Rustic Bread

This simple yet delicious loaf from baker Adam Leonti of Brooklyn Bread Lab relies on an overnight rest and fresh cake yeast to develop some of the sour, tangy flavor and chewy texture of sourdough bread with a much more streamlined process.


Makes 1 loaf
500 grams bread flour (about 4 cups)
13 grams kosher salt (about 2 1/2 teaspoons)
5 grams fresh cake yeast (about 1 packed teaspoon), crumbled
All-purpose flour (for dusting)

Using your hands, mix bread flour, salt, yeast, and 2 cups (450 grams) room-temperature water in a medium bowl. Lightly knead, grabbing corners of dough, gently pulling upward, and pushing toward the center, until dough comes together. Dust another bowl with all-purpose flour and transfer dough to bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and chill 12–18 hours.

Turn out dough onto a lightly floured work surface, dust with flour, and press into a 8×5″ rectangle. Fold rectangle in half lengthwise, then roll up tightly at narrow end (like a burrito). Place both hands on top of dough; working against friction of work surface, pull gently down toward yourself to create a rounded boule shape.

Transfer dough to a lightly floured parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet and cover loosely with a clean flour-dusted towel. Let rise at room temperature 4 hours, or chill 6–12 hours.

One hour before baking, arrange rack in middle of oven; preheat to 500°F. After dough has risen, slash dough with a razor blade or very sharp knife in 3 parallel slits at least 1/4″ deep. Transfer baking sheet to oven, reduce oven temperature to 450°F, and bake bread until crust is very brown and an instant-read thermometer registers 190–200°F, 30–40 minutes. Let cool before slicing, about 2 hours.