Crusty bread being sliced on countertop

stand mixer

How to Make Crusty Bread (Easy Recipe)

An oven-fresh loaf of bread warms the soul like few other things in life. A crispy exterior and a soft, chewy interior in homemade bread make it a winner, but artisan breads are becoming more popular as more people spend more time at home and bake for themselves.

The purpose of this guide is to assist you with making the perfect loaf of crusty bread, including tips on creating steam - the key to crusty bread - without or with a dutch oven. Discover a simple crusty bread recipe that can inspire your culinary imagination. With this method, you will look like a true artisan when your next loaf of bread comes out of the oven.


The secret to making delicious crusty bread lies in a few simple ingredients you probably have on hand already - flour, salt, yeast, and water. Some bread recipes might include herbs or other flavorings, a little sugar to keep the inside tender – or if you’re making sourdough – a sourdough starter. A crusty bread, however, usually does not contain eggs, sour cream, butter, cream, or any other ingredients that soften.

Cutting a loaf of crusty bread


Crusty breads contain only a few ingredients, so selecting only the best is important. All-Purpose Flour will work for crusty bread but using Bread Flour can help create a stronger, chewier bread.


The ideal way to create crusty bread is by creating steam in your range or wall oven. As bread bakes, starches on its surface burst and eventually harden, forming a crispy crust. This is accomplished when steam contacts the bread's surface during baking. Without steam, crusty bread may be cooked too quickly, resulting in burnt, dense bread. In this article, we'll look at three popular methods for creating steam in an oven - a Dutch oven, a spray bottle, or a water bath.

Baking bread in a dutch oven

Dutch ovens are heavy, lidded pots made of cast iron. Due to its cast iron construction, it can withstand high temperatures and can be used on a stovetop or in an oven. By having the lid on the pan, you can catch the steam that's created when the moisture from your bread evaporates. Using a dutch oven with a lid, you can recreate the intense radiant heat that's found in professional ovens by preheating the pot before putting the dough in it.

There's no need to worry if you don't have a Dutch oven. A spray bottle can be used to create a steamy bath for your bread. Simply preheat your oven (to compensate for the air that’s lost from repeated openings and closings of the oven door, add 25º to the temperature your bread recipe recommends). Spray the preheated oven with water. Repeat after 30 seconds. When the oven has reached the recommended temperature, open the oven door and place the dough inside. Once more, spray the sides of your oven and bake bread as directed in your bread recipe.

When your oven is pre-heating, you can also add a cast-iron frying pan to the bottom of it to create steam on your crusty bread. Fill the preheated pan with a cup of boiling water and load your dough into the oven; if you have a pizza stone, this is an ideal surface for this method.

When your bread has been baked, you'll want to keep it away from moisture since it's the enemy of baked artisan bread. After baking, some bakers prefer to leave their bread in the oven till it is cool. Turn off your oven, remove the bread from the pan, place it on a middle rack, and crack open the oven door. This will keep any leftover moisture from condensing on the bread's surface due to condensation from room temperature air. In a cooling oven, the heated air will simply evaporate. Your crust will remain crunchy.

When you bake artisan bread, avoid wrapping it to prevent moisture from accumulating on the surface. For best results, store it cut side down on a breadboard or countertop for a few days.

Stand Mixer Bread Recipe

These days, sourdough bread is all the rage, and in addition to a few basic ingredients, this Sourdough Stand Mixer Bread recipe only requires sourdough starter, a KitchenAid® Stand Mixer, a Sifter+Scale Attachment and a dutch oven to create a bakery worthy, crusty sourdough loaf. And this recipe for delicious No Knead Italian Semolina Bread calls for rosemary but the dough is basic enough to accommodate other herbs or flavourings. Let this recipe be your blank canvas. The stand mixer bread recipe will suddenly become more interesting with all the creativity you throw at it.