Crispy crust on the outside, soft and tender on the inside, this Artisan Bread recipe with only 4 ingredients and no kneading required, is SO easy to make and tastes amazing!
Nothing better than homemade bread, especially when it’s this easy to put together! This no-knead artisan bread comes together fairly fast, as the dough only needs 2 hours for the first rise, than about 30 – 40 minutes before baking. The result is a nice crispy crust and soft, chewy crumb. Perfect for sandwiches, toast, bread bowls, and can even be used as pizza crust.
This artisan bread is inspired by the book Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day The premise is to make the master recipe, which will yield 4 loaves. The dough then can be kept in the refrigerator until ready to use. Pull the dough out, let it rest and the oven heat, and bake your artisan bread while dinner is on the stove, making for a fresh loaf of bread right out of the oven when dinner is ready. And there you it- only 5 minutes hands on (plus resting time) and a fresh baked loaf of artisan bread.
This easy no knead bread only requires 4 ingredients which consist of:
Flour: I used KA bread flour for this recipe, but spelt, white whole wheat and all-purpose flour will be great too. Just do not use self-rising, as these have added ingredients for rising. If you want to experiment with flours, here’s two useful guides: Types of Flour, How to Buy, How to Store and Guide to Baking Flours. Can I Make Artisan Bread Gluten Free? Yes, you can use gluten-free all purpose flour with good results. Bread will form hard crust, center is nice, but it will taste different and may not rise as much.
Water: Water should be lukewarm, anywhere between 70 – 100 degrees, and is what will activate the yeast. Any temperature higher or lower, may adversely affect rising. For variation, replace the water with vegan buttermilk (for every 1 cup of plain unsweetened plant milk, use 1 tablespoon lemon juice or 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar).
Salt: I use mineral salt (himalayan), but any sea salt will work.
Yeast: This artisan bread recipe calls for active dry yeast and is what will help the bread rise. But if you can’t find active dry yeast, or picked up rapid yeast on accident, no worries, for this recipe you can use them interchangeably. Learn more about yeast.
Optional add-ins: Add a small amount of fresh or dried herbs, spices or other ingredients like sliced onions, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, etc.
How To Make Artisan Bread
Start by making the dough: In a large mixing bowl, combine the water, yeast and salt, stir to mix (shown above left). Add flour and mix (above right). The trick is to mix just until the flour is incorporated, no kneading. Dough may be shaggy looking, this is ok.
Tip: The dough will rise and may double in size, so be sure to use a large enough bowl that will allow the dough to bloom and expand. The amount of dough shown here is half the master recipe.
Let the dough rise: Loosely cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and let dough rise for 2 hours in a warm, draft-free location. Ideal room temperature is between 80 – 90 degrees F. Higher temperatures may kill the yeast and keep the dough from rising, while lower temperatures may slow the yeast activity causing a longer rise time of 3 – 4 hours. Once done the dough will have expanded in size, as shown above left.
From this point, if making the master recipe, pull away 1/4 of the dough and refrigerate the rest, tightly covered in a bowl, to bake later. Or make a larger loaf and use 1/2 of the master recipe. Note: I cut the recipe in half and made two loaves.
Prep dough for baking: Lightly flour your hands and flat surface, turn the dough out, it will be a little tacky. Place the dough on the floured flat surface, gently tuck the sides of the dough toward the bottom, rotating the dough until you get a roundish shape with a smooth surface. Let dough rise until oven is ready. Just before baking, sprinkle a little flour on top, and using a sharp knife, slash the top of the ball in an X shape (shown above right) or zigzag (this last step is optional, but helps the bread expand when baking while also giving it a rustic look).
Bake the dough: Preheat the oven to a steamy 450 degrees F, placing a cast iron skillet, pizza stone or shallow fry pan in the oven to heat up (even a baking sheet will be fine). I find my breads look best, color wise, when the oven has been preheated at least 30 minutes.
When ready to bake, place a rimmed cookie sheet or small pot with at least 1 cup of water on the bottom rack to steam (this will help the crust get nice and crispy, but it’s fine if you skip it). Line your baking vessel with parchment paper or lightly flour with cornmeal. Place prepped dough in center of baking vessel and place in the oven, center rack, for 30 – 40 minutes. Carefully remove from oven, let cool a few minutes and enjoy!
And that’s it my bread loving friends – fresh homemade bread, no kneading involved, minimal ingredients and a couple of hours! With a crispy crust and tender center, it’s absolutely delicious and I know you’re going to love it too.
How To Serve Artisan Bread
For breakfast, slice it up and slather it with non-dairy butter and Berry Chia Jam. Pair it with this Lemon Chickpea Orzo Soup or Potato Leek Soup to soak up the juices. It’s also fantastic for sandwiches, like this Spicy Carrot & Hummus Sandwich in which I toasted the bread and it was absolutely delicious. And let’s not forget dipping your freshly made bread in a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar – such a delicious snack or appetizer!
If you try this bread in 5 recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment and rate it below. I love to hear what you think, or any changes you make.
ARTISAN BREAD RECIPE
Crispy crust on the outside, soft and tender on the inside, this artisan bread recipe with only 4 ingredients and no kneading required, is SO easy to make and tastes amazing! Recipe inspired by the book Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day
- Prep Time: 2 hours 30 min
- Cook Time: 30 min
- Total Time: 3 hours
- Yield: Makes 4 loaves
- Category: Bread
- Cuisine: Vegan
- 3 cups lukewarm water
- 1 1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast
- 1 1/2 tablespoon coarse salt
- 6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
I used this halved recipe for loaf shown:
- 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
- 1 packet active dry yeast
- 2 teaspoons himalayan salt
- 3 1/4 cups bread flour
Making The Dough:
Mix: In a very large mixing bowl combine the water, yeast and salt. If adding herbs, now is a good time, use a teaspoon or so of your favorite herbs or double if using fresh. Add flour all at once and stir with a wooden spoon. Takes only a minute, if that. No need to knead, just mix. You just want everything mixed well, no streaks of flour left, and your done.
Rise: Cover container loosely (I used a towel to cover). Let it rise in a warm area with no draft, may take anywhere from 2 to 4 hours depending on temperatures (ideal temp is 80 – 90). Once done, you can store any portion of your dough in the fridge or make your bread. Store unused dough covered tightly with plastic wrap in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Shape: Lightly dust your hands and flat surface with flour, or cornmeal, so it won’t stick. Take your dough and place it on the floured flat surface, gently pull the sides of the dough toward the bottom, rotating the dough until you get a roundish shape with a smooth surface. Also, don’t worry if the bottom is a little bunched, it will flatten out upon the second rising.
Rest: Place your dough ball onto a flat surface lined with parchment paper (if not using parchment paper, place on flat surface dusted with cornmeal or flour), and let it rest for at least 30 minutes. No need to cover it. If the dough has been refrigerated, it helps to let it rest a little more, until it’s no longer chilled.
Baking The Dough:
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Placing a cast iron skillet, pizza stone, roasting pan or shallow fry pan in the oven to get it nice and hot (a baking sheet will be fine too). Let the oven preheat for 30 minutes.
Prep oven and dough: When ready to bake, place a rimmed cookie sheet or small pot with at least 1 cup of water on the bottom rack to steam – this will help the crust get nice and crispy, but it’s fine if you skip it. Line your baking vessel with parchment paper or lightly flour with cornmeal. Dust a little flour on top of your loaf, using a knife slash the top, about 1/4 inch deep, in a cross, tick tack toe or scallop pattern (this helps the bread expand when baking while also giving it a rustic look).
Bake: Place prepped dough in center of baking vessel and place in the oven, center rack, for 30 – 40 minutes, until you get a nice brown crust. Carefully remove from oven, let cool a few minutes and enjoy!