Rustic Italian Crusty Bread Recipe Video (2024)

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Easy and quick artisan Italian rustic crusty bread at home, no knead, no machine, no dutch oven, with only 2 hour rise time. Made by hand with active dry instant yeast, flour and water then baked on a hot pizza stone.

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Artisan Italian Crusty Bread Recipe

I made us the perfect bread for soups, stews, bruschetta and to use for sandwiches / panini all week long.

A spin on my Italian pizza dough recipe, except here i use warm water to make the bread. Just mix together flour, salt and instant yeast then let rise for 2 hours. Only 2 hours for perfect homemade bread you guys!

Then you bake it on a preheated pizza stone (<–amazon), for a peasant style loaf that crackles in your hands like a dream, yet still soft on the inside. Perfect for dipping or to dunk into a hot bowl of vegetable soup.

  • A good homemade bread will have a soft, fluffy center with big holes and a crust that crackles in your hand with even a gentle squeeze. It’s very important to not overwork the dough if you are looking for airy holes in your bread like the ones in the photo above.
  • Avoid the temptation to add more flour, simply dump the dough out of the bowl you mixed it in and shape into a loaf. No Kneading Allowed!
  • I swear there’s nothing like the magic of a pizza stone, however you could also bake it inside a cast iron skillet or dutch oven if you really wanted to.

How to Serve and Eat Crusty Bread

  • dip in olive oil with red chili flakes and fresh herbs.
  • alongside Pasta e Ceci, Zuppa Toscana, Roasted Pepper Tomato Soup + Frutti di Mare.
  • make the ultimate Tomato Bruschetta!
  • enjoy with Oven Roasted Tomatoes + vegan mozzarella.
  • tear a crusty corner like nobody’s watching while still a little warm and spread a little butter on it.
  • add 2 tablespoons of rosemary to the dough, 1/3 cup of sliced black olives or sprinkle the top with poppy seeds before baking.

What makes the bread crusty?

The secret is a bowl of water steaming under the pizza stone while the bread is baking. The steam makes a crusty loaf!

How to Store

Allow the loaf to cool off completely on a cooling rack on its side. Place it in a plastic bag and store on the kitchen counter at room temperature for a couple of days. I would not recommend freezing this kind of bread, instead if you find yourself with a stale chunk simply do as the Italian do: make a big pot of Ribollita or this Tuscan Pappa al Pomodoro soup.

Rustic Crusty Italian Bread Recipe Video

Rustic Italian Crusty Bread Recipe Video (6)

4.89 from 90 votes

Rustic Italian Crusty Bread Recipe

Easy and quick artisan Italian crusty bread recipe you can make at home. No knead, no machine, with only 2 hour rise time. Made with instant or active dry instant yeast, flour and water and baked on a hot pizza stone.

Print Recipe

Prep Time:5 minutes mins

Cook Time:40 minutes mins

Total Time:45 minutes mins


US Customary - Metric


  • In a large mixing bowl or your kitchen aid mixer add the flour, salt and yeast. Use a spatula or the paddle attachment and mix to combine well.

    3.25 cups all purpose flour, 2 tsp instant yeast, 1 tsp sea salt

  • Pour in the warm water and keep mixing until everything is incorporated and a soft dough has formed. It will still stick to the bottom of the bowl and that is OK.

    1.5 cups warm water

  • Cover the bowl with some plastic wrap loosely and a tea towel. Allow the dough to rise at room temperature for 2 to 3 hours until doubled in size.

  • Sprinkle some flour on your kitchen counter and dump the bread dough on it. Flour your hands to help it out of the bowl as it will be sticky.Don't panic, this is normal.

  • With floured hands fold the dough onto itself forming it into a round ball. Do not knead it, do not handle it anymore than you need to. Use a sharp knife and lightly carve an X in the top of the loaf or just make a few cuts across.

  • Place the bread dough on top of a lightly floured pizza peel, cardboard or parchment paper and allow it to rest while your oven is heating up.

  • Preheat your oven to 450”F with a pizza stone inside for about 45 minutes before baking the bread. Fill an oven proof bowl with 2 inches of water and place it on the bottom rack. This will create the steam that will cause the crust to become crispy as it bakes.

  • Once your oven is hot sprinkle the pizza stone with some semolina flour or corn meal and carefully slide the bread loaf on top. Bake the bread for about 30 to 45 minutes until golden brown all over and cooked through.

  • Transfer the bread to a cooling rack and allow to cool off completely before slicing into it. You can also let it cool inside the oven with the door slightly open.

Dutch Oven Method

  • Instead of a pizza stone preheat your oven with a dutch oven inside. Once hot, carefully place the bread loaf inside the dutch oven ideally using parchment paper for easy transfer. Cover with the lid and bake for 30 minutes. Remove lid and bake another 5 minutes until golden brown on top. Remove the bread from the dutch oven and transfer to a cooling rack or it won't stay crispy.

    Rustic Italian Crusty Bread Recipe Video (7)

Original Large Loaf Recipe:

  • Ingredients:

    1packageinstant dry yeast(1/4 oz)

    6.25cupsall purpose flour+ more for dusting

    2tspsea salt

    3cupswarm water.

    Rustic Italian Crusty Bread Recipe Video (8)
  • Instructions: Follow the above instructions and bake at 450"F for 45 minutes.

    Rustic Italian Crusty Bread Recipe Video (9)



  • Adaptation Jan. 2021 - because some people were having trouble working with a large loaf, I adapted the recipe to make a smaller loaf that is easier to handle and that will cook evenly even without a pizza stone. Those of you more experienced bakers with a pizza stone or a bread/ pizza oven feel free to double the recipe and make a huge rustic loaf out of this.
  • Water dish - make sure you don't forget to add the dish with water in the oven to create steam If you are after an extra crusty loaf!
  • Parchment paper - If using parchment paper make sure to check the box for the max temperature it can safely be used in.
  • Keep it Crusty - make sure to allow your loaf to cool off completely on a high cooling rack so the moisture can escape through the bottom while the crust stays crispy. Alternatively allow the loaf to cool off on a rack inside the oven with door slightly open. (remove from dutch oven and discard parchment paper first).


Calories: 195kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 295mg | Potassium: 83mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 2mg

Course: Baked Goods

Cuisine: Italian

Keyword: bread

Servings: 8 people

Calories: 195kcal

Author: Florentina

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Rustic Italian Crusty Bread Recipe Video (2024)


What is the secret of crusty bread? ›

How to make crusty bread
  1. To make crusty bread, choose the right recipe. ...
  2. Shape the dough with more rather than less surface area. ...
  3. To make crusty bread, create steam in the oven. ...
  4. Bake on a pizza stone or steel. ...
  5. To keep bread crusty, cool baked loaves in the oven.
Aug 9, 2015

What is rustic Italian bread called? ›

Ciabatta. Ciabatta is a rustic Italian loaf that's filled with tons of irregularly-shaped air pockets. It's super crusty on the outside and chewy on the inside, making it an ideal choice for making sandwiches.

What makes bread more crusty? ›


Close the oven door immediately. You've just created a "steam bath" in your oven. Steam hitting the bread surface will facilitate the process of creating crust, especially during the first part of the baking process. That's why many professional bakers use steam-injected ovens.

How to make bread crust crunchy? ›

Place the baking tray or tin directly onto the baking stone. This brings a hot surface into (almost) direct contact with the bread you're baking. This helps increase the final rise and also makes sure of a good, all-over crust.

How do you keep crusty bread crusty overnight? ›

Cloth, being breathable, retains less moisture; the disappointment is that this doesn't translate into a crispy crust, but rather a hard one. So if you want to store bread for a day or so at room temperature, plastic or foil (rather than cloth) is the way to go.

What causes crusty bread to become soft or soggy? ›

As the loaf cools, any moisture which is left in the loaf escapes through the crust as steam and this is what causes the softening.

What is the old Italian bread called? ›

Focaccia is a traditional type of Italian bread that is known for its fluffy and chewy texture and delicious flavour. Its origins date back to ancient Rome when it was known as "panis focacius".

What is the difference between artisan and rustic bread? ›

Although a little vague like artisan bread, the general consensus is that rustic bread is not shaped with a pan and it is only made with simple ingredients such as just flour, water, salt, and yeast (or starter). Rustic bread is usually baked at a higher temperature which results in a thicker crust.

Is rustic bread the same as artisan bread? ›

An artisan bread is one made using traditional methods, rather than mass-produced industrial methods. Rustic bread is a style of bread - typically baked freeform and made in a square loaf pan. So, you can have a artisanal rustic bread, if it's made using traditional methods.

Why spray bread with water before baking? ›

Wetting the dough causes the surface to steam. Covering it traps the moisture. This partnership stops the bread from drying out on the surface in the hot air of the oven and forming a premature crust. Your bread rises more and produces a richer colour, becoming glossy on the surface.

How to get a darker crust on bread? ›

What are the best techniques for creating dark color and shine on bread crusts? To create dark, burnished crusts on their loaves, professional bakers brush milk, egg, or water onto the surface of the risen dough before baking.

How to get a golden crust on bread? ›

Slash the bread: Before baking, make sure to slash or score the top of the bread to release some of the steam, which will help the crust become crispy. 5. Brush with egg wash: Brushing the top of the bread with an egg wash (beaten egg and water) before baking can also promote browning and create a shiny golden crust.

Why is my homemade bread not crusty? ›

The type of flour can also affect the crust. My emmer loaves are softer than my whole wheat which are softer than my bread flour loaves. The temperature of the bake can also play into the crust texture. In short, there are many variables and factors.

What is the best oven to bake bread in? ›

Baking bread in an electric oven is extremely easy because the temperature inside does not fluctuate. The consistent heat in these devices is the opposite of that in gas ovens. Consistent temperatures will result in a deliciously crisp crust and overall a delicious bread loaf.

Is crusty bread better for you? ›

The short answer is: yes, bread crusts do contain more nutrients. The reason for this is that the baking process causes the exterior of the bread to become firmer and more browned. This chemical baking process also results in changes to the nutrients in the crust of bread.

Which ingredient makes breads tender and flaky? ›

The higher the starch level in your bread dough, the more tender your resulting bread will be. And a great way to add starch to your bread is in the form of potatoes: cooked and mashed; dried (in the form of potato flour or flakes); or even simply by using the water in which you've boiled potatoes.

What bread is considered crusty? ›

While there are many types of French bread, some of the most popular kinds—like baguettes and boules—have an extremely crusty exterior and a chewy crumb, making them perfect for tearing, dipping or slathering with butter. It's not uncommon for these breads to require a lengthy preparation process.

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