super easy artisan bread

Get ready to be amazed at this super easy bread recipe.  I adore it.  I haven’t bought bread in a year, this is all my family uses for bread.  I can’t get over how easy it is, that’s the only reason that I can make it all the time like I do.  So many people have been asking for this recipe, so I thought it better be posted soon!  Who doesn’t love artisan style bread?  I personally think it’s as good as the bread you can buy at places like Panera Bread.  Even if you’ve never made bread, give this a try, it’s much easier and less time consuming than traditional homemade bread.  Oh and did I mention it only has 4 ingredients?

I took my recipe from a cookbook called Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. It’s also available at the library if you want to check it out before committing to ordering it.  The same chefs also have a cookbook entitled Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day, but I recommend perfecting the regular white bread recipe first.  Once you have that down, feel free to adapt the bread and experiment with recipes and different ideas.  I have enjoyed both books and trying out different types of flour in various recipes.  I’ve used whole wheat, white whole wheat, spelt, rye, oat and others.  I like to see what delicious recipes I can come up with and still have a healthy product in the end.

Pour lukewarm water into a large bowl with high sides.  Sprinkle yeast over the water and let it sit a minute or two until the yeast starts “melting”.

super easy artisan bread

Add the salt and flour

super easy artisan bread

Stir the dough with a wooden spoon, it will soon look like this

super easy artisan bread  super easy artisan bread

It’s a wetter dough than tradition bread dough.  Cover the bowl with a lid, but make sure it is not airtight.  I move the lid slightly off center so that the gases/air can escape.  Let the dough rise 2 hours or more, and until the dough flattens out on top some.

super easy artisan bread

After the dough has risen, place it in the refrigerator.  You can make the dough into a loaf immediately after the 2 hour rise, but it is much easier to handle after it has chilled.  Place it in the refrigerator and use the dough in the next 2 weeks.  That’s right!  I love that I can have fresh baked bread anytime I want.  Just leave the dough in the bowl in your refrigerator and when you are ready to make a loaf, complete these next several steps.

Take your dough out and pull off a hunk of dough the size of the loaf you want to make.  Place it on a lightly floured surface.  I typically get 3 loaves out of a batch of dough.

super easy artisan bread     super easy artisan bread

Taking 30 seconds or less, begin to tuck and turn the dough, until your dough looks like this

super easy artisan bread  I place my dough directly onto my silicone mat on my baking sheet.  The original recipe recommends a baking stone, but I haven’t found it necessary. (notice the little hand sneaking into the picture)

Let the dough rest for at least 40 minutes.  You can let it rest up to 90 minutes, which gives it a more “open holed” structure on the inside of the loaf.  The dough won’t really rise during this time, it might actually just spread sideways.

After the dough has rested, lightly dust the dough with flour and make 3 or 4 slashes across the top

super easy artisan bread  This is my oldest son Jacob’s hand showing you the slashes 🙂

Place in a preheated 450 degree oven for about 28 minutes.  It should have a nice brown color and a crusty outside when the bread is done.  I take mine off the baking sheet to cool.

super easy artisan bread   super easy artisan bread

Isn’t it lovely?  Bread like this could possibly rival chocolate for me.

It is also recommended that you don’t slice this bread until it is mostly cool.  I know that is a tall order, it’s so hard not to dig into hot, fresh bread!  I have found that it makes the inside gummy if I slice it too soon.  But you do whatever you need to do.

super easy artisan bread    super easy artisan bread

And just for good measure, here are some “chaos” pictures for you…this is what was going on behind the scenes while I was snapping these pictures

super easy artisan bread   super easy artisan bread

I said this was cooking AMID chaos didn’t I?!

Super Easy Artisan Bread

3 cups lukewarm water

1 tablespoon yeast

1 tablespoon kosher salt (or slightly less table salt)

approximately 6 1/2 cups all purpose flour

Pour water into a large bowl with tall sides.  Sprinkle yeast onto the water and let sit for a minute. Add salt and then the flour.  Stir with a large spoon until everything is mixed together.

Let the bowl sit in a location away from drafts covered with a lid, but make sure it is not airtight. Let the dough sit for about 2 hours, until the dough has doubled in size and flattened out on the top.  Place in the refrigerator until chilled or until you are ready to bake a loaf.  When ready to make a loaf, grab a portion of the dough from the bowl and place on a lightly floured surface.  Tuck and turn the dough until it is smooth and shaped into a round, slightly flattened ball.  Place on a greased baking sheet, a silicone mat or baking stone.  Let sit for at least 40 minutes and up to 90 minutes.  Lightly flour the dough ball and slash about 4 times with a sharp knife.  Place in a 450 degree oven and bake for about 28 minutes.  Remove from baking sheet and allow to cool before cutting.


12 thoughts on “super easy artisan bread

  1. i will be making this. maybe tomorrow. it seems like a great sunday afternoon activity. one question for you: when you store the bread dough in the fridge, do you cover it? and does it need to be/ should it be covered tightly? I was assuming it would get sort of crusted over on top if it wasn’t sealed, but i wasn’t sure. thanks. i’ll let you know how it turns out!

    and btw… any suggestions for things to add to it? i’m thinking it might be delish to add some garlic and parsley to this recipe or even parmesan, garlic, and basil. i wouldn’t think those ingredients would change the measurements or consistency of the dough… not like adding raisins or nuts might.

    • Cara, no it doesn’t have to be sealed tightly in the refrigerator, but I put the lid to the bowl on top, I just don’t seal it.

      I have added ground rosemary to my dough and that is great! I’m sure any other herbs like that would be fine…you’ll have to let me know what great ideas you come up with! You could add nuts or raisins after the dough is made…flatten it out, sprinkle on your nuts etc and then roll up and bake…? I’ve never tried that myself but have heard that others have.

      • I tried this recipe and was wondering if you know why the dough became half the height in the refridgerator. It was to the top of the container in height and now it is half the height after a day. The bread was dense but tastes good.
        Do you know why the rising decreased so much?

      • I’m glad you tried the recipe! The dough deflates in the refrigerator, yes, that is normal. Not sure why it was dense though when you baked the bread. Did you make sure to let it rest for at least 40 minutes? That would be my first thought. Also, sometimes this bread takes a time or two to get it figured out 🙂 Don’t give up! Did you just use white flour? Get that down pat before trying whole wheat. Let me know if I can help any other way. This bread is so good, I hope you can get it how you like it!

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  3. I love this recipe and so does my family. I decided to add thinly sliced apples, cinnamon and sugar and it was wonderful! Thanks for the easy to follow recipes!

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  6. Can you half the recipe? I’m new to bread making and I’m yet to make any successfully and hate to take a chance wasting so much flour.

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