Make Ahead

Magic Crusty Quick Bread

April 12, 2021
0 Ratings
Photo by Olivia Leadbetter
Author Notes

you know those days when all you want to do is bake a perfect loaf of crusty bread and eat it immediately, but all you end up doing is getting overwhelmed by the million and one bread recipes on the internet, many of which require hours or days to make?? Same. I know those days well. I don't have them any more though, because I have developed a killer, fool proof crusty quick bread recipe that can be made in 2-3 hours. It is versatile and can be made across skill levels and with limited cookware. It's magic!

Recipe originally posted on my blog, —Olivia Leadbetter

  • Prep time 2 hours
  • Cook time 45 minutes
  • Serves 4-6
  • 1/2 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 teaspoon sugar or honey
  • 2 cups bread flour
  • 2 tablespoons rye flour (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
In This Recipe
  1. In a small bowl, combine the yeast, sugar, and warm water. Let sit for 5 min.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour and salt.
  3. Add the yeast mixture to the flour mixture and combine with a fork. As the dough comes together, I like to wet my hands in warm water (so they don’t stick to the dough blob) and stretch/ squeeze/ fold the dough around on itself until it is a homogenous sticky smooth blob. Wet your hands as needed to keep them from sticking. This dough can take in the extra water just fine.
  4. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let sit for 15 minutes. Perform a series of stretch and folds (stretching the edges of the dough and folding each one back on itself), and then cover and let sit for another 15 min.
  5. After you have performed three sets of stretch and folds in 15 min increments, let the dough sit covered for an hour (more is fine, encouraged even).
  6. Transfer dough to a floured surface and shape into a loaf. If you are not familiar with bread shaping, there are many video tutorials on youtube. You can also simply transfer the dough into a loaf pan (which is what I always used to do before I learned about shaping the dough to build structure in the loaf).
  7. Let the dough proof, covered, in a floured bowl or basked while heating the oven to 500º (I use a dutch oven which I let come to temp in the regular oven). When you can poke the dough and leave an indent that does not spring back quickly, it is ready for baking. Note: baking a loaf in a covered pan created the steam needed to help your bread rise. If you are NOT using a covered pan (ex. baking your loaf on an open pizza stone), I would HIGHLY recommend brining your oven up to temp with a steam tray in it. Some people simply spray the sides of their oven with water. Whatever you end up doing, be cautious of the hot steam that will exit your oven when you open its doors.
  8. Score the loaf with a pretty design if you want to, and then place in the oven, covered. If you are using a regular loaf pan, a baking sheet works great as a cover. Note: I often place the proofed, scored bread on parchment paper to make it easier to transfer into my dutch oven.
  9. Decrease the baking temp to 450º and bake for 25-30min.
  10. Remove the lid and bake for 10-15 more min or until golden.
  11. Remove loaf from oven, transfer to a cooling rack, and take in the glorious aroma as your bread cools.
  12. Break bread with friends if they are around ❤

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