Peasant bread is typically an easy to assemble, no-knead recipe that is an everyday staple. Instead of being formed into ornate shapes or designs, this rustic style bread is baked in rounds that can be sliced into wedges and served with any meal.
- 2 cups lukewarm water
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 4 cups bread flour
- 1 tablespoon cornmeal
- Melted butter
Gather the ingredients.
In a large bowl, combine the water, yeast, sugar, and salt. Stir until incorporated and dissolved.
Stir in the bread flour.
Choose a large bowl where you will allow the bread to rise. Grease the bowl with a bit of oil. Place the dough in the oiled bowl and then turn it over to also oil the top. This ensures the dough won't dry out while it is rising. Cover the bowl loosely with a thin towel or cloth. Let the dough rise in a warm, draft-free location for 45 minutes or until it has doubled in size.
Ideal rise temperatures are between 80°F and 90°F; higher temperatures may kill the yeast and keep the dough from rising, while lower temperatures will slow the yeast activity which will increase the necessary rise time.
Grease two 8-inch round cake pans and sprinkle each with cornmeal. This will ensure the bread releases easily from the pans as well as offering a nice texture to the bottom of the bread.
Once the dough has risen, lightly coat your hands with flour and divide the dough into 2 parts, gently shaping each into a round loaf but do not knead.
Place each loaf in one of the prepared baking pans. At this point, the dough will not completely fill the pans.
Allow the loaves to rise another 45 minutes until almost doubled. During this time, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Before placing the loaves in the oven, brush the tops with melted butter. Bake at 425 degrees F for 10 minutes. Then, reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees F and bake 20 minutes more.
Remove the loaves from the pans and place on a wire rack. While the loaves are still hot, brush with additional butter.
Serve and enjoy!
- Note this recipe uses bread flour instead of all-purpose flour. It contains more protein which helps with gluten development and results in a perfectly chewy texture and elastic crumb.
- Always check the expiration date and be sure that the yeast you are using is still active. There's nothing worse than attempting to make homemade bread and discovering your yeast is no longer good. Packets of yeast can be stored in the refrigerator for three to four months or in the freezer for years.