Easy crusty bread

The most delicious crusty bread recipe I have tried. It is easy to make and requires very little effort and delivers a perfectly delicious loaf every time.

Easy crusty bread

Ingredients Needed

  • Warm water. The water needs to be warm enough so that when you put your finger in it, it feels like nothing (this is called blood temperature). Take care not to use water that is too hot as this will kill the yeast.
  • Instant yeast. 
  • Sugar. 
  • Flour. I’ve used bread flour, cake/all-purpose flour and 00-flour for this recipe. Pretty much any white flour will work. Very strong bread flours (flour with a high protein percentage) might just need a little more rising time.
  • Salt. 
Bread dough

Tips for making the best crusty bread

  1. Using a stand mixer with a dough hook definitely simplifies this recipe even more but it can totally be made by hand. Simply combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix to combine.
  2. Giving the bread dough a good 90 minutes to rise allows a good amount of flavor to develop. You can leave the dough in the fridge overnight for slow fermentation to happen too.
  3. Preheating the Dutch oven (casserole pot/pot with a lid) in the oven is perhaps the most important step in this recipe. The screaming hot pot is 100% the reason the crust is so shatteringly crisp.
  4. Even though a loaf of bread straight from the oven is one of the most glorious things in the world, resist temptation and allow the bread to cool to room temperature before slicing. Cutting into the loaf too quickly can cause the inside to be gummy. Allow the bread to cool completely for the fluffiest, softest interior just begging for a thick layer of butter and flaky sea salt.
Easy crusty bread made with 5 ingredients.

Making ahead and freezing

  1. Make ahead: This dough can be made up to 4 days ahead and kept in an airtight container in the fridge. Allow to come to room temperature before baking as instructed.
  2. Freezing: The kneaded dough can be frozen in freezer bags for up to 4 months. Thaw in a bowl covered with a damp tea towel and allow to rise before baking as directed. Baked bread can be wrapped and frozen for up to 3 months. To reheat, bake from frozen for 30 minutes or until the bread is hot throughout and crusty.

What to serve with crusty bread

This homemade bread recipe is perfect served with soup recipes, stews or used in sandwiches. It’s fantastic served in thick slices slathered in salted butter.

  1. Easy healthy chicken broccoli soup
  2. Instant Pot Irish beef stew
  3. The ultimate BLT sandwich
An easy recipe for crusty bread.

Bread recipes

  1. Easy soft and fluffy bread rolls
  2. Easy white bread
  3. Focaccia bread
  4. Cheese and herb Irish soda bread
  5. Brioche loaf
Easy crusty bread with butter.
Easy crusty bread

Easy crusty bread

The most delicious bread recipe I have tried. It is easy to make and requires very little effort and delivers a crusty, delicious loaf every time.
4.55 from 62 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Bread
Cuisine: Baking
Keyword: bread, Crusty bread, Crusty bread recipe
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Proofing time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 25 minutes
Calories: 186kcal
Author: Alida Ryder
Servings: 8


  • Dutch Oven / Oven-safe pot with lid


  • cups warm water (When you put your finger in the water, it should feel like nothing. This is called blood temperature. 98.6°F or 37°C)
  • 10 g (2tsp) instant yeast
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 3 cups flour (+1 cup for dusting)
  • 1 tsp salt


  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the water, sugar and yeast. Allow to stand for 5 minutes until foamy.
  • Add the flour and salt then knead with the dough hook for 5 minutes.
  • The dough will be slightly sticky but shouldn't be wet. If it is, add 1-2 tbsp flour and knead in.
  • Bring the dough together into a ball with your hand. Dust over 1-2 tbsp flour (you want it to be well covered).
  • Cover the bowl with a damp tea towel and allow the dough to rise for 1 hour until doubled in size. Leaving the dough in a warm spot will aid the rising.
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Place a pot (dutch oven) with a lid into the oven to preheat.
  • When the dough has proved, turn it out onto a floured surface. Fold the edges into the center of the dough then place into a floured bowl, seam side down. Dust over more flour.
  • Cover with the tea towel and allow to rise for another 30 minutes.
  • Carefully remove the pot from the oven and remove the lid. Transfer the dough to the pot and cover with the lid.
  • Place in the oven and allow to bake for 30 minutes.
  • Remove the lid and bake for another 10-15 minutes until the bread is golden brown.
  • Remove the bread from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for 20-30 minutes (or until it has cooled to room temperature) before slicing and serving.



Calories: 186kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 293mg | Potassium: 12mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 1g | Iron: 2mg

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  1. Very easy recipe, and tastes delicious! mine didn’t brown so i ended up turning my oven up to 400 and baking for another 10 minutes uncovered. will be using this recipe over and over again!

  2. Like another commenter, I followed the recipe exactly and it didn’t brown. Any suggestions? Perhaps remove the lid sooner? Thanks!

  3. Mine is in the oven now. I had to add an extra cup of flour as the dough was pretty liquid. I also used regular yeast. I sure hope this turns out as I’m taking it to a dinner party tomorrow…

  4. Made this today and wow it was amazing. My adult sons and my daughter in law’s came over and we ate it up with lunch. My first attempt and I was so thrilled that it turned out so good. Now would love to make some savoury loaves next. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Hi Ali, I’m in Sydney – Australia and IN “lockdown” so to amuse myself and keep warm this time of the year thought I’d do some baking. Came across your site just yesterday and have already copied out a few of your gorgeous creations in readiness. I’m wondering with this bread can I add some dried garlic granules and dried rosemary and if so, when would I add it in? Would it be right to add it in with the salt before mixing?
    Thoroughly enjoying reading (so far) all the fabulous recipes on your site, will definitely keep a watch out. 🙂

    1. Hi Josephine. We’re in lockdown too so I know what you’re going through 😉 You can absolutely add flavourings to this bread. Add it with the salt and allow to knead into the dough.

      Thanks so much for your lovely comment and happy baking!


  7. Great recipe, my family love this bread. Thank you for sharing. Definitely my ‘go to ‘ recipe from now on ??

  8. Hi Alida, I tried your recipe my god, it was absolutely beautiful gorgeous and delicious. How do I make this bread into sour dough bread got family and friends begging me to make sour dough bread. Thankyou vicki