Simple Crusty Bread

Simple Crusty Bread created by William Uncle Bill

Adapted from “Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day,” by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François (Thomas Dunne Books, 2007)

Ready In:
3hrs 45mins



  • In a large bowl or plastic container, mix yeast and salt into 3 cups lukewarm water (about 100 degrees). Stir in flour, mixing until there are no dry patches. Dough will be quite loose. Cover, but not with an airtight lid. Let dough rise at room temperature 2 hours (or up to 5 hours).
  • Bake at this point or refrigerate, covered, for as long as two weeks. When ready to bake, sprinkle a little flour on dough and cut off a grapefruit-size piece with serrated knife. Turn dough in hands to lightly stretch surface, creating a rounded top and a lumpy bottom. Put dough on pizza peel sprinkled with cornmeal; let rest 40 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough or refrigerate it.
  • Place broiler pan on bottom of oven. Place baking stone on middle rack and turn oven to 450 degrees; heat stone at that temperature for 20 minutes.
  • Dust dough with flour, slash top with serrated or very sharp knife three times. Slide onto stone. Pour one cup hot water into broiler pan and shut oven quickly to trap steam. Bake until well browned, about 30 minutes. Cool completely.
  • Variation: If not using stone, stretch rounded dough into oval and place in a greased, nonstick loaf pan. Let rest 40 minutes if fresh, an extra hour if refrigerated. Heat oven to 450 degrees for 5 minutes. Place pan on middle rack.
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@Carol V.
@Carol V.
"Adapted from “Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day,” by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François (Thomas Dunne Books, 2007)"
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  1. DanielleLyn
    This made some great crusty bread! It didnt have much flavor alone but that was fine because I was mainly making it on the side to dip in fresh herbs and olive oils. I also added in some whole wheat flour along with the white. It makes a great bread for dipping in seasoned oils, soups, and dips! Thanks for the recipe!
  2. OKCPmed
    Absolutely amazing bread! I make this every time I make a creamy soup recipe to dip in and use it for bread bowls. It makes for a great sandwich bread as well. I don't change a thing except for the cornmeal. It seems to come out just fine without. Great crusty bread, no need to spend lots of $$ at Panera, this is much better!! And so easy! I would give this more stars if I could.
  3. Lucky in Bayview
    LOVE this bread! My pizza stone broke so used parchment on a cookie sheet. So, so good. Thanks so much for posting!
  4. Mrs.R
    WOW! This is so good! DH and I loved it! We ate a whole loaf in a few minutes. I used parchment paper on the pizza stone at 400 degrees. It took about 25 mins. I don't know how this tastes cold or leftover, since we ate the whole thing while it was warm! Thanks!
  5. ingvild
    I absolutely love this bread. If I could give it more stars, I would. I make it nearly every day. It is soo easy - just throw the dough together in the evening, then bake the bread in the morning. Simple. I usually add a bit of flax meal or wheat flour to the dough to add a little texture and shape them into longer loaves instead of rounds. I've also found it's much easier to let the dough rest on parchment paper than cornmeal. Just slide the paper and all into the oven when it's time, and no more messy smoky cornmeal all over the oven. The book this is from has lots of other great & easy recipes too.
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