Pan Rustico, Inspired by Salvador Dalí's "Basket of Bread"

November 9, 2015

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes: This recipe makes three modest loaves of chewy, tender bread. It’s also probably the easiest yeasted dough you'll ever make: no starter, no sugar, barely any waiting around. I’d like to say I didn’t eat all three loaves within two days, but I cannot tell a lie! Using a kitchen scale will make your life much easier, as this recipe involves metric measurements.

Recipe is by Lisa and Tony Sierra.
Rebecca Firkser

Makes: 3 modest loaves


  • 1.25 pounds unbleached white flour
  • .65 ounces dry active yeast
  • 12 ounces water
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 egg white
In This Recipe


  1. Weigh flour, mix in salt, and set aside. Pour dry yeast into a warm ceramic cup. Heat the water in a pan until it is very warm, but not hot. Pour approximately 4 ounces of water into the cup with yeast and stir with a fork until the yeast is completely dissolved.
  2. Pour yeast-water mixture and all but 1/2 cup water into a very large mixing bowl. Add flour to the bowl gradually, continuously mixing with a wooden spoon until all flour is absorbed, adding the remaining water as needed. The dough should have a smooth texture and form a ball.
  3. Using a paper towel, coat the inside of a large bowl with olive oil or vegetable shortening and add the dough. Cover the bowl with a wet dish towel and place in a warm spot in the kitchen. If your kitchen is drafty and cold, allow dough to rise in the covered bowl in a warm oven (approximately 150° F) with the door open. Let rise for 30 minutes.
  4. Cover cutting board with a generous amount of flour to prevent dough from sticking. Turn dough out onto a cutting board. Flour hands and knead with the heels of your hands. When dough has a consistent texture and forms a ball, divide into 3 pieces. Form dough into rounds or oblong shapes. Place on a cookie sheet or baking stone. Allow to rise in a warm place for 10 to 15 minutes. While dough is rising, preheat oven to 375° F (190° C).
  5. Cut slits in the tops of the loaves just before baking. When oven is hot, place bread on center rack and bake for 10 minutes. Remove and brush with beaten egg white. Return to oven and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes. Bread should turn a light golden color.
  6. Remove from oven and allow to cool on a rack for 10 to 15 minutes. When cool enough to touch, slice with a bread knife and serve.

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Reviews (7) Questions (0)

7 Reviews

msmely March 27, 2018
For weight measurements in metric:<br />568 g flour<br />18g active dry yeast<br />336g water<br />2 1/2 tsp I guessed at about 15 g but this of course depends on your salt, same as any recipe, I use only fine salt in bread recipes to avoid salt crystals in the final dough.
Girlfromipanema December 13, 2015
In step 3, I'm assuming you add the dough into the greased bowl, and cover the whole thing with the damp towel?
Author Comment
Rebecca F. December 13, 2015
That is correct!
Cathy November 24, 2015
In this recipe it says .65 ounces of active yeast - seems like that is about 6 1/4 teaspoons, seems like a lot is that correct?
Author Comment
Rebecca F. November 24, 2015
yes, .65 ounces is correct! It seems like a lot, but this recipe does make 3 little loaves of bread.
Chef D. November 12, 2015
I love the photo, very well made
Author Comment
Rebecca F. November 24, 2015
Thanks so much!