Rustic Italian Bread

A Simple Recipe for Rustic Italian Bread

Posted on September 21, 2011

I never thought I could make my own bread until I inherited this recipe.

This recipe for Rustic Italian Bread is pure and simple. You just need the ingredients, a bowl and a fork along with an oven to bake in.

For some reason I believed I would need all sorts of tools, machines, and special ingredients like “malt” to make it happen but then Flavia shared her basic bread recipe with me.

This Rustic Italian Bread can be used with different types of flours like oat, wheat, and of course all-purpose.

Note: I like to use the Italian Flour Tipo 00 as my basic white flour instead of all-purpose. But if I am out of Tipo 00 I use All-Purpose and it works just as well.

I bake bread 2 -3 times a week because of how ridiculously simple this recipe is. My children get excited when they see it in the oven.

No fancy bread machine, no electric mixer. I use just a fork and my hands.

There is something very therapeutic and rewarding about making your own bread.

Once Adrian and Giulia smell this Rustic Italian Bread baking throughout the house, they run to get butter and olive oil for the table.

You just don’t get the same feeling with a warmed loaf of store bought bread.

It goes perfect with Italian dishes as well as stews, soups, and on occasion we make sandwiches with it too.

I hope you enjoy this recipe for Italian Rustic Bread as much as we have over the years. I know if this recipe clicks for you it will become a new tradition in your home.

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Rustic Italian Bread
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups of lukewarm water (you may not use all of it)
  2. 3 cups all-purpose flour, or (you can use Farina Tipo 00, Oat flour blend, or Wheat flour)
  3. 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  4. 1 teaspoon salt
  5. 2 1/2 teaspoons of active dry yeast or a packet
  6. 1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil
  7. 1 Tablespoon of Sesame Seeds (optional for the top)
Instructions
  1. Note: Preheat your oven to 375 degrees
  2. There are 2 techniques that I will call out below that deal with where you add the sugar. There is one way where you add the sugar to the yeast and another where you add the sugar to the flour. I have used both ways and they both work for me.
Technique 1
  1. In a bowl, add 1 cup of warm water and dry active yeast and let it stand until creamy (about 5 minutes).
  2. In another bowl add flour, salt, and sugar. After 8 minutes take the yeast and give it a mix then add it to the flour mixture, mixing it in with a fork until sticky, add the additional cup of water a little at a time and continue to form it into a ball. Note: You may not need all of the water. Just make sure the dough is a tad bit moist. Add a little bit of flour at a time to get it to a less sticky consistency. Continue on with the steps 1-11 below.
Technique 2
  1. In a liquid measuring cup add 1/4 cup of lukewarm water, add the yeast and 2 teaspoons of granulated sugar. Check back in 10 minutes to make sure it has bubbled and foamed up. If it has then add lukewarm water up to the 2 cup mark of the measuring cup. Note: If it didn't then you need to try another packet / jar of yeast.
  2. In a bowl blend the flour and salt, mix well. Next pour the water 1/2 cup at a time into the flour mix using your fork to blend. Continue to add as much of the water/yeast mixture that you need. Please note you may not need all of the water. You want the dough to be just a tad bit moist. Flour your hands and begin to form the round ball. Continue on with the steps 1-11 below.
Continue with Steps 1-11 below
  1. Next, sprinkle with a bit more flour and work it with your hands to make a ball. It's not necessarily kneading per say. You are just rolling and tucking in gently to get a smooth ball
  2. Take the dough and gently mold it into a smooth but firm ball with an elastic feel.
  3. Put the dough back into the bowl and cover with a kitchen towel and let it rise. This could take anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 hour. It all depends on the temperature in the house and the humidity. Since I am in Houston, Texas this takes me about 45 minutes.
  4. Once it rises take a little more flour, pat it down and roll it into a ball again.
  5. {OPTIONAL} Put the dough back into the bowl and let it rise 1 more time. When you let the bread rise twice it really makes for a better bread but if you are short on time then don’t worry about it.
  6. After you are done with all the rising, you will take the dough and put it on the parchment paper that is on a baking tray. The dough should be elongated and oval-shaped, with tapered and rounded (not pointed) ends.
  7. Take about 1 tablespoon of olive oil and coat the dough with it. This will make it nice and crunchy on the outside.
  8. After you rub it down with olive oil you can sprinkle a bit of sea salt or sesame seeds on top.
  9. Next, score the top of the dough with a sharp knife at a 45 degree angle. See image below in my post.
  10. Bake 30 minutes, until you hear a hollow sound when you tap the bottom.
  11. Allow the bread to cool slightly before serving, and enjoy!
For The Feast http://forthefeast.com/
Scoring the bread

Quickly score the bread before you bake it in the oven

 

il suo indirizzo in italia

What Others Are Saying

  1. Tamara Wood October 9, 2011 at 11:37 am

    This bread looks sooo yummy!!!!! Im going to make it ASAP!!! Hope mine looks and tastes as its supposed to…. Wish me luck…

    • Carrie Pacini January 20, 2012 at 9:34 am

      Good Luck Tamara!

      • Mario January 7, 2017 at 1:37 pm

        I love to cook but never really baked I tried this today oh boy Awesome easy great taste, thanks

        • Carrie Pacini January 15, 2017 at 3:00 pm

          Glad to hear you liked it!

  2. MamaLiss January 19, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    Woah!! I was also under the impression that I needed to collect many specialized tools before I could start experimenting with bread. Thanks for my starter recipe- It looks great

    • Carrie Pacini January 20, 2012 at 9:42 am

      I know! That’s what I love about this recipe. Not one fancy gadget or ingredient required. It’s simple and rustic!

  3. Stefanie January 19, 2012 at 5:42 pm

    What an easy recipe! I’m new to baking bread, and I’ve been experimenting with recipes, and this one has been my favorite. It was easy and relatively quick (except for all of the sitting around rising, of course!) I can’t wait to go eat the rest of it!

    • Carrie Pacini January 20, 2012 at 9:37 am

      To help with the rise time I usually make it right before I pick up the kids so it rises when I am out getting them.

      Once I am back from picking them up I roll into a ball again and let it rise a 2nd time.

      By then It’s ready to bake for dinner!

  4. Jeanette January 19, 2012 at 5:43 pm

    I made the Rustic Italian Bread and was very pleased with the outcome.

    I live in Calgary, AB and it is very dry here so I never needed as much flour.

    Here is my loaf.

    http://i252.photobucket.com/albums/hh30/flameforever/ItalianBread-1.jpg

    Thx for a good and easy recipe.

    • Carrie Pacini January 20, 2012 at 9:40 am

      Jeanette your loaf looks fabulous!

      • Rebecca Adkins January 23, 2015 at 1:18 pm

        Trying this right now. So far I love how well it rises. I’m on the second rise now. I hope mine looks as good as Jeannette’s!!!

    • Paul July 25, 2014 at 12:41 pm

      Hi Jeanette,

      Your bread looks awesome!! I had a question because I’ll be doing some baking in Denver within a few months, similar climate, and even higher altitude. Do you mean you needed a lot of flour, or not as much?

      Thanks,
      Paul

      • Cathy K. January 11, 2015 at 10:19 am

        We live SW of Denver in the mountains between Conifer and Bailey and are at 9,000 ft. altitude. Even though many recipes adjust rising agent amounts, such as baking soda and baking powder, with muffins and cakes we’ve just found that we need to add a smidgen more flour. So, with say 2 cups of flour called by the recipe, I’m probably adding 1/8 to 1/4 cup more of flour, I suppose. Also, I often turn up the oven temp. by maybe 5 degrees Fahrenheit. When I make bread, I do it on a day we use the fireplace and rise it next to that, as we tend to keep inside house temps. in the 50s. ;-)

        • Carrie Pacini January 11, 2015 at 11:30 am

          Thanks Cathy for this valuable information for high altitude baking :)

        • TinaW February 27, 2015 at 9:58 pm

          I’m so happy to find tips from fellow Coloradans!! I will be trying this recipe tomorrow for a potluck. Thank you everyone for the helpful tips!

          • Carrie Pacini February 28, 2015 at 3:11 pm

            Sounds great!

  5. Lauren January 22, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    I just popped this into the oven to accompany an Italian dinner I’m cooking for friends. Thank you for such a simple, delicious recipe!

  6. diananu07 July 19, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    Thanks so much for the recipe Im from Costa Rica and I’ll be baking this same afternoon!!! Wish me Luck :D

  7. David Lewis August 12, 2012 at 1:33 am

    I live in Germany and followed your recipe exactly. First bread recipe I have ever attempted. It was simple and tastes great. But, I have one thing that bothers me: I don’t seem to get a very good rise out of the bread when it bakes. The yeast is good and active and I followed everything exactly, and as I mentioned earlier great taste and texture – but very little rise. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!

    • Carrie Pacini August 12, 2012 at 11:14 am

      @David: Thanks for your comment. Did you let it rise twice? Did it rise nice and high or was it a flat rise?

      Sometimes when I handle the dough too rough it doesn’t rise as well and gets dense instead of airy. This turns out a flatter bread.

      I would try it again but I would make sure the yeast is frothy and that you gently handle the dough like a baby. Gently folding it to make the round ball that rises. I’m curious to see if this makes a difference when you have time to make it again. Please keep me posted!

      • William Pugliese April 17, 2015 at 9:31 pm

        I would like to know what you mean the yeast is frothy? I have the same problem with the way the bread rises and why my dough rises flat?
        I would appreciate any suggestion you can make

        • Carrie Pacini April 27, 2015 at 12:26 pm

          Hi William, Frothy meaning foamy and creamy.

          • Katie December 20, 2015 at 12:14 pm

            As mentioned, the yeast is “alive” or active it gets foamy and bubbly. Sometimes yeast can die from age or inproper storage, I usually keep mine in the fridge until using. Another thing that can kill the yeast is the water being too hot can kill it. To the question about an active yeast but not having a good rise again some of this returns to tempurature where ever you place it to rise should be warm. Also if it let it rise too long it’ll collapse on itself and that’s it, it is time to start over. Another tip, your bread makes it to the oven, when you are checking for it being done, do not slam the door of the oven, could cause it to collapse. I hope those are helpful tips.

  8. Mike in Australia August 25, 2012 at 7:18 pm

    My 3 year old Daughter and I like to do Sunday Morning baking – currently awaiting the second rise – its our first attempt at bread and very very nervous and excited!!! :-)

  9. Charlie September 15, 2012 at 5:31 am

    Great recipe. What temperature n the oven roughly?

    • Carrie Pacini September 15, 2012 at 12:10 pm

      @charlie 375 Degrees

      • Simon October 22, 2014 at 5:33 pm

        Is this Celsius or Fahrenheit?

        • Carrie Pacini October 29, 2014 at 6:59 pm

          Fahrenheit!

  10. Charlie September 15, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    Turned out fantastic. Used half to make a delicious garlic bread. Yum. Cheers

    • Carrie Pacini October 29, 2012 at 11:34 am

      @Charlie Perfect!

    • pam February 8, 2015 at 5:16 pm

      I am trying it for garlic bread right now!

      • Carrie Pacini February 9, 2015 at 12:59 pm

        Hope it went well!

        • pam February 13, 2015 at 8:10 am

          It did, thanks! Making it again today!

  11. Lynn October 8, 2012 at 11:04 am

    Made two loaves yesterday. Neither one raised very much even after the second rise period. Did not seem hollow at all. Had to bake the second loaf 15 min. longer than recommended. Maybe I’m not doing the yeast correctly. I used warm tap water. For the first loaf I stirred in the yeast. For the second I did not stir until after the 5 min. waiting period. Please advise what I might be doing wrong.

    • Michael October 29, 2014 at 3:48 pm

      A lot of bread recipes suggest using bottled water for baking because mineral or saline content would affect the flavor of the dough though not necessarily the proofing. If you add the sugar directly to the tepid water it gives the instant yeast nutrients for activation (method 2) but if the water is too hot the yeast dies (it produces a sour funky odor when this happens). You want the yeast to float on the water with minimal stirring and after about 10 minutes there should be a slightly rounded, irregularly bubbled froth (resembling sea form) on the top. Once your yeast is active you can add it to the dry ingredients.

      • Carrie Pacini October 29, 2014 at 7:11 pm

        Thanks Michael for your added insight.

        • Dolores January 6, 2017 at 9:06 am

          My husband’s favorite bread recipe he says lol this wife has pleased her husband surely thank you so much

          • Carrie Pacini January 6, 2017 at 1:18 pm

            Your Welcome!

  12. Lynn October 8, 2012 at 11:06 am

    Forgot to mention…. both batches of dough were extremely dry.

    • Carrie Pacini October 17, 2012 at 1:32 pm

      @Lynn If your dough was dry you probably need more water. I live in a very humid climate and don’t need as much water. I would try this again but make sure the dough isn’t dry that it is a little sticky but not gooey.

  13. Sarah Rowlett November 6, 2012 at 8:30 pm

    I love this recipe!! I’ve added rosemary or garlic and Parmesan. So versatile. Thank you for this staple in our home.

    • Carrie Pacini November 10, 2012 at 2:23 pm

      @Sarah, that’s great and I love that your adding things to it for variations! It really is a good staple.

  14. Andrea December 29, 2012 at 9:48 pm

    I love the old world simplicity of your recipe and found it after much research online for oat bread recipes. I’d love to try the recipe with oat flour, as you indicate it can replace the AP flour. Have you tried the recipe with oat flour?

    I ask because there’s a lot of noise out there about making yeast bread with oat flour — that it can’t replace all the AP flour, that it won’t rise, that it’ll bake a brick, that it can’t be done. Would love any insights you might have.

    • Carrie Pacini January 3, 2013 at 1:10 pm

      @Andrea I have used the recipe with oat flour. The darker bread in the pictures above is the oat based recipe. As you can see it’s not quite as high and is flatter compared to the others.

      It has a very good flavor and is my father’s favorite version of it :)

      • Michael July 28, 2013 at 10:40 pm

        Hi, Carrie. I tried making the recipe with oat flour, and it came out nothing like the darker loaf. It came as a crumbly pile of grey oaten matter. Now, the white loaf, I’ve had no problem with. Any idea what I’m doing wrong?

        Thanks!

        • Carrie Pacini August 6, 2013 at 6:27 am

          Hi Michael, I am glad to hear that the while loaf worked out as for the oat version I am not sure why it didn’t work out. In the picture that you see with this post the darker loaf is with oat flour. You might want to try splitting the different between the amount of oat flour with the white or the wheat to see if that helps.

  15. Dee December 31, 2012 at 8:57 am

    Looks great and will give it a try. Just curious what a baking tray is. A cookie sheet? A loaf pan?

    • Carrie Pacini January 3, 2013 at 1:13 pm

      @Dee It’s just a flat pan that can go in the oven. I line it with parchment and form the dough on it. See the image above.

  16. Jules January 5, 2013 at 11:38 am

    Hey there! I’m psyched to try this recipe! Out of curiosity, have you have tried shaping the dough into a “boule” type shape? I wonder if it would bake up the same?

    • Carrie Pacini January 11, 2013 at 8:21 am

      @Jules I haven’t but it’s worth a try- go for it.

  17. Bill January 10, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    Rather than the olive oil, could you use an egg white wash. In the recipe I have it says to use an egg white and 1 tbl spoon of water mixed.

    • Carrie Pacini January 11, 2013 at 8:22 am

      @Bill Yes, you could use an egg white and it would make it very shiny which is nice to look at. I use the olive oil to give it a bit of a crunch on the outside.
      Let me know how it turns out!

  18. Crisy January 13, 2013 at 11:16 am

    Hi Carrie, just wanted to thank you for a great recipe. I chose yours because I don’t have a stand mixer and it looked easy enough. My first time making it, the dough didn’t rise well at all, and though it looked fine and baked fine, it was VERY dense. The yeast was creamy, but not overly so. I decided to try again, and this time, I read up a little on proofing yeast. So the second time around, I actually combined the yeast in only a 1/4 c. water with one tsp sugar to activate it, and then added the remaining water and sugar after the 5 min right before I mixed it with the flour. What a difference! The yeast was bubbling and frothing, and the dough doubled in size within an hour for both rises. For the second rise, I actually let it rise on the parchment paper-lined tray on the stovetop so it could have the warmth of the preheated oven to help. This time the bread is way fluffier, although when I slashed it with the knife, it deflated some. Have you ever not slashed the bread? Or even slashed it prior to the second rise? Any tips would be helpful and thanks again :)

    • Sapphire April 17, 2016 at 8:58 pm

      This is a great tip. I followed it. Thanks

      • Carrie Pacini May 14, 2016 at 1:53 pm

        Your Welcome!

  19. Helene February 3, 2013 at 12:10 pm

    I followed the recipe and let it rise twice, but it turned out flat, dense and dry :( Not sure what went wrong? I think I may have used a little to less yeast (was running low, might have been a bit closer to two teaspoons.

    I live in charleston (so high humidity) and I had a bit of issues forming it to a nice ball, was very sticky and had to use extra flour.

  20. Alli February 11, 2013 at 5:14 pm

    I am a chronic failure at bread making – seeing this recipe has reignited my willingness to bake not just an edible but delicious (and beautiful) loaf of bread!! I just started mixing the ingredients … so simple. Picture to follow if all goes to plan! Thank you for such an accessible recipe!!

  21. Mariah February 20, 2013 at 10:49 am

    Oh boy this was just the bread I was looking for!!!! It turned out perfect! I can’t wait to make garlic bread out if it. Thank you for my new favorite bread recipe!

  22. Sara I. March 5, 2013 at 9:23 am

    This looks amazing and simple!! Would love to give it a try today but don’t have any parchment paper. Is there a sub I could use?

    • Sue Bee July 1, 2015 at 3:09 pm

      I sometimes just sprinkle the baking pan with cornmeal. NOT cornstarch. Actual cornmeal, and lay the bread on top. It protects the bottom (a little) from over browning and gives a nice crunch. The cornmeal is next to the flour in the baking aisle.

  23. Maddy March 9, 2013 at 2:13 pm

    I am from Long Island, NY. I grew up with Italian bread that my mother bought weekly, from a Brooklyn man, who baked the bread in a hot outdoor, wood burning oven. I followed your recipe and your bread taste just as DELICIOUS! Bravo! Also, the texture is rustic. Soft inside but crunchy, crispy, just perfect crust. We eat it with olive oil, butter, garlic and various kinds of humus. I have a mixer for bread but never needed it for the recipe and never will. There is so little cleanup with this delicious recipe. The mixer could not make the bread any better in taste or texture. Thank you.

    • Carrie Pacini September 15, 2013 at 7:32 am

      Maddy, Thanks so much for your feedback! I am so glad that you all enjoyed it and now have an easy go to recipe for rustic bread :)

  24. Deborah Hernandez - Our Casa Your Casa March 10, 2013 at 10:24 pm

    Your bread recipe worked out great- first bread bake from scratch and it passed the Italan hubby test! Simple and delicious…thanks, wish we could share our proud photos. Hope you’ll like our page on Facebook(Our Casa Your Casa)

  25. Kinsey March 16, 2013 at 3:52 am

    Hi, i’m wondering if you knead this dough at all. I can’t see anywhere where you say to but thought I’d ask.
    Thanks!

  26. Katherine June 11, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    Hi! I just followed this recipe and posted about it on my blog. Delicious bread! Thanks for sharing!
    http://chefincollege.blogspot.com/2013/06/homemade-italian-bread.html

  27. Archana July 7, 2013 at 10:06 am

    My kids love it when I bake a bread. Thanks for the the note that I can use wheat flour its a great + as I am trying to reduce the use of maida or APF at home. I am bookmarking your recipe for its simple andI love the way you have explained it.

    • Carrie Pacini July 7, 2013 at 6:06 pm

      Hi Archana, hope you guys enjoy it.

  28. Mary July 8, 2013 at 8:11 pm

    I completed this recipe 3 times in a row. Florida loves this bread. Rising period was 30 mins all three times. I accidentally put half the amount of sugar and salt in the first but it wasn’t bad. Second and third were wonderful! Thanks for the help.

    • Carrie Pacini July 9, 2013 at 8:27 am

      That’s great to hear Mary, glad it worked out in your climate :)

  29. Emile July 20, 2013 at 7:22 pm

    I am a teenager who likes to bake, and I have never made bread “from scratch” before (not using a bread machine). Even though I was a bit nervous about it, this recipe was so easy and delicious! I love salt so I rubbed sea salt all over the top and made one heck of a sandwich minutes after it came out of the oven. Thank you for the wonderful recipe.

    • Carrie Pacini July 21, 2013 at 4:26 am

      @Emile I am so glad it worked out for you I am sure that sandwich was delicious :)

  30. Rebecca July 28, 2013 at 5:50 am

    I am an American living in Pakistan… I am craving Italian bread and there is none to be found here. I made tomato sauce and meatballs and was looking for a recipe for bread to make meatball grinders… The bread is in the oven but I am not too hopeful as it didn’t rise much. After reading all the comments I have decided I must have handled it too much. Let’s see how it comes out! I will try it again til I get it right!

    • Carrie Pacini August 6, 2013 at 6:15 am

      Hi Rebecca, I hope you tried it again. Did it rise for you?

  31. Dave July 29, 2013 at 11:27 am

    Tried this for the first time yesterday. First attempt felt way too dry. Wouldn’t rise at all. Tried again and the second time I increased the water content 3/4 cup. I live in South Central Florida so that may have made a difference. It turned out perfect. Added some Italian seasoning and the bread was a great hit. Served with some fresh cooked garlic in olive oil and it was a treat for the whole family. Will be making this again.

    • Carrie Pacini August 6, 2013 at 6:28 am

      Love your idea Dave about adding spices to it and I am so glad that your family enjoyed it!

  32. Rebecca Donahue August 3, 2013 at 11:32 am

    I used this recipe for my first attempt at bread-making and it turned out amazing. We ate more than half the loaf minutes after it came out of the oven. Thank you so much for this recipe!!

    • Carrie Pacini August 6, 2013 at 6:37 am

      So glad to hear it. We like to eat it straight out of the oven too, it’s hard to resist!

  33. Nicole August 5, 2013 at 2:05 am

    I just discovered this recipe, it’s exactly what I’m searching for, really easy and no-fuss to make, loving it.

    I did a half-recipe though, ie, halving all the amounts and only let it rise once for 30mins. it baked beautifully, but the taste of the AP flour was very strong. I used active dry yeast, it fizzled a bit when I added warm water, but wasn’t extremely frothy. Could that be why the taste of the flour was so strong?

    Shall be trying again this weekend! Thank you so much Carrie for sharing your simple fuss-free recipe!

    • Carrie Pacini August 6, 2013 at 6:49 am

      Hi Nicole, Not sure why it would have a strong flavor. I’ve used AP flour many times with this recipe and haven’t experienced that at all. When you try it again can you use a different AP flour, even if it is the same brand just a different bag of it. I am wondering if there was something wrong with the flour that you were using. Also make sure it is just plain AP flour and isn’t self rising. Let me know how the 2nd try turns out.

      • Nicole August 8, 2013 at 5:34 am

        Hi Carrie, thanks for the suggestion. My 2nd attempt just came out of the oven. I used bread flour instead of AP this time, as I was looking for a denser chewier bread. The taste of flour isn’t noticeable this time. I’m still wondering if the yeast contributed to my problem. I used a different pack of yeast (same box) this attempt and it seemed ‘dead’ in the water. The dough did rise though, albeit slightly slower. I’m still loving the taste of this bread! I just sprinkled salt on top before baking and the salty crunchy crust with chewy insides is amazing!

        • Carrie Pacini August 8, 2013 at 5:15 pm

          @Nicole, glad to hear that the flavor worked out. The weather also has a lot to do with this recipe. There are times that I will put the bowl close to where I am cooking to get a bit of the warmth and it will rise higher. Also I have found if I mess with the dough too much it will not rise well. Hope some of this insight helps on your next go around :)

  34. Alejandra August 20, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    Do you have any special instructions regarding the use of wheat flour instead of all purpose?

    • Carrie Pacini August 20, 2013 at 4:00 pm

      Hi Alejandra, You could add 1/4 cup of honey to it if you like. There are a few tricks to keep in mind: don’t let it get too dry and do not handle it too much. Keep your fingers light when working with the dough!

      • Alejandra August 22, 2013 at 1:03 pm

        I was out of honey so I used a 1/8 cup of agave sweetener, and 1/2 cup more of water after combining the yeast water and flour since the dough seemed pretty dry, even though I only used 3/4 cup of flour for every 1 cup. However the wheat bread came out tasting great and very true to the pictures that have been posted. I also made it again using all purpose flour, again using an extra 1/2 cup of water when the dough turned out too dry. Came out pretty good :)

  35. Nikki j August 30, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    Hi, Can I prepare the dough, refrigerate and make next day?

    • Carrie Pacini September 3, 2013 at 10:02 am

      Hi Nikki, yes you can just make sure you cover it tightly with cling wrap.

    • Clint September 25, 2013 at 9:05 am

      Letting it do the second rise in the fridge will also improve the internal structure of the bread as well!

      • Carrie Pacini October 2, 2013 at 6:54 am

        Thanks Clint for that!

  36. Amber September 14, 2013 at 7:47 pm

    This is my new favorite dinner bread recipe. My only sub was brown sugar for white. Internal temp of 190 F = perfection. Crust was delicious and crispy. So so so good!

    • Carrie Pacini September 15, 2013 at 7:27 am

      Thanks Amber :)

  37. Eric Erickson September 15, 2013 at 3:36 am

    Great writeup Carrie :) Just discovered the joys of bread making – and of course, the problems that can ensue LOL. I am curious about the deflating question above too. Since I’ve only made bread now about 5 times and am not real experienced, SHOULD it deflate when doing a cut across the top? AND, how do you get your sesame seeds to stick? Tried it with the olive oil and they all pretty much fell off after baking :(

    • Carrie Pacini September 15, 2013 at 7:41 am

      Hi Eric, let’s just say with bread you open many doors :) In regards to the sesame seeds sprinkle them on top and pat them lightly with your finger tips. When you score the bread make sure it’s a shallow score not too deep then pop it in the oven.

  38. Jennie September 23, 2013 at 7:26 pm

    First time breadmaker and I happened upon your recipe. It was perfect for a novice like me! Thanks so much for posting this and for making me feel like I *can* do it! It was delicious…ate my first slice (and another and another) hot out of the oven with butter. Perfection!

    • Carrie Pacini October 2, 2013 at 6:57 am

      Thanks Jennie for your feedback, I am so glad you tried it.

  39. Clint September 25, 2013 at 9:03 am

    Great recipe! Simple and very easy. I have a bread maker so I made this recipe exactly, set the bread maker to the dough setting (just mixes it, doesn’t bake), then after it had risen twice shaped it onto a baking pan. The texture turned out great, I think this would make a great pizza dough as well. I did add a couple of tablespoons of water, and then flour to get the moisture how I wanted. I did this until it was just dry enough to not stick to your finger when touched, but wasn’t too dry to where it was knocking around in the bread maker on the kneed cycle.

    • Carrie Pacini October 2, 2013 at 6:56 am

      Thanks Clint for your feedback I am glad the recipe worked out for you.

  40. Kim October 13, 2013 at 4:11 pm

    Great recipe! Couple tips from someone who bakes alot of different breads: add the sugar to the yeast & water & let sit for 5 minutes-sugar activates the yeast. make sure the water is WARM not hot-heat will kill the yeast. Next…second rising-form your loaf after the 1st rise, put it on your pan, THEN cover & allow to rise a second time-makes for a more “risen” loaf! :-)

    • Carrie Pacini October 19, 2013 at 8:56 am

      Thanks Kim for adding this, I do need to make a note on the recipe that the sugar activates the yeast and proofs it. Love your idea on letting the second rise happen on the pan for an instant loaf. I am going to try this out :)

  41. Dan October 15, 2013 at 11:44 am

    I just made my first ever no mixer pretzels and now want to move on to my first loaf of bread. And you have the perfect recipe ! Thank you.

    • Carrie Pacini October 19, 2013 at 8:52 am

      Sounds Great!

  42. Charleen October 25, 2013 at 12:10 pm

    Just made this recipe. Best bread recipe I’ve tried yet. Just started baking and I’ve been searching for the perfect bread recipe and this is it!

    • Carrie Pacini October 26, 2013 at 7:33 am

      Thanks Charleen, I am so glad it worked out for you.

  43. Fallon Penner October 27, 2013 at 8:49 am

    Followed technique #1 and the bread turned out beautifully. Thank you for this great recipe. This was my first time making bread and I can’t believe how easy it was.

    • Carrie Pacini October 29, 2013 at 6:28 pm

      Thanks for your comment Penner, I am so glad you enjoyed it.

  44. Laura November 3, 2013 at 1:57 pm

    When do you add the second cup of water?

    • Carrie Pacini November 4, 2013 at 5:35 pm

      Hi Laura, you add it after you have mixed in the first cup with the yeast in it. Note you might also need to add more flour a bit at a time just so it isn’t too sticky for you to work with. This all depends on the weather and the humidity that you are working in.

  45. Katie November 9, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    Sooooo good! I love baking different types of bread and this was very easy and delicious. I added rosemary and olive oil and it was perfect.

    • Carrie Pacini November 10, 2013 at 11:30 am

      Thanks Katie for your feedback! I bet it smelled amazing with the Rosemary!

  46. Kelly November 10, 2013 at 9:58 pm

    What is your oat flour blend?? I have tried it several times with just oat flour and have not gotten the best results.

    • Carrie Pacini November 11, 2013 at 7:20 am

      Hi Kelly, When using an oat flour blend it can be a bit of trial and error. I would start by replacing 1/3 of the regular flour with your oat flour and work your way up from there. You may also need to adjust the amount of liquid to get it to the right consistency.

      • Mike Alsdorf November 2, 2015 at 8:06 am

        As for making bread without wheat flour you need to add a gluten substitute, such as guar gum or xanthan gum for example. Currently I’m struggling with my wheat intolerance and an intolerance to both guar and xanthan. I am having some success with adding vital wheat gluten flour and starch powder to my GF flour blends.
        Carrie, your Recipe for Rustic Italian Bread receipt is working out wonderfully with my GF flour blends.
        Mike

        • Carrie Pacini November 3, 2015 at 1:04 pm

          That’s great to hear that it’s working with your GF flour blends.

  47. Cyndi November 11, 2013 at 7:11 pm

    Thanks for a great recipe. I made it tonight and the texture was wonderful. I am also in Houston, and had to add over 1/2 cup more flour to make the dough less sticky so I could form the ball. I think next time I will reduce the water by 1/2 cup. I am also thinking that I will add a bit of honey or garlic powder for additional flavor.
    Can this dough be frozen? There are just two of us and a full recipe makes way too much. I would like to split it and freeze half. Otherwise, I may experiment with making 1/2 recipe.

    • Carrie Pacini November 14, 2013 at 7:23 am

      Hi Cyndi – Yes, less water if you are in Houston, we are so humid here most of the time. I think honey and garlic would be interesting! I have not tried to freeze this dough but I am sure it would be fine. I have put it in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. You could make this recipe and use the other half a day or 2 later.

  48. Charlotte Wallace November 14, 2013 at 1:37 pm

    This was easy and delicious. It made a huge loaf. I will definitely make this again.

  49. Tay November 16, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    I have gone to the store purchased all the ingredients to make your bread. Can I make this in a round loaf and not oblong. I am very excited to make this bread thanks for the recipie.

    • Carrie Pacini November 17, 2013 at 11:55 am

      Hi Tay, Sure you can make this in a round loaf as well.

      • Tay November 19, 2013 at 10:22 am

        I have a question I made the bread however it came out very dense. I used technique 2 , I guess I will try the 1st technique and see what happens.

        • Carrie Pacini November 23, 2013 at 8:40 am

          Tay, let me know how technique 1 works once you try it.

          • Tay November 24, 2013 at 3:49 pm

            Hi Carrie,
            I tried the 1st technique the bread came out still dense not as much as before but still dense not airy or fluffy helps please.

          • Carrie Pacini November 25, 2013 at 10:47 am

            Hi Tay, Let’s see if we can troubleshoot it a bit. Did the yeast bubble up? Also the proportion of flour to water may be off, you want the dough to be elastic and not dry, this requires using a bit more water. Also you might want to give it more time to rise. Another thing that could be happening is how much you are handling the dough, make sure you are lightly working with it. I hope this helps!

  50. Amy latham November 22, 2013 at 9:35 am

    Brilliant absolutely brilliant, made perfectly even considering i live in a very cold wintery scotland! i only did the first rise but it still came out perfect, i actually made another dough the exact same but flattened it and made a beautiful italian flat bread with olive oil sea salt and fresh herbs! will be using this recipe time and time again! xxx

    • Carrie Pacini November 23, 2013 at 8:50 am

      Thanks Amy, and what you described is exactly what you do when you are making the flat bread with this dough. I bet it was tasty with the fresh herbs.

  51. Yvette November 30, 2013 at 9:30 am

    I just made 1 loaf just now, eating a slice with butter and jam. Super thank you for this recipe! Next time Ill try to shape it like pain d’ epi to make it fancier :)

    1 question though, can I substitute honey instead of sugar? how much should I put and when should I put it? In the water/yeast mixture or flour mixture? Thanks! :)

    • Carrie Pacini December 1, 2013 at 1:29 pm

      I would start out with a little bit of honey but you will need the sugar for the yeast to activate.

  52. Andrea December 13, 2013 at 5:52 pm

    WOW! Very first time making bread. Super easy recipe! I went with the 2nd technique. I know how finicky yeast can be to activate and I wanted to prepare that first. Quick note, yeast activates between 100 and 110 degrees fahrenheit. Anything hotter kills the yeast and cooler won’t activate. Needless to say the loaf is gone! My boyfriend has requested 3 more loaves tomorrow! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!

    • Carrie Pacini December 14, 2013 at 6:25 am

      Hi Andrea, thanks for the insight on the yeast! So glad you both enjoyed the bread.

  53. A-Red January 2, 2014 at 12:32 am

    Thanks for the recipe! Made it tonight for my inlaws and it was enjoyed by all. I followed method 2 to activate the yeast. I also used a 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour (AP for the rest), mixed a little fresh rosemary into the dough, and sprinkled it with Alaskan sea salt before I baked it. About 22 minutes into the bake, I misted it with water, and misted water into the oven a couple more times every 3-4 minutes until done. This gave it a nice crisp crust as you expect from rustic Italian breads.

    Thanks again for the recipe. It’s a definite keeper.

    • Carrie Pacini January 2, 2014 at 10:37 am

      What a great idea to use a mister, especially for dryer climates. Smart.

  54. Laura Carroll January 2, 2014 at 6:13 pm

    Thank you soon much for this recipe! I made bread today for the first time and I used this recipe! It came out great!!!!!

    • Carrie Pacini January 3, 2014 at 4:08 pm

      Laura, that’s great so glad it worked out!

  55. Pam January 4, 2014 at 2:33 pm

    Thanks for the great recipe. Have made this several times now since making my first loaf for Thanksgiving. Once it flattened, but all other times turns out great. Also made with reg. flour and bread flour–same results. Have you ever frozen the dough before allowing to rise. Was thinking could save time if I made several (one clean up) and frozen, then could thaw in frig over night, let rise and bake, as limited time during the week with work & travel.

    • Carrie Pacini January 5, 2014 at 5:57 pm

      Hi Pam, I have not frozen this dough in particular but you can freeze dough in general. I will try it out myself this week and see what happens with this recipe. Once I have my notes on it I will update the recipe with it. In case you want to try it out before I post anything you would only let the dough rise once before you freeze it.

      • Pam January 8, 2014 at 5:07 pm

        thanks much. Just started a loaf at 3, then left to pick up kids. Set for second rise and will bake to have for dinner. Didn’t really think I could do it this fast, but with a warm oven and pan of hot water I can get a good rise in 30-40 min. (and there is currently no humidity here as the weather is below zero and the heat running constantly. Will look for your response, but may try myself too, appreciate knowing only one rise before freezing.

  56. Gigi January 4, 2014 at 9:07 pm

    Made this tonight for decadent grilled cheese sandwiches. Beyond yum!!!! Thank you for this perfect rustic bread recipe.

    • Carrie Pacini January 5, 2014 at 5:59 pm

      Hi Gigi! I love that you made a decadent grilled cheese with this rustic bread! It sounds fabulous :)

  57. Kat Holmes January 5, 2014 at 4:39 pm

    I made this bread tonight. TWO cups of water is WAY too much for 3 cups of flour. I thought so, but made it anyway. Big mistake. No way to salvage the mess it made. Is this recipe correct??????????????

    • Carrie Pacini January 5, 2014 at 6:02 pm

      Hi Kat, The water amount all depends on where you are. The trick is to add about 1/4 cup of water at a time until the dough is just a little wet. Some folks use the 2 cups some use less and some use more. Try it out again but add the water to the flour 1/4 cup at a time until the dough is just a little moist.

  58. Sue Laffey January 5, 2014 at 7:52 pm

    Just made it for dinner tonight and had it with spaghetti . It was delicious and it rose so nicely. Put some Italian seasoning and Parmasian in it. Turned out great!

    • Carrie Pacini January 8, 2014 at 8:08 am

      That’s great Sue!

  59. Guido January 17, 2014 at 2:16 pm

    Carrie, I have tried both techniques with Caputo 00 Flour in my Kitchen Aid Mixer, the problem I am having is after the second rise, I split the dough and try to cook on my pizza stone in the oven and it is more like Foccacia rather than a loaf of bread. Putting olive oil on it, along with the pizza stone gives it a great crunch and the crumb is beautiful, just need to figure out what I can do to make it rise better.

    The yeast is brand new and on technique 2 it bubbled/foamed. I am not sure when I can separate the dough into two and if I need to cook in a bread pan on top of my pizza stone or if I can bake directly on it….I live in AZ, so it is very dry here, but I do get a good rise both times. Please help!

    • Carrie Pacini January 17, 2014 at 2:56 pm

      I think the bread might be baking too quickly when it hits the oven, creating a crust before it can expand. If we create a moist environment in your oven this could help with that. You could mist the oven with water a few times OR you could place a pan on the bottom rack before preheating. When you place the bread in the oven, pour about 1 cup of very hot water into the empty pan. This will create steam, and help prevent the bread from crusting before it springs. I am crossing my fingers that this works!

      • Guido January 17, 2014 at 6:12 pm

        Thanks Carrie, I will try that…Should I be baking directly on the stone or in a bread pan? Also when should I split the ball of dough into two?

        • Carrie Pacini January 17, 2014 at 6:22 pm

          You can bake it on the stone just make sure the pan that has 1 cup of water is on the rack below the rack that the stone is on. Also are you scoring the bread? If not make sure to do that.

  60. Guido January 17, 2014 at 6:25 pm

    Yes I am scoring it, but after the second rise and I split the dough into two loaves it never rises again, by adding the water into the oven will it, or should it rise again?

    • Carrie Pacini January 17, 2014 at 6:31 pm

      I would split the dough in half after the 2nd rise and then score it before you put it in the oven.

      • Guido January 17, 2014 at 6:36 pm

        Thx, I’ll let you know how it goes…Appreciate the help and recipe..

        • Carrie Pacini January 17, 2014 at 6:45 pm

          Your Welcome, I am hoping this works out for you!

  61. Theresa clark January 25, 2014 at 2:02 am

    I am making this bread now hoping it’ll turn out as this is my first attempt at making bread

    • Carrie Pacini January 25, 2014 at 5:50 pm

      I hope it worked out for you Theresa!

  62. Salvador February 4, 2014 at 10:55 pm

    Awesome recipe bread was great and easy to make

    • Carrie Pacini February 5, 2014 at 12:08 pm

      Thanks for your feedback Salvador!

  63. Zwaner February 7, 2014 at 1:38 am

    Thanks Carrie for sharing the recipe. I’m made it a few times now, always with great results. I sprinkle cornmeal on my baking stone and a little coarse salt on top of the olive oil. The family loves it. My friends ask for the recipe and I send them to your blog. Thanks again

    • Carrie Pacini February 9, 2014 at 3:46 pm

      Zwaner – It’s so great to hear that you are getting lots of use out this recipe. And thank you for sharing my blog with your friends! I really appreciate it :)

  64. Tina February 10, 2014 at 11:00 pm

    This is the best bread recipe I have ever used – it has never failed !! Thank you Carrie

    • Carrie Pacini February 11, 2014 at 10:11 am

      Thanks Tina for letting me know this, you made my day :)

  65. Randy February 11, 2014 at 6:39 pm

    Carrie — Great job. It never fails. Wonderful toasted. It’s become my “goto” bread — and I make it several times each week. I have the recipe and routine memorized now. Friends, relatives and others love it, too. Again — thanks. You should strut a little with this one. You’ve earned it. Randy

    • Carrie Pacini February 12, 2014 at 11:04 am

      Thanks Randy for your feedback, so happy it is your goto bread recipe!

  66. Chani February 13, 2014 at 7:58 pm

    I am 14 years old and I love to cook and bake. I am always looking for new recipes, and this is a great one! I baked the bread, then spread the inside with margarine, sprinkled on garlic powder,baked it a little more, and voila-garlic bread. My whole family loved it, and I have a feeling we’ll be making it a lot in the future! Thanks so much!

    • Carrie Pacini February 14, 2014 at 7:06 am

      Hi Chani, So glad you liked the recipe!

  67. Keri February 22, 2014 at 6:43 pm

    Just made this recipe and OMG so addictive. Not only is it easy but the result is spectacular. I’ll be making this recipe over and over and over again. Thank-you so much

    • Carrie Pacini February 25, 2014 at 7:23 am

      Hi Keri, you are welcome!

  68. John February 23, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    This is my go to bread recipe and i make this at least once a week and it comes better then any store bought bread i can find. I have one tiny problem with mine when i bake it…. I have a “side blowout” and i cant figure out why. I make the three slits at the top and do it step by step but the sides on both sides of my bread have a little bit of a blow out … any suggestions or tips would be great. Thank you

    • John February 23, 2014 at 1:13 pm

      add more flour little by little .. that will fix the problem…. need to add that the blowout means nothing other then cosmetic issues.. the taste and texture are still spot on. (;

    • Carrie Pacini February 25, 2014 at 7:31 am

      Hi John, thanks for your comment. There are a few things you can do for a blowout. Mist the oven with water using a spray bottle before the bread goes in to bake. Make a few more slits if you have any room to do so, and when the bread is rising cover it with plastic wrap to keep it moist. Another thing you could try is baking it at a lower temperature, I would try 10 degrees less.

  69. Tonya February 25, 2014 at 7:03 pm

    I made this recipe today with half wheat flour and it came out awesome!

    • Carrie Pacini February 27, 2014 at 6:54 am

      Hi Tonya, That’s great! I am glad the half white and wheat worked out :)

  70. Laura February 25, 2014 at 7:04 pm

    Carrie- THANK YOU! THANK YOU! I found your website this morning and decided to give your recipe a try because I wanted bread for tonight’s dinner but didn’t want to go back to my usual recipe for “quick” bread. The loaf of bread I served my family was THE BEST BREAD I HAVE EVER MADE! I am relatively new to bread baking and I am glad I did not give up when my dough wasn’t looking the way you described in the recipe. Instead of making a smooth elastic ball, I had a shaggy sticky mess! I left it in my mixing bowl, covered it with a damp towel and put it in a warm oven with the oven turned off. (It’s winter here in NY so my house is dry and warm-ish.) An hour or so later the dough had risen so much it was sticking to my towel. Still, I soldiered on! The dough reminded me of another bread recipe I have used for “crusty bread”. So I turned it out into a floured counter, put more flour on top and covered with same towel. I heated my oven to 450°, heated up my Dutch oven for 30 mins, then baked bread in the Dutch oven, covered, for 30 mins. I took off the lid and let it brown up a bit more for about 10 minutes. AGAIN, IT WAS THE BEST BREAD I EVER MADE! It was soft and chewy on the inside, crusty and chewy on the outside. I hope this wasn’t a ” one off” for me. I will be trying this recipe again very soon! I’d say I’m sorry for rambling, but I am just so gosh darn excited about this bread! Thank you for sharing this great recipe!

    • Carrie Pacini February 27, 2014 at 6:55 am

      HI Lauren, I am so glad you like this recipe! It’s a keeper and I am glad you did not give up on it :)

  71. Rusti March 6, 2014 at 5:04 pm

    Wow thank you for sharing this. I just learned how to make regular white bread, but a lot of kneading (20 minutes in mixer) and rising time. This sounds so easy and a little quicker, I am definitely going to try it…maybe tomorrow. Thank you again!

    • Carrie Pacini March 13, 2014 at 8:00 am

      You are welcome! It’s really a simple and easy bread to make. Hope you enjoy it.

  72. Hanna March 11, 2014 at 7:57 pm

    I am so happy I came across your bread recipe! This was my 2nd attempt at homemade bread and it turned out fabulous! Way better than the other recipe I tried a couple days ago. I am going to make some french toast in the morning with the left overs and see how it turns out!

    • Carrie Pacini March 13, 2014 at 7:59 am

      Thanks Hanna, can’t wait to hear how it worked as French Toast the next day.

  73. France March 18, 2014 at 7:47 pm

    Hi Carrie, I just made your recipe and it’s really good. Just wondering why the inside of the bread is really dense. Did I manipulated to much the bread? (Sorry for my English as I”m French, Quebec Canada. :)

    • Carrie Pacini March 19, 2014 at 12:16 pm

      Hi There, When I get a denser bread it’s usually because I didn’t get a good rise. Did the yeast bubble up for you? Did the bread rise well? Misting your oven with water can also help. Also overworking the bread can cause a denser bread.

  74. Eileen Henderson March 23, 2014 at 4:31 pm

    Easiest and best bread EVER! I swear, I used to make bread often, never could get the hang of it. Now I know I had yeast water too cool and was kneeding it to death =) ! Ever since I have associated breadmaking with ugh! difficult! Not so with your recipe. Thank you!

    • Carrie Pacini March 24, 2014 at 7:52 pm

      Hi Eileen, I am so glad that you like this recipe and that you are finding some joy in bread making!

  75. Roberta March 24, 2014 at 6:00 am

    Hi,
    I tried the recipe with all purpose white flour and then a 2nd time with have whole wheat and half white. I did let them both rise twice. The all white loaf was very good and rose well, though it was still pretty dense – the bubbles were quite small and even all through the bread – should they be larger? The half-half was much the same as the all white but this one tasted and smelled of yeast. Am I not letting it rise long enough? Or why would it taste yeasty?
    thanks
    Roberta

    • Carrie Pacini March 24, 2014 at 8:03 pm

      Hi Roberta, I am wondering if you need to bake the bread at a higher temperature. Not all ovens are the same. This recipe is for 375 degrees BUT I am thinking you might need to try 400 degrees with your oven. I would try that and see if that works for you.

  76. Tony DeMilia March 24, 2014 at 3:16 pm

    Hi there Carrie, just a quick question for this recipe. Not knowing the whole “Bakers” math , can this be made into a 2x, or even a 4x batch, with the same results?

    • Carrie Pacini March 24, 2014 at 7:50 pm

      Hi Tony, I’ve only made this recipe in single batches. When I get a chance I’ll apply “Bakers” math to it and see if I can get a formula going for at least a 2x.

  77. Rifka April 11, 2014 at 11:29 am

    I have only ever done family bread recipes, so when i went into my pantry to pull all the ingredients necessary I was shocked to have seen the only oil I had was Olive. For about 30 mins I was in shock and did not know what to do. When my morning brain finely kicked into gear. I decided to look up a new bread recipe that only required olive oil. I didn’t want anything fancy seeing as i have only known three bread recipes my whole life. Well this bread recipe has saved the day!! I was able to make it perfect ( at least i think it was perfect) the first time. My two toddlers loved it so much they kept asking for more. This will be a new staple in our home. Thank you for sharing it.

    • Carrie Pacini April 19, 2014 at 3:06 pm

      Hi Rifka! Thank you for your lovely comment. I am so glad you found this recipe useful and that it will become a staple in your home!

  78. Stephanie Picone April 19, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    My husband brought the wrong yeast home, it is gluten-free . I tried to do what you said with the warmwater but it didn’t rise , what now?

    • Carrie Pacini April 19, 2014 at 3:13 pm

      Hi Stephanie, I have not worked with gluten free yeast so if possible I would get regular yeast. The yeast needs to be foamy and frothy in order to make the bread rise.

  79. Andrea April 28, 2014 at 5:58 pm

    Hi Carrie!

    I make your recipe ALL THE TIME! It’s a hit each and every loaf I make!! Thank you so much!

    Quick question – because I actually have some rising in the microwave right now….

    Can I make this Asiago Cheese bread? I’ve read other recipes and I don’t have the time (obviously) for them. Do you know if I can just score and throw in asiago chunks at the sesame seed stage?? Please let me know asap!! Thanks so much!!!

    • Carrie Pacini May 8, 2014 at 2:21 pm

      The pictures you sent looked fabulous!

  80. Matt Myers May 2, 2014 at 9:59 pm

    I absolutely love this bread. I always make this bread late at night so it’s still fresh in the morning. It makes a great breakfast. Butter it, put it in a sandwich press, and dip it in my morning espresso or my espresso zabaglione. Delicious!

    • Carrie Pacini May 8, 2014 at 2:21 pm

      Thank you Matt!

  81. Nancy May 18, 2014 at 8:21 pm

    I’m so happy I stumbled on this recipe! I’ve been trying to successfully make bread since I was a teen. By 35 I still had not accomplished bread that wasn’t hard or overly dense or that rose properly. So when I saw your recipe I thought why not. Ive tried so many times and failed what’s one more? But I didn’t fail. In fact it was the opposite and I must say my children couldn’t thank you more! Both raved all weekend about how great the bread was, soft on the inside, crunchy on the outside…it was awesome. I served it warm with a bowl of good olive oil, crushed garlic and fresh crached pepper. Even my picky five year old begged for more and when she wasn’t begging her and her big sister were stealing peices lol. Thank you so much for finally making Me a bread making success!

    • Carrie Pacini May 29, 2014 at 9:45 am

      Hi Nancy! I am so happy that you found this recipe and the family loves it too! I hope it becomes a tradition for you all :)

  82. slinkilinki May 20, 2014 at 8:37 pm

    We have a bread machine that we use on and off, but I don’t really like the square, boring loaf that comes out. So I started trying to do half-half: dough in the bread machine, then transfer to oven for baking. So-so results. Finally, I took the leap and tried a French bread recipe from scratch, which was almost, but not quite The Way It Should Be. Talking to my Italian friend, I realized what I really need to try is an Italian bread recipe and yours was the third Google search result. Breadmaking…simple? I don’t believe it! But it is! And I am making my second loaf as we speak (type). Thank you!!! I am molto contento. And on my way to gaining many pounds. :)

    • Carrie Pacini May 29, 2014 at 9:55 am

      You are welcome! I am so happy you tried this recipe out and that you love it.

  83. Jen May 29, 2014 at 11:50 pm

    Great bread and so easy to make. I use a combo of OOO flour, continental flour and wholemeal. Good eating and makes great toast next day. If there is any left!!!

  84. Joyce Bileau June 14, 2014 at 11:10 pm

    I made this today and the loaf came out really well – I used King Arthur Bread Flour and Red Quick Rise Yeast. When I cut the loaf the texture of the bread was very, very nice – as good as any bakery bread. I’m excited because I have made very hard dense bread in the past when trying to make Italian bread. Now I have a nice easy recipe – thank you very much.

    I added a little bit of sugar to prove the yeast during the step when you indicated to let it get creamy. I also let it rise twice and a little bit before I put it in the oven while on the parchment paper.

    Totally worth making again.

  85. Troy White June 15, 2014 at 1:24 pm

    The recipe was easy and the bread is delicious but there is no way that paper is coming off the bottom. I reckon I will grease the paper with olive oil next time.

  86. Lori June 29, 2014 at 9:19 am

    We loved this recipe. My 7 year-old made it and it turned out really well. Her twin wants to make it next!

  87. Mary July 11, 2014 at 10:12 pm

    I used the exact recipie and it was a very sticky wet dough. But it made for a very good ciabatta bread. LOTs if holes in the middle. Let it rise 3x’s added about an extra 3/4 cup of flour. Great recipe

  88. Shannon July 26, 2014 at 5:03 pm

    My stove/oven are out of order due to a power surge but my family loves homemade hearty breads. I made this and “baked” it on the grill. Turned out wonderful! The big loaf is gone!thank you for such an easy and tastes treat. My new favorite!

    • Carrie Pacini July 27, 2014 at 11:04 am

      So glad it worked out on a grill! That’s great!

  89. Lauren August 8, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    Just pulled my bread out of the oven, such a fail proof recipe! THANK YOU~

    • Carrie Pacini August 8, 2014 at 1:25 pm

      Hi Lauren, You are welcome!

  90. jen August 8, 2014 at 10:39 pm

    Mine ended up a dense brick of salt…..made lots of bread before, no idea what went wrong :(

    • Carrie Pacini August 9, 2014 at 8:01 am

      Jen, sorry to hear that. Was the yeast active? Did it proof?

  91. Jeffrey September 2, 2014 at 11:32 am

    I made this bread on Sunday afternoon. It was wonderful! When I tasted the first slice, I tasted the bread that my mother used to make when I was growing up. Heaven! I allowed the dough to rise twice for 45 minutes, each time. Pretty sure that was how mom did it. Before baking, I covered the loaf with olive oil and sprinkled some Kosher salt on top. Baked for thirty minutes. The aroma was amazing. My wife and daughters loved it. Definitely will be making more and experimenting with some variations. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  92. Lisa October 20, 2014 at 6:15 pm

    This bread was amazing! I came across your website when searching for Italian bread recipes. So easy, I thought I must have omitted some steps. The result: incredible! I brought a loaf to work with homemade roasted red peppers from the garden, and homemade dipping oil. My co-workers went crazy for it! One of our docs from N.Y. said it was the best bread she’d eaten since she moved to Pa from N.Y. I was raised on Long Island, and know from quality bread. Making another loaf now to bring to work tomorrow. Thanks for sharing an easy and delicious recipe! I added some chopped herbs to the top with parmesan cheese prior to baking – extra yummy!

    • Carrie Pacini October 20, 2014 at 8:19 pm

      Thanks Lisa, I am so glad you liked the bread recipe. It’s one of my favorites.

  93. April October 23, 2014 at 12:16 am

    Made this recipe for the first time tonight. Dough rose perfectly but then sank back down as I scored it (my knife needed to be sharper). Bread was flatter than I wanted but it came out amazingly delicious!! This was also my first ever attempt using quick rise yeast. I added a little salt, rosemary powder and garlic powder to the top. Bread was not dense at all, was perfectly soft and eaten fresh out of the oven with butter. I will definitely use this recipe many more times and play around with flavored and rising methods.

    • Carrie Pacini October 29, 2014 at 7:01 pm

      Hi April, Thanks for trying it out! You will need to play around with it and find what works best for you.

  94. Lisa October 23, 2014 at 3:23 pm

    Have you tried substituting freshly ground whole wheat flour? I want to use a ww white & not sure if it will rise properly. New to breadmaking & want to begin with these easier, more rustic recipes. Thoughts/experiences? Thx.

    • Carrie Pacini October 29, 2014 at 7:03 pm

      Hi Lisa, I haven’t but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. If you are new to bread making try this recipe and see how it goes. Then experiment with the freshly ground whole wheat flour.

  95. Emily Cuneo October 25, 2014 at 10:46 pm

    Thanks for the recipe! This is my husbands new favorite bread, he said “I’m so glad this bread is part of our marriage” guess I’ll be baking bread regularly now! Next up I’m going to try garlic rosemary, or olives!

    • Carrie Pacini October 29, 2014 at 7:08 pm

      You are welcome! I am so glad you both enjoyed it. Can’t wait to see how your experiments go with garlic rosemary or olives!

  96. Kate October 29, 2014 at 6:16 pm

    I just tried this for the first time. I used one cup whole wheat flour, an the rest all-purpose. It turned out awesome! I’ll be using this recipe again and again. :)

    • Carrie Pacini October 29, 2014 at 7:12 pm

      That’s great Kate!

  97. Margaret-Rose Stringer October 30, 2014 at 12:35 am

    190 degrees Celsius seems really low, to me. Am I being ridiculous ?
    The only bread I’ve been able to make successfully – and it is TOTALLY successful, every time – is one of the no-knead loaves that requires an oven pre-heated to 350 degrees C; hence my lack of confidence.
    I seek a genuine Italian bread – with holes, and chewy. Shall I proceed ?
    (Apologies for being so damned hesitant …)

    • Carrie Pacini November 3, 2014 at 9:11 am

      Hi Margaret, yes for this recipe I bake my bread at 375F which is about 190C. Try it out and see what you think.

  98. Pat November 1, 2014 at 2:16 pm

    Does this bread freeze well after baking? I was thinking of slicing some and wrapping individually so I can take a sluce out when needed.

    • Carrie Pacini November 3, 2014 at 9:12 am

      Hi Pat, Yes it does. I like to cut it up in slices then wrap it in foil and bag it in a ziplock. It warms back up really well.

  99. Uncle Bob November 9, 2014 at 4:50 pm

    For his high scool world history class, my son needed to bring to school a European food that was eaten in about the 1000 – 1200 A.D. period. He was bummed out because he couldn’t find something relatively easy until he found this bread recipe. Since it has the basic ingredients and only requires elbow grease, I figured it met the time period requirements and he couldn’t go wrong baking it, with a little bit of help.

    Holy cow, it was so simple! The dough rose perfectly and the final product turned out so beautifully, he can’t wait to take it to school tomorrow. We made 3 loaves with the intent of him taking 2 to school and keeping one here for quality control. :)

    He has not stopped thanking me for helping him. I told him I couldn’t take all the credit. Thank you for posting this phenomenal recipe for which I’m sure he will score well.

    Bob

    • Carrie Pacini November 11, 2014 at 7:48 pm

      I am so glad the recipe worked out for the project!

  100. Cindy November 26, 2014 at 7:41 pm

    Have you ever made this ahead and placed it in the refrigerator overnight? Just wondering how it would do or if it would interfere with rising properly. I’m planning on stuffing it with meat and cheese.

    • Carrie Pacini November 27, 2014 at 8:38 am

      Hi Cindy, Yes you can do that. The meat and cheese sound wonderful! I have another bread recipe called Sfinciuni that is stuffed with sausage and cheese. Try that one out too if you get a chance it’s under the bread category!

  101. Miriam November 27, 2014 at 3:15 pm

    Omg! I am eating this wonderful bread , it soft inside and crusty out side. Thank you so much!

    • Carrie Pacini November 28, 2014 at 12:12 am

      Thanks Miriam!

  102. Lily Rose November 30, 2014 at 4:58 pm

    Carrie,

    This recipe is gold! I used fresh yeast and it turned out great, flufy and moist. I also used herbs de provence to give it a nice rustic flavor.

    Thank youso much!

    • Carrie Pacini November 30, 2014 at 7:57 pm

      Thanks Lily! Nice touch with the herbs de provence :)

  103. MichelleQ December 13, 2014 at 11:53 am

    1st try – sounds and smells great!!! Thank you for sharing! Pic below and posted on Pinterest!

    http://media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/73/1c/b5/731cb5b8d07276112f0a1ab772a8b23d.jpg

    • Carrie Pacini December 13, 2014 at 3:13 pm

      Hi Michelle! It looks great!

  104. Susan January 8, 2015 at 12:07 pm

    I have read that only instant/rapid rise yeast will activate when added to dry ingredients like technique 2? Do you use that type yeast in 2? I read that active dry yeast must be activated in water? Thanks so much.

    • Carrie Pacini January 8, 2015 at 12:56 pm

      Hi Susan, Yes I use active dry yeast.

  105. Susan January 8, 2015 at 12:09 pm

    When does dough go from mixing bowl to a floured work surface in your recipe?

    Thank you

    • Carrie Pacini January 8, 2015 at 12:58 pm

      Hi Susan, I usually work it all in the bowl as I continue to add flour to it. BUT you can take it out on a floured surface if you want to work it that way. Also when I am forming the ball I am doing that between my 2 hands. Then I put it back in the bowl to rise. My son and I are working on a video for this recipe so everyone will have a visual!

  106. Kayla January 16, 2015 at 2:58 pm

    I’ve never made bread before and was looking for a quick and simple recipe to beat my stir crazies down–this was perfect! I had everything I needed in house, it wasn’t hard, and most importantly didn’t involve a bread machine. I just tried it along with a bit of honey butter and I am in love! So much, that I’m headed to make two more loaves so I can give one to my grandma. Thank you so much for this excellent recipe!

    • Carrie Pacini January 19, 2015 at 11:06 am

      Hi Kayla, so glad you liked the recipe!

  107. Jim January 18, 2015 at 12:18 pm

    Hi
    I am making the single loaf following the directions where I just added a package of yeast to 1 cup of water. My dough is in the oven on proof for its first rise. I used to bake years ago and am just now getting back int9 it. My plan is to do the second rise and after I make the loaf – to let it rise again before I cut the top and bake it. I think this is the way I used to do it and had nice light loaves. Spraying the loaf with water a couple of times while baking gives it a nice hard crust.
    Jim

  108. Michelle January 26, 2015 at 10:47 pm

    I made this recipe with an Italian dinner. It came out great! I tried the second method for the yeast, that worked very well. I live in a dry climate (southern az) and used just short of the full two cups of water. I allowed the bread to rise 50 minutes the first time, 30 the second. It was excellent. Thanks so much for the great recipe.

    • Carrie Pacini January 29, 2015 at 12:55 pm

      You are Welcome Michelle!

  109. Gina January 28, 2015 at 8:21 pm

    Do you really need the parchment paper?

    • Carrie Pacini January 29, 2015 at 12:48 pm

      Hi Gina, No you don’t need parchment paper per se but I like to use it.

  110. Carmel February 1, 2015 at 6:16 am

    Grazie for the recipe…. I followed your instructions as set out in Technique 1 and the result was sensational! This was my first attempt at breadmaking. Your method is so easy and it turned out just great. I’m in Australia and the weather is quite warm so it only took 45mins to rise and I used Tipo OO bakers flour.

    • Carrie Pacini February 3, 2015 at 12:52 pm

      Prego Carmel!

  111. Dana February 1, 2015 at 11:03 am

    Love this bread! Used Bob’s Red Flour and it turned out fantastic. Can’t wait to make more :)

    • Carrie Pacini February 3, 2015 at 12:51 pm

      Perfect!

  112. Cara February 19, 2015 at 8:10 pm

    Wow! That was easy and yummy!!!! My family loved it!!! Thanks for sharing this simple bread recipe!!!

    • Carrie Pacini February 21, 2015 at 10:08 am

      Your are Welcome!

  113. Nancy February 24, 2015 at 12:18 am

    I was looking for a “quick ” Italian bread to make to take to my mother’s for lunch tomorrow. I came across yours on Pinterest this afternoon. I decided to make it with my Kitchenaid instead of using the fork as your recipe suggested. What can I say, I’m a rebel. (And I got the Kitchenaid for Christmas.) I followed your recipe with a few changes that came up as I went along. I used the first technique with 1 cup of water and the yeast, but I only used about 1/2-2/3 cups more water. Then I had to keep adding flour and KEEP adding flour… Another cup before I could get anything that looked like a ball! I just knew that I had made a mess of your recipe. Before the second rise, I brushed the dough with olive oil, Italian herbs and kosher salt then fashioned it into a loaf by foldinding in the sides and turning. After rising, I placed it on a baking stone then brushed the top with the olive oil mix adding rehydrated onion pieces. After 30 minutes, it wasn’t brown. :( Five more minutes did the trick. Well, expecting the worst, my house did smell awful good. My first bite was a taste of Italian heaven! My husband wants to make a meal of just the bread! (Of course, we had to try it. I couldn’t take a flop to Mom’s). Oh, I even forgot to make the knife cuts before baking. This recipe is absolutely foolproof! Thank you so much for sharing!! This is now my go to bread recipe. I just hope I can make it again like the first time! Heck I might try the easy way! :))

    • Carrie Pacini February 26, 2015 at 11:54 am

      Hi Nancy, So glad you liked it!

  114. June February 24, 2015 at 10:49 am

    Hi Carrie –

    Thx for your wonderful recipe. I have a question, though….to start, I am not a cook and so, when I made this recipe, using technique #2, and my bread came out like my grandfather’s bread (!!) – I was over the moon.

    Then, because my kids and I gobbled it up and not much was left for my husband, I made another loaf, but this time, it came out crummy…like a toasted sub roll and not a crusty Italian bread. (The outside of the crummy bread seemed toasted but not crunchy, and the inside tasted more dense (less air in there) and just more plain white bread-tasting & mealy…

    I think I did all the same stuff – except maybe the second time I let the yeast sit longer in the lukewarm water. The yeast was definitely more foamy.

    Do you have any ideas why? Does bread always come out differently each time?

    I was so proud of myself and now I’m afraid I’m going to lose being able to make it the first way !!

    Thx again for your site :)

    june

    • Carrie Pacini February 26, 2015 at 12:02 pm

      Hi June, Do you remember fussing over it a bit more the 2nd time or less? Also was the oven at the same temperature as the first time? Did you coat it with olive oil? Don’t be afraid to try it again and again. Practice helps to turn out a consistent loaf of bread. Every once in awhile mine will turn out a little off too. Bread can be temperamental and moody from time to time. But don’t give up :)

  115. Michele March 14, 2015 at 8:53 am

    I am curious if this recipe can be used for Italian stuffed bread? If not, would you happen to know of a bread dough recipe I can use for that purpose. The only recipes I have been able to find use pizza dough, which is not what I’m looking for. I know there are some that use both pizza dough and bread dough. I cannot seem to find any using bread dough. Thank you!

    • Carrie Pacini March 15, 2015 at 6:30 am

      Hi Michele, you could try it with this Rustic Bread Recipe BUT I like using my Sfinciuni Bread Recipe when I am stuffing it with other items: http://forthefeast.com/2010/10/sfinciuni

  116. pam fox March 28, 2015 at 7:43 am

    Happened to have bread flour on hand so I used it in this recipe-the result was very nice!

    • Carrie Pacini April 1, 2015 at 4:37 pm

      Great to hear Pam!

  117. Rosie March 30, 2015 at 10:41 am

    I just wanted to let you know that I made this ‘last minute’ before my church’s annual dinner last night. It was a HIT! I did the recipe to a tee but I added garlic, basil and oregano flakes, and salt to the top before baking… people were going bonkers! I told my husband that I will make this once a week (since I am vegan with lots of allergies) for him and he is thrilled. Beats paying for stuff you’re unsure of in the grocery stores!:) I think next time, when it is done cooking, I will sprinkle on top some more Olive oil with Romano cheese so it sticks and the Romano doesn’t burn in the oven.
    Thank you!

    • Carrie Pacini April 1, 2015 at 4:37 pm

      You are welcome Rosie! So glad it was a hit :)

  118. GingerBeachy July 14, 2015 at 3:12 pm

    I’m making this bread for the 2nd time and cannot wait for it to finish baking! I rushed the 2nd rise the first time I baked it and it was still delicious!

    Thank you for a great recipe!

    • Carrie Pacini July 14, 2015 at 4:00 pm

      Your Welcome! Have a great day.

  119. Ashley White July 26, 2015 at 9:51 pm

    I am a novice at baking bread but a “professional” at eating it and using this recipe (which was only the second time I have baked bread…ever) produced a phenomenal loaf. Thank you for sharing your inherited recipe!

    • Ashley White July 26, 2015 at 10:25 pm

      Oh, and I should note that I kneaded it more than the recipe called for. I also let it rise for a couple of hours, punched it down, and then let it rise again overnight in the refrigerator before baking it in the morning. I think the duration and cycle of rising, punching down, and rising again made the bread fluffier and more moist.

      • Carrie Pacini July 28, 2015 at 7:45 am

        Thanks Ashley for your notes!

    • Carrie Pacini July 28, 2015 at 7:44 am

      Thanks for your comment Ashley. I’m glad you enjoyed the bread it’s a keeper :)

  120. Lori July 29, 2015 at 4:31 pm

    Waiting to put this in the oven now. I did two rises but I also am letting it rise after forming the loaf and putting it on the pan as this is the way that traditional bread is made. Will see how it tastes soon.

  121. Lori July 29, 2015 at 5:49 pm

    Turned out terrific! I will make this again.

    • Carrie Pacini August 1, 2015 at 7:35 am

      Thanks Lori! Glad it turned out. Best, Carrie

  122. Franca July 30, 2015 at 3:43 pm

    Thank you for sharing this recipe. I started off with making two loaves this morning and it’s mid afternoon and I have to make more because my family devoured them!

    • Carrie Pacini August 1, 2015 at 7:37 am

      Hi Franca, that’s so funny! You will be an expert at this recipe in a few days :)

  123. Mal August 14, 2015 at 4:27 pm

    Hi guys

    I was wondering if someone could tell me how much is a cup of water and a cup of flour?

    There are so many variations, I’m lost haha

    I would appreciate grams or ml :)

    Thanks for your help

    mal x

    • Carrie Pacini August 19, 2015 at 11:31 am

      Sorry for the LATE response on this. 1 cup of water is 8 fluid ounces and 1 cup of flour is 130 grams.

      • Mal August 20, 2015 at 5:20 pm

        No need to apologize, you are the one doing me a favor.

        Thank you so much, I’m going to give this a go tomorrow night.

        Thanks again

        mal

        • Carrie Pacini September 3, 2015 at 2:02 pm

          Your Welcome!

  124. Suzie August 15, 2015 at 3:42 am

    Hi Carrie,

    The bread is in the oven as we speak, it looks great can’t wait to taste it
    Thank you for the receipy.

    • Carrie Pacini August 19, 2015 at 11:26 am

      You are Welcome!

  125. susie August 26, 2015 at 4:07 am

    Hi, this looks lovely, but I wonder about using salt, as I have read that traditionally, Tuscans didn’t put it in their bread?

    • Carrie Pacini September 3, 2015 at 2:07 pm

      Hi Susie, It all depends on the family. Some Tuscan Families like to add a little salt and some don’t. Everyone has their own method. I hope you get to try it.
      Thanks, Carrie

  126. Maz Jr October 28, 2015 at 5:17 pm

    Have done twice already, both turned out very well. My family LOVE it very much… Definitely will keep this receipe. Thanks for sharing this great recipe….

    • Carrie Pacini November 3, 2015 at 1:02 pm

      Your Welcome!

  127. Ash October 30, 2015 at 1:35 am

    Great recipe that turned out great with the whole wheat flour I had on hand. I was wondering if you could make bread bowls for soup with it or would it have to be tweaked in any way?

    • Carrie Pacini November 3, 2015 at 1:02 pm

      You could give it a try!

  128. Mike November 4, 2015 at 10:28 am

    Bread came perfect nice recipe easy and flexible

    • Carrie Pacini November 5, 2015 at 3:05 pm

      Thanks Mike, glad it worked out!

  129. Joe November 13, 2015 at 1:33 pm

    Every step of the way, I thought “this isn’t working!” It did work, however, and was mighty tasty too! Almost like a sourdough without the “sour” flavor.

    I thought it wouldn’t work because after using less than half the water, the dough was already wet and sticky. I had to add an entire extra cup of flour and even then the dough was still wetter than I’m used to. I let it rise the first time for over an hour, then I let it rise a second time overnight. In the morning I baked it for almost an hour at close to 375’f, and it didn’t darken up hardly at all.

    When I took it out and cut it to try a slice, it was actually nice and soft on the inside, with a thick, crispy (not dry) crust. I dolloped a bit of butter while it was still warm, and then had to exercise some serious discipline not to eat the whole loaf!

    Next time, with that extra cup of yeast/water that I didn’t use, I would just double the flour and make an extra loaf! One of the main things I love about cooking/baking is the experimenting and learning!

    Thanks for the recipe!

    • Carrie Pacini November 15, 2015 at 9:17 am

      Hi Joe, so glad you stuck with it :) the water and flour combination is always unique to where you are and how the weather is. It changes for me too on a seasonal basis.

  130. Xander December 9, 2015 at 2:13 pm

    I’ve been looking for a good bread recipe that I could make frequently and this is it. It’s very forgiving and easy. I only did one rise and it was a great loaf. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!

    • Carrie Pacini December 14, 2015 at 10:59 am

      Hi Xander! Your Welcome glad you like it.

  131. Dave P. January 7, 2016 at 4:01 pm

    Hi, This is something that all cooks working with active dry yeast should be aware of. When you mix your yeast in warm water (100-105 degrees) it will become creamy when dissolved. Yeast (a live culture) needs to be fed and yeast eats sugar. Add your sugar to yeast, stir to dissolve sugar,let stand for 2-3 min and it will become frothy,foamy and bubbly as the yeast eats it. Mix all your other ingredients to dough, half way through your mixing then add the yeast/sugar/water mix, this way your yeast does not come into direct contact with the salt. Straight salt kills yeast, salt needs to be already incorporated into the dough. Now finish your dough mix. This will give you a great rise everytime. Enjoy. : )

    • Carrie Pacini January 18, 2016 at 2:12 pm

      Thanks Dave!

  132. Dave P. January 7, 2016 at 4:12 pm

    Hi again, Your bread it Great! I just wanted to add something that I didn’t in my other comment. Your technique no.2 is spot on!, everyone should use that one, it’s foolproof. ty for a great bread. : )

  133. Sheri Meyer January 26, 2016 at 7:42 pm

    I just made this bread and it is absolutely delicious! I will definitely be making this again and again. I agree with Dave P. on technique #2; it was foolproof. Its the first time I’ve heard of that method, but what a difference it makes in the vitality of the yeast. Thank you for sharing this recipe, Carrie!

    • Carrie Pacini February 3, 2016 at 7:12 pm

      Hi Sheri, I am so glad you like it!

  134. Elizabeth J. February 5, 2016 at 4:39 pm

    My bread turned out great! At first I was scared because the yeast didn’t get really froth/thick but in the end it all worked out perfectly. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Elizabeth J. February 5, 2016 at 4:41 pm

      I used method #1 which for me was kind of complicated but the results are definitely worth it! I would recommend this recipe to anyone.

      • Carrie Pacini February 11, 2016 at 8:23 am

        Thanks Elizabeth!

    • Carrie Pacini February 11, 2016 at 8:23 am

      Your Welcome! Glad it worked out!

  135. Vidya February 6, 2016 at 3:23 am

    Hi, I just made this bread using whole wheat flour and it turned out delicious. I made the dough in the bread machine and then left the dough to rise again on the pan. Thank you so much for the recipe.

    • Carrie Pacini February 11, 2016 at 8:22 am

      Hi Vidya, so glad you liked it!

  136. Gloria Liuzzo February 8, 2016 at 6:36 pm

    Thank you a recipe using the Tipo OO flour. Your site was the only one that has a bread recipe using this amazing flour. Why do you think there aren’t any others? I see pizza dough recipes, but nothing else.

    Anyway, it’s in my microwave on its first rise, got this tip from another baker. The microwave keeps it free from drafts on a cold winter night, like tonight (here in PA).

    It is rising kinda flat, but I’m going to wait another 20 minutes. I did everything like you said. Yeast was creamy so it wasn’t that, maybe it was the amount of sugar.

    I can’t wait to taste it. If you have anymore recipes using the Tipo OO flour, could you please share. Or, do you know of any sites or books using this flour. I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you…

    • Carrie Pacini February 11, 2016 at 8:22 am

      Hi Gloria, I love the microwave tip! Let me know how it turned out. If I come across anymore recipes with Tipo 00 I will let you know. I do use Tipo 00 for my Italian Cream Cake as well.

  137. Sarah Aaron February 11, 2016 at 5:17 pm

    Carrie, can I use Whole wheat flour for the Rustic Italian bread?

    • Carrie Pacini February 13, 2016 at 10:03 am

      Hi Sarah, A few people have used whole wheat flour with success. I’ve also blended whole wheat four with white flour and had good results too.

  138. Anna February 14, 2016 at 2:55 pm

    Love this recipe- Made several times already!!!!!!!! :) SO happy!!!!

    • Carrie Pacini March 6, 2016 at 9:43 am

      Thanks for your feedback Anna!

  139. C.F. Todd February 14, 2016 at 8:49 pm

    I made this bread. It was my first time making an actual bread loaf. I always thought I needed specialized tools… although thinking about it now seems silly because way back in the day they didn’t have all that stuff! So this recipe t was so much easier than making pita bread. This is now going to be my go to recipe!!! The bread was soft and delicious. The whole family loved it. Here’s a picture of my bread. https://www.instagram.com/p/BBq7UluyYF5/?taken-by=cftodd

    • Carrie Pacini March 6, 2016 at 9:45 am

      The picture looks perfect! So glad you liked the recipe.

  140. Celine February 16, 2016 at 9:31 pm

    Hi Carrie,

    I’ve never baked anything before but used your recipe with all purpose flour and it turned out amazing!!!

    My second attempt was with oatmeal flour and it was a fail. The dough just didn’t rise like it did with the all purpose. Any tips on how to work with oatmeal flour? Less flour? More yeast?

    • Carrie Pacini March 6, 2016 at 9:48 am

      Hi Celine, So glad the bread turned out! If you would like to try the recipe with Oat Flour I would try reducing the all-purpose or Tipo 00 flour by 25 percent and replacing it with an equal amount of oat flour so it’s more of a blend.

  141. Jennifer February 22, 2016 at 10:45 am

    I made this bread last night for a dinner party and it turned out very well. I’m happy to have the recipe! One issue I had though was that the sesame seeds didn’t stick to the bread, and the olive oil seemed to make the crust a bit soft. Flavor was delicious though. Thoughts on getting the seeds to stick? Should I use an egg wash instead? Thanks!

    • Carrie Pacini March 6, 2016 at 9:51 am

      Hi Jennifer, I would use less olive oil to coat the bread. So whatever amount you used cut that in half, the seeds should stick better with this amount as well. Also if you want to do an Egg Wash that would work TOO. I’ve done it both ways depending on my mood. I say experiment and see what you like best. clp

  142. Tanya February 26, 2016 at 8:41 pm

    Absolutely delicious! I have been making bread for thirty years. This is a wonderful recipe. Thank you!

    • Carrie Pacini March 6, 2016 at 9:54 am

      Thanks Tanya!

  143. Isabel March 2, 2016 at 4:00 pm

    This bread is great!!!!!!!! I am going to have to make it everyday. Thanks for the recipe.

    • Carrie Pacini March 6, 2016 at 9:54 am

      Thanks Isabel!

  144. Lisa Schreiber March 19, 2016 at 7:35 am

    Hi Carrie! Just following up to say since discovering this bread recipe a year and a half ago, I’ve made at least two dozen loaves! Always a hit, much requested from friends and family! Another loaf rising now for a St. Paddy’s Day work party! Your wonderful recipe has become my signature bread! Thank you again for sharing it, making it possible for anyone to create a delicious loaf!

    • Carrie Pacini March 21, 2016 at 6:11 pm

      Thanks Lisa for following up and letting me know! I am so happy that you have this recipe and have shared it with your family and friends!

  145. Kyle March 30, 2016 at 10:09 pm

    I’m only used to making cinnamon rolls and the dough I use for those is very dry (not really sticky at all). By comparison, this dough seems super sticky. Is that normal? I’m letting it rise now but I’m kind of curious about the difference in the dough consistency.

    • Carrie Pacini May 14, 2016 at 1:56 pm

      Hi Kyle, Yes this dough can be sticky but it shouldn’t be wet. I would add less water next time. The climate you are in and the day that you decided to bake has so much to do with it. There are some days were I use 1.5 cups of water and other days I use the entire 2 cups. You want the dough to be elastic but not overly wet. Next time you make it try 1.5 cups of water.

  146. Robin April 19, 2016 at 7:11 pm

    Hi,
    I have my loaf in the oven right now but have a question about the process for the next time I try this. I let it rise two times and for the second time, I had it rising on the parchment paper. It became really flat, almost like focaccia dough. (I did add extra flour initially since it was so wet). After the 2nd rise I bundled it together gently and tried to shape it into a loaf-ish form then threw it in the oven. So my question is, does yours get flat or did I likely do something wrong? And when you do your second rise, do you shape it after that or just before the 2nd rise? Thanks for your suggestions!

    • Carrie Pacini May 14, 2016 at 1:51 pm

      Hi Robin, I do shape it in a ball each time to let it rise. Oil the parchment paper next time and handle the dough very gently. clp

  147. Jodi Devores April 23, 2016 at 7:51 pm

    I am giving your bread recipe a try tomorrow. Just wondering . . . many recipes suggest misting the loaves before and during baking. Any thoughts?

    • Carrie Pacini May 14, 2016 at 1:49 pm

      Hi Jodi, It depends on how dry the climate is where you are. If it’s really dry then I would mist it. Thanks, Carrie

  148. Shweta May 4, 2016 at 12:18 am

    Hi Carrie, thank you so much for the details. I am dying to try this out now. Had one request though. Please can you click some intermediate photos for some steps. Like step 2 and 4. I am very very new to baking and so really want it to work.

    • Carrie Pacini May 14, 2016 at 1:45 pm

      Hi Shweta, I hope you get a chance to try the recipe. I don’t have pictures to share at the moment but next time I will grab a few to post. clp

  149. Melanie May 16, 2016 at 3:03 pm

    I just made a version of this bread, subbing 1/3 cup of the flour with amaranth, and 1/3 cup teff flour. DELISH!!!

    Wow, I’m super impressed. We used the Caputo tipo 00 bread flour for the rest of the flour blend and topped it with garlic powder, onion powder, sesame and poppy seeds. Next time I’ll egg wash it before doing that.

    Wow, thank you!

    • Carrie Pacini May 24, 2016 at 12:27 pm

      Thanks Melanie! It sounds delightful :)

  150. Karen Grier May 22, 2016 at 10:28 pm

    What about a rustic bread recipe for high altitude made in my BREAD MAKER. Only as far as the dough mode?????

    • Carrie Pacini May 24, 2016 at 12:17 pm

      Hi Karen, you could try it with all of the needed conversions when baking in high altitude. I’ve never used this recipe in a bread machine so I have no experience with that. My thought is to try it and see what happens!

  151. Debra Kraus May 24, 2016 at 10:31 am

    Hi Carrie. I have made this bread quite a bit (my granddaughter calls it Grammy bread) and it is always delicious.

    I was wondering if you ever made it using a poolish or biga. I am currently working my way through the Tartine and FWSY bread books and selling breads at a local farmers market this summer. This loaf is always first to go so it really is fine I just wondered if the poolish or biga would add another depth of flavor.

    Deb

    • Carrie Pacini May 24, 2016 at 12:33 pm

      Hi Debra, I’ve never used poolish or biga for this bread recipe. But I imagine it would add a layer of depth to it. This bread has been kept simple for generations so you could easily bake a loaf the day of for a meal, which is extremely appealing to me. How exciting that you are at a Farmers market this summer!

  152. Lindsay Hill July 19, 2016 at 2:00 pm

    Thank you! I just made this recipe with my 2 1/2 year-old daughter and the 2 1/2 year-old boy I nanny for. We made a morning of it! The kids loved smelling the yeast as it bloomed and kneading and punching down the dough! And they were thrilled to see how big it got after rising both times. We even made homemade butter to go with it, and had warm homemade bread and butter with lunch! They immediately asked for more, and my boss loved it as well. Thank you so much for this easy, FUN recipe. We will for sure be making it again!

  153. Nancy W. August 5, 2016 at 8:13 pm

    Thank you for this recipe! I just found this site and made the bread and it is amazing! The entire house smells incredible.

    The first rise took 45 minutes, then I formed it into two loaves (I doubled the recipe), then I brushed with olive oil, sprinkled with sea salt flakes, and let rise another 30 minutes. Baked 35 minutes and came out perfect.

    This will be my new recipe to use, so easy and the crust is crisp without being hard and crunchy, the inside is moist and springy. I’ll be making paninis with it tomorrow for lunch.

    Thanks again!

    • Carrie Pacini August 27, 2016 at 9:38 am

      So glad you like it Nancy!

  154. Stephanie August 20, 2016 at 7:20 am

    Hi Carrie!
    Fabulous and easy bread recipe, thank you! I never made home-made bread before and you have turned me into a bread making maniac. I’ve been trying new alternatives with different spices, such as rosemary and olive oil which also worked well. Recently I tried to re-create a rustic chocolate bread that I get from a bakery where I grew up. Its out of this world. I altered your recipe by replacing 1 cup of flour with 1 cup of powdered sugar and used 1 tbsp of sugar and then added chunks of hershey chocolate bar. The dough would not rise nearly as fast or as high as the simple recipe. I know the sugar, and probably the chocolate, alters the rise process. So after letting it rise 2x for 24 hours, I baked it, and although the taste was awesome, I wish the consistency was a tad less dense. I should also mention that I used a hand mixer to knead the dough vs. my hands. Was wondering if you have any suggestions to get a better rise or less dense version?

    • Carrie Pacini August 27, 2016 at 9:36 am

      Hi Stephanie, I actually have a dough that works better with chocolate, it’s going to be in a collection of bread stories that I will be publishing soon!

      • Stephanie September 13, 2016 at 5:58 am

        I look forward to it! Thanks for the heads up. I also want to let you know that I did attempt the dough again, but, this time I did not use my countertop electric mixer and did it all by hand as you suggest. This worked perfectly and the dough rose just as it did in your original recipe. I also used the full 3 cups of flour and then ‘added’ 1 cup of confectioners. Along with some other slight modifications, this one was a hit.

  155. Kevin September 25, 2016 at 11:10 am

    Hello all! My young grandons and I made our 1st amazing Margarita pizzas from scratch yesterday using simple Napoletana recipe and Caputo Tippo 00 bakers flour, SAF yeast, Mediterranean fine sea salt and 62% hydration with filtered water. I purchased an Old Stone Oven pizza stone, tried it on a wood grill at 700F. Pizza dough was fermented in fridge 3 days, once warmed to room temp and formed, it immediately turned to blackened toast on pizza stone. Yesterday we used the other batch on same stone @550 in electric oven, turned out anazing! Now we want to use the Caputo Tippo for your Tuscan bread recipe and bake in oven. Do yall have any tips which might differ from your recipe and cooking on a hot stone? I also have Semolina, and Caputo 00 for pasta and Gnocchi. Thank you.

    • Carrie Pacini December 28, 2016 at 11:08 am

      Hi Kevin, I would do everything the same but would watch the time as it might bake quicker. Let me know how it turned out.

  156. Anne September 27, 2016 at 7:24 pm

    Just wanted to say – after pretty much…TWO YEARS finding this recipe that I LOVE IT! I’ve made it many times and it always disappears within hours. I, also was afraid to make bread…thinking I’d have to shell out for something fancy. But I do love to knead the dough. I’m thinking of using this as pizza dough soon. Thanks so much for sharing this!

    • Carrie Pacini December 28, 2016 at 11:05 am

      Hi Anne! Thanks for writing and letting me know – I am hoping to share more recipes in 2017!

  157. Jill November 15, 2016 at 6:44 am

    Hi Carrie,
    Quick question: You do not let the dough rise after it is shaped into loaves?

    • Carrie Pacini November 17, 2016 at 2:31 pm

      Hi Jill, Sometimes I do it all depends on how much time I have.

  158. Learning how to bread December 10, 2016 at 2:42 pm

    One thing I will be doing different next time is letting the final rise be while on the pan instead of the bowl.When you turn it out on the pan it needs to rise or it will deflate. :(

  159. Bre January 1, 2017 at 11:30 pm

    Have you made this recipe into hard rolls and if so do you have Any suggestions?

    • Carrie Pacini January 2, 2017 at 3:34 pm

      Hi Bre, I’ve only made this into a loaf.

  160. Kate January 2, 2017 at 8:20 pm

    I took this out of the oven an hour ago and I’m trying so hard to not devour it all! It’s delicious.
    I had to add a little flour after I put only 1 1/2 cups of water in the flour mixture because it was surprisingly moist and sticky and left the rest out. On a cold, rainy day in New York, my house was very cold and there apparently wasn’t nearly enough humidity to let the dough rise. I preheated the oven to 150, turned it off, and put the bowl of dough in the oven (with the towel still on) for 30 minutes. It rose beautifully. Then, I threw the dough in my french bread pan. Wonderful recipe! I’ll definitely be making it again.

    • Carrie Pacini January 4, 2017 at 9:57 am

      Thanks Kate!

  161. Brian Johnson January 3, 2017 at 4:48 pm

    The best!
    I am new to baking, and I’m a retired steel worker. Your recipe is the first loaf I made. I am a few loafs in and I must say your recipe is really great. I have tried a couple other recipes but came back to this one. I have tweaked it slightly. I add my 2 tsps of sugar to the yeast. It comes out quite well.
    Instead of oiling my loaves I spray them down 3 times in the first 15
    Minutes. And am baking 30 minutes@ 400 degrees. Thank you very much!

    • Carrie Pacini January 4, 2017 at 9:59 am

      Your Welcome Brian! Glad you like the recipe :) Best, Carrie

  162. Francoise January 11, 2017 at 2:04 pm

    This is, hands down, the best bread recipe ever. Each loaf is gobbled up within a few hours of coming out of the oven. I love that my 13 year old daughter can bake delicious bread! Thank you for sharing this recipe! It brings lots of happiness, warm fuzzies and joy to our home.

  163. Jack January 13, 2017 at 1:18 pm

    I made my first attempt at this today. The dough seemed dry, so I used the entire 2 cups of warm water. The dough was sticky, but not ‘smooth.’ As it started to rise, there were cracks everywhere. I assume the dough was too dry?

    • Carrie Pacini January 15, 2017 at 2:59 pm

      Hi Jack, How did it bake? Did it turn out?

  164. Whitney January 18, 2017 at 7:37 pm

    This was a great recipe, I made it with my daughter 2 1/2 years old, she had a blast mixing the dry ingredients and handling the dough a bit. It turned out amazing! Thanks for the recipe.

    • Carrie Pacini January 18, 2017 at 7:38 pm

      That’s Great! I love it!

  165. Becky January 29, 2017 at 2:55 pm

    Since I found your recepe I bake bread every week. Why buy bread when this is so easy. I have to say, out of the recepe I can get 2 loafs of bread. I use the loaf pans, lightly sprayed pans. Then half in each pan, cover lightly with a flour cloth set in oven and wait for the second rise.( I warm the oven to 200 f. Turn oven off.) It takes mine about 30 to 40 mins. To bake gently set them on the top of the stove till oven reaches temp. Back in the oven and bake away! 30 mins.. yum hint, I also made cinnamon rolls out of this recepe too. Yum again..

  166. Becky January 29, 2017 at 2:57 pm

    Best recepe ever! Can’t get any easier.. thank you for sharing your family recepe..

    • Carrie Pacini January 30, 2017 at 12:06 pm

      Your Welcome!

  167. Erika January 29, 2017 at 8:21 pm

    Thank you so much for this recipe!! I have made this bread in different variations at least 5 times in the past year and have loved it every time! Thanks so much :)

    • Carrie Pacini January 30, 2017 at 12:06 pm

      Your Welcome!

  168. Roy January 30, 2017 at 5:00 pm

    I LOVE BREAD !
    Unfortunately I can no longer eat grain. :(
    So, I’m wondering about substituting coconut flour for regular flour. :)
    Think it will work ?
    If so, how much coconut flour would I use instead?
    I know that coconut flour absorbs much more liquid than regular flour.

    • Carrie Pacini January 30, 2017 at 5:06 pm

      Hi Roy, I haven’t worked with coconut flour. I would research it a bit and then experiment with it and see how it goes.

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