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!
3cupswater(warm - between 105-110 degrees F,40-43 degrees C)
1packageactive dry yeast(or 2 ¼ teaspoons)
6cupsall-purpose flour(plus more for your work surface after rising)
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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.