Easy Peasy Rustic Bread

 Growing up my mom had an electric bread-making machine that sat on our counter and it spit out decent bread, yet in the form of a perfect cube.
Easy Peasy Rustic Bread//Peanut Butter & Dill Pickles Blog

Outside of that machine, I’d never made homemade bread before.

Easy Peasy Rustic Bread//Peanut Butter & Dill Pickles Blog

Why had I never made homemade bread before?  Well, generally you come across one or all of the following terms in a bread recipe: benching, proofing, punching down, etc.

Easy Peasy Rustic Bread//Peanut Butter & Dill Pickles Blog

All of those things send me running for the hills.  I’m a much more “feel as I go” cook.  I use recipes as guidelines and breadmaking isn’t exactly the niche to do that in.  Also, I feel like if the water isn’t the EXACT temperature or ingredients aren’t measured perfectly you’ll end up with a brick.  I don’t like bricks and butter.

But then the skies opened up and a ray of bread-based light shown down.

Easy Peasy Rustic Bread//Peanut Butter & Dill Pickles Blog

I stumbled across a glorious image of a crusty, artisanal loaf on Pinterest and the caption heavily emphasized how easy the bread was to make.  That led me to the blog, Simply So Good and her post for crusty bread.  The origins, technique, and recipe for this bread are unknown to me–frankly they’re so simple we may never know.  It may even have been this New York Times article from 2006.

Easy Peasy Rustic Bread//Peanut Butter & Dill Pickles Blog

Regardless of where this technique came from, it’s life changing.  I absolutely cannot believe this dough was so easy to put together and the end result came out of my oven.  All you need is 4 of the most basic ingredients and a enameled cast iron Dutch oven.

Easy Peasy Rustic Bread//Peanut Butter & Dill Pickles Blog

While this recipe is easy, the dough needs to be left alone for 12-18 hours so you do need to think ahead in terms of when you’d like to serve this crusty loaf.  That down time is the only downside.

Easy Peasy Rustic Bread//Peanut Butter & Dill Pickles Blog

Since the end result has such a high payoff and it takes all of 5 minutes to prepare, this recipe is wonderful for hostess and new neighbor gifts, and would be fabulous for parties.  Of course, I would use the fact that it’s Sunday…or Tuesday…or any day to justify making this bread.

Easy Peasy Rustic Bread//Peanut Butter & Dill Pickles Blog

The other great thing about this recipe is that it’s just a base–you could do countless variations (three I’ve included below) to suit whatever your need is.

Easy Peasy Rustic Bread//Peanut Butter & Dill Pickles Blog

I’ve always wondered why people had those large drawers in their kitchens, filled especially with big bins of flour.  Now that I’m on my third 5lb bag in two weeks…I’m starting to see the logic.

Easy Peasy Rustic Bread//Peanut Butter & Dill Pickles Blog

Welcome to the light my friends.

Easy Peasy Rustic Bread//Peanut Butter & Dill Pickles Blog

Easy Peasy Rustic Bread

Makes 1 loaf

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1-3/4 tsp table salt
  • 1/2 tsp yeast (I used quick rise yeast because that's what I had on hand, if you try this with active dry yeast, let me know how it turns out!)
  • 1-1/2 c. water

Instructions

  1. Whisk together the flour, salt, and yeast in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the water until a dough forms and no flour remains in the bottom or sides of the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temp overnight or 12-18 hours.
  2. Preheat oven to 450°. When oven is preheated, place an empty enameled cast iron Dutch oven (with lid) into the oven. Set your timer for 30 minutes. While pot is heating up, turn the dough out onto a heavily floured surface and lightly knead the dough until smooth and not super sticky. Re-cover with plastic wrap.
  3. Once 30 minutes has passed, remove the Dutch oven from the oven and drop the dough ball in. DO NOT GREASE THE POT! Trust me on this, the bread will just slide out at the end. Put the lid back on and place back in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes.
  4. After 30 minutes, remove the lid and bake for 5-10 minutes more until the bread is golden brown and crusty. Remove to a cooling rack.
http://www.pbpickles.com/2012/12/easy-peasy-rustic-bread/
 Easy Peasy Rustic Bread

Cranberry Orange Variation:
When whisking the dry ingredients, add in 1/2 c. dried cranberries and zest from one orange.  Stir in water and follow the rest of the recipe.
Easy Peasy Cranberry Orange Rustic Bread//Peanut Butter & Dill Pickles Blog
Dilly Sea Salt Variation:
When whisking the dry ingredients, add in 2 tsp dried dill weed.  Stir in water and follow recipe as is.  When it’s time to knead the dough, sprinkle in 1 heaping tsp of sea salt and knead until combined.  After dropping the dough into the hot pot, sprinkle with more sea salt, pressing in to help it stick.  Bake as stated above.
Easy Peasy Rustic Bread//Peanut Butter & Dill Pickles Blog
Cheddar Jack Jalapeno Variation:
When whisking the dry ingredients, add in 1/2 c. shredded cheddar jack cheese blend and 1 1/2 tsp. dried jalapeno flakes.  Stir in water and follow recipe as is.  After bread has baked for 30 minutes, remove the lid and sprinkle on 1/4 c. more cheese…because more cheese is always a good thing.  Bake 5-10 minutes more until the cheese has melted and browned.
Easy Peasy Jalapeno Cheddar Rustic Bread//Peanut Butter & Dill Pickles Blog

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Comments

  1. 1

    This bread is fantastic!

  2. 2

    Your dilly sea salt loaf is gorgeous! I love using a dutch oven for bread baking (the only kind I’ve attempted), but this recipe is even easier than the one I’ve been using. Can’t wait to try it!!

  3. 3

    These are beautiful! This may be the incentive I need to get out of my bread rut!

  4. 4

    I’m bookmarking this! What a great idea!! I can make it before I go to bed an dthen have it the next day! I love it!!

  5. 5

    This looks amazing! I’m a fan of homemade bread, and have my go-to recipes, but this seems too easy not to try!

  6. 6
    Anonymous says:

    is this active dry yeast?

    • 7

      Great question and I will update the recipe! I used quick rise yeast because that’s what I had on hand. I haven’t tried the recipe with active dry yeast yet. If you do, let me know how it turns out!

    • 8

      I used active dry yeast and while it tastes great, I’m not sure if the loaf is as big as it should be. It ended up about 2.5″ high in the middle.

  7. 9

    I don’t have a cast iron dutch oven but I do have a ceramic one and I plan to use active-dry yeast. I’ll let you know how it turns out

    • 10

      It turned out awesome! Super light and not dense like the other breads I’ve attempted at home. I’m making mini loaves for my xmas gift baskets for my friends and putting dried fruit and a little extra sugar in it

  8. 11

    YUM – I made a bread like this last year and I am not sure (besides my wedding dress and fitting into it) why I have not made it again since. Looks DELICIOUS and this will pair so well with my winter of soup (fiance can have 3 slices & I’ll have one)

  9. 12

    I made this for Thanksgiving from the SSG blog. I, too, had never even considered making bread, and THIS WAS AWESOME! I used active dry yeast and it worked great. I think that just goes to prove that this recipe really is forgiving in a lot of ways. I can’t wait to try some variations! Great, great recipe. Life changing for this household!

  10. 13

    I have made two of these now (plain & dill with dried minced onion)–huge hit!

  11. 14

    I’m doing two variations for Christmas. Picked some fresh oranges off my tree and “grew” your cranberry orange, by adding cinnamon, raisins, and apples. (Breakfast bread). To go with the roast beast, added some course salt, rosemary, basil, and parmesan cheese. Wish me luck!

  12. 16

    I used this recipe (using the fast rising yeast from Aldi) and I added Italian Seasoning and Garlic Salt to the dough while I kneaded it. After the first 30 minutes of baking I took the lid off and drizzled a VERY SMALL amount of olive oil on the top (concentrating on the air pockets). I also sprinkled more seasoning, garlic salt, and finished with some Asiago cheese on top! I baked for only 12 more minutes. FANTASTIC. I tastes like Panera I swear!

  13. 18
    Anonymous says:

    Are you sure it won’t stick? I tried a similar recipe and it stuck so bad I ended up throwing it away. I’m afraid to waste more ingredients so I want to be sure before I try

  14. 21

    I made this today using active dry yeast. I used 1 1/2 tsp and proofed it in 1/2 cup of the water warmed. I put 1/2 cup raisins, 2 tbsp cinnamon and 2 tbsp sugar. I could have been a little sweeter to eat plain but I put honey on the warm bread and it was delicious! I cannot believe how easy and delicious it is! Thanks for a great recipe, a new favorite at my house!
    Joanna

  15. 22
    Kate kahana says:

    Is that actually thirteen and one quarter tsp salt? I’d like to make this bread but that sounds like a lot of salt. Can you please clarify. Thanks

    • 23

      Hi Kate, the measurement is 1 and 3/4 tsp. salt :) I recently switched my blog over to WordPress and things have been a little wonky ever since. I’ve updated the page and hope it’s easier to read–thanks for letting me know! Hope you enjoy the bread!

  16. 24

    I just realized I made the dough too early! Does it matter if the dough rises for a few hrs longer than 18? Tx in advance for the info!

    • 25

      Hi Steph-
      I’ve personally never had the dough rise more than 18 hours but I can’t imagine a few hours would make a huge difference :)

  17. 26

    I would love to try this recipe, but I don’t have a cast iron Dutch oven. Would a cast iron skillet work ok? Thanks!

    • 27

      Hi Mairi! The problem with the skillet is there isn’t a lid :( The reason the bread rises so quickly and gets the crusty exterior is you kind of make a mini oven within your oven with the covered Dutch oven. The heavy lid traps in the heat and allows the bread to come out so great. I’ve only tried this recipe with an enameled cast iron Dutch oven but I’ve seen other recipes online that use any pot with a tight fitting, heavy lid. Good luck!

  18. 29

    Is the resting time done in the refrigerator or at room temp?

    • 30

      Hi Misty-
      The 12-18 hours of resting time should be done at room temp. Great question! I’ll update the recipe to make it more clear. Thank you!

      • 31

        Oops. I got too eager and started before I heard back from ya. My other bread recipe was refrigerated so I popped it in there after it rose. Guess I’ll have to let it sit out a while before I bake it off. Thank you! I’m so excited. And by the way, I LOVE dill pickles and peanut butter. I grew up on it, didn’t know there was anyone else out there!

  19. 34

    I have made several loafs of this bread, have passed it on and shared it with all! Love the simplicity of it, the taste of it and the rustic look. I make it twice a week.

  20. 35

    Have been making bread from the bread machine for years, but love this recipe and the family loves it even more. Made one with sun dried tomatoes – snipped with scissors and basil. Really easy to just “create” and TOO easy
    Thank you

  21. 36

    Does it have to be 12-18 hours? Or can it be like 8-10 hours?

  22. 38

    This bread had changed my life! For real. Cannot tell enough people how good and how easy it is. I make two loaves a week. Not sure what that does for the caloric dieting, but damn the torpedoes. ..full speed ahead carb lovers!

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