Rustic Italian Style Bread (pane Rustico)

Rustic Italian Style Bread

by Sharon Maher

in Bread, Food, Recipes

I bake my own bread most weekends, and I’ve been experimenting and adapting the recipes from my cook book collection. This delicious rustic Italian style bread is one of my favourites and is so easy to make.

It is perfect for lunch with strong cheese, continental meats or home made soup.


Makes 1 loaf

400g strong white flour
100g wholemeal flour
5g salt
10g fast-action dried yeast
300ml warm water
40 ml extra virgin olive oil plus extra for brushing
2 teaspoons of honey


1 Add the flours, salt and yeast to a large bowl ( I add them straight to the bowl of my Kitchenaid Mixer) and mix together using your hands or a spoon. Add the honey to the water and stir until dissolved. Make a well in the centre and pour in the water/honey mixture and the oil.

2 If you have a mixer, attach the dough hook and set the mixer going on setting #1 for 5 minutes until everything is nicely mixed together, and then turn up to setting #2 for a further 5 minutes until you have a smooth elastic dough. If you haven't got a mixer then mix the ingredients together with a spoon or your hand, and then turn out on to a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes. Shape into a ball and place in an oiled bowl. Cover with clingfilm and leave to rise in a warm place away from draughts for 1 hour. (I use the airing cupboard).

3 Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and punch down. Knead for 5 minutes. I do this by adding back to the mixer bowl with the dough hook attached and mix on setting 2 - it's lazy, but it works! I saw this method on a Raymond Blanc TV program. So, if it's good enough for him!.

4  Shape into an oval. (Note: I often take a third of the dough and shape in to 4 oblong pieces to make some panini style bread rolls too). Place onto a piece of baking parchment on a baking tray (or an oiled tray without the parchment) cover with oiled cling-film and leave to rise in a warm place away from draughts for up to an hour or until doubled in size. (If you decide to make some rolls, put them on to a separate tray).

5 Sieve a little flour on to the top of the loaf (rolls) and bake in the middle of a pre-heated oven at 200 degrees C/gas mark 6 for 40 minutes (30 minutes for rolls).

6 Cool on a wire rack .

Norah's Bread Making Essentials

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– who has written 97 posts on Norah Sleep Living.

Sharon loves to write about homes, interior design, food, fashion, style and things that inspire her in life. Find her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.

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