The World’s Easiest Rustic Bread {No Kneading Required!}

rustic breadI couple of weeks ago I was invited to a “Witches Night Out” party with some neighbor friends. It was so fun to hang out with just the gals. We had a costume contest, played games and enjoyed a soup and bread potluck dinner.

I brought this AMAZING Chicken Taco Soup that Jenny Chase posted that day on my Facebook page after I went on there in a panic begging for a quick and easy soup idea!  (Will post the recipe later today!)

But as much as myself and the other witches enjoyed the SOUP, we also REALLY enjoyed the BREAD that Witch Becky brought! It tasted like it had just come from a fancy french bakery! The round loaf was very rustic-looking, and while it was nice and crunchy on the outside, the inside was warm and chewy!

Of course we were all pestering Witch Becky for the recipe and she just laughed as she told us how EASY it was to make! Since I am somewhat of a bread-making novice, I was super excited to give it a try myself!

rustic bread

About the only thing that is “tricky” about this recipe is the timing. Since you let it rise 12-18 hours the first time, it makes sense to let it do it’s thing overnight. My problem was I would remember I wanted to make it during the day, and then by that night I’d forgotten again. Of course now that I think about it, that’s more of an A.D.D. thing than a timing thing. The rest of you probably won’t have a problem with that at all. :-)

Well, I finally remembered one night last week to give this bread recipe a spin, and I have to say…it was probably the best loaf of bread I have ever made! (Not that that’s saying a WHOLE lot.) Don’t get me wrong…I still LOVE my Mom’s English Muffin Bread recipe…but this was a whole different type of bread and the flavor and texture were perfect!

So, get ready to be blown away at how EASY this is to make!

*Step One

Combine ………..

  • 3 cups white flour (next time I make this I’m going to try gluten-free flour)
  • 1/4 teaspoon yeast
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon salt

…….in a large bowl. Add 1 5/8 cup water (room temperature) to the dry ingredients and mix with a stiff spoon, dough will be sticky! This literally took me about one minute.

Cover with plastic wrap and let sit 12-18 hours at room temperature.

rustic bread

*Step Two

The dough will be ready when the surface is dotted with bubbles. (At this point I had another “timing issue” because I couldn’t get back to the project until almost a full 24 hours later. But it still worked out just fine!)

Now, take another bowl, spray it with cooking spray and sprinkle with flour and cornmeal. Dump the dough from one bowl to the other. Sprinkle top with flour and cornmeal as well. Cover and let rise for 2 more hours.

rustic bread

*Step Three

After 2 hours, preheat your oven AND the pot you are going to cook it in, to 450 degrees. I used my dutch oven, but Witch Becky used a round glass Pyrex dish with a lid, either one will do. When the oven and your pot of choice are preheated, dump it from the bowl to the pot. Put the lid on and bake for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, take the lid off and then bake 10-20 minutes more.

Break bread and EAT!

rustic bread

 

rustic bread

 

As you can see in the picture above, this loaf actually does lend itself to “breaking bread” quite well.  So that’s how we ate it. But if we had had enough patience to allow it to cool off, we could have sliced it as well. Maybe next time. But doubtful. We are an impatient bunch when it comes to delicious, homemade bread. :-)

 

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Comments

    • Stephanie H says

      You can grind up popcorn to make home made corn meal. This is healthier, because it has more protein and less starch than the field corn used to make cornmeal

      • Debbie says

        GREAT idea! Not that I have a problem finding cornmeal in my cabinet…. Cornbread is a staple in Texas!

  1. Jane George says

    Please let me know if you have success using GF flour and what brand you used. Of course I am hoping you are using one of the all in one commercial brands. My grandson would be thrilled with this type of loaf of bread. Thanks, Jane

  2. Lily says

    Any idea how this would be with whole wheat flour? We adore fresh bread, and are striving to avoid white flour.

    • Deborah Jennings says

      Lily, I think you’d need to use some gluten in a whole wheat flour. That is what my bread machine says to do for whole wheat bread. I got mine at Walmart. You can use half white and half wheat bread and it will work without the gluten. I hope this helps you.

      • Julie says

        I used to use whole wheat pastry flour to make bread. I think it was 100% whole wheat. I never had a problem with the bread being dry.

    • Katy says

      Bread doesn’t often work well with 100% whole wheat flour – it comes out too dense and dry. Most recipes suggest using 50% whole wheat and 50% white flour as a maximum ratio. You could also try white whole wheat, which is supposed to have the benefits of WW but without the heaviness – or maybe rye or some other kind of alternative flour. Hope that helps!

    • says

      Add 1 Tbs of “vital wheat gluten” to the flour and stir it around. Continue as directed. This is what I do for my home-ground 100% whole red winter wheat in my bread machine (calls for 3.5 cups flour). And I have a bread that you can fold just like regular white sandwich bread (vs crumbling like “normal” whole wheat does when it’s bent).

      • CTY says

        I have used the WW flour that I grind myself (Kitchen-aid attachment), I use the medium grind setting but, before I use the flour I sift it. The parts that cause the most problem are sifted out. But then you have wheat bread without the “whole” component; no worries. I use what I sifted out instead of corn meal, thus adding back to the bread and making it a whole wheat bread again. Also my daughter-in-law the pastry chef says, if you don’t have a cover for your pot then right before you close the oven door- throw a cup of ice into your oven. Its the steam that makes the crust.

      • Chris says

        Darlene I don’t have a way to grind my own wheat and I use the store bought whole wheat flour to make a loaf the other day. It is a recipe that my sister in law makes and she does grind her own wheat. I however found that the first loaf I made by her recipe was so dense that I did not like it, so I did use the vital wheat gluten for a second load. I’m still not real impressed with the second loaf, even using the VWG, however my daughter loved both of them. I would love it if you could send me your recipe and let me give it a try, if it will work in my bread machine, as I would like to find a recipe that I like that is make with whole wheat. However if you think it won’t work as well with the store bought WW flour, please tell me since I don’t have a grinder to do my own with. I would love to find a good recipe that I could use in my bread machine, so I can just set it up and leave it alone until it is done. I’ve done a lot of cooking over the years, but am just now taking an interest in making bread, but only with a bread machine, as I don’t think I would enjoy doing it by hand.

  3. Kristy says

    I just made this yesterday, it was so easy and turned out amazing. Beautiful and delicious. You may have to lessen the amount of water depending on the flour you use. (some all purpose flour naturally more moisture,) The first couple times I tried this my loaf was a little flat, but this time I added less water and it was perfect. Don’t give up if the first attempt isn’t perfect, it is so worth fiddling with the recipe. You get to eat your results!!! :)

  4. Trixie says

    I’ve been baking an almost identical recipe that I just recently found and I love it. It doesn’t need cornmeal, I assume that’s just for the stickiness of the dough, though. If you want to try this bread and can’t get cornmeal, like another commenter asked above, the recipe is here: http://simplysogood.blogspot.com/2010/03/crusty-bread.html. The recipe is almost the same. She also includes some variations on add-ins. My friend used orange zest and craisins in her last loaf. I used minced garlic, Italian seasoning, sea salt and dry grated parmesan cheese in mine. This bread is delicious. Have a great day.

    • Kristy Jevens says

      I used all purpose flour and I doubled the recipe (you can put the other half in the fridge and use at another time it works great) I started with 2 cups of water (for a single batch that would be 1 cup) and then added a few tablespoons at a time until it looked right. The only guideline I can give is that when the dough was really easy to stir was when I got a flat loaf. When it was very difficult to stir (but still wet) it turned out like the picture above. Does that make sense?

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