Rustic Country Bread Recipe Reviews - Allrecipes.com (Pg. 1)
Reviewed: Oct. 16, 2012
did add 1 tsp of salt. did put a pan with water in the oven beneath the bread while it baked. came out great. airy and crunchy. didnt use a bread machine. didnt spray the bread with water. didnt have whole wheat flour-substituted additional bread flour. froze remaining starter.
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Home Town: Nags Head, North Carolina, USA

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Reviewed: Jan. 13, 2012
Try using a pan of water in the oven during the bake, as well as moistening the loaves themselves. Very nice, crispy crust and moist chewy interior. I'd never used a starter before and this has made me a believer. It's a slow, gentle way to make bread and I always feel rewarded when I take a bite of this luscious bread. Good things do, indeed, come to those who wait! Thanks Chris!
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Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: Baldwinsville, New York, USA
Living In: Deep River, Ontario, Canada
Reviewed: Jul. 20, 2011
AMAZING! I just started making Breads and this was the first one I tried that used a starter. I put it to the test! I made the starter and had it sit out for 12 hours to then have a change in plans and not make the bread that day. So, I froze it for about 4 days, let it thaw in the fridge for a day and a half. Then, I put the ingredients listed (plus another 3/4 tsp of salt) all in my bread machine with the dough setting on a delay start. So when I got home from work, the dough was ready to be formed on my pan. Also, a trick I learned to making crusty bread was that I left a pan with water in the oven through the whole process starting with the pre-heat. PERFECTO!
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Reviewed: Jun. 14, 2010
Sure it takes awhile... Sometimes patience is rewarded. Crunchy, chewy crust with an extremely soft, moist interior. I used sea salt, I don't know if I needed to add more because of that, but that is my only fault. But next time I will used twice the amount called for in the final dosage. I will have fun experimenting with this. It's a keeper. Many Thanks for sharing.
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Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: Duluth, Minnesota, USA
Reviewed: Jan. 3, 2010
Wow. What a gigantic pain. Make sure you have nothing at all to do for 24 straight hours, also please be sure that your house is the perfect temperature for dough to rise. I followed this recipe perfectly... although I did allow a bit more time than suggested to allow the dough to rise. I was baking this bread for a bread pudding recipe. The bread turned out very solid, although the inside was perfectly soft. My bread pudding recipe calls for crust removed, so thankfully I think I'll be okay!
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Reviewed: Sep. 29, 2009
I just made this a couple days ago and was very pleased. The taste was exactly what I was looking for and the crust was crunchy and golden. Allow yourself plenty of time to make this bread. I turn my oven on for about 30 seconds before I put my dough in to rise and I also leave on the light. This is the recipe I had hoped to find for the last couple years! I will definitely be making this a lot!
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Photo by Janpie

Cooking Level: Intermediate

Living In: Racine, Wisconsin, USA
Photo by Rhianna
Reviewed: Sep. 27, 2009
Very good! I don't have a bread machine, consequently I used regular "active dry" yeast & made this by hand. The yeast was first dissolved for a couple of minutes in water which was lukewarm because of the cold weather & kitchen. The flour was then stirred in. The sponge ("biga") was covered with a damp cloth. Later, I again added more lukewarm water to first dissolve the extra yeast, while softening the 1/3 cup of sponge/biga. After stirring in the rest of the ingredients, I beat the dough with a wooden spoon for 2-3 minutes, covered it (with a damp cloth) & let rise. (Again, the kitchen was cold, so this took longer than usual.) The dough was very soft - probably because I spooned the flour into a measuring cup & leveled it off, which gave me 3+ Tblsp. less flour than if I'd simply scooped the flour with the meas. cup. So the dough was so soft that it had to go into a 9" pie plate for it's 2nd rising & baking, instead of on the baking stone as I'd planned. I spritzed water onto the bread as directed, but this deflated the bread dough a little - it is possible that the bread was slightly overrisen; between that & the spritzing, the deflation wasn't surprising. Still it was a good bread, with a faint sourdough flavor & a very crusty crust. I will make it again, & will add a pinch more salt. If you're afraid of it being bland, simply add a little more salt.
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Photo by Rhianna

Cooking Level: Expert

Reviewed: Sep. 22, 2009
I was going to write this recipe off as pretentious based on a quick scan of the ingredients- I mean spring water? In rustic bread? Then I thought about it and I realized that many people have trouble with breads because of the chlorine and flouride in their water. That said, I used filtered tap water and AP flour because that is what I had on hand. I follow the instructions and made a lovely biga and waited impatiently for 12 hours to use it. The dough came together beautifully. Without adding any additional flour it was slightly sticky, but I decided to see how it felt after the first rise. I cloaked it very lightly with flour before punching down and from that point on it was perfect. The extra rise helped the flavor develop and it baked into the most beautiful boule. I tossed 4 ice cubes into the bottom of my oven at the start of baking and the crust was chewy and crusty. I refrigerated the remaining biga and will be making another loaf tomorrow. Very nice recipe, Chris!......9/26/09 UPDATE: I just made another loaf using the reserved starter. This time I used 1 cup whole wheat, 1 cup AP flour and 1/2 cup rye. It is slightly denser, but still has a great crust and still came together almost effortlessly.
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Photo by BigShotsMom

Cooking Level: Expert

Home Town: Long Island, New York, USA
Living In: Long Beach, New York, USA
Photo by Rae
Reviewed: Sep. 21, 2009
My family really enjoyed this bread. I don't have a bread machine so I mixed it by hand. For the starter I just put the ingredients in a bowl and stirred for 5 minutes with a fork. I covered it loosely with plastic wrap and left it on the table overnight. It almost spilled out of my bowl but I caught it in time so make sure you use a big enough bowl because it grows. The next day I scooped out the starter that I needed and added the rest of the water and yeast let that sit for 5 minutes then added the rest of the ingredients. I thought the flavor was fine as is. And it sure didn't last long around here. I think I'm going to make it again tomorrow. I was curious about how to deal with freezing the starter but AR has a great article on it if you need more info. Thanks for the recipe!
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Photo by Rae

Cooking Level: Intermediate

Living In: Sierra Vista, Arizona, USA
Photo by jacqueline senouci
Reviewed: Mar. 10, 2009
i dont use a bread machine because i think the fun is in the kneading and the eating and the punching down. anyway, i used regular yeast in the same amounts and followed it, replacing hand kneading with the same amount of bread machine time. the only problem with the bread is that it is missing some sort of flavor. i did add an extra half tsp of salt as per the previous reviews. and sprinkled a little on the top crust before baking. i am thinking of allowing the starter to stand for two more days and try it as a sourdough, because this recipe browns and bakes beautifully and the chewy texture and thick crust is what i pay the big bucks for in the stores.
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Photo by jacqueline senouci

Cooking Level: Intermediate

Living In: Spokane, Washington, USA

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