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