I’ve made artisan bread numerous times and I wanted to share an updated recipe with a video! This recipe is so simple and only has 4 ingredients. You can store it in your refrigerator for up to two weeks (which may pick up a little “sour” dough taste, which is perfectly find and delicious) and pull it out to bake any time needed. It’s definitely a make ahead friendly recipe.
Prep Time: 10 min
Resting Time: 2 hrs. + 40 mins
Cooking Time: 30-35 mins
Cooking Time: 20 mins
3 cups slightly warm water
1 tablespoon granulated yeast (rapid or quick rise)
6 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 tablespoons salt
Use a large 5-6-quart mixing bowl or container with a lid. Put in water and the salt and yeast. Note: Hot water may kill the yeast and cold water will take a little bit longer for the dough to rise, so ensure the water is warm. Mix quickly.
Add the flour and start mixing until all of the flour is mixed in and “wet”. Either cover the bowl with top or wrap and have a small amount of space or hole for gasses to escape. (Not too much of a space or hole or the dough will dry out). Allow the dough to rise for at least 2 hrs.
You can also let is stay overnight in the refrigerator and will be easier to pull apart and cut the next day. It will rise considerably and can grow doubling in size. Let the dough settle itself no need to flatten it. The top of the dough will most likely have bubbles in it which is good.
Once the dough stops rising it will not rise again.
Dust a small area with some flour and pull out a piece of dough from the batch. If you have a scale it should be about 1lb. If you don’t have a scale, then about the size of a softball is great. The dough will be stretchy, and you can use kitchen scissors to cut the dough as needed. Shape the dough into a “dome” shape. Use flour when the dough gets to sticky and keep tucking the dough over itself until a smooth “skin” takes shape. Watch video attached. Once formed the dough should sit for at least 40 minutes and if you desire more holes then up to 90 minutes is fine. You can also form the loaves and let them refrigerate overnight and then let them warm up to room temp before baking. Take at sharp bread knife and slice ¼ inch slashes on top of the bread. You can use some flour to put in between slices so they won’t stick back together.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. You can put the loaf on a cast iron pan, baking stone, pizza stone, or use any cooking sheet. Parchment paper is needed for the first 20-25 minutes of cooking to prevent bottom from getting to crusty. Remove the paper for the last 10 minutes of cooking time. Watch the bread often to make sure it does not get to dark in color as it will get to tough of a crust.
Let bread cool on a cooling rack to room temp and enjoy! You can add all sorts of ingredient to make this your own. Raisins, cinnamon, nuts, etc. You can also make different shaped loaves like longer and thinner loaves.