Easy Crusty Bread

    1 hour 50 minutes

    To make a nice crusty bread, bake bread in the afternoon and pop into oven again for 5 minutes before meal. You'll be surprised how much better it is if you reheat it that last 5 minutes.

    106 people made this

    Serves: 12 

    • 3 cups (375g) unbleached plain flour
    • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
    • 1 1/8 (280ml) cups warm water
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
    • 1 egg
    • 1 tablespoon water
    • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
    • 1 tablespoon polenta

    Preparation:30min  ›  Cook:30min  ›  Extra time:50min rising  ›  Ready in:1hour50min 

    1. Add all ingredients except egg, 1 tablespoon water, sesame seeds and polenta into your bread machine in the order suggested by the manufacturer. Select the dough cycle.
    2. Divide dough into 2 parts and form into loaves. Sprinkle polenta on greased baking tray. Place loaves on tray seam side down. Brush top of loaves with water. Let rise until doubled, about 50 minutes.
    3. Preheat oven to 190 degrees C.
    4. Brush loaves with egg wash. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Make 4 cuts about 5mm deep across top of loaf. Place a pan of hot water in bottom of oven. Bake bread for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden.

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    Reviews in English (92)


    This is a really good bread, but the recipe is VERY vague. For example, it says to shape the dough into loaves, placing the seam side down...what seam? See now, if I didn't know any better, I wouldn't have rolled the dough into a rectangle & then rolled it (like a jelly roll) into a "loaf", making a seam...to put "seamside" down. BUT I just assumed that rolling was the way to go & the bread turned out great. I don't have a bread machine, so I made it using my kitchen aid w/ the dough hook. I also took it out of the oven after 15 minutes & brushed it again with egg white & that also gave it a very nice crust. I liked the addition of brown sugar in this recipe compared to my normal recipe. Thanks for the tip Verla!  -  17 Feb 2003  (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)


    This was an excellent Italian bread recipe, but it's a good thing I checked it after a few minutes of kneading in the machine; it was like batter instead of dough! I ended up adding about 3/4 C. more flour just so it would knead into a ball. It was still rather hard to handle, but I did manage to get it into loaves. Thankfully, the end result was super! I strongly urge that 5 minutes in the oven before serving; it was the finishing touch for a nice, crusty loaf! Will make again.  -  11 Nov 2007  (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)


    THIS BREAD IS AWESOME!!!!!! THE BEST ITALIAN BREAD I HAVE EVER MADE! My family loves this bread. I have made it 3 times already and it has turned out great every time. The only change I have made was that one time I put sesame seeds, one time I put poppy seeds, and once I made it plain. Thanks for this recipe I will be making this bread for a long time.  -  28 Jan 2003  (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)