The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Rustic Bread

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Floydm's picture

Rustic Bread

I've made two batches of the Rustic Bread from Jeffrey Hamelman's Bread: A Baker's Book of Techniques and Recipes and they have turned out excellent. Pretty, too: for once my loaves are decently shaped. I'm not sure it is has so much to do with the recipe or just that, after 4 months of constant baking, I'm starting to get pretty good at this.

I love the simplicity of this one: 2 lbs flour, 1 tablespoon salt, just over 1/2 teaspoon yeast, and enough water to hydrate it all. It still amazes me how the best bread is made with the fewest ingredients.

I want to do a lesson on shaping soon, as well as one on pre-ferments. So I'm not going to cover those steps in the level of detail I should here, but I'll get enough of the recipe down that most people shouldn't have trouble following it.

Rustic Bread

Makes 2 large loaves

1 lb. bread flour (3 1/2 cups)
9.5 oz. water (1 1/4 cups)
1/2 tablespoon salt
1/8 teaspoon instant yeast

Final dough:
10 oz. bread flour (2 1/2 cups)
6 oz. whole wheat or rye flour or a mixture of them (around 1 1/2 cups)
12.5 oz. water (1 1/2 cups)
1/2 tablespoon salt
1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
all of the preferment

Put the yeast in the water and stir. Mix the flour and salt together in a bowl and pour in the yeasted water. Mix until the flour is hydrated, adding more water if necessary. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave the pre-ferment out at room temperature overnight (up to 16 hours... if you need more time before baking put it in the refrigerator).

To make the final dough, combine all of the ingredients except the pre-ferment in a mixing bowl. Chop the pre-ferment up into small pieces and mix or knead it into the final dough until they are thoroughly combined. This is quite difficult to do by hand: Hamelman assumes the baker has a mixer and can mix it for 5 minutes by machine. I mix and knead my dough by hand for about 10 minutes. At the end of that time the new and old dough aren't perfectly combined-- you can still see a few streaks of the lighter colored pre-ferment in it-- but they are sufficiently combined that loaves bake evenly.

Place the dough back in a greased bowl and ferment for 2 1/2 hours, punching down or folding the dough twice during that time.

(Folding the dough consists of taking the dough out of the bowl, spreading it out a little on a clean surface, folding it in thirds like a letter, rotating it 90 degrees and folding it up again, and then returning the dough to the bowl and covering it again. Like punching down, folding degases the dough some, but it also encourages gluten development. More on this topic in a future post.)

At the end of the fermentation, divide the dough into two pieces and preshape each into a ball. Cover with a clean towel and let each rest for 5 to 10 minutes before shaping into the final shape. Once shaped, cover the loaves with a clean towel and set aside for a final rise, approximately 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours.

Halfway though the final rise, begin preheating the oven to 450 degrees. If you are using a baking stone, preheat it as well.

Right before placing it in the oven, score the loaves. Place them in the oven and use whatever technique you use to create stream in the oven (squirt bottle, skillet full of hot water, etc) to encourage proper crust development.

After 20 minutes of baking, rotate the loaves 180 degrees so that they'll bake evenly. Bake until an instant read thermometer reads around 200 degrees, which took approximately 35 minutes for my batard ("football") shaped loaves.
Rustic Bread

Related Recipe: Italian Bread

qahtan's picture

Looks really , really good. :-)))) qahtan

carefreebaker's picture

I still haven't bought a scale so having dry measurements is so helpful. Looking forward to baking this rustic bread this weekend.

sonofYah's picture

I too tried this recipe this past w/e. Used the 'no-knead' method. The bread turned out awesome. I used a high hydration percentage on my loaf. The crumb was similar to ciabatta. The oven spring was extraordinary. The flavor was excelllent. Looking forward to trying my Challah bread this w/e. Used the no-knead method on this one also. Then froze the loaves before shaping and final rise. I'll take two out of the freezer on Thursday. Put them in the refrigerator and shape, proof, and bake on Friday for Saturday's oneg.


Renee's picture

I am in heaven.... now that I've found this great site. My initial thought, when I came upon the picture of the Rustic Bread was : "Oh My.....What a lovely loaf !".
The preferment is already put together. And my plan is to try baking this one tomorrow.
I have a question about mixing/blending the preferment with the dry the ingredients. I don't have a stand mixer and have rheumatoid arthritis in my hands. Could one blend the preferment with the 12.5 oz. of water first? Then once it is dissolved... add the remaining ingredients ? I'm thinking this would eliminate the difficulty of incorporating it with the rest of the ingredients.

Floydm's picture

I don't see why that wouldn't work, but I haven't tried it. Please let us know how it works out.

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

No reason not to mix the preferment with the water before adding dry ingredients. That is how Reinhart suggests doing it in artisan breads every day and how Robertson does it in Tartine Bread. 

Hammelman must be trying to sell mixers :)

To mooloolaba's picture
To mooloolaba

Hi Renee, 

Check out my post re kneading bread. Try it and let's know if helps you.

Paul. T


Renee's picture

So good. The preferment dissolved nicely in the water and the remaining ingredients incorporated easily. Had to set the loaves in the oven on the proofing cycle because it is quite cold here today..
Can't wait to see the results.

MmeZeeZee's picture

I did something similar- I didn't start mixing the dough until I had the preferment in it.  So basically used the preferment as an ingredient and mixed it in.  I did not find it difficult at all to mix it in (but of course, I don't have arthritis).  But there were no streaks at the end.  So I think at the very least it would be easier than mixing them separately.  Perhaps something will be lost- I'll let you know.  I'm baking now.

lindsaysbakery's picture

I always have difficulty mixing the dry and wet ingredients. I followed the recipe exactly but I keep getting a very sticky dough that I had to keep adding more flour and end up working with the dough for quite a long time.

Bakenstein's picture

Has anyone attempted this beauty? It looks like a wonderful Holiday goodie. Any pointers before I dive in would be a help.

Floydm's picture

You are talking about one of these?

No, I haven't baked one. Maybe I'll try it this weekend.

This rustic bread recipe has become one of my standards. I bake this almost every weekend, alternating with the pain sur poolish. Pretty similar except the pain sur poolish is white flour only.

Amazing how difficult it is to make a really good French bread.

peppy's picture

I have tried this recipe out and it did turn out great. I'm not exactly the best bread maker myself, but I am getting better at it. Some advice would be to get the ingredients exactly perfect. Even small differences have thrown off the whole loaf.

sunset's picture

I just baked this bread today. It is so incredibly easy and YUMMY!!!  Just follow the instructions and you can not go wrong!!!  I have not baked bread in 20 years and I was worried needlessly!!!!  I am so glad I came upon this sight!!!!  : >

dstroy's picture

huh? Couronne? Are you talking about the bread image at the top, which Floyd baked and I ate ;)
or is couronne another bread-type and this question got misplaced in this forum topic? Google isnt even showing me any meaningful results... it's a crown in french...uh.

Bakenstein's picture

Yes this looks more like Peter Reinhart's rendition.I recently saw this bread made by Steven Sullivan (Acme Bread Co.)on PBS Episode #110 of the Baking With Julia Series. It was a incredible demonstration. He made a chain made out of a thin log of dough placed in the bottom of the form. This then became like jewels on the top of the crownrather than creasing the top into 4 quadrants (BBAp75).

Floydm's picture

Huh. This weekend I tried using the rustic dough to make a Courrone in the way that Peter describes. It wasn't very pretty, but the bread was wonderful!

Bakenstein's picture

I think I'll give it a try since I'm having much better crust and oven spring with the new Old Stone Oven baking deck.
Floyd does the open hole in the center reduce baking time?

Floydm's picture

Hmm... I'm trying to remember. I think it definitely took less time to bake than a large, football loaf, something closer to the amount of time it takes to bake baguettes. I didn't watch the clock closely (I just eyeballed it and did the tap on the bottom). I'd guess mine baked around 25 to 30 minutes at 450 or 460.

redhen52's picture

Can someone help me with Ciabatta I'v tried to make this bread about 6 times and everytime I make it there is NOT ENOUGH LARGE HOLES in the bread. the dough is very soupy lots of water what am i doing wrong HELP

Elagins's picture

Try using about 70-75% water to flour and use the strongest bread flour you can find. I buy 25# bags of ConAgra bread flour at Costco, which works just fine, and I add about 5% coarse-ground whole wheat flour, which I think gives better flavor. I also use a wet pre-ferment that has approximately the same flour-water proportions, plus 1/2 tsp or so of active dry yeast (which I hydrate before adding).

The key, I think, is to knead for a long time ... usually 10-12 minutes at low speed on my Kitchen Aid, then turn it out onto a heavily floured work surface. I also stretch and fold the dough 2-3 times over 2 hours or so, then form my loaves and put them onto individual pieces of oiled and semolina'ed parchment paper. I let them proof en couche and bake them on a stone using Reinhart's hearth-baking technique (preheat to 550F with steam pan, add steam over the next 2-3 minutes, then turn the oven down to 450 and bake for 20 minutes or so). I've also found that spritzing the loaves with water before I bake them gives me a much thicker, chewier crust.

So far, I've had very good success with this method ... in fact, of all the breads I make, my wife likes this one best.

naschol's picture

Another thing that helps with the large holes is to be careful not to degass. In other words, don't knead after the first time. As it doubles, just fold it over lightly a couple of times and let rise, again. Don't press hard on the dough. What makes for good holes is wet dough and light handling.


TomH's picture

You mention Jeffrey Hamelman's book of techniques and recipes. Is it strong on techniques; does it have good photos showing the techniques? I'm a visual learner.
I really emjoy this site. Keep up the good work.

Floydm's picture

Hamelman's book has no photos. There are some decent line drawings that could help you a bit, but overall it is quite text heavy.

bakerboy99's picture

Floyd is right the book is text heavy but if you read through thr recipes carefully the book is quite helpful.


twcinnh's picture

There are a number of Jeffrey Hamelman videos on Youtube.  Go there and search Hamelman and I you just might find what you're looking for.  If not with Hamelman, there are any number of videos on aspects of bread making.

Have fun.


sphealey's picture

Interesting - that is the first recipe I have seen with salt in the preferment. I take it that does not kill the yeast too early?


Floydm's picture

No, it doesn't seem to kill the yeast.

I think it is supposed to be more of a pate fermentee than a poolish, so it is more like a complete dough than a sponge.

Sylviambt's picture

I'm glad someone also had a question about salt in the preferment. I'm relatively new to making artisan breads at home (just 3 months into it and totally obsessed). Everything I've read has cautioned against salt at this early stage, so it's really interesting to learn about your outstanding success. Something new to try!

In search of the perfect crust & crumb

dough-re-mi's picture

My first attempt at rustic bread turned out well despite a few deviations from the recipe (about a tablespoon extra water and a 16 hour ferment time before refrigeration overnight and forgetting to put salt in the final dough). I just have to salt each piece of bread before I eat it :-). Thank you for the wonderful, forgiving recipe.

I had difficulty with the shaping though; the dough was pretty soft and I do not have a couche or a banneton or that piece of wood for transferring the loaf from a couche to a peel; moving the slack dough from the proof station to the peel was nearly disastrous. I am thinking of proofing and baking it in the future on the "perforated french bread baguette pan" from Chicago Metallic

Does anybody have experience with this? I am trying to spend money that will make a difference, not just spend money; the pan is $20.00. I have also ordered a 60" by 36" piece of #10 cotton duck canvas for 11.00, including shipping, from to serve as a couche.

Anyway, thanks for helping me bring the best bread I have ever baked into my house, shaped like a corkscrew and undersalted, but otherwise beautiful, delicious, and with a wonderful texture.

KNEADLESS's picture

I mentioned this before on my own blog, but it bares repeating. I purchased a two loaf pan at a kitchen outlet store in a Tanger outlet mall in Fort Myers, Florida. It is silvery, plated with some type of metal, and the surface is somewhat rough. I have used it 5 times and have had no major sticking problems. It cost $3.00. These types of generic kitchen stores can be found in Tanger and other outlet malls.

TRK's picture

I had actually thought about getting some of these to increase the ease of baking baguettes.  The Hamelman book actually has a pretty nice series of photographs showing crust and crumb of baguettes made different ways.  These make it look like the pan sort of confines the oven spring, reducing the size of the holes, and changing the shape of the slashes.  Have you noticed anything along these lines?


sphealey's picture

I have the two-loaf perforated Chicago Metallic french bread pan. It works well for me. I have read much advice the one should only bake rustic bread directly on the stone, and not in a pan, but it seems to work and it does provide the support for the wet dough that you are seeking. The bottom of the loaf stays golden rather than turning dark brown, but as much as I like dark crust I think that contrast is a good thing.


andrew_l's picture

I agree with Nancy - wet dough, light handling . It is amzaing how just folding increases the strength and elasticity of the dough.
The old fashioned idea of "knock the hell out of it" is just so wrong!!!

dough-re-mi's picture

The dough for my 4th version of rustic bread is now fermenting. My first try was shaped the best, but I mismeasured salt and perhaps the water. The next 2 tries I measured very carefully, doublechecking, verifying. The dough was a batter, I literally had to pour it onto the baking tiles. So this time (some weeks later) I didn't immediately put all water for the final dough into the stand mixer bowl; I added it slowly during the mixing process.

After mixing slowly while adding the water, I had a dough that barely came away from the mixer bowl, very sticky, with the splat-splat sound of sticky dough splashing against the mixer bowl just eliminated.

There was 3 7-8 ounces (i.e. almost 4 ounces) of water held back. I will proceed with the fermentation, folding, proofing, shaping, etc, and post my results.

After the April budget crunch in my household passes, I think I will also buy the Hamelman Techniques book, to see what he says about the texture of the dough after mixing. I loved the flavor of my 1 inch high bread that I poured onto the tiles, but I'd like it even better in the shape of a loaf :-).

dough-re-mi's picture

Well, I think the bread needed the extra water after all; the crumb had very tiny holes, and folding the dough was difficult.

I found the relevant Hamelman book chapter on line
and saw a few details about the mixing and shaping that I didn't fully appreciate before.

All in all, I like this bread a lot, and appreciate the suggestion by someone (Floyd?) to work a single recipe over and over and see the effects of varying the processes and ingredients.

Thank you for the opportunity to learn and share here.


PJ3's picture

I am trying to make the bread...  but am having a very difficult time "Folding" the bread...  I can't even pick the bread up it is so slack.  I can tell the gluten has developed well when I stretch it with my fingers to a very thin window. To fold the dough I just picked  up one side and stretched it over the other side several times.  I saw no holes in the bread like I was expecting. I was excited to see that the preferment had nice sized holes, but am not seeing the holes in the "Rustic Loaf" when folding??(yet)  Seems like the recipe was ease to follow...  but not seeing the best results yet...  

 ahhhhhh...  and another thing...  I totally miscalculated the time line of the bread...  and I am bush wacked tonight and need to go to bed... I put the bread in the refer for the night after the 2.5hrs rise time and plan on letting the bread raise tomorrow night before baking...  this gunna be ok??


PJ3...  Provo, UT

PJ3's picture

Can I go from the refridgerator to the oven??  with this bread??

cognitivefun's picture

I often go from the fridge to the oven. No need to let the cold dough heat up. Just put it in the very hot oven, steam it and it bakes very nicely.

gtbehary's picture

 I shared a recipe with a friend and she questions making bread w/o any sugar in the recipe to feed the yeast.  It was the Rustic bread recipe.  I've been making it w/o sugar but my wife added some sugar while making the recipe and hers did seem to raise higher than mine.  Any opinions on adding sugar either way?


Floydm's picture

Sugar is, for yeast as well as us, basically junk food.

There are complex sugars (maltose) in wheat flour that yeast breaks down into simple sugars (glucose). If you add much table sugar to your bread, the yeast will stick to feeding on it, a simple sugar, rather than go do the hard work of breaking down the maltose. So you'll get fermentation, which releases gas and leads to a good rise, but you won't necessarily get the flavor you get as a result of break down of the maltose.

So when are trying to make a bread like this, where the flavor really comes from the wheat, most bakers suggest adding minimal (or no) sugar. If you are baking a bread where the flavor comes from the other ingredients and you don't really want a wheaty, nutty flavor, like, say, a sweet bread, adding sugar or honey is fine.

gtbehary's picture

Thanks for the clarification.  Now I can tell my wife that although her's had risen quite well, my bread had a more complex wheaty flavor!

Still Trying to find a good loaf of bread in South Florida!

gtbehary's picture

I forgot to tell you thanks for posting such a great recipe.  We haven't purchased any bread from over a month.  We alternate between the Italian and Rustic recipes.  I must admit that I use all white flour for the Rustic Bread. 

Still Trying to find a good loaf of bread in South Florida!

KNEADLESS's picture

Panera's is just opening a store in the new Coconut Point mall in Fort Myers. I love their asiago bread.



merrybaker's picture

I once had a coupon for a free loaf of their Asiago Bread, and I loved the flavor.  I've been meaning to try to duplicate it, but never got around to it.  When they came out with a Panera cookbook, I thought, "Aha! Now I can get the recipe."  Turns out the book only had recipes for using their bread, not to bake the breads themselves.  

Cooky's picture

The recipe for their asiago-parmesan-romano bread is posted on their Web site: 

 I made a batch for a friend's post-Thanksgiving dinner party, and it was a smash hit. It calls for a poolish starter, which I let develop overnight instead of the 30 minutes the recipe calls for, and I think that helped.  


"I am not a cook. But I am sorta cooky."

merrybaker's picture

I just now found your message, and the bread sounds wonderful.  Nice proportion of cheese!-Mary  

roames's picture

Thank you for sharing a fantastic recipe. The bread had the perfect texture and saltiness, and just the right crust. I'll be making this many more times in the future!

sylvstr540's picture


I love your bread blog. My dad is an excellent baker and we have tried some of your recipes over the holidays. We made the rustic loaves for our Christmas dinner and everyone loved them! We also made Peter's cranberry walnut celebration is a great recipe as well.  Thank you for all of your tips! 
We are in the process of trying the cinnamon raisin oatmeal recipe...the dough is rising:)  I will try to send pictures soon!  

A question: What brand of thermometer do you use?? My dad needs a new one. Any recommendations?  Thanks again!

Floydm's picture

I have no idea what brand it is. The cheapest I could find, I think. It ran about 7 bucks and I have no complaints about it whatsoever.

Thegreenbaker's picture

I began this loaf last night.

I mixed the preferment and it didnt seem to have anough water as the dough wasnt completely mixed so I added about an extra 1/2 to 3/4 of a cup of water. The dough still seemed too stiff but I left it. This morning I came out and saw that the preferment had more than doubled in size and I was relieved.

I mixed the final dough, and it didnt need all of the water or it would have been too slack. I kneeded it and left it for 45 mins. I then folded it and have timed it for an extra 45 mins. This is where I am up to now.  I planed to fold it twice like the recipe says and decided that folding it at 45 min intervals in the beginning of the fermenting/rising period was a good idea so that it had the last hour untouched to rise.

My worry is that since mixing the final dough this morning, it hasnt risen much.It seems like its asleep :S

I am afraid that I;ll end up with a heavy bread.  Is it just rising slowly becuase of the little amount of yeast in it? (until now I have been practicing my skils with lesson one and two, and felt confident enough to try something else) I'm due to fold it again in about half an hour. SO I will see how it goes.

Fingers crossed.


Floydm's picture

Is your house cold and/or was the water cold? That'll slow it down. Hamelman's times assume that after mixing the dough is around 76 degrees, which is much warmer than my house or dough right now.

It should rise slowly but, given time, rise (assuming your yeast is good). Find a slightly warmer place for it perhaps, like the cool oven with just the light on. And/or give it an extra 45 minutes between folds. Doubling the rise time may seem drastic, but it really isn't on a cool day.

Good luck.

Thegreenbaker's picture

lol. I am in midsummer!  admittedly it has been a cool summer and my new place is cooler than most houses. I have it sitting on top of the oven and turn the oven on for 5 mins and then turn it off so that the kitchen is warmer.

I might stick it in with the light on. :)  and I'll allow it an extra 45 mins between the next fold. DOes that mean after I fold it I still allow the last hour for it to rise? Sorry to sound daft......still pretty green at this baking thing :)

Thanks for your advcice floyd! It's very much appreciated :)

Floydm's picture

That's right... I forgot where you are located.

If you know the yeast is good, then I say just sit back and give it time. It is disconcerting the first couple of times you bake a low-yeast bread because it does take so long, but the payoff is worth it. Sourdough is even more painful: even with an active starter, it isn't unusual for it to take a dough 3 or 4 hours to double in size.

Just sit back and let it do its thing.

Thegreenbaker's picture

:) Cool.

Thanks for the reassurance Floyd. Yeah the yeast is good. I made a basic loaf yesterday for breakfast today and it was great, so it is just me getting used to the slowness of low-yeast rising. At least I know now :)

It is going nicely at the moment. I'm due to fold it again in about 20mins, and am going to wait and be patient and let it do its thing. I cant wait to taste this one :D


Thegreenbaker's picture

ooooohhhhhhh I have two very lovely looking loaves in the oven :)

fingers crossed XX :D 

Thegreenbaker's picture


Apart from burning the crusts a bit the bread turnedout deeeelishious! I am sitting here eating a still warm slice. :) The crum is lovely and the taste is morish! This is going to become my regular bread recipe for a while :)

Thanks for all your help Floyd :)

They rose nicely and it took maybe an extra hour on top of the alotted time in the recipe......I was also impatient, so if I had have waited longer I am sure it would have been even better :)

Yay! for my ever improving bread baking skills. I will be able to make use of my Xmas pressie soon :D (I got BBA for Xmas)

KNEADLESS's picture

I received the large, bell shaped Le Clouch for Xmas, and I decided to use this recipe for a comparitive test. I used the quantities listed above, but mixed all at one time to use the Kneadless method. The only change that I made was to use 1/2 tsp yeast. After mixing, the dough sat at RT for 18 hours. At that time, I roughly divided it into two halves.


The first half, I envelope folded, let sit for 30 minutes, and formed it into a ball.


The instructions that come with the clouch say to put the ball into the bottom of the clouch, cover with the cold bell, and let rise till doubled. Then put it in a 450 oven for 15 min., then reduce to 400 for another 15 min., remove the cover and bake for another 10 min. or so. I followed these instructions exactly, except after 1 hr. rising, it was only about 1 1/2 original size, but because it was spreading out, I put it in the oven at this point.


The results seemed excellent. I got a golden loaf more than 2 times the size of the original ball. Coming out of the oven, it had a thin, crispy crust, but unfortunately, after it cooled, all of the crust became soft, except for the bottom, which had been on the stone bottom. The crumb was very nice, with some medium sized (1/4-3/8") large holes, and the taste was excellent.


The second batch had to be refrigerated for 5 hours or so, and after a 1 hour warmup, was prepared like the first one, but it was risen in a linen lined basket. My normal, flat stone and the top of the clouch were put in the 500 oven for 1 hour.


Once again, I didn't get a lot of rise in the basket. I removed the hot bell, spread some corn meal on the stone, plopped the ball on it, and covered with the bell. After 20 minutes the temp was reduced to 450, and 10 minutes later I removed the bell. 10 minutes later, the inside was 205 and I pulled it from the oven.


The loaf was 3-4 times its original size, had a hard, crispy crust, and many more of the 1/4-3/8" holes. After 10 hours, the crust is still crispy. The taste of the two loaves seem equivalent to my 69 year old palate.


Using this bell is much easier than using a pot and lid, IMHO.






KNEADLESS's picture

I got some unexpected results since posting the previous comments. After baking one loaf in a hot clouch and the other in a cold clouch, I sliced them up and froze them for use as my morning toast. The bread from the hot clouch becomes dry and crisp, with a thick crust.  The bread from the cold clouch comes out of the toaster with a delightful thin, crisp crust, but the crumb comes out soft and chewy even when toasted fairly dark, just the way I like it.


Still learning.



sewwhatsports's picture

Here is the report on my sourdough rye.  I ended up retarding it in the refrigerator last night till this morning.  I took it out and let it come to room temp.  I decided that I wanted a sorta batard versus a boule so I let it rise in my oval banneton.  It rose nicely over 4 hours.  I tipped it onto the peel to put it in the oven and the loaf deflated a bit.  I was disappointed and I think it happened because it stuck to the banneton.  I had floured it well beforehand and it still did not come out easily.  I slashed it and baked it and did not get too much oven rise.  The bread is wonderful tasting but it is definately a little deflated.  I am disappointed with the end looking results but will keep working at it.  One of the good things about poor looking outcomes is that they still eat very well. Any suggestions on preventing this type of problem?  All suggestions appreciated. 

Rena in Delaware

Thegreenbaker's picture

This has become my daily bread. (though I make it and freeze one loaf)

Yesterday I made this batch into 4 small loaves.

I had to go shopping and left the dough to rise. I took longer than I expected, so 3 hours later I came home to find my dough spreading all over the place! Over the sides of the baking tray I had it on!

I quickly folded it up and left it to rise again. 20 mins later it was pretty big again, si I folded it again and left it for another 20-30mins. I cut it into 4 and let them rest then chaped them. it was like the beasties were having a frenzy. They rose so well!

I then slashed them........and they were good slashes! Nice and deep, Once they were put in the oven, I got a huge oven rise out of them. I dont normally get an oven rise.


They taste delicious!


Is the secret to my success neglect of the dough ;)


Yeast Infected's picture
Yeast Infected

That looks awesome........I have made a few rustics over the last few weeks..Good..But hey, if we all would settle for "good" the local market would be the fix..Right?..Serious question..On this particular bread..Is a preferment ....uhhhh, crucial..? Or am I disposing this step in the manner of asking a saumari why he would go through so much" trouble" to have a sword's blade folded 2,ooo times...My 3 earlier loaves, I used a straight build with all ingrediants, to a 18 minute hand knead-trying to keep it "rustic" and rock it in a old school manner-as I "eye" that groovy, shiny $9 gazzilion mixer that sits on my counter ..I keep telling myself..."Mixer....Not...The...Way...They would have..Done..It...Back in the day.."...I am probably going to do the next loaf as per Floydm's rec...As I put my hand to my head and close my eyes...A hazy vision premenses why my loaves don't have that "heaviness" or the sexy air pockets...Thanks in advance, and please feel free to slap my forehead ..I take few things serious...Fly fishing and baking...Different story...

Floydm's picture

I think if you try it with the preferment you'll find it produces a more complex, better tasting loaf. But, no, you don't *have* to do the preferment stage, and if you are going to gobble it down right out of the oven or smear it with something that'll overwhelm it (like a strong cheese) you probably won't notice much of a difference.

Yeast Infected's picture
Yeast Infected

Notes from the counter-top......Over the last 24 hours, I baked 4 loaves of the above rustic....

-Preferment-Added "weight", depth and complexity in texture and taste...Earlier "non" pref's where more "white bread"-albiet, political posture...insert lame smiley icon...Earlier loaves were light in regard to density, taste, and texture..Last loaves had a crust that you could break bad teeth-desired....Interior was euphorically pockted, airy and springy...Summary....Side notes..Attention paid to static temperatures of all dry ingredients and bowls-warrented explanation....My wife is ingrained with Alabama folklore/urban myth that ALL flour,sugar, cereal products MUST be put in a refrigerator to protect "said" items biblical plagues of "weevils",locust,cicada, and the elusive doodle bug....Short-I believe that I was retarding my yeast growth and overall development of my breads by starting with flours that temperature wise was too cool..Also, I listened to the 'Archers of Loaf" this time...Last time..Graham Parsons..I believe the "Archers" inhibited a better baking enviroment.....Today is a pretzal day and a field study on the effects of 1 pound of rising doughs density on a 3 year old stomach...Baby Jack decided to eat ALL that he assisted with.......Floyd.."Seriously"..Thank you...

xlperro's picture

I used this rustic loaf as a base for some jalapeno cheese bred today. It came out great!

LisaRene's picture

I was curious to learn at what point you added the jalapeno and cheese to the recipe?


xlperro's picture

I chop the jalapeno's and crumble the cheese during the rise. I try to remove excess moisture from the peppers. I add it all in on the final fold of the dough before shaping so it gets layered throughout the loaf without having to knead it in.

browndog's picture

Que bueno! Rustic bread is one of my favorites; you've improved on a very good thing, and I'll be borrowing your idea one of these times.

in8baker's picture

I tried this recipe yesterday, after great results with the ciabatta recipe in BBA. I was hoping to get something like a ciabatta, but with more whole wheat flour. It was kind of a flop. To wit:

  • The crumb was fairly dense, nothing like the open crumb a rustic bread should have.
  • The dough was too slack to shape, so the final loaf looked like an oblong pancake.

I used King Arthur AP flour and Bob's Red Mill Whole Wheat. I followed the recipe as given, except that I allowed about an hour extra rise time because the gluten didn't seem to be developing much at all.

Any suggestions as to what may have gone wrong?

Thegreenbaker's picture

I make this all the time and I love it.

the only thing I can suggest is mabe the wholewheat flour needed a little help with the gluten? I find I cant make wholewheat bread with out some gluten added or else it flops and is dense.

Tis may be it, but it may not be it at all.

 sorry, its a suggestion though.


have I confused you enough?



Rosalie's picture

You need the Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book.  It's all whole grain and no added gluten.  Her secret is plenty of kneading to develop the gluten.  I made her Buttermilk Bread yesterday kneading briefly in my Kitchenaid; then I switched to Stretch & Fold, with 4-5 of those.  It's fabulous!


in8baker's picture

I didn't try adding gluten, since neither floydm nor Hamelman made any mention of it. How much of the stuff do you add when making this bread?

Thegreenbaker's picture

You can try what rosalie said or I add 1-2 tablespoons gluten flour per cup of flour.

I also have been doing half whole wheat and half white unbleached....but now I am doing 100 percent whole wheat but sifting half. Its quite nice.

All I can suggest is try different techniques out. what ever works for you is what you stick with. :)




suave's picture

Tried the Rustic Bread recipe this weekend.  I scaled it down to one loaf.  It works pretty much as described.  Mixing preferment into dough is quite a bit of work, so is first folding - the dough is much to soft and sticky at this point.  Second folding is much easier.  I messed up a bit with oven temperature - I should've remembered to turn it down a notch, so the top is a bit too dark for my taste.  The bread turned out quite nice, although I'd put more salt next time.  Also, you absolutely need a good bread knife for this one.

BakerManDan's picture

Well, isn't that a loverly loaf? I followed the formula just as is, using rye flour instead of whole wheat. For the steam I tried a method I saw on a video on this site: throw in a cup of hot water and shut the oven door quickly to trap it. A few minutes later I threw in another 1/4 cup of water, though not sure if that had any effect.

As others have experienced, the dough was very sticky and damp the after mixing the pre-ferment in. I decided that using a spatula rather than my hands is better for transferring the dough from vessel to vessel. Love love love the results!

[click photos for larger versions of them]

There are things you do because they feel right & they may make no sense & they may make no money & it may be the real reason we are here: to love each other & to eat each other's cooking & say it was good.—Brian Andreas


huismval's picture

I'm relatively new to baking, not in general, but just bread. This recipe worked out really well for me. I was so proud that my loaves turned out looking so beautiful!

clifford's picture

The recipe is great!!  Is there a way to double the preferment and "feed" it (like a sourdough starter) to cut the preferment time?  Thank you in advance ...

denitomi's picture

Well I had nothing better to do this cold winter weekend than to take a stab at some bread.  I've been baking bread for many years but have never tried a rustic recipe.  I watched some You Tube videos and read some of the blogs on this site and got motivated.

I don't have a cloche, but I do have an old Romertopf clay baker.  I baked one loaf on a baking sheet and one loaf in my Romertopf after soaking it in water (the clay baker not the loaf!)  I also used King Arthur white whole wheat flour, so it isn't as dark a bread as some of the photos.

I don't have a classic instant read thermometer so I used by continuous-reading digital meat thermometer that has a wire that leads to the base that sits outside of the oven so that I always know the temp.  It worked great!

Thanks for the recipe--I'll try it again with some added goodies next time. 

ekcarmichael's picture


 I am embarrassed (but this is such a friendly forum) to say I let my rounds rise on parchment paper - quite the disaster trying to move them  but then I was kooky enough to put the uniloaf onto parchment paper on a cookie sheet to rise and bake. Notwithstanding my best efforts to wreck this bread, it is absolutely fabulous! Of course, I had to cut the bottom crust off where the paper baked into the bread, but it was still yummy. Clearly, that is the last time I let my sense of sympathy for my husband (who had just cleaned the kitchen) get in the way of a floured counter...

Paddyscake's picture

Are you sure you used parchment paper? I'm confused..did you try to move the loaf off the parchment paper to put it into the oven or did you just put the loaf onto a cookiesheet with parchment paper on it and slide the whole thing in the oven? If it's the latter, after about 10 minutes baking the parchment paper will slide right out from underneath the loaf. Parchment paper is definitely a great tool to have in a baker's kitchen.


ekcarmichael's picture



Hi Betty:


Thanks for getting back to me. Yes, I am sure I used parchment paper. Unfortunately, I let my rounds rise on parchmentment paper and then tried to shift unto parchment paper to form the loaves. It was such a mess that I had only one uniloaf. I poured the uniloaf from parchment paper to parchment paper on top of a cookie sheet. I didn't try to pull the paper out after 10 or so minutes. I will remember or next time. My dough was really wet and I think it moistened the paper and then stuck when I didn't take it out. I have never had anything like that happen before with parchment paper. It always works great. Okay, another newby question, is there a "side" to parchment paper. I did put it "upside down" from the way I normally would have trying to make it lay more flat.


Thanks again

ehanner's picture

I have had the same thing happen when the dough expands during proofing or spreads out so 2 loaves get to close. I use corn meal under the dough and if proofing 2 loaves, place the dough towards the outside edge and pull a ridge up between the two loaves so they can not touch as they expand. Liberal corn meal will help. Then when it's time to bake pull the edges out so the paper is flat and you have a couple inches of gap between the dough. It's like a paper clouch. When I'm proofing batards I'll roll up a small kitchen towel and place it on the outside to support the outside of the loaf. This eliminates the need to handle the dough just before it goes into the oven, which is a help with high hydration dough.

I don't think there is a top side that matters with parchment. I usually place the cut sheets curl side down, so it stays flat but I don't think it matters. 

Hope this helps,

Paddyscake's picture

I don't usually proof on parchment, but rather flip my dough out of brotforms onto parchment to bake. When I have proofed on the paper I did as Eric does and sprinkle cornmeal on it first, so give that a try.

If there's a right or wrong couldn't prove it by me!!


ekcarmichael's picture


 Thanks Betty and Eric for your suggestions and info. My daughter Fiona and I are going to give it another whirl...We will keep you posted....

jennileighg's picture

I made preferment and left it out at room temperature for sixteen hours, then refrigerated it.  How long can I keep it refrigerated and still use it?  

ekcarmichael's picture


The rest of the folks here are far more experienced bread makers than I. With that qualification, I left mine out for 24 hours (by mistake) and still used it. The bread was great and no one turned green... 


Pablo's picture

The bread colour, slashing pattern and shape blends wonderfully with the wood grain background.  Poster worthy.  Any chance to see the crumb?

Carl Johnson's picture
Carl Johnson

I have make homemade breads before....and omg...this is the best bread (so far) that I have ever made!!

chykcha's picture

Hello!  I am pretty new here and new to baking.  I am completely obsessed with it now.  I tried this rustic bread recipe with a few deviations and it turned out absolutely delicious!  One batard shaped loaf has cranberries and pumpkin seeds added, and the bulle (sp?) is plain.  Thank you for this wonderful recipe and all the tips.

4shveden's picture

Intummy tuck abdominoplastia usa your photos the most appetizing and beautiful breadlink building services, I congratulate :-)

ehanner's picture

Wow that's a nice way to start off. Very nice job and I'll bet they taste great.


tholt1113's picture

Up until this point, I have only made my loaves in covered baking dishes or cassaroles (ie 2 Qt pyrex).  While I get regularly good results, I am unclear on what you are baking these batard shaped loaves on.  What do you proof them on and then what do you bake the loaves on?  Am I reading correctly that you use a cookie sheet?  Are there any issues with the loaf holding its shape?

chykcha's picture

I proof and bake those on a cookie sheet. The secret, I think is in the shaping of the loaf for it to hold shape.  I looked on youtube for that and found several videos, which were helpful.  Unfortunately, I didn't save the links to those!  Good luck with it. :)

bigjoe13's picture

i dont have whole wheat flour, if i use normal flour will that be okay?? i really wanna make this i just started the preferment

chykcha's picture

I think you could do without the whole wheat flour, although it gives the bread a much better taste.  I would be interested in seeing how your bread turned out.

bigjoe13's picture

they tuned out extremly good and people have been making me bake them for them, it tastes amazing, even with just using all white flour

 384889294_1330666353_0.jpg picture by bigjoe13

384895471_1330689402_0.jpg picture by bigjoe13

tommyGibson's picture

Yesterday, I made bread for the very first time (w00t!).
I chose this recipe because I wanted something similar to the Pane Bello I've often purchased at Whole Foods.  To my novice mind, this recipe seemed like a good approximation.

I should first confess that, for me, the most exciting part of this whole adventure is that it worked!

I followed the directions to the letter.  I don't own a stand mixer, so I spent several minutes wrestling with wet dough that clung to my hands and wouldn't let go.  Eventually, with addition of an extra cup of flour, I got the mixture to a point that seemed like what I thought bread dough should look like ...

I know that I should've spent more time reading about technique, but I was impatient and wanted to make bread. I'm quite sure this impatience is what lead to my odd result: 

My finished loaves both sported what can only be described as "goiters".

Both loaves have a firm brown crust (very tasty) and a soft, slightly "sourdough-y" texture when sliced.  But, instead of the oval loaf shape that I expected, my bread looks like ... modern art ...  One loaf looks like there's a muffin exploding out of the side and the other loaf looks like a giant biscuit with a top that slants 30 degrees.

The bread tastes okay and the size of each loaf seems about right, it's the shape of the loaves that confounds me.  Can anybody suggest where I went wrong?  Clearly, it's a problem with my technique.  Any specific ideas/guesses as to where I failed?

Any help/suggestions = greatly appreciated.

- tG

jbrucker's picture

I have been working on learning how to bake bread for about 3 months now and this is the best yet. I altered the recipe slightly for my own taste preferences:

In preferment, added one cup (approx.) of whole wheat Sonora flour from local mill (Full Belly Farms) to KA bread flour. Let rise overnight as indicated.

Mixed with rest of ingredients as listed exactly for final dough mixture, using KitchenAid mixer with dough hook on 2 (this is manufacturer's recommendation). This dough is REALLY wet, but based on reading in the Bread Bible and Laurel's Kitchen, and my use of whole wheat flour, this seemed OK. The dough was a bit hard to handle, and took a bit longer to rise than recommended due to the cold air here in the Bay Area of CA this week- but the end result was chewy and yummy and lovely.

I need to work on my shaping skills, however, but I kind of like the weird results!

michael p's picture
michael p

Thanks for the wonderful web site, I'm trying to expand my breadmaking these days beyond "Grandma Vita's" bread and pizza dough.

I really like this bread, having just eaten one of the two loaves hot and out of the oven.  The crust is delicious.  However, I feel that for the effort there should have been more flavor.  I kind of wanted it to taste better than the old Italian bakery where I usually get my "one pound loaf".  It did actually seem to get better tasting as it cooled, though. Even my gf said it was kind of bland, and she usually raves about my cooking.

I wonder if I could use more salt in the dough?  I used regular iodized salt, except my salt mojo has been way off the last few months, I started using sea salt in other cooking and just can't seem to salt anything right.

Also, I used AP flour, not bread flour. I otherwise followed the recipe, the ferments went fine etc.

Thanks again,



peter_malinowski2000's picture

I just got my first 2loafs of rustic bread out of the oven! sweet!!!!!!!!! it looks great

thx. for the receipe Pete :) PS can any one tell me where I can get 50lb bags of trumps high gluten flour.


bakerdude's picture

This is my first attempt at this bread.

The preferment sat all night (approximately 10 hours).

The rise before shaping was almost 6 hours with three folds.

Rise after shaping was 1 1/2 hours.

Had it rise on parchment paper.

Pulled the parchment after 10 minutes.

Total baking time was 35 minutes.

Would like to have some guidance on how to transfer to my pizza stone without using the parchment paper. I own a pizza peel and abhor cornmeal. I slide with flour for my pizzas. I just don't want a ton of flour on the bottom of these loaves.

The crust had great tooth, the crumb was a great color, and the hole structure was perfect for me. It could have risen higher but I think the way I handled the dough caused it to deflate just a little bit.

Rustic Bread - First attempt

Doc Tracy's picture
Doc Tracy

I have a generic Silpat that I got at Bed, Bath and Beyond. I just love it for sliding off my peel and other such uses. I put the cornmeal under the silpat and it glides off.

MmeZeeZee's picture

It worked!  I did have to turn my loaves over and cook for five more minutes on full heat with the tops facing downward to properly crisp the crust because there's something wrong with my oven (everything- cakes, bread, potatoes- cooked on the middle rack burns before the top is browned...) but this bread is magnificent.

Oh, and I had to do a second remedial rise because the first time I got stuck at an appointment.  They still worked.  Is German 1050 flour bread flour?


Thanks so much to all here for the fab tips.  I'm buying Hamelman's book.

Rev.SpongeBobSP's picture

I made this for the first time this weekend for the holidays.  I did not have wheat flour and and a bit if an experimenter, so I did the starter as directed and added 1 tablespoon Caraway seed to it.  In the main recipe, I used only sea salt and added a good 15 turns of fresh ground black pepper.  On the top after scoring, I gave it a light spray of Olive Oil and dusted it with sea salt and black pepper.  It turned out quite well and I have another starter on the counter ready to go for this afternoon.  I intend to divide the dough into 6.  From that I will bake two smaller  loaves and will freeze the other balls to see how that works out.

bchefspyder's picture

Trying the rustic bread recipe, the measurements may be incorrect. I measured 1 # of bread flour and it was less than 3 1/2 cups in the preferment, also2 1/2 cups in the forming of the dough I measured out 2 1/2 cups( 13.3 oz), not 10 oz. Are these the correct measurements.

mrfrost's picture

When measuring flour by volume(by the cup), depending on how tightly the flour is packed in the cup, the weight of the flour can vary greatly, from one person to another(or from cup to cup).

Since the weights of the flours are given in the recipe, the cup measurements can be disregarded. Use the weights of the flours, as given.

Learning's picture

Hi, well I just noticed today that there's some lessons on making bread.  I had never in my life thought of making bread, but I was trying to make a recipe that needed rustic bread and I went to the store and I was told it was discontinued.  I then decided to make it myself I had no clue there was so many different kinds of flour.

anyways well I"m not sure if the bread came out okay or how it's suppose to.  I know it was a little hard from the outside, but was fine in the inside.  My husband and son liked it and It seemed fine to me, but I've never had rustic bread, so I'm not sure how the taste, feel, etc its suppose to be.

I'm going to try your lessons then try making the bread again to see if it taste different.

LindyD's picture

Good for you on the success of your first loaf!  You liked your bread, as did your husband and son, and that's what really counts.

Rustic bread is supposed to have a crisp crust, so it sounds like you did very well.

Enjoy the lessons and if you have any questions, just ask and you'll get lots of help.

yellowstoneguy's picture

Tried this one out this Thanksgiving weekend, and while time consuming was well worth the result.  It tasted terrific, looked good, had a wonderful crumb, and makes and excellent base for french toast.  Thanks for all your great information.

ghazi's picture

What an amazing assortment of photos!  Rustic bread is truly divine! I have finished poolish Ciabatta today and it turned out great! I realized that it's all in the handling and not letting out the gas to keep those big air pockets. Nothing can beat that satisfaction of making your own and the smells that come out of that oven.

jd's picture

And a great website. I found this recipe yesterday, so I thought I would give it a try. The dough was a little wet and needed another half cup of flour but the results appear good, so far! I pulled this 20 minutes ago.


First Rustic Loaf

jd's picture

jd's picture

Just pulled from the oven. The dough sat in the fridge for two days. I let it come to temperature and do a final rise after I formed the loaf. I have a long ways to go when it comes to forming a long loaf properly. More oven spring than I expected.



jd's picture

But this is the perfect recipe for what I'm trying to accomplish.

I did the preferment yesterday using a piece of leftover dough from the last batch instead of yeast. I used almost no yeast when I combined it with the rest of the ingredients today. I measured instead of weighing and the dough is actually a little tighter. I didn't add any more flour than the recipe calls for this time either. I'm not baking until tomorrow, so I'm doing the first rise today and then I'll throw it in the fridge overnight. I'll form, proof and bake them tomorrow. I'm also using just white flour until I get the results I'm looking for.

So far, this hasn't been nearly as damaging to my waistline as when I was trying to perfect creme brulee'...

jd's picture

Just pulled two from the oven. Very different than the first batch. I pulled the dough out of the fridge and let it warm up a bit before I formed and proofed the loaves and placed them on parchment. They looked like ciabatta loaves going in but sprung up nicely. The crust is ligher but crisp with a light mouth chew. The crumb is almost exactly what I'm looking for with a nice custard feel in the mouth and good flavor. They just came out kind of ugly.

As for the actual baking, I heated the oven to 550 and then dropped it to 450 when I put the loaves in. They were misted with water as was the inside of the oven, instead of the 1/2 cup of water in the hot pan, like I usually do. 20 minutes total was enough but I'd probably go a couple of minutes longer the next time around.

As with pizza, parchment proved it's worth. Both loaves were on the same sheet and ten minutes into the cooking process, I just pulled it out. No muss, no fuss.

I also have a nice little starter created from a piece of dough from the batch I made earlier this week. Goodbye yeast? ;-)

sadears's picture

Hey Floyd,

I saw your recipe for Honey Wheat Bread and you soak the wheat flour for an hour or so. What are your thoughts of doing that for this recipe?


Floydm's picture

This one isn't as wheaty, I don't think, so I personally didn't think it was necessary, but it wouldn't hurt anything to try it.


linder's picture

Here is a picture of a loaf of Rustic Bread I baked today.  I had to play with my new toys - a 9" round brotform, new lame, and bread peel.  Thanks to everyone on this site for all the great information - it really helped me get used to new(for me) techniques - French fold, stretch and fold, shaping and scoring.   I usually made whole wheat bread in loaf pans - this is a new and different experience. I'll post some 'crumb shots' once the bread is cool enough to cut.

The obligatory 'crumb shot':



carefreebaker's picture

What kind did you buy? Are you happy with it?


linder's picture

I bought a wooden baker's peel at Bed, Bath and Beyond! It was pretty inexpensive and works fine putting loaves in the oven.  Usually, I take the loaves out of the oven with oven mitts.

eOlson's picture

This Rustic Bread recipe marks my third attempt at artisan breadmaking.  The first two attempts (a basic boule as well as the herbes de provence recipe on this site) were smashing successes, but this one has gone very wrong.  I somehow ended up with something more like batter than dough.  Others here have mentioned similar problems, yet nobody seemed to respond to that specific issue.  Anyway, I was hoping that after the rise and periodic folds (but seriously, it was like trying to fold tar) that it would find some structure, but I'm ready to put these in the oven, and I've got two "puddles" of batter on the counter about 12" in diameter and an inch tall.  There is no shaping these things.

I had one bread pan available, and I'm making use of it for one of the loaves.  Forget scoring.  It's out of the question.  We'll see what comes out of the oven in about 30 minutes.

So something went wrong, and I know it's not the recipe since people have clearly had great success with it.  I'm pretty meticulous with my measurements, double - and triple-checking everything as I go, but perhaps I messed something up.  I know humidity can be a factor, and it's pretty humid here in New Orleans today.  Could it be that big a factor though?

Oh well, it's a let-down to be sure, but I hope to try again. At least bread fixings are cheap!  Any thoughts/suggestions are more than welcome.

Note:  My pre-ferment doubled in size as did the final dough.  In addition, the gluten was there in force.  I can't help but think I was short on flour.

eOlson's picture

Well, the loaf came out nicely.  Let it rest for 30 minutes and tore into it.  Great texture and flavor, soft inside with a delightful crust.

I don't know if the dough was supposed to be that way or not (I'm guessing not if people were actually able to shape theirs), but the end result was wonderful.

Floydm's picture

Ha!  Nevermind then. :)

Definitely the first few times you bake with high hydration doughs it is scary.  "No way is that going to come out right," you think, but amazingly it (usually) does.


Floydm's picture

Yes, the humidity could be a factor, as could how fresh your flour was or any number of things like that.  By all means, if you gut is telling you a dough is too wet or too dry, trust it and make adjustments.  

This one has been pretty reliable for me, but clearly one's mileage may vary.

Better luck next time!


eOlson's picture

Like I said, the one loaf I got out of it turned out nicely in the pan.  Probably worlds different from yours, but still a treat (it didn't even last a day in my house).  I will definitely try again.  If I end up with the same goop, then at least I'll know that it's environmental and not a mismeasurement.

If it does happen again, what would you recommend to rectify the situation?  Incorporate more flour?

Thanks for the feedback.  This is a great site!

Floydm's picture

Yeah, sprinkle a little more flour in, or keep the faith and push on... wet doughs are tough to handle, but they make tremendous loaves.


Curlygirlh's picture

I made this yesterday and it was perfect untill I put it in the oven! I was spraying it with water and once i was done I realized that I had sprayed it with soapy water! I nibbled on the insides but had to throw both loaves out.

kmchee's picture

My first attempt turned out to be FANTABULOUS!  I liked the crust and next time, I will have to let it proof for more than the two hours the second time and not touch it as much.  It was just too cold!  I also added a little more salt, using kosher.  

ps...I learned that tossing in a few icecubes into a metal cookie tray helps with the steam.  I did this twice during the bake.  just make sure not to let any of the ice hitthe glass!  thanks for the post!

LisaE's picture

I have been reading this site for a week, was looking for tips on my futile attempts at creating a sourdough starter. So I ran across this recipe and thought I'd try it. I'd never heard of a preferment before and it was an attractive idea! So last night, I mixed it up. I only have a gram scale so I had to convert lbs and oz to grams, no problem since I'm a wiz at Excel! Anyway it looked pretty stiff last night, but this morning...oh my! It was almost overflowing the bowl! So then I waited until 15 hours after I mixed it, and continued on with the recipe. It rained yesterday so the climate here is moist and apparently that lead to an extremely sticky loose dough! I was frightened but figured it was either add a bit of flour or have a pancake for a loaf. I was very careful to only add enough flour so I could roll the dough out with a spatula in one piece. I followed the fold and rise instructions to the letter. My baking stone is only big enough for one loaf so I also put a cookie sheet in the oven, set up a pie pan for the ice cubes.

I have been making bread for 20 years or so, but never attempted any type of artesyn bread so shaping the loaves into a batard was a challenge but fun! I let them rise, heated my oven to 450. I scored the loaves, which was insane with that high of a hydration, but my kitchen knife is extremely sharp and worked like a charm! I popped the loaves in the oven, used a squirt bottle and popped some ice cubes in a pan in the bottom of the oven, set the timer for 35 mins and couldn't wait to see the results! Who knew that bread making would make my husband so romantic! So 45 minutes later, this is what I got out of the oven! They're a littled dark but I can't wait to cut one open and try it, they smell fantastic! Thank you Floyd for sharing this recipe!



AnnaInMD's picture

Beautiful-looking loaves, congrats !



LisaE's picture

Thank you! The crumb isn't quite as airy as I'd hoped so I won't post a pic of it until I get it perfect! But the kids and hubby said, " wow mmmmmm yummy nom nom nom!" It really tasted like bread I'd pay good money for at a bakery. It was fabulous! And nearly gone now, guess I'll be making more next weekend...woo hoo.

drdobg's picture

Doesn't look too dark to me.  You should shoot for this robust a bake for this style of bread.  Let me know if it wasn't awesome. Makes me hungry just looking at it!  Good work.

LisaE's picture

Thanks! It was just a tad bit over but tasted wonderful. Tonight, I'm making it into some creole onion soup :D I'll post a pic of that when it's done. I'm really gonna work on getting that oven lift next time

LisaE's picture

Here's my creole onion soup, and yes the bread made a difference!

teenabeana's picture


I am a long time bread enthusiast and "all things carb" consumer. I decided to bake my first loaf a couple of weeks ago, after experimenting with making croissants. The "croissant experience" drained the heck out of me, but didn't turn out half bad. I happened to come across this site while looking for a loaf recipe to try and landed here! This bread was delicious and I got some great feedback from my friends that tried it out. 

After being whisked into a world of jargon that I had/have no familiarity with (ie. preferment, poolish, scoring, crumb, proof, etc) this is what I came up with:

I used a mixture of rye and bread flour. In general, my dough was very firm throughout the process. I was a bit unsure of what the texture of the dough should be, having no prior experience. Also, I do not have a lot of baking tools yet, so I improvised here and there, mixing everything by hand. In general, is a standing mixer with a hook going to give better results? 

I am aiming to try a sourdough in the near future, but am a little intimidated by the recipes. Can I expect it to be much more labor intensive than this type of recipe? 

Thanks for any help. I am really glad to have found this site, it seems to be a great learning community!



linder's picture

Hi teenabeana,

I just started working with sourdough - and LOVE it.  It's not more work(if you don't mind feeding the sourdough beast periodically), just more wallclock time involved once you get your starter going.  I highly recommend using the pineapple juice method by Debra Wink to get a wild yeast starter going.  It worked for me first time (I also froze some as insurance in case my starter goes south. 

David Snyder has a great San Francisco Sourdough formula, that makes one or two large sourdough loaves.  Lots of other great sourdough formulas to be had on this site.  Enjoy!


teenabeana's picture

Ah, okay that makes sense.

I will definitely check out these suggestions. I have just begun wrapping my head around the idea of a starter and have been trying to watch some video tutorials for tips. I think I am ready to take the plunge!



Orchiddoc71's picture

I made this bread for Christmas day (without rye flour) and it turned out great.  Best bread I ever made.  I made it again today with 40% spelt flour in both the preferment and the final dough.  It is spectacular.  Nice and chewy with a great crust and very nice flavor.  My wife and son raved about it.

Hope to post a picture soon.


MissMaria's picture

thank you


MissMaria's picture


I have never made bread before and tried this one. WOW is all I can say! 

I wish it had turned out not so brown ( less cook time?) and that I had used all white flour.  It did not have big holes ;(  

Thank You for the recipe I am going to try again next weekend ;)


pmccool's picture

A dark crust (and those aren't anywhere near "too dark") is more flavorful than a pale crust, so enjoy.

That's a spectacular first attempt!  Congratulations!


bob13's picture

      I started to make this bread last week, had everything mixed & ready to go but had to leave for 5 days.  So, I put the dough in a food save plastic container in the fridge.  When I came back home let the dough come to room temperature and shaped, baked and ate.  It was delicous but different. Two questions: 1-the dough had a fairly strong aroma the only thought that came to mind was beery, yeasty, alcohol smell.  2- when baked the bread was very good and had a slight "sour" taste.  I've never made sour dough bread but this is what came to mind.  Was this a type of "accidental" sour dough?

Floydm's picture

More or less, yes.  


Topaz's picture

I had some WW flour but it smelled old, so I ground up some wheat berries in the VitaMix and I think that worked very well.  The bread turned out does taste great!  I would have preferred larger holes.   I had to handle the dough about 30 minutes before baking because I realized I had set it for final rise on the baking stones.  duh.   Also, I made the big mistake of adding bagel sprinkles to the top of the bread and it distracts from the great taste of the whole wheat.  Live and Learn, I guess....

Next time I think I'll do like some above did, and let it sit in the refrigerator for a couple of days and see how that works out. 

Thank you Floyd for making it easier! 


Floydm's picture

Those loaves look great, Topaz!  Well done!


Hungrylawyerblog's picture

I've started to home my baking skills. And this was my second attempt at this bread. First came out a little heavy. I think due to room temp. So I got creative, bought a (safe) space heater and turned my bathroom into a proofing room. I've learned that patience is critical on the rise before they go into the oven.   My oven is a bit smaller.  And my judgment on big they would expand is off. But they are delicious. I used bread flour and a mix of wheat and rye. My preferment wbutternut stickier as I added more water to ensure the flour was hydrated sufficiently. 

rosekate's picture

I like this recipe. It came out a little more dense then I was going for, but the flavor was really great.

My biggest problem is figuring out how wet the dough should be. "Hydrate the flour" isn't specific enough for me--a fairly new at making bread. I think if there were pictures of the steps so people can see what the dough should be looking like, that would be really helpful

Pablo81's picture

Not sure if this is the right place for this post if please move it a tell me whereto go, thank you.  I have tried this receipe 3 or 4 times and I Never get a second rise,  don't know what I am doig wrong??  Have done the same with the Italian Bread reciepe, all I get out of both is obese pancakes!!  Have gone thru twenty pounds of flour and not one slice to show for it.  I'm so jealous of those that say it was wonderful First time  !!!  Please someone help. Thanks so much in advance for any advise.............Pablo81

Rita Jean's picture
Rita Jean

This is the best bread recipe!!  A couple of tips - if you live in a dry climate like I do, you will neet to add more water to the recipe amounts (I add 1/2 cup).  I make all my bread by hand and the best tool is the Danish Dough Spoon, it mixes in the preferement perfectly.  I bought mine online from Bread Topia.  I would suggest for new bread bakers to google bread making and flour selling sites, there are a lot of good video instructions and reading material to help you.

Ahkmedren's picture

I made this bread a couple weeks back, but it came out rather salty.. While I thought it could do for a night of drinking! I liked that, salty bread begets more beer.


BUT. I think it may have something to do with not letting the preferment sit long enough.. Maybe. But I'm not sure. I might use less salt next time, but I totally want to make it again because past the salty taste, it was super delish :3

Fryguy2's picture

I followed the recipe as written. The proofing was beautiful, the bread smelled wonderful. I baked them on a stone and they turned out wonderful. Took a bite and the flavor was very bland. The flours I used are white lily bread flour and a course rye. Any suggestions

WoodenSpoon's picture

How was the crust/crumb color? If the crust was pale/yellowish and the crumb was an unhealthy shade of white then I'd say you might of over fermented that rascal. But if the crust was reddish and the crumb was creamy looking then I'm wrong.

Fryguy2's picture

The crust was a nice deep brown and the crumb was a very nice creamy color. This is why I am so baffled. Everything was very nice, except for the flavor-or lack thereof. I was very excited when I took this out of the oven and cut it because it looked so good. I am going to try it with a wheat flour this week and see if that makes a difference. I will post pictures of the 2nd loaves as well. Hoping these come out better.

rgt10's picture


This is my first time making this Rustic Bread Recipe.  I just mixed up my preferment, having never using a preferment before, I don't know how this should look.  All the flour and water was weighed, and when I mixed it, had to add another 1/4c water to get the flour dampened.  My dough is kind of like a moist gravel texture, and not a cohesive dough at all.  Is this how this should be?

Thanks for your help.


Timildeepson's picture

I know this a bit after the fact, but I'm not on here often. In my opinion, that is too dry.  Mine have had at least a cohesive dougball texture.  Did you measure by volume or weight?  Thelee are fewer discrepancies when you weigh out the ingredients. Good luck!

Breadboard's picture

Thanks Floyd you got me workin on upgrading my rustic bread.  Last evening my goal was to get a better crust so I went 500 degrees in the kitchen oven with a water pan.  Got a good crust this time but my sourdough needs improvement in other areas.  I add 3 T sugar to the dough but after reading the posts here I see I don't need it.  Next time I make dough no sugar and a little less hydration then we will see what happens.  I feel I'm on the right path with bread -made my own starters, now have 3 different starters in the frig- thanks to your recipe and advice from all above.

Will report next time with pictures.  Upward and Onward! 

nora sass's picture
nora sass

Hi Floyd, I'm Nora ,very amateurish baker fm Singapore. Rustic bread has always been my all time fav. can't help to try out yr tutorial using a single loaf recipe. The texture turned out to be too chewy n too rubbery. I like it when its a bit softer n lighter. My bread also did not rise much but more flattened out In the oven. And I also get those bubbles popping out in the surface (the crust)

the dough itself after the final mix was pretty wet dough. Instead of doing the old school of kneading it when combining the wet n dry, I strictly used the stretch n fold method. 

Hope u cud enlighten me here as what did I do wrong here. I want to bake this again n again. Tqs For yr time. 


DulceBHbc's picture

I made this bread per the instructions. Didn't have a brotform or a couche, just let it do its thing on a cookie sheet with a dusting of flour. 

The crust and crumb were fantastic, but the taste was meh. Did I do something wrong, or is this recipe generally not super flavorful?

Is there a similar recipe (process, time) out there that yields more flavor?

Floydm's picture

I get this question occasionally, about this recipe and a some other, and... well, it puzzles me a bit.  What sort of flavour are you looking for?  I've always enjoyed this bread, but it is what it is: a simple French bread with a small amount of whole grains to give it a bit more depth. 

In general, it is difficult to produce as strong a flavour with a yeasted dough as a sourdough, and a loaf with only about 25% whole grains is going to have a less pronounced earthy flavour than something containing more whole grains. Longer, slower fermentation will tease more out of your ingredients, and using high quality ingredients and unbleached flour help too.

I guess one thought is if you know of a bread with a flavour profile you'd like to reproduce, find out a little bit about it -- Is it leavened with sourdough or conventionally?  Made with whole grain flour or white flour? Does it contain cracked grains or other ingredients that impact the flavour? -- and then pursue that.  You might find out an entirely different approach or set of ingredients is required to get what you were looking for.

Is that at all helpful?  

Your slice there looks great, by the way. 

DulceBHbc's picture

It'll be hard for me to describe the flavor. Let's see. 

My holy grail of flavor is Bay Cities' (Santa Monica) Italian loaf. Someone else asked about the recipe on this thread. MRosen814 in the thread actually asked the manager, who revealed that it isn't a sourdough, just a long fermentation. What is "long?" Wouldn't Hamelman's overnight (and then some) pate fermentée qualify as long?

The Bay Cities bread is very yeasty tasting, almost sweet. I can't describe it. The crust is chewy and the crumb is open. The dough might be wetter than the Hamelman rustic bread recipe.

This picture gives a decent profile of the build of the bread. 

Perhaps it's what Yvonne describes in the Bay Cities thread as a filone.

Regardless of the taste, I'm glad you give a thumbs up to my bread! I'm slowly entering the realm of boules, batons, and baguettes, so it's reassuring to know my handfeel for the dough is getting better.

Floydm's picture

The blisters on the crust suggest to me that they shape their rolls and then retard (refrigerate) them for quite a while, probably overnight.  Never having tasted them though I couldn't say what else is different about them.  A touch of malt is one possibility, or whey, like in this Italian Roll recipe.

Barbara Harris's picture
Barbara Harris

I tried this but I prefermented the whole recipe so I mixed it up and let it ferment for about 15 hours.  The dough was a bit loose and I ended up kneading the dough about 15 minutes in the morning.  I ended up with two medium to small loaves. They had great crumb and was chewy and had a great flavor.  I will work on this some more, but if I get this kind of outcome I am happy.  I am somewhat of a new bread baker fanatic, so I am eager to explore.

DulceBHbc's picture

Made my first rustic bread of 2014. The loaf looked way better than the versions I tried twice in late (2013, a few posts above). 

Followed the instructions exactly as written above. Formed it in a banneton, which created beautiful striations. Used rye and bread-flour mix.

Question for all: Is it usually this flat? (See last photo.) Overall I'm happy with the shape, but I want to know if my rise is not happening as expected.

Not sure how it tastes yet, but will let you know. Waiting for husband to come home before we slice through this nugget.

Comments appreciated!

tchism's picture

Nice looking loaves everyone! This looks like a must try.

PeninaD's picture

So, I had a ball making the sponge, and the dough.  At the moment, I have my first two loaves in their final rise awaiting baking.  I figured this first time, I would stick to the known, but I wonder if anyone has experience using this recipe with a 2 lb loaf pan, especially the KAF Rustic Hearth loaf pan?  How is the baking time effected?  Does it keep a nice top form, or does this recipe flatten out?

nouveaulaparisienne's picture

Does anyone know how to calculate making this bread so that the end result is 50 loafs? How do you calculate 50 loafs using this recipe?

ericreed's picture

Overall Formula

Bread Flour 80%

Whole Rye Flour 10%

Whole Wheat Flour 10%

Water 69%

Salt 1.8%

Yeast 0.19% instant or 0.6% fresh (instant % is calculated based on the weights he gives in the book)

Preferment (50% total flour in preferment)

Bread Flour 100%

Water 60%

Salt 1.8%

Yeast 0.1% instant or 0.5% fresh

Suggested loaf size is 1.5 pounds or 0.68 kg. 50 loaves times 0.68 = 34 kg total dough needed. Add up overall formula percents = 1.7099. Figure your flour amount by taking 34 kg divided by the sum of the total formula percentages.

Flour = 34/1.7099 = 19.88 kg, rounded up to 20 kg so you have some wiggle room. Plug in total flour to the formula and there you go.

Bread Flour 80% * 20 kg = 16 kg

Rye Flour 10% * 20 kg = 2 kg

Whole Wheat Flour 10% * 20 kg = 2 kg

and so on. And since we know 50% of the total flour is in the preferment, you know for that you'll be using 10 kg out of the 20 to make it, so 10 kg flour, 6 kg water, 0.18 kg salt, 0.01 kg instant yeast.

nouveaulaparisienne's picture

I guess the reason for this is that everyone has different needs.  So, if a baker needs a specific quantity for a party or event this is the simplest way tofigure it out.  It takes the guess work out of everything.  However, on the other hand, when the heat get turned up on you in a professional setting, it would be easier to just refer to a chart with straight gram counts based on increments.  Such as, Bread Rustico: 25# Flour, 5#Wheat etc... The temperature also plays a huge factor into the final product if you are looking  for consistency.  So, if it is hot in the work envirnoment hence you need to use colder water.  My grand father a commercial baker (Austrian) would use ice at times if it was very hot and sticky in his water.  


So, although this may be a long shot. But does anyone know of a chart that shows loafs increments of 10 showing actually gram measurements.  Does anyone want to help me on this project?

ericreed's picture

I thought for some reason the original post had temps and all the instructions or I would have included that.

For the pre-ferment it's 12-16 hours at 70 F

After mixing the DDT is 75 F.

Bulk fermentation should be 2.5 hours at that temp. Hamelman folds the dough twice at 50 minute intervals.

Preshape to loose rounds and bench rest 10-20 minutes before final shaping.

Final fermentation should be 1.25 to 1.5 hours at 75 F.

Presteam oven, load bread, steam again.

Bake at 450 F 35-38 minutes for the 1.5 lb/0.68 kg loaves.

For the gram measurements, easiest thing would be to plug the numbers into a spreadsheet. LibreOffice is an excellent free open source program if you need one.

ericreed's picture

I'm not a professional baker or anything, but I based what I do on the Bread Baker's Guild of America formula guidelines, but lazier because it just needs to be good enough for me at home (and I don't know excel very well). So this is an example of how I would put in a formula for 10 units of 0.68 kg bread. In this case, I figure out what my total dough weight is, 0.68 kg * 10 = 6.8 kg or 6800 grams. I bumped it to 6900 to account for some loss during the process. I have no idea if that's enough when baking in large quantities though.

From there, the green cell in D5 calculates the total flour using the formula I mentioned above, TDW divided by the sum of the baker's percentages (multiplied by 80% for the bread flour, 10% each for the other flours). Everything else then calculates based on that flour amount. (And I have to enter what % of flour is pre-fermented.)

I also have it automatically rounding the numbers which is why it comes out 2 g more than the TDW entered.

*edit, put wrong recipe in on original image.


Jim Burgin's picture
Jim Burgin

5/11/14.  I am a novice bread baker.  Made "Rustic Bread" today.  Tastes good.  Beautiful holes in crumb.  But need advice on two issues:

1.  Following the formula, the dough was VERY wet, sticky.  I could not shape it well.  .  Would not hold boule shape before baking.  Flattened out before baking.  Did not flatten out more once in the oven.   

2.  Never achieved the beautiful dark crust in picture.  Only reached golden brown when done. 



Kilo's picture

Love this bread, think I will go make a loaf. This makes for a great french toast in the mornings. I'm wondering how it would stand up as a bread bowl for some clam chowder


renee8090's picture

Hello all,

I'm new to this site, but not to the baking world. I work as a pastry chef in a small coffee roaster/cafe. I have been baking bread on and off for years, but have only become serious, or you could say obsessed after I lived in Germany doing my pastry apprenticeship there.  I long for bread like that constantly.  With all that being said, I made this bread for the first time yesterday to pair with a cheese and beer tasting event at the cafe. The bread went perfectly with all the cheeses, charcuterie and beers.  The slight nuttiness from the rye and wheat flours was a perfect accompaniment. I am not sure what the other commenter is talking about the bread being "meh" in flavor.  I really love this flavor with the rye and wheat.  I have used quality flour though so perhaps that is key.  However, it's fantastic and everyone just gushed over it.  Thanks for the knowledge this site gives out.

I am including a picture.  I need to work on my scoring...think I scored too deep and held the lame at too great an angle. Any advice?....practice right...LOL.   I don't have a picture of the crumb, but it was amazing looking!!

Boules were baked at 500F on stones with steam.  Then after 15 minutes I vented the steam and baked for 20 more minutes.


p.s on a side note I just started a rye starter yesterday : ) excited!!

PetraR's picture

I shall bake this bread tomorrow, looking forward to it.

Can this be baked in a Dutch Oven?

I love the look of it so much.

I wonder if we could substitute the yeast for Sourdough or just add a bit of Sourdough as flavour enhancement alongside the yeast.

I shall do that after I tried it first with your original recipe.



Postal Grunt's picture
Postal Grunt

I've got to admit that I've taken Floyd's contribution here, scaled it down a bit after converting the weight to grams, and shamelessly exploited it for all it's worth. The next time I'm in Norwich, VT, I'll look for Mr Hamelman and tip my hat to him as well.

My metric version of the formula won First Prize in the ethnic breads class at the Leavenworth County Fair on Monday and was part of my handouts for the class I taught today. That experience is described in my blog post from  1 August.

If you haven't baked this bread yet, you've got to try it at least once. If you have baked it once, you've probably baked it again. Pass it on to another baker.

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

Care to provide your metric measurements that produced the winning bread?

Postal Grunt's picture
Postal Grunt

This is the conversion to metric that I figured out on paper. I never bothered to learn how to use a spread sheet effectively so these numbers aren't precise but the formula does work. I scaled the ingredients down to 80% for my fair entry and still had success so I'm confident that the numbers can work for other bakers.All you have to do is follow the link to my blog.

If you go back a few posts, you'll find a conversion that's much more complete by ericreed, getting into the bakers math aspect, desired dough temperature, and a few other points. It's a really good.


Postal Grunt's picture
Postal Grunt

While I was rereading my blog, I found that I had listed the ingredients for the County Fair loaf in a recent post. This is the cut and paste list.

220 g bread flour
118 g water at 85F
4 g kosher salt
1/8 tsp active dry yeast

126 g bread flour
32 g rye flour
43 g whole wheat flour
All of preferment
156 g water at 85F
4 g kosher salt
1/4 tsp ADY

I hope that this is easier for people to replicate. The loaf turns out to be of practical size for a small family or even a married couple such as Mrs PG and I.

Danni3ll3's picture

I know that this post is over a year old but I just used this recipe to make the best loaf I have ever made. I registered just to be able to comment on it. The taste is incredible! I didn't quite follow the baking method though. I baked it in a dutch oven and threw a quarter cup of water on top of the loaf just before putting the lid on. I baked it for 30 minutes with the lid on and then another 15 with the lid off. This is one recipe I am sure to make again!


PetraR's picture

Can I use a Dutch Oven to bake these beautiful loafs?

Floydm's picture

Yes, I would definitely think so.

PetraR's picture

Sorry for the late reply, I shall bake this bread the day after tomorrow, looking forward to it.

I think we shall eat it with a nice bowl of Goulash Soup:)

Elly May's picture
Elly May

I'm new to this site but I got here as fast as I could! I Love this place and the like minded people here. So, my user name is Elly May (for anybody that remembers the Beverly Hillbillies) because I was cursed when it came to bread. Cursed to the point of failure since moving to my new state 12 years ago and gave up until this recipe. I've bought every "additive" avail, Googled, went into chats.. failure. I finally asked myself what was my common denominator, Water. Bread is the only thing I bake that uses water. Picked up Le Bleu bottled and curse lifted. Who knew?

This recipe is my first success and it was so tasty and perfect . I baked this in a cast iron skillet with grits sprinkled in the bottom and I reduced the oven by 25 degrees. I followed the comments of keep it wet and treat gently and to deal with the stickiness I did the spreading of dough on parchment so no turning the dough, just turn the paper and I never had to even pick the dough up actually. Rolled dough into the skillet too.

I can't wait to try more recipes and I rewarded my success by buying a Le Cloche!

To place dough back into the proofing bowl I picked up the paper and rolled the dough off ( a little finger tip scraping required) into the bowl. The way an EMS crew roll a big big person onto a stretcher by picking up the sheets patient and all. I used an instant read too and this is the first time I heard of using one. I highly recommend it.

Nobody's making jokes and calling me Elly May anymore with this recipe. 

LarryTheDouglas's picture

I have used this as my go-to loaf the last few months and am trying something tonight.

i added a cup of peanut butter and will see how it goes. I love the taste of peanut butter, especially when part of the wheat bread and the smell of peanut butter bread baking is heavenly. I am hoping this dough is a good base for these experiments. In fact, if I am bold tomorrow, I might try to dust the top with cayenne to get a little heat on the crust. I didnt want to mix it in because it seems to hurt the yeast.

i will post my loaf when I am done.

LarryTheDouglas's picture

The doughThe peanut butter swirlThe rolled loafThat loaf, bakedThat loafed baked (better light)The round, rustic loaf.Crumb of first cuts.

I divided it in half, rolled them both out, spread peanut butter in them an then rolled them up...

Here is a gallery of the loves

I could have used more cayenne and doubled the amount of peanut butter.


[edit: I noticed that the peanut butter swirl inside the rectangular loaf was to heavy for the crumb and it collapsed.]


vstyn's picture

Made this recipe today and it was a hit. One comment that I heard was, "this bread is to die for."  Making the bread my one thought was, that is a lot of salt. But the bread was very good. I will make it again.

Thanks for the recipe.

Maverick's picture

Actually at 1.8% the salt is on the low side of normal. Salt is usually between 1.8 and 2.2% (although I think in the UK several people are now using 1.5%).

Glad the bread turned out well.

AbeNW11's picture
AbeNW11 (not verified)

Salt should be 2% of total flour but as with everything else in baking you'll find many opinions. Salt is a dough conditioner and controls the yeast. You don't want too much (a little goes a long way) as that will inhibit the yeast but you will still get good results with slightly less. 

agilbert's picture

I have been using a quick (5 Hour rise) rustic bread recipe and have been looking for a traditional one.  I can hardly wait to try this one.  I'm new to this forum and am already learning so much about bread making.  I can see more bread adventures in my future.

Cuisine Fiend's picture
Cuisine Fiend

rustic loaf

This is a great recipe, tastes better than my cheat's sourdough - thank you! It was quite tricky though using fresh yeast in such miniscule quantities, especially that I scaled down to half, for one loaf. I added 1-2g to the preferment and 2-3g to the main dough.

Cuisine Fiend's picture
Cuisine Fiend

I've made it again, it's even better this time. Excellent bread - only a pinch of yeast short of sourdough:-)