated baking sheet.
Baking Your Rustic Bread
- Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F (232 degrees C) and place a pizza stone or cookie sheet in the oven to heat up as well. Place a baking dish with about 2 inches of water on the tray below your bread (I use my 8x8 baking dishes for this).
- While your oven is preheating, leave the loaves to rise for 30 minutes. At that time, carefully transfer the shaped loaves onto your preheated pizza stone or baking sheet.
- Bake at 450 degrees F (232 degrees C) for 25-30 minutes. The bread should be golden brown on the top, have an internal temperature of 190 degrees F (88 degrees C), and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. This is when your bread is fully baked.
- Remove the bread from your oven and allow it to cool on a wire cooling rack for one hour before slicing or storing.
Angela is an at home chef that developed a passion for all things cooking and baking at a young age in her Grandma's kitchen. After many years in the food service industry, she now enjoys sharing all of her family favorite recipes and creating tasty dinner and amazing dessert recipes here at Bake It With Love!