Simple Rustic Bread Recipe

Joined Oct 24, 2007
Makes 1 loaf
1 1/4  cups water
3 teaspoons yeast
3 cups unbleached bread flour, divided
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon cornmeal

Combine the water, yeast and 1 cup of flour; stir to form a batter. Allow to ferment for 1 hour.

Add the remaining 2 cups of flour along with the salt and knead the dough for 10-12 minutes.

Place the dough in a bowl at room temperature, cover it with plastic wrap, and allow it to ferment for 1 – 1 ½ hours.

Dust a baking sheet with the cornmeal. Remove the dough from the bowl and gently shape it into a ball. Place it on the baking pan and cover with a towel. Allow it to rise for 1 hour.

Position the oven rack to the center of the oven and place a shallow pan of water directly on the oven floor. Preheat the oven to 425F.

Using a sharp knife, slash the loaf and put it in the oven. Bake the bread for about 20-30 minutes. Remove it from the oven and place it on a wire rack or towel to cool before slicing.

Simple Variations

Whole Wheat Bread: substitute 1-3 cups of the flour with whole-wheat flour

Honey-Wheat Bread: whole wheat bread with the addition of 2-3 tablespoons honey

Hot Pepper-Parmesan Bread: add a tablespoon of crushed hot pepper and ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Garlic-Herb Bread: add a tablespoon of fresh-minced garlic and 2-3 tablespoons fresh minced herbs
Joined Jan 23, 2011
This turned out great.  Thanks for the easy recipe.  I used 2 c bread flour, 1 cup whole wheat and then added a few cloves of garlic, 2 tsp dried parsley, and 1 tsp dried basil.  Looks fantastic.  Can't wait to eat it.
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