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A loaf of artisan bread cut in half and stacked to show the inside of the bread
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5 from 2 votes

Artisan Bread

Soft in the middle with a chewy exterior. Great for dipping in olive oil or a hot bowl of soup. This may the easiest no-knead bread you'll ever make!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Rising time18 hrs
Total Time18 hrs 40 mins
Course: Bread
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Bread
Servings: 2 loaves or 1 boule
Calories: 743kcal
Author: Tricia

Ingredients

  • 3 ¼ cups bread flour plus extra for dusting (440g)
  • ½ teaspoon instant or rapid rise yeast (SAF yeast is my favorite)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 ⅔ cup tepid water room temperature (about 13 oz)

Instructions

To make the dough:

  • In a large bowl whisk together the flour and yeast. Add the salt and whisk to blend. Next add the water and stir with a wooden spoon or firm spatula until blended.
  • Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at room temperature for at least 12 hours or up to 20 hours.

The next day:

  • Once risen, the dough will be swollen, bubbly, shaggy and sticky. Lightly sprinkle flour on a clean work surface. Turn the dough out onto the counter and lightly sprinkle the top with more flour. Using floured hands or a bench scraper, stretch one side of the dough up and over onto itself. Rotate the dough a quarter turn and repeat. Do this two more times taking care you don’t overwork the dough or add any more flour.

To bake two loaves:

  • Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper, or dust with cornmeal. Set aside.
  • To make two loaves cut the dough in half. Working with one half at a time, dust your hands with flour and shape the dough into a loaf about 9 to 10 inches long. Pull the sides of the dough up to the middle and pinch together to seal. Turn the loaf seam-side-down on the prepared baking sheet and tuck the ends under if needed. Repeat with remaining dough ball. Sprinkle the top of the loaves with flour then cover lightly with plastic wrap. Let the loaves rise for 30-45 minutes. Make sure the loaves are set far apart on the baking sheet to ensure proper baking. PRO TIP: Cut the parchment in half to easily separate the loaves.
  • While the loaves are rising pre-heat the oven to 475°F. Fifteen minutes before baking place a cast iron skillet or aluminum baking pan on the lowest rack of the oven. Fill the pan ¾ full with boiling water. Quickly close the oven and leave it closed until ready to bake the bread. It's important that there's plenty of moisture in the oven before putting the loaves in to bake.
  • PRO TIP: To ensure the loaves are risen properly, press a knuckle or finger into the dough. If a slight indentation remains, and doesn't fill in all the way, it’s ready.
  • Once risen, remove the plastic wrap and cut three sideways slashes in the top of each loaf using a sharp knife or lame. The bread should split open a bit if properly risen. Quickly place the loaves in the hot oven. Bake on the middle rack for 20 to 25 minutes or until the bread is dark brown. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Serve slightly warm but not hot, if desired. Slice and enjoy!

To bake in a COLD Dutch oven:

  • Prepare a large sheet of parchment paper.
  • After the first rise (12 to 20 hours) turn the dough out onto a floured work surface. Dust the top lightly with flour. Using floured hands or a bench scraper, stretch one side of the dough up and over the top. Turn the dough ball a quarter turn and repeat three more times. Don't add flour as this will create large airy holes near the crust. Pull the edges of the dough towards the top, pinch together to seal and form a taught ball. Place the dough ball on the piece of parchment paper, seam-side-down. Gently ease the parchment into a cold Dutch oven. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for about 45 minutes. (See PRO TIP above)
  • Once risen, cut a slash or X into the top of the dough using a sharp knife or lame. Place the lid on the Dutch oven and put on the center rack of a cold oven. Immediately turn the oven to 450°F and leave for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and continue baking until the loaf is golden brown, about 25 to 30 minutes more. Remove the loaf to a wire rack and cool.

Notes

  • Bread is best served the day it's made but will keep at room temperature for up to 3 days. The baked loaves also freeze very well.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. When multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.

Nutrition

Calories: 743kcal | Carbohydrates: 149g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Sodium: 1760mg | Potassium: 232mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 4IU | Vitamin C: 0.01mg | Calcium: 38mg | Iron: 2mg