Rustic Spanish Bread Recipe - Pan Rustico

Pan rustico
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  • 90 mins
  • Prep: 60 mins,
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Yield: 3 loaves (36 servings)
Ratings (6)

This bread recipe is strictly "old-time" and produces a rustic-style Spanish bread. It's the kind that you see on abuela's (grandma's) kitchen table in pueblos across Spain. One recipe yields 3 loaves, so make it on a weekend afternoon and you'll have bread for most of the week. Our version was inspired by a recipe which appeared in Francie Martinez Vicondoa's book "Spanish Doors, Dishes, and Dreams."

What You'll Need

  • 1.25 lbs. (.57 kg.) unbleached white flour
  • .65 oz. (18 g.) dry active yeast
  • 12 oz. (355 ml.) water
  • 2 1/2 tsp. salt​
  • 1​ egg white

How to Make It

This Spanish rustic bread recipe yields 3 loaves, 12 oz each.

Note: Weather conditions such as humidity and temperature affect bread making. The quantities of flour and water required for making ​suitable dough may need to be adjusted.

  1. Weigh flour, mix in salt and set aside. Pour dry yeast into a warm ceramic cup. Heat the water in a pan until it is very warm, but not hot. Pour approximately 4 oz of water into the cup with yeast and stir with a fork until the yeast is completely dissolved.
  1. Pour yeast-water mixture and all but 1/2 cup water into a very large mixing bowl. Add flour to bowl gradually, continuously mixing with a wooden spoon until all flour is absorbed, adding the remaining water as needed. The dough should have a smooth texture and form a ball.
  2. Using a paper towel, coat the inside of a large bowl with olive oil or vegetable shortening. Cover the bowl with a wet dish towel and place in a warm spot in the kitchen. If your kitchen is drafty and cold, allow ​dough to rise in the covered bowl in a warm oven (approximately 150°F) with the door open. Let rise for 30 minutes.
  3. Cover cutting board with a generous amount of flour to prevent dough from sticking. Turn dough out onto a cutting board. Flour hands and knead with heals of hands. When dough has a consistent texture and forms a ball, divide into 3 pieces. Form dough into rounds or oblong shapes. Place on a cookie sheet or baking stone. Allow to rise in a warm place for 10-15 minutes. While dough is rising, preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
  4. Cut slits in top of loaves just before baking. When ​oven is hot, place bread on center rack and bake for 10 minutes. Remove and brush with beaten egg white. Return to oven and bake for another 15-20 minutes. Bread should turn a light golden color.
  5. Remove from oven and allow to cool on a rack for 10-15 minutes. When cool enough to touch, slice with a bread knife and serve.

Tips for Freezing Bread or Dough

  • To store bread in the freezer: After bread has completely cooled, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and place in a sealed plastic freezer bag. Remove and thaw an hour before serving.