Easiest Rustic Bread Recipe EVER | Simple & Delicious! - Shelf Cooking (2024)

No knead, no loaf pan, no Dutch oven, no problem! Our rustic bread recipe is so simple, using only 5 ingredients that you likely have stashed in your cupboards. In just a few hours, you'll have the most delicious bread that has an amazingly crispy crust and is pillow-soft inside!

Easiest Rustic Bread Recipe EVER | Simple & Delicious! - Shelf Cooking (1)

There's nothing better than homemade bread, fresh out of the oven. It's perfect for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacktime, or any time of the day, really! But one of our favorite things about it? It's one of the best ways to stretch a meal and get those bellies full!

Don't forget, I have an entire digital recipe ebook with all of my favorite bread recipes! Grab your copy of Our Favorite Bread Recipes Ebook here!

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This is my most viral recipe for the last few years! You simply can't go wrong with our rustic bread; it goes well with anything. Even non-bakers can have this turn out perfectly delicious every time! We love that you don't need any fancy gadgets for it, although a stand mixer does keep you from working up a sweat 😉 So what are we waiting for? Let's get on to…

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We could make this every week and never get tired of it… Shoot, we could make it every day and never get tired of it! You won't be disappointed, we promise. Plus, it's a great shelf cooking recipe because all of these ingredients are kitchen staples!

Here are some tips for preventing a heavy, or overly doughy, loaf:

  • Weigh out your flour using a food scale! This will keep you from using too much or too little. If you don't have a food scale, fluff the flour and use a spoon to add flour to the measuring cup versus scooping it out in the measuring cup.
  • Start by using two cups of water and slowly add in the third until your batter is the correct consistency.
  • Dough should be slightly sticky to the touch, but not so that much comes off on your hands. If it’s too sticky to handle, add ¼ cup more flour at a time.
  • You can bake your bread in a dutch oven, if needed. It should take about 50 minutes to an hour to bake completely.
  • You can also bake your bread in loaf pans, but the outside won’t get crispy. The normal cook time should be enough.
  • If your crust is getting too brown, you can tent foil over it so the outside won’t keep cooking.
  • Use a thermometer to check the inside. It should read at least 190°F before you take it out of the oven.
  • Tap the bottom of the loaf to check for doneness. If it sounds hollow, it's perfect.
  • If the bread is hard, lower the oven temperature by 25°F and cook for 5-10 minutes longer.
  • Don't cut the bread for at least an hour, as the crumb is still forming. This will keep it from deflating!

We've made this so. many. times. and it has turned out so delicious every time. It's so dang good!


If you manage to have any bread left over (and that's a big if!), store the sliced bread in an airtight bread bag or zipper bag at room temperature. If it's a full loaf, store it in a brown paper bag to keep the crust from going soft. If it's half a loaf, place the open side face-down on a cutting board.

Rustic bread usually only lasts for a few days before it starts going stale. At that point, you can repurpose it for something else, if that's your thang. (Those ideas are comin' atcha below!)

Rustic bread also freezes really well! Wrap your whole loaf in plastic wrap and aluminum foil to help prevent freezer burn. When you're ready to thaw, just leave it wrapped up on the counter for a few hours and it'll be good as new. You can also freeze slices of bread, so don't be afraid to throw those in a freezer baggie if you have any leftover as well! They're handy for when you just need a slice or two of bread versus the whole loaf.


Easiest Rustic Bread Recipe EVER | Simple & Delicious! - Shelf Cooking (2)

Alright, here are our favorite ways to eat this rustic bread, both fresh and when it's starting to go stale. Don't even think about wasting it because it's too delicious for that! 😉

  • Alongside Soup – You can never ever ever go wrong with soup and bread!
  • With Pasta – The same goes for pasta dishes! The bread tastes so good sopping that sauce up.
  • Fancy Grilled Cheese – Take your grilled cheese to the next level by using this delicious bread versus plain ‘ol white bread.
  • Cheesy Garlic Bread – Talk about elevating a recipe! Rustic bread is the perfect way to make this delicious snack/meal/appetizer/just because.
  • French Toast – Don't sweat it if your bread is starting to go stale! Our French toast recipe is the perfect way to revive it.
  • Cinnamon Toast – Bread + butter + cinnamon sugar topping = Heaven. Seriously, all it takes is popping it in the oven for 5-10 minutes until everything gets warm and gooey and you'll be on your way to paradise!
  • Make into Croutons – Cut stale bread into uniform chunks and toss with olive oil or butter and seasonings (garlic powder is a must!). Bake in the oven at 375°F for about 15 minutes or until golden brown, stirring once.
  • Turn into Bread Crumbs – It's so easy to make your own bread crumbs!

Pro Tip: Plan your meals around when you're making your bread. This will help you use it up before it goes stale! You'll know when to make it fresh to accompany your favorite meals, then turn it into something else before it goes bad.


Alright, it's the moment you've been waiting for! 😉

Easiest Rustic Bread Recipe EVER | Simple & Delicious! - Shelf Cooking (3)

Rustic Bread Recipe

A warm, crusty rustic bread goes with just about any meal and it's so simple to make! Throw it together, let it rise, and you'll have a yummy bread that's ready for dinner in just a few hours' time. No bread pan needed!

4.42 from 67 votes

Print Recipe Pin Recipe

Prep Time 1 hour hr 30 minutes mins

Cook Time 30 minutes mins

Total Time 2 hours hrs

Course Side Dish

Cuisine American

Servings 2 loaves


  • 3 cups warm water
  • 2 ¼ tsp (1 pkg) active dry yeast
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 6 cups (750 g) flour
  • 3 tsp salt


  • Mix water, yeast, and sugar in a large mixing bowl or stand mixer. Let sit for about 10 minutes until bubbly.

  • Add flour and salt. Mix until combined into a soft dough. (The dough should be slightly sticky to the touch, but not so that much comes off on your hands. If it’s too sticky to handle, add ¼ cup flour at a time.)

  • Cover loosely with plastic wrap and kitchen towel. Let rise for 1-3 hours, if possible! I’ve run out of time before and let it rise for only 30-60 mins and it still works, but the longer, the better!

  • Preheat oven to 450°F and put a pizza stone or flipped-over cookie sheet in the oven to heat up.

  • Fill a baking dish with 2 inches of water and place on the bottom rack to create steam for an extra crispy crust.

  • Sprinkle flour on the counter, turn out the dough, fold on itself, divide in half and form it into 2 balls. Don’t knead or handle it more than you need to. Add a little flour if it’s too sticky.

  • Cut an X shape on the top of the balls with a sharp knife.

  • Place on a lightly floured pan, then place on top of the hot pizza stone or cookie sheet.

  • Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.


*You can bake it right on the hot cookie sheet and it’ll be just fine. Just be careful handling the hot pan while putting your dough on it and in the oven!

Keyword crusty, easy, no-knead

Sounds so good, right? It's such an easy recipe and the bread comes out perfect every time!

Alright, well there you have it! Don't be surprised if our rustic bread becomes the new most-requested recipe by your family and friends… There's just something about homemade bread that brings you all together. Give it a try and let us know how you like it!

Easiest Rustic Bread Recipe EVER | Simple & Delicious! - Shelf Cooking (4)

Looking for more shelf cooking inspiration?

  • We can't get enough of these mini German pancakes!
  • Tired of the same old baked chicken every week? Try out these different recipes to help keep things fresh!
  • Love your leftovers by repurposing them into something new!

Happy baking!

Easiest Rustic Bread Recipe EVER | Simple & Delicious! - Shelf Cooking (2024)


What is the most shelf stable bread? ›

Aside from the very dry flatbreads like hardtack or matzo or other crackers, sourdough breads, especially rye, last a long time. The organic acids in sourdough (acetic and lactic) really inhibit the growth of microorganisms.

What type of bread is considered rustic? ›

What is rustic bread? Rustic bread is roughly shaped and not baked in a loaf pan. It is usually made of only yeast, flour, salt, and water. It has an “imperfect” look.

What is the difference between rustic bread and sandwich bread? ›

Of the recipes I've tried, sandwich bread has sweetener and is handled less gently to create a tighter crumb, and the crust ought to be soft (though I haven't figured out what all makes that happen yet). Rustic bread generally has no sweetener and the aim is for big holes and crisp or chewy crumb.

How do you make bread airy and not dense? ›

Add Sugar

Adding sugar weakens the gluten structure, absorbs water, and eventually makes the bread lighter and softer. As a result, sugar improves the bread's taste, structure and texture. Yeast also eats up sugar to produce carbon dioxide, which raises the dough and makes bread fluffy.

What ingredient increases the shelf life of bread? ›

Ascorbic acid: Also known as Vitamin C, this preservative is added to bread dough to improve dough strength and increase the shelf life of the bread.

What is hillbilly bread? ›

Description. A soft bread for those who like the smooth texture of a white bread and the health benefits of multigrain, Hillbilly Bread is the best of both worlds. This multigrain bread has 1.5 grams of whole grains in two slices! Make healthier sandwiches that your kids will love to eat, and you'll love to serve.

What is the difference between artisan and rustic bread? ›

Although a little vague like artisan bread, the general consensus is that rustic bread is not shaped with a pan and it is only made with simple ingredients such as just flour, water, salt, and yeast (or starter). Rustic bread is usually baked at a higher temperature which results in a thicker crust.

What is a farmhouse bread? ›

(ˈfɑːmˌhaʊs ləʊf ) or farmhouse. noun. British. a large white loaf, baked in a tin, with slightly curved sides and top. Organic bread is available as either traditional farmhouse tin loaf or white batch loaf.

Why is my rustic bread so dense? ›

A “tight crumb” aka small holes in the interior of your bread can be the result of different factors: under-fermenting, over-fermenting, and a lack of gluten development. The most confounding part of sourdough bread baking is that the rise times of recipes are just a suggestion or range.

Why is it called cowboy bread? ›

Pan de Campo is also called Cowboy bread and is a sort of flat bread. The bread was eaten by Cowboys who worked the ranches in early Texas. The cowboys prepared it in small portable ovens which gave it its distinct texture and flavor.

How do bakeries get their bread so soft? ›

There's something magical about the bread you get at your local bakeries - they're always sooo soft and fluffy. Many of these breads, especially packaged ones, are made with a ton of chemical additives such as calcium propionate, amylase, and chlorine dioxide which help keep them soft, light, and fluffy for days.

What is the secret to a soft and fluffy bread? ›

For soft and fluffy bread, I recommend using bread flour. This type of flour has a higher protein content, which will help your bread rise better and have a lighter texture. If you don't have bread flour on hand, you can also use all-purpose flour, but your bread may not be quite as fluffy.

Does adding more yeast make bread fluffier? ›

Perfect Your Yeast Levels

Carbon dioxide is responsible for all the bubbles that make holes in bread, making it lighter and fluffier. Because gas is created as a result of yeast growth, the more the yeast grows, the more gas in the dough and the more light and airy your bread loaf will be.

Is there a shelf stable bread? ›

Find our new Simply bread in the shelf-stable bread aisle

Fresh until you're ready to enjoy. We don't use preservatives or anything artificial, so please store in the refrigerator upon opening the inner bag. Enjoy within 5 days.

What bread doesn't go stale? ›

According to Migoya, sourdough bread remains perfectly fine even six days after coming out of the oven. Fat also keeps bread from staling too quickly—the fattier the bread, the slower its decay. Breads like focaccia, brioche, or panettone, made with large amounts of oil and butter, tend to have a longer shelf life.

Which bread stays fresh longer? ›

Plain white or wheat bread tends to stay fresh the longest of the three types of bread. It's made with refined flour, which contains less oil and moisture than whole wheat or multigrain bread. White or wheat bread can be stored at room temperature in a breadbox or in a plastic bag.

Which bread has a longer life storage? ›

Dense rye breads and seeded breads also have a longer shelf life.


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