Who loves Crusty Artisan Bread? We sure do! A couple of weeks ago I had a picture in one of my posts about homemade artisan bread. Today I’m sharing that artisan bread as my first recipe of my New Bread Recipe Series. You’ll be surprised how easy this bread is, but incredibly delicious. My Mom, John and I have been creating, testing and tweaking some of the bread recipes from the website: Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day. You can check out and get their book at this link: Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking.
It really only takes 5 minutes to make the dough and it keeps in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. It’s really cool because the dough is ready whenever you want to make a loaf of fresh baked bread.
Just look at this homemade crusty artisan bread…you can almost smell it! And, it’s perfect because it’s crusty on the outside and soft inside!
Put the water, yeast and salt into a large mixing bowl or a Cambro Round 6 Quart Storage Container and stir to combine.
In a separate bowl measure the flour.
Mix in all the flour at once and stir until the flour is absorbed, kneading is not necessary. I used my Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer with the dough attachment, it worked great!
Don’t seal the lid but leave a small crack. Allow the dough to rest at room temperature for 2 hours.
Here’s what the dough looks like after 2 hours resting at room temperature.
Lay down parchment paper on a cooking sheet and sprinkle with corn meal. Dust the top of the dough with flour. Take 1/4 of the dough from the container, cut off the dough with a serrated knife or clean scissors. Shape the dough into desired shape by pulling the dough under on all edges until the top is smooth. This should take less than 1 minute.
You don’t need to cut the paper in half, I thought I was going to use 2 small baking sheets, but didn’t. Place the dough onto the corm meal and let rise 40-90 minutes. The longer it rises the more airy the dough becomes.
Dust the tops with a little flour and make slashes with a sharp knife.
Preheat the oven to 450°F, along with another baking sheet and a cake pan or broiler tray. Place the cake or broiling pan (for holding the water) on any other shelf that won’t interfere with the rising bread.
Being careful, slide the dough onto a very hot baking sheet or stone. Then very carefully pour a cup of water into the pan or broiler tray and close the oven door quickly to trap the steam. *Avoid dripping any of the water on the oven glass door, doing so may crack the glass.
Bake in a preheated 450 degree F oven for about 30 minutes, or until the crust is nicely browned and firm when tapped.
I was working the day we had our friends over for some Tender BBQ Pulled Pork and John was kind enough to make this bread (actually, those are my hands shaping the dough, so I did help a little). John did such a great job and the bread was so beautiful, I just couldn’t resist blogging about it, plus I was going to bring you the basic artisan recipe first anyways. So, thank you John!
- 3 cups water, room temperature or lukewarm
- 1½ tablespoons granulated yeast (2 packets)
- 1½ tablespoons kosher or coarse salt
- 6½ cups unbleached or all-purpose flour
- 1-2 tablespoons corn meal (for the parchment paper)
- 4-6 tablespoons additional flour (for shaping the dough)
- Put the water, yeast and salt into a large mixing bowl or a Cambro Round 6 Quart Storage Container.
- In a separate bowl measure the flour. Mix in all the flour at once with a wooden spoon or a stand mixer with a dough hook. Stir until the flour is absorbed, kneading is not necessary. This may take a minute or so, and the dough should be firm but loose enough to conform to the shape of the container.
- Cover the dough with a lid. Do not snap the lid closed, but allow a small crack on one side. Allow the dough to rest at room temperature for 2 hours. The dough is now ready to shape, rise and bake or you can put the container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks and use a portion of the dough any time you want fresh baked bread.
- Lay down parchment paper on a baking sheet and sprinkle with corn meal. Sprinkle the top of the dough with some flour. Lift approximately ¼ of the dough from the container, cut off the dough with a serrated knife or clean scissors and shape (don't knead) the dough into the desired shape. To shape the dough just pull the dough under on all sides until it is smooth on top. This should take less than 1 minute.
- Place the dough onto the corn meal and let rise 40-90 minutes (no need to cover the dough). The longer it rises the more airy the dough will be.
- Dust the top of the dough with a little flour and make the slashes ¼ inch deep in any pattern; a cross, diagonal lines, or tic-tac-toe, with a serrated knife.
- Twenty minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 450°F, along with another baking sheet and a cake pan or broiler tray, for holding the water. Place an empty cake pan or broiler tray on any other shelf that won't interfere with the rising/baking bread. Being careful, slide the dough onto a very hot baking sheet or stone. Pour 1 cup of water into the cake pan or broiler tray and close the oven door quickly to trap the steam. Bake about 25-30 minutes (depending on the size of the loaf), or until the crust is nicely browned and firm to the touch.
The refrigerated dough is less sticky and easier to work with than the dough at room temperature.
2¾ hours of the bake time is actually the approximate dough rising time.
The dough may not rise much during the second rising but will rise more while baking.
This is the basic artisan bread recipe. There are many breads of variations, both savory & sweet in their book 'Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day'.
To keep the bread nice and crusty you'll want to cool the bread before cutting.
Store the rest of the dough in the fridge in the lidded but slightly opened (not airtight) container and use it within to 14 days. The flavor and texture of the dough improves with time, becoming like sourdough. Even 24 hours of storing the dough in the fridge improves the flavor.