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Country Bread, City Bread

This is the tastiest bread I have ever made. It’s also the easiest because the secret ingredient in all true bread is time. The key to an addictive loaf of rich, hearty goodness is non-laborious kneading; it’s an overnight rest for the living dough. With time, water and flour naturally form an elastic dough that rises with just a small amount of yeast. Here’s how to make your own Country Bread, full of rustic whole grain goodness, or a loaf of refined white City Bread.

Serving:

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Ingredients

For a loaf of Country Bread
3 cups all purpose or bread flour
1 cup whole wheat four
1/2 cup any multigrain mix (see variations)
1/2 heaping teaspoon active dry yeast
2 teaspoons salt
2 1/4 cups warm water
For a loaf of City Bread
5 cups all purpose or bread flour
1/2 heaping teaspoon active dry yeast
2 teaspoons salt
2 1/2 cups warm water

Instructions

In a large bowl whisk the dry ingredients together, evenly distributing the salt and yeast throughout the flour. Pour in the warm water and stir with the handle of a wooden spoon until a moist dough forms. Continue stirring until the dough incorporates all the loose flour in the bowl, 1 or 2 minutes in total.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rest in a warm place for 8-10 hours. The dough will double in size and bubble, and long elastic gluten strands will form without laborious kneading.
Dust the dough lightly with a bit of flour. Oil hands lightly and, with your fingertips, gather dough from the outside edges to the middle, knocking it down into a loose ball. Turn out onto a lightly floured board and knead for a few moments until a tight ball forms. Toss the ball back in the bowl and lightly coat with a splash of vegetable oil, turning to evenly cover.
Gently roll the dough into a thin log that fits end to end in a lightly oiled 9- x 5-inch (2 L) loaf pan and, without covering, rest it a second time. In 2 to 3 hours it will double in size once more.
Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C). When the dough is ready, bake for 45 minutes.

Comments

  1. Amy said: On Nov 23, 2013

    Will this recipe work with Gluten free flour or even half regular flour, half gluten free?
    Thanks.

    • Jamie said: On Mar 25, 2014

      In my experience being gluten free for 10 years now, most bread recipes that are non gluten free cannot be convered when it comes to bread. Gluten free flours tend to be heavy and dense; which is why a lot of times it is a challenge to make bread. I have found a cookbook that the recipe for bread does indeed work. It uses plain yogurt, vingar, corn starch, xantham gum and other things that is effective. If you do choose to convert a regular recipe into gluten free… remember you have to play around with the flours and use xantham gum (for every cup of flour there is a ratio for xantham gum that is to be used).

  2. Allan said: On Oct 25, 2013

    Made the country bread last week and it was very good, making it again this weekend but adding fresh Rosemary and Olives

    • eliza said: On Jan 21, 2014

      I’m going to add these extra delicious ingredients and rock! Thank you. I just baked some loaves tasting delicious but didn’t leave them to rise long enough.

  3. toro said: On Oct 12, 2013

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    I will recommend this website!

  4. strona said: On Sep 25, 2013

    whoah this blog is excellent i really like studying your
    articles. Stay up the great work! Yoou recognize, lots of people are searching round for this info, you could help them greatly.

  5. Tammara said: On Aug 4, 2013

    Actually when someone doesn’t know after that its up to other users that they will assist, so here it occurs.

  6. Alma said: On Aug 1, 2013

    Hola chef:
    Esta receta es muy buena y deliciosa, pero quisiera saber donde puedo encontrar la receta de unos panecillos o bollos, que hizo en una ocasion para la cena, son rapidos y fáciles, no llevan levadura, llevan mantequilla rayada, yo los hice y me salieron buenisimos, pero tuve un pequeño accidente y perdí casí todas mis recetas, quisiera poder recuperar esta, me podria ayudar?
    Gracias por ser tan especial.

  7. Nikki said: On Jul 16, 2013

    I just baked the Country Loaf and it turned out great! Oven is a bit off so I used an oven thermometer and had to bake it for 55 minutes. Couldn’t wait to taste it, and ate warm bread with extra virgin olive oil. DELICIOUS!

    I used the small Country loaf, for 1/2 cup multigrain mix I used 1/2 oats and 1/2 wheat bran (which I store in the freezer) and added in some flax. Rose beautifully over few hours, but I let it rise fully for 18 hours, and then after kneading and oiling, let it rise in an oiled loaf pan for 3 hours or until it had reached the top of the pan.

    However, I did (based on looking at small and large recipes) increase the yeast to 3/4 of a teaspoon rather than 1/2.

  8. sue said: On May 4, 2013

    I haven’t made something so messy since I made papier mache in kindergarten! Used 1 c a/p flour + 3 c whole wht bread flour and it was a sticky (liquid) mess! Had to knead another 2 c a/p flour in b4 2nd rising. We’ll see how it turns out in the end.

    • Sam said: On May 13, 2013

      Is that maybe why the recipe says 3 cups a/p to 1 cup whole wheat?

      • sue said: On May 17, 2013

        Hmmm, maybe, but doesn’t 4 cups flour = 4 cups flour?

  9. Heather said: On Apr 24, 2013

    I used Chia seeds for the “multigrain mix”. I did not soak them first. Bread was wonderful and they added a subtle texture (much like poppy seeds), not to mention a lot of Omega 3 and fibre goodness. Making it again right now!

  10. Denise said: On Apr 21, 2013

    Hi, can rye flour be used instead and can you use more whole wheat than white flour in the combinations?

    • Anne said: On Oct 30, 2013

      the more whole wheat flour you use the heavier the finished loaf will be.

  11. Purple said: On Apr 13, 2013

    I’m experimenting with sprouted wheat flour and want to use that for the country bread recipe. Can I just use 4 cups of sprouted wheat flour and do I need to adjust the amount of water? Thanks!

    • Purple said: On Apr 19, 2013

      Just tried the City Bread recipe, substituting 5 cups of sprouted wheat flour for the white flour, and left everything else as it was. It rose quite nicely and looks fabulous! It’s just cooling – can’t wait to eat it!

  12. Doug said: On Apr 8, 2013

    Love the country bread. Also subbed rye flour for cereal and added tbsp of caraway seeds and got a great light rye bread.

  13. Crystal said: On Mar 11, 2013

    Sorry I think there is a typo on this page in the Variation box to the left. I think you meant bread flour’, not ‘bread dough’ because you mention all-purpose flour. So in context that would make more sense.

    P.S. I love this recipe!!! And I’m a huge fan and miss your show sine I’ve moved to Australia.

    Crystal

  14. Maud said: On Feb 27, 2013

    im doing the city bread as i see on tv show. In the show the bread was in a cauldron not in a pan like the country bread

    could you put how to cook it on website thank you

  15. Sandra said: On Feb 1, 2013

    I think I am doing something wrong. The dough isn’t wet at all, in fact it is quite dry and I have to add more to mix in the amount of flour. The recipe I am using is the 4.5 cups of flour and 2.25 cups of water. Is this correct? I used whole wheat flour/white all purpose flour 3/1 ratio.

    • juliana said: On Feb 22, 2013

      I just made two loaves, one I put I cup of whole wheat flour, and the other the white bread recipe, the whole wheat flour one is very dry in comparison…no worries I have made this many times and I think at times it depends on the flour you are using.
      It is the best bread recipe I have ever done. I am a guest home chef and have used this recipe in a few classes it gets rave reviews every time Thank you Michael

  16. Vicky said: On Jan 21, 2013

    Awesome bread – tastes delicious and so easy to make (even for us beginners!)

  17. Kit said: On Jan 13, 2013

    I just made the Country bread and it was far too wet to handle at all even with oiled fingers and a dusting of flour after the first rising and I had to add another good cup of whole wheat flour to make it manageable. Then it rose and flowed all over the bottom of my oven in an hour. What’s the trick to make this work?

  18. Juliana said: On Dec 17, 2012

    I taught a coooking class here in beautiful Punta Gorda Florida at a local cooking school called Pies and Plates….I made your city bread and people were so impressed, I have made it over and over again with the white flour and it is just amazing…..I love your cooking style
    Thank you so much

  19. Kim said: On Dec 13, 2012

    I also live at sea level and as a non baker wanting to try this recipe, I’d like to know if chef michael can offer any guidance? Also, when it’s time to knock the bread down after its risen….what exactly does that mean? Kneading, punching, pressing? Sorry for asking such basic questions……cooking is more my forte, baking meh…..intimidates the heck out of me. Thanks.

    • Marianne said: On Dec 29, 2012

      Yes knocking down means kneading,…then put back into bowl and cover to yet rise the last time before putting into baking pans

    • Barbara said: On Apr 15, 2013

      At last l… someone who got the same results as I did. I am thinking it needs more flour, or less time rising. In the pans it just over … yup I made the large city loaf and put it in two pans because it had proofed so tall earlier in the day and then collapsed in the covered bowl by the time I put it in the pans. Just so loose and I am glad I had the forsight to put a pan under the bread to catch the mess. Cannot seem to get this right. And it does not sound at all like what I saw on the TV … any suggestions?

      Love your show and your attitude.

      Barbara

  20. Maggie said: On Oct 5, 2012

    Hi Michael, in lots of your recipes you use butter, because of health concerns butter is out of the question for us, what would be a good substitute. As well my husband is diabetic and the fake sugars are awful, any suggestions for a sugar replacement.
    Enjoy your show, keep up your good work.
    Maggie

    • Marianne said: On Dec 29, 2012

      splenda is a good replacement get the brownsugar one as its what most diabetics use for baking…cup for cup measurement

      • Sherry said: On Dec 29, 2012

        Actually, the brown sugar Splenda’s equivalency is one to a half ratio. If the recipe calls for one cup brown sugar – use a half cup of the brown sugar Splenda. The white sugar Splenda substitute is equal amounts ie: cup for cup.

  21. Ria said: On Aug 17, 2012

    Why does the ingredients of your 2 ‘no knead’ breads differ from a TV show that I saw recently?

  22. Marilyn said: On Aug 13, 2012

    Michael what make of bread machine do you use! Loved the dill bread can’t wait to make it! Thanks!!

  23. kim said: On Aug 13, 2012

    you did a dill bread in the bread machine could you please send recipe thanks

  24. o said: On May 3, 2012

    cool

  25. ernie said: On Apr 17, 2012

    i made this bread in a 425 degree preheated dutch oven and it was perfect. All you do is drop it in the pan with parchment paper. Leave the lid on for 30 minutes then remove the lid an continue for 20 minutes

    • Nichola said: On Dec 3, 2013

      HI I used the parchment paper but it stuck to the bread, should I be doing anything else (oil/flour??) thanks!

  26. sandra said: On Jan 14, 2012

    this bread recipe is not the one as shown on television show. Could I have that one please? P.S. Wonderful show I watch it everyday……

  27. Laurie said: On Dec 14, 2011

    i am in the middle of making the large loaf, and it looks great. i would prefer to make two loaves at once though – has anyone tried doubling the recipe? any advice for doubling? thanks, great recipe!

    • T said: On Jan 29, 2013

      Just make the recipe twice but in two different bowls. That way the measurements will be perfect and the bread loaves will be identical inside.

  28. Keith said: On Oct 22, 2011

    Prince Edward Island

    Postby keith on September 1st, 2011, 7:39 am
    P.E.I.

    Foaming seas gentle breeze.

    Call to me my island home.

    Sunny skies laughing lies.

    Is the place I long to be.

    Farmers fields swaying trees.

    Light house beacons on the horizon smile.

    On this my island home of P.E.I. .

    Sea of seas call to me.

    Of lovely days of sand and shore.

    With red sands be.

    A girl called Anne.

    A man called Cuthferson.

    A place called Avonlea.

    A lighted smile.

    High and low tide.

    With doors open wide.

    Welcome,welcome come inside.

    Welcome all to P.E.I.

    keith

    • anick said: On Oct 22, 2011

      beautiful poem! i want to visit your island so bad…so lucky! but I also love my Quebec, so much land not discovered yet…I will go to PEI one summer and show it to my kids!

  29. Bonny said: On Oct 17, 2011

    May I have the receipe for the beer soup that goes with this beautiful bread.
    Thank you.

    • sharon said: On Sep 1, 2012

      hi im wondering if you have the receipe for the cheddar and ale soup would you please share it thank you.

  30. Sharon said: On Oct 17, 2011

    Could you please send me the instructions for the City Bread.
    Thank you

  31. Theresa said: On Oct 17, 2011

    Where are the instructions for the baking of the city bread, as it was done differently on the show?
    Please supply

    • Penny said: On Oct 20, 2011

      Theresa – I watched the show as well and the quantity for the city bread was different as was the cooking method. Did you get a reply? If so would you share? Please and thanks.

  32. Joanne said: On Aug 17, 2011

    Error Alert, I just noticed your online recipe for City bread only calls for 4 cups of flour whereas your cookbook recipe in “The best of Chef at Home” calls for 5 cups of flour.

  33. Joanne said: On Aug 17, 2011

    I love this bread recipe too and have been baking it all summer since discovering your cookbook Chef Michael. My friends are too! I did find modifications were needed, could be I use electric stove and you propane? I bake my bread at 425 degrees for the first 20 minutes then lower the heat to 350 degrees for the last 25 minutes. Turns out great, loaf is crusty and not rock hard. I also add a lot of flour to the dough after it has risen overnight, over 1 cup, because the dough is that sticky and wet. Could be the flour, or humidity, but has to be done. I have shared this bread and your cookbook with friends all summer and we are impressed, thanks!

  34. maxine said: On May 30, 2011

    Made it the first time inadvertently used fast rising yeast
    it rose really nicely the fell over nite.
    Then tried regular yeast worked great.
    Did not grease my dutch oven bread did not stick, did however use grease in regular pan.
    it is a great recipe. Sort of mindless way of making bread.
    Brown butter fantastic.

  35. Sarah said: On Apr 21, 2011

    I missed the end of the recipe where Michael made a special butter I think to go on the bread he was serving with soup. Can anyone tell me the recipe please.

  36. carol said: On Apr 3, 2011

    well worth every bit, thank you, thank you

  37. Tammy said: On Apr 3, 2011

    Dont you need sugar to make the yeast work? i’m trying this recipe right now and my bread wasn’t rising so i added sugar today….will cook it tonight and see if it turned out

  38. Nancy said: On Mar 29, 2011

    This recipe is the BEST bread recipe!!!! Thank you Chef Michael!!!! I love the ease and convenience of this recipe and the bread smells and tastes like artisan bread!!! The dough is sticky but oh so good! Thanks so much for this recipe! You are our favourite chef!!!!

  39. Elena said: On Mar 26, 2011

    Hi Michael,
    I bake bread all my life but no bread came close to this one.Turned out like from the magazine. Only think is that the bread is too good so it disappear fast.So
    thank you for a fantastik recipe. I will never stop
    watching your show( I am only 72).

  40. Vicky said: On Mar 25, 2011

    I tried these loaves for the first time the other night – as presented on the show (3c. flour 1 1/4 tsp salt 1/4 tsp yeast 1 5/8 c water) – and they came out absolutely delightfully. I wonder though if the slightly larger proportions of this recipe wouldn’t make for too large loaves.

    Either way – an absolute joy to make. The best sucess I’ve ever had with yeast bread, and a nice practice introduction to artisan breads that use a starter only – no yeast at all.

    Sharon – I wouldn’t worry about putting it in a bread machine – I think the whole point of it is to simply it – mix and leave it.

  41. Barb said: On Mar 24, 2011

    made this bread, but cooked it in a dutch oven with coals from a campfire .Turned out excellent.

  42. jean said: On Mar 24, 2011

    On the 23 march 2011 you made a french loaf of bread in a saucepan in the oven with the lid on, when you put the bread dough in the saucepan was the inside of the saucepan greased? and what temperature was the oven set at for the bread to cook?
    thank you.

    • Amber said: On Mar 24, 2011

      Hey I watched that program as well and he didn’t oild the pan or the bread he floured the bread and then transferred it after he let it rise. Although we never saw him take it out of the pan, I would suggest heating the pot like he said and right before transferring the dough I would spray it with pam.

      • shar said: On Mar 25, 2011

        I did not oil the pans and the country grain loaf stuck to the pan!!! What a waste of time!!!

  43. Sharon said: On Mar 15, 2011

    can this bread recipe be used in bread machine and how go about it as far as ingredients to add in what order

  44. Cindy said: On Mar 12, 2011

    Just started the dough for my second time making this recipe. Our whole family loves this grainy bread. It’s a keeper in my stack of recipes! So easy to make with ingredients I have on hand. Thanks!

  45. Ina said: On Mar 6, 2011

    Chef Michael – I make gluten free whole grain bread once a week. I use a combination of Sorghum, Millet, Potato Starch, Tapioca Starch and Ground Flax Seed. Do you think this recipe would work with my gluten free flours?

  46. Josie said: On Feb 3, 2011

    I’ve made this bread several times and it is AMAZING!!!
    It’s easy to make and turns out perfect every time, the whole family loves it.

    Thanks, you are the greatest chef!!!
    Josie

    • Cindy said: On Mar 30, 2011

      Hi,
      I oil my loaf pan. Not sure if the bread would come out otherwise.
      Cindy

    • Josie said: On Sep 27, 2011

      No, you don’t oil the pan..it doesn’t stick, when cooked it comes out easy. Just flip it over and it pops out. It tastes, just like bread baked in a bakery!!
      So simple, yet soooo good.

    • Tim said: On Oct 31, 2011

      I buttered the inside of the bread pans and no stick.

      As a single pot bake, I used a heated cast iron dutch oven. No butter or oil just the flour from the silicon pad on the cookie sheet where the loaf did a second rise and no stick.

  47. stacy said: On Jan 31, 2011

    I cannot waite to try this bread. I will be doing it this weekend. Looking forward to doing it. My family loves fresh bread.

  48. Thomas said: On Jan 31, 2011

    I love this bread, and i’ve been hooked ever since he first mentioned this type of bread. I wonder if anyone has experienced this, but whenever i make this bread it turns out awesome, but when i want to make toast out of it, i end up having to toast the bread 2 times to get it golden. Is it just me?? Still great bread though!

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Variation

Bread dough has a higher concentration of gluten in it so it will produce the strongest loaf with the most rise. All-purpose flour has less gluten but will still produce a beautiful loaf of bread. In either case the dough is strong enough to hold lots of multi-grain bits so, in the Country Bread, for a multi-grain mix, you may use a blend such as Red River cereal or a 12-grain cereal breakfast blend. You may also use plain oatmeal, cornmeal or even potato flakes.