Rustic Bread Recipe with Instant Yeast

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This rustic bread recipe, baked in a cast iron skillet, pairs perfectly with soups & salads for a delicious and easy dinner. Uses instant yeast.

rustic skillet bread recipe baked

When the COVID-19 quarantine happened last spring, America started baking bread. It was something we could do at home, it was comforting, and who doesn’t love fresh baked bread? This resulted in flour shortages, and at one point, yeast was literally impossible to find. I, like so many others, jumped on the band wagon, and started baking. I concentrated mostly on quick breads, but when I could finally get some yeast, I tried my hand at making this rustic skillet bread. It’s very easy, there is no kneading, and it’s incredibly delicious!

rustic bread recipe dough in mixing bowl

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Rustic Bread Recipe Tips

  • Even though this rustic bread recipe is super easy, it does take some time. Believe me, it’s worth it! From start to finish, it takes just under 3 hours. Most of the time involves either rising or baking, so you can definitely be doing other things.
  • You can, of course, use regular yeast. I like the instant yeast because it eliminates the proofing step. (The proofing step is when the regular yeast and warm water are combined. It takes about 10 minutes for the regular yeast to activate.)
  • I used a 12 inch cast iron skillet, but a 10 inch skillet would work. I don’t have a 10 inch skillet, but my guess is that after the second rise, the loaf would be taller, because it has less room to spread out. CLICK HERE FOR MY CAST IRON SKILLET.

rustic bread recipe dough in skillet

  • In regards to the warm water…I did a little research. The package of instant yeast recommends a water temperature range of 120 to 130 degrees F. Google was all over the place, with the suggested temperatures falling anywhere from 105 degrees F to 130 degrees F. Personally, I have never measured the temperature of the water. I turn on the faucet, and wait until it feels very warm…almost to the point where I can’t hold my finger under the water. Although not scientific, this method has always worked for me.
  • The best way to slice this round loaf is to first cut it into quarters. After that, slice each quarter. It’s a large loaf, so this makes it easy to wrap and freeze part of the loaf to enjoy later. 
  • To freeze: wrap the quarters in plastic wrap or press-n-seal. Put the wrapped quarters in a resealable freezer bag. It will keep in the freezer for up to 2 months.
  • If you would like to add a savory touch, chop up some fresh rosemary or thyme. Sprinkle the herbs on top of the loaf before baking, but after the olive oil step. 

round loaf rustic bread

More ideas!

This bread makes the most delicious toast. Make sure to slice it the appropriate width so it fits in your toaster. My favorite way to eat this bread as toast is with a little butter, topped with organic peanut butter. 

Another amazing thing you can do with this rustic bread is make bread pudding. This bread is delicious the day it’s baked, and very good the next day. After that, it tends to harden, especially the crust. This is the perfect time to cut the leftover bread into chunks and make this rustic bread pudding recipe. 

round loaf rustic bread slices

Skillet Bread Recipe

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4.86 from 14 votes
Author: Ann Drake
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Rising time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 55 minutes
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  • 1 package RapidRise Instant Yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons) (I used Fleischmann's)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 cups warm water (Between 120 and 130 degrees F)
  • 4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil


  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, mix together 1 1/2 cups flour, salt, and the package of yeast.
  • While still mixing, slowly pour in the warm water.
  • Mix well. Stop the mixer and scrape the bowl with a spatula.
  • In one cup increments, add the remaining 3 cups flour, mixing well between additions.
  • The dough will come together and release from the paddle attachment.
  • Cover mixing bowl with a towel, and let rise for 1 hour in a warm place. The dough should double in size.
  • After the rising period, scrape the dough out of the bowl on to a floured surface. It's helpful to flour your hands as well.
  • Using as much flour as needed so it doesn't stick, shape the dough into a large disc.
  • Place the disc in a 12 inch cast iron skillet that has been brushed with olive oil.
  • Cover with a towel, and let rise again for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Lightly brush 2 tablespoons of olive oil on the top of the dough.
  • Using a sharp knife, slit the dough in 4 places.
  • Bake for 35 - 40 minutes.
  • Optional: rub the end of a stick of butter on top of loaf immediately after removing from the oven.
Like this recipe?Follow me at @onsuttonplace

round loaf rustic bread slices

Unlike the 4 Ingredient Round Bread I shared here several years ago, this rustic bread recipe can be enjoyed fresh from the oven in just a few hours. If you give it a try, and like it, I invite you back to leave a 5 star review on the recipe. I would really appreciate it!

Until next time…

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4.86 from 14 votes (4 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Best bread I’ve ever made. I don’t have a skillet so I baked in a heated Dutch oven with the lid on and last 5-10minutes lid off and it is amazing!

  2. Charlotte says:

    5 stars
    I don’t usually leave reviews but I had to leave a five star review for this bread. It is so easy to make and is absolutely wonderful. I have made it twice in the last week or so and my husband and son both rave about it. It keeps well in both the refrigerator and the freezer. I am so glad I found the recipe. Will be making it often. Thank you, Ann, for another Winner!

    1. Ann Drake says:

      Hi Charlotte…we love this bread too! Thank you so much, and especially thank you for the rating. I truly appreciate it!

  3. Becky Johns says:

    The older bread sounds perfect for bread salad and soaking in the dressing! Panzanella is a peasant dish probably developed to use up crusty bread left over from lunch ….

  4. Jan Brown says:

    5 stars
    I have made this recipe many times! As one who has always been “afraid of yeast”, this recipe is so easy. I have to alert my kids when I make it because they all come over when it’s hot, right out the oven!

  5. 5 stars
    Has anyone made this bread without a stand mixer, kneading by hand? I’m away for the winter months and I know there won’t be a stand mixer available.
    I’ve made it many, many times but in my stand mixer. It is awesome bread!
    Any information greatly appreciated.
    Thanks so much.

  6. Jan Painter says:

    5 stars
    Hi Ann,
    This bread is so amazing! I really can’t say enough about it. I’m wondering if anyone has tried making this bread by hand without a stand mixer? If so I would love to hear your feedback.

  7. 5 stars
    Waiting for the dough to rise! So far so good! A big plus; I already had all the ingredients in my pantry.

  8. Ann, where in this recipe are you supposed to add the salt?? I’m not a bread maker and I can’t find which step to insert it. thanks
    P.S. all of your recipes are AMAZING!!!

    1. Ann Drake says:

      Hi Debbie…thank you so much for catching that! The salt is added with the first increment of flour and the yeast. I appreciate that you took the time to let me know. Enjoy the bread!

  9. This looks wonderful. I have been making our own whole wheat pizza dough and would love to try this, but I don’t have an iron skillet. Can you recommend another pan ?

    1. Ann Drake says:

      Hi Ann…any kind of heavy skillet or baking pan with high sides would work as long as it’s oven safe. Enjoy the bread!

  10. 5 stars

    The bread recipe was delicious! FYI… in the instructions, you forgot to put when the salt goes in. I started to make the recipe and realized I forgot to put in salt. The bread was still good but I could tell it needed salt.

    1. Ann Drake says:

      I just made the correction. Thank you so much for letting me know!

      1. Jan Brown says:

        5 stars
        Thank you for the reply!

  11. Teresa Snipes says:

    Thank you! I’ve been wanting to try an easy bread recipe and I can’t wait to try your bread pudding recipe! I grew up in Charleston, SC, and became addicted to the bread pudding at the Middleton Place Tea House.

  12. 5 stars
    I gave your recipe a try and it looks wonderful and the house smells divine! Next will be the taste test. Just one issue, in your recipe I didn’t not see when to add the salt, so I guessed.
    This is so easy to make and definitely a keeper!
    Thanks for sharing.

    1. Ann Drake says:

      Thanks for letting me know…I made the correction! I’m glad you guessed…it doesn’t really matter when the salt is added. Glad you enjoyed it!

  13. Mamapeloquin says:

    I don’t have a cast iron pan because they are heavy and I have weak wrists. Could you use a pie plate?

    1. Ann Drake says:

      Yes! A pie plate would be a good substitution. Enjoy the bread!

  14. Hello love your beautiful emails do you have any gluten free recipes?
    With Thanks Linda take care 😊

    1. Ann Drake says:

      Hi Linda…I have a few recipes. The beef stew can be gluten free if you use GF beef stew seasoning. The fall chex mix recipe can be GF if you use GF pretzels and GF candy corn. There may be others, but these are the ones that came to mind. Thank you!

  15. Anyone have any ideas for how to make this gluten free. What is the best flour to use?

    1. Becky Johns says:

      King Arthur cup for cup has worked well for me in gluten free baking.

      1. Becky Johns says:

        King Arthur brand name :“Cup for Cup” gluten free flour

  16. This sounds wonderful. I’ve made several loaves of your Apple/Walnut quick bread; and it’s a winner, too.
    Would you mind sharing the brand of skillet you used and possibly do an article about cooking and baking with cast iron. I’ve been wanting to invest in a good skillet, but the idea of making an expensive purchase and then hoping to season it correctly sort of overwhelms me!

    1. Ann Drake says:

      Hi Mary…here is a link to my cast iron skillet. There are more expensive brands, but I am very happy with the way this one has performed. I wash it by hand, dry it right away, and I lightly coat the inside with olive oil. Other than that, there is no maintenance. I hope this helps!

    2. 5 stars
      FYI…I made this bread this morning without a mixer and it worked perfectly! I kneaded by hand for 8 minutes (very therapeutic, by the way). The initial steps I used a rubber spatula until combined, then added a tiny sprinkle of flour while kneading. Love that I can make this delicious bread even without having access to my stand mixer 👍.