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Easy Artisan Bread

There is a store near us that sells the best artisan bread.  Our favorite is their cherry white chocolate pecan.  It is seriously addicting and if you were alone and hungry, you could definitely take down the whole loaf yourself.  I have always loved bread.  Through most of my college years I worked at Great Harvest making bread.  I'm pretty sure I gained the freshmen 15 working there and eating all that yummy bread.  It was totally worth it.  Recently my mom has been experimenting with Artisan bread and has come up with a recipe that is no-fail.  The best part about it is that hands on time is about 15 minutes.  The rest just takes care of itself.  Even if you have never made bread, or have made bread and have failed - this bread recipe is for you!  You really can't mess it up and people will think you have been making bread your whole life!



This bread is incredibly versatile.  You can make it just plain which is good if you are serving with a flavorful soup.  Or you can start playing with it and use add-ins.  Our favorites have been:  cranberry/white chocolate/pecan; cranberry cinnamon, rosemary and cinnamon raisin.  We don't really use measurements for the add-ins.  Just throw in whatever feels right.  

You start by adding flour, yeast and salt to a bowl.  Mix, then add water and mix until everything is incorporated.  If you are going to include add-ins you would add them now.

Let it sit in the bowl for 8-20 hours, covered.  Yes - you read that right.  You can mix it up at night and then in the morning you are ready to finish it off.  After you let it sit in the bowl, turn it out onto a floured surface, or you can also put it in a floured bowl.  Cover and let it sit for 1 hour. 

In the meantime, preheat your oven to 450 degrees for 30 minutes. You will need an oven safe pot for this recipe.  Place your pot in the preheated oven for 30 minutes.  

After your bread has risen for an hour and your pot has preheated for 30 minutes, carefully place your dough into the pot.  

Bake for 30 minutes with the lid on, then remove the lid and bake for another 10-15 with the lid off or until the bread is golden on top. 

Remove from pot and allow to cool before slicing. 

Then serve!  This bread goes great with soup and salad, or also with brunch or breakfast as a side.  


Easy Artisan Bread


  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp yeast
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water


  1. Put first 3 ingredients in bowl and stir until incorporated.  
  2. If you are going to use add-ins, put them in now.  
  3. Add the lukewarm water. 
  4. Cover bowl with saran wrap. Set aside and let rest for 8-20 hours. 
  5. After dough has rested, flour a surface or a bowl.  Wet hands and pat into a ball - try to get as round as you can. Let it rise for an hour.
  6. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 450 degrees F.
  7. Place your pot into the oven at 450 for 30 minutes.  
  8. After the bread has risen for an hour, take your pot out of the oven and place bread in the hot pot. 
  9. Bake for 30 minutes.  Take lid off and bake for another 10-15 minutes.  
  10. Let cool before slicing. 
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12/27/2012 8:31am
Ooo-la-la. I'm very excited about this. I've been wanted to take a whack a homemade bread for awhile. I can do this!!!
12/27/2012 8:34pm
Hi I want to make the artisan bread. What size is your oven safe pot? Thanks
12/27/2012 9:23pm
I use a 6 quart pot.
08/22/2014 12:08pm
Could you use a cast iron pot? What about a regular stove top pot with a lid? Would those work? Couldn't you just use a regular loaf pan? Do you have to put a lid on it when it's in the oven? Please respond. Thanks
08/22/2014 12:14pm
Could you use a cast iron pot? What about a regular stove top pot with a lid? Would those work? Couldn't you just use a regular loaf pan? Do you have to put a lid on it when it's in the oven? Please respond. Thanks
01/02/2013 2:51am
Sorry, is this dried active baking yeast?
01/02/2013 9:30am
Yep - dry active yeast.
08/22/2014 9:41am
Nope, you should use instant yeast for this. Refer to the 2006 NY Times article where Jim Lahey revealed his famous no knead recipe. This is essentially the same, except that this one calls for twice the yeast. You'll have a stronger yeast flavor and shorter rising time with this recipe.
02/07/2014 8:06am
Do you use white or whole wheat flour?
05/16/2014 8:38am
I have done it with both white and whole wheat flour. Turns out great with either.
02/07/2014 8:07am
Did you use white or whole wheat flour?
02/08/2014 8:24am
I used a mixture of both. You could use all whole wheat, but it would be very dense. I like a 50/50 blend for this bread recipe.
04/02/2014 12:27pm
Hi Natalie, Do we leave it covered for 8-20 hrs at room temp or in refrigerator? I'm assuming it's in the refrigerator and this is why you let it rest another hour?
04/09/2014 10:58pm
It is actually at room temperature.
08/21/2014 5:08pm
Would this recipe work with any other type of flour besides white or whole wheat?
08/21/2014 5:09pm
Hey there! How do you store this bread to keep the outside crunchy and the inside soft?
08/21/2014 5:22pm
If I wanted to make rosemary olive oil bread, when would I add the olive oil?
08/22/2014 9:43am
You would add the oil in with the water
08/21/2014 5:45pm
Do you have a recipe for rye bread?
08/21/2014 5:52pm
This looks awesome, but just wondering if you've tried it with a gluten-free all purpose flour by chance?
08/21/2014 5:52pm
Are you using bread flour, AP or self-rising? Thanks!
Jennifer Lynch
08/21/2014 5:55pm
What if I live in Hawaii where room temperature is 80 degrees?
08/22/2014 9:46am
It'll just rise faster. No problem.
08/21/2014 6:05pm
Is there a way to adapt this recipe for a low sodium bread? Looks wonderful & I would love to try it!
08/22/2014 9:44am
You could reduce the salt or omit it altogether.
08/24/2014 9:30am
Eric, Thanks for the reply. I will give it a try! Was concerned that the salt was essential to the yeast processing to help it rise.68C91
08/21/2014 7:22pm
Could you use a pizza stone?
08/21/2014 7:53pm
Does this make one loaf or two
08/21/2014 8:15pm
Can I make this in a bread machine?
08/22/2014 1:53am
After you add the water do you stir it?
08/22/2014 2:46am
could I use any pot to make this bread?
08/22/2014 2:57am
Great looking recipe! Do you kneed the dough after the first 8-20 hour rest, or do you just gently pat it into place? Thanks
08/22/2014 4:46am
So no kneading required?
08/22/2014 11:29am
Could I use freshly ground grain?
08/22/2014 12:07pm
Can I use rapid rise yeast?
08/23/2014 6:55am
Thanks so much for posting this! I tried it and it worked beautifully! My husband wants me to try some savoury add ins. I am trying pArmasean and garlic right now!? Not sure if I did it right!? Any other add in ideas would be welcomed!
08/23/2014 7:23am
Would this be good for French toast?
09/06/2014 7:23am
It is great for french toast!
08/23/2014 7:37am
I wouldn't subsitite olive oil or add olive oil tithe original recipe. Add the rosemary from the start and paint the rosemary on top before you start baking. Maybe even better after you take the lid off. You may have to experiment to get the end result you want. And use olive oil for dipping at the time you consume. Otherwise you'll need to look for a different recipe.
08/23/2014 11:27am
There should be mention of flouring the dough after you put it on to the counter. I just floured the counter and it's still how it was when I put it on the counter. Should tell us to thoroughly flour the dough until it's in a soft ball. I put mine in the pot in the oven and it's not in a ball. It's a sticky dough mess. Don't know how it's going to turn out. This is why thorough directions are important!
08/25/2014 12:55pm
I did this without flouring the dough and it turned out perfectly. It does say "Wet hands and pat into a ball - try to get as round as you can. Let it rise for an hour."
08/23/2014 12:10pm
For non good cookers of anything ( myself).... We need more details. Hate to be one of "those annoying people." But I just finished this & was super disappointed. I thought it was odd that it didn't say to stir it all after you add in the warm water...but I thought well hey she knows what she's doing. It was extremely lumpy when I woke up this hard lumps molded together & of course the water didn't get to the bottom of the bowl because like an idiot I didn't stir it, since it didn't say to after adding the warm water. I went ahead and finished the process and it's in the oven now but I'm pretty positive this will not turn out well. :/
08/24/2014 12:50pm
I don't want this to come off as being rude, but in any recipe when you first begin you always mix the ingredients together. You mix your dry ingredients together first and if there is any wet ingredients you mix those together (separate from the dry) and then you combine them and mix together. You don't had wet to dry and not mix it. That's how all the ingredients are supposed to be combined.
08/24/2014 3:30pm
Yes, it definitely needs mixing. I wasn't sure whether to knead it after the first rise, but I suspect the result is probably better if you do. I just tried the recipe too, but don't have a metal oven pot and was too nervous to risk breaking my nice ceramic casserole dishes by dropping dough into it when hot. I did knead it before the 2nd rise. I ended up baking it on top of a pizza stone with a bowl of water in the oven to try to prevent it drying out. Without being covered, it was browning too quickly, so I turned it down to 200C about half way through, and kept it in the oven for 40mins. I used 400g of flour, and about 280g of water. Great result... very yummy!
08/25/2014 12:54pm
I made this following the directions and it turned out great. It actually does say "Mix, then add water and mix until everything is incorporated."
08/24/2014 4:24pm
Have you tried putting it in a loaf pan?
09/06/2014 7:22am
Love this recipe. Wondering if it could be divided after mixing to make 2 smaller loaves? Bake at same time what would bake time be?
09/08/2014 12:32pm
What temperature is the lukewarm water?
09/28/2014 1:27pm
I love to cook but am absolutely not a baker! I was a bit nervous at how easy this all came together. I made it with 100% whole white wheat flour and it came out looking just like the picture. I was shocked! And it was so yummy! The only problem is... Because it is so delicious, I keep finding myself "stealing" little slivers here and there and those are starting to add up! Everyone needs to try this recipe.

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