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Easy Artisan Bread Recipe

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 Even if you have never made bread, or have made bread and have failed – this Easy Artisan Bread recipe is for you!  This bread is soft and fluffy on the inside and crunchy on the outside. The perfect side dish to soup or pasta for a dunkable delight!

Easy Artisan Bread on a cutting board, just being sliced

How to Make Artisan Bread at Home

Artisan bread is incredibly easy to make because there are just a few ingredients and you don’t even need a stand mixer to make it.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. In the meantime, preheat your oven to 450 degrees for 30 minutes. You will need an oven safe pot for this recipe. I like to use a ceramic dutch oven.  Place your pot in the preheated oven for 30 minutes.
  4. After your bread has risen for an hour and your pot has preheated for 30 minutes, carefully place your dough into the pot. Bake your bread with the lid on for 30 minutes and then remove the lid and bake for another 10-15 minutes depending on how dark you like your crust.
  5. 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 baked in a cast iron dutch oven, just out of the oven, placed on a slate countertop with a kitchen towel waiting to cool

What Type of Flour is best for Artisan Bread?

I have made Artisan bread with all types of flour. The three main types that I recommend using are:

  • All-Purpose: Standard all-purpose flour is a basic white flour and has mid-range of protein levels as far as flour goes, which makes it a good choice for most baked goods because it will produce enough gluten to give the light and airy texture we all look for. AP flour works well with this Artisan bread recipe and will give you the fluffy chewy bread we all love!
  • Bread Flour: This type of flour has a higher protein content than all-purpose which means it will produce more gluten and give you a lighter, more airy and chewy bread. It is definitely the ideal flour for making bread.
  • Whole Wheat Flour: Whole wheat flour can come in a variety of consistencies from extra coarse to extra fine. An extra coarse grind will give your bread a more dense whole grain texture while an extra fine grind will give the bread a smoother texture. If you use whole wheat flour in your artisan bread, it definitely won’t rise as much as when using white flour and you will end up with a much more dense loaf. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, if you start with that expectation. You can always try half wheat and half white flour or a combination of both.
Two loaves of rustic round loaves of artisan bread on cooling racks

What Variations of Artisan Bread Can I Make?

This artisan bread recipe 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.  Some of our favorites are:

Sweet Add-Ins:  

  • cranberry+white chocolate+walnut (add 1/4 cup of each)
  • cranberry + cinnamon (1/4 cup cranberries + 2 tsp cinnamon)
  • cinnamon + raisin ( 2 tsp cinnamon + 1/4 cup raisins) 
  • white chocolate + pecan ( 1/4 cup of each)

Savory Add-Ins:

  • rosemary (1 tbsp dried rosemary)
  • jalapeno cheddar (1/4 cup chopped pickled jalapenos + 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese)
  • garlic parmesan (6 cloves minced garlic + 1/3 cup shredded parmesan)
  • sundried tomato + oregano + feta (1/4 cup chopped sundried tomatoes + 2 tsp dried oregano + 1/4 cup crumbled feta)

Let me know what variations you try in the comments below!

Artisan white bread baked in a cast iron dutch oven, one a cutting board waiting to be sliced
Two loaves of rustic round loaves of artisan bread on cooling racks

Easy Artisan Bread Recipe

This bread is soft and fluffy on the inside and crunchy on the outside. The perfect side dish to soup or pasta for a dunkable delight!
3.93 from 14 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Easy Artisan Bread
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Rest: 10 hours
Servings: 1 loaf
Calories: 172kcal

Ingredients

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

Instructions

  • Put first 3 ingredients in bowl and stir until incorporated. If you are going to use add-ins, put them in now.
  • Add the lukewarm water and stir again until ingredients are combined.
  • Cover bowl with saran wrap. Set aside and let rest for 8-10 hours or overnight.
  • After dough has rested, flour a surface.  Wet hands and pat into a ball – try to get as round as you can. Let it rise for an hour.
  • Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 450 degrees F. Place your pot into the oven at 450 for 30 minutes
  • After the bread has risen for an hour, take your pot out of the oven and place bread in the hot pot. Bake for 30 minutes.  Take lid off and bake for another 10-15 minutes for a darker crust. Let cool before slicing and enjoy!
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Nutrition

Calories: 172kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 1g | Sodium: 445mg | Fiber: 1g

 

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85 Comments

This seems so simple. The rise time is redoculously long but that can probably only help it. It defiantly wouldn’t be a bad way to have fresh bread in the mornings though for Sunday brunch. Thanks for the great post!

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?

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web site before but after browsing through some of the posts I realized it’s
new to me. Regardless, I’m definitely happy I discovered it and
I’ll be book-marking it and checking back regularly!

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

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.

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

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

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!

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.

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!

For non good cookers of anything (ummm….like 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 morning…like 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. :/

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

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.

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!

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.”

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.”

Hi Natalie! I made the artesian bread this morning, the bread turned out great but my problem was getting it out of my aluminum Dutch oven pot! It was stuck to the bottom! What would you suggest I thought of using a PAM spray but didn’t want to scorch the bottom of the bread! Any suggestions? Thanks 🙂

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?

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.

Hmmm. I’m not sure that I would use an aluminum pot for this recipe. You need the pot at such a high temperature, I think you run the risk of scorching. Sorry!

Just read the comments. This bread is so easy, recipe is completely clear and not complicated. You gave detailed information with pictures. It doesn’t get any easier and the bread is great. Thank you also for the link for storage.

I’ve just recently discovered this recipe, am making it for the third time, and my boys love it! Question — the directions in the post say let it rest 8 to 20 hours, but the recipe card itself says 8 to 10. Is there a preferred rest time or can you explain the differences that will occur with a longer rest vs. shorter? LOVE IT! Thanks!

No-knead bread is a method of bread baking that uses a very long fermentation (rising) time instead of kneading to form the gluten strands that give the bread its texture. It is characterized by a low yeast content and a very wet dough. Some recipes improve the quality of the crust by baking the bread in a Dutch oven or other covered vessel. It needs at least 8 hours and up to 20-24 hours. Basically the idea is that the longer you let it rest, the more rich the flavor will be. So definitely not necessary, just a flavor enhancer!