Home » Type » Bread » Artisan Bread (Easy 4-Ingredient Recipe)

Artisan Bread (Easy 4-Ingredient Recipe)

Homemade Artisan Bread features a crisp golden crust with a soft and tender inside. This easy no-knead recipe requires only 4-ingredients and tastes amazing! Plus, it makes great pizza dough too!

no knead artisan bread fresh from the oven

There’s nothing better than fresh from the oven homemade bread, especially when it’s so easy to make!

This no-knead artisan bread comes together fairly fast and results in a nice crispy crust with soft, chewy crumb. It’s a perfect vegan yeast bread for sandwiches, toast, bread bowls, and can even be used as a pizza crust!

Inspired by the book Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day (affiliate link), the premise is to make the master recipe which yields 4 loaves, and keeping the dough in the refrigerator until ready to use for up to 14 days.

When ready, pull the dough out, let it rest, and bake your artisan bread while dinner is on the stove. And there you have it – only 5 minutes hands-on (plus resting time) and a fresh homemade loaf of artisan bread.

Ingredient Notes

For this recipe, flour, water, salt, and yeast are combined and left to rise, then shaped and baked for a delicious, flavored homemade bread.

Here is everything you will need, plus substitution ideas:

  • Flour: I used King Aurthor bread flour (affiliate link) 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 flour, here are two useful guides: Types of Flour, How to Buy, How to Store and Guide to Baking Flours.
  • 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 vegan yeast 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.

Can I Make Artisan Bread Gluten-Free?

Yes, you can use gluten-free all-purpose flour with good results. Bread will form a hard crust, the center will be nice, but it will taste different and may not rise as much.

Adjusting Cups to Grams

For those baking using weight instead of cups, here is a handy guide King Arthur’s Ingredient Weight Chart. Simply use the search filter to find the flour you are using.

dough for artisan bread is being prepped in a bowl

How To Make Artisan Bread

1. Make the dough

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the water, yeast, and salt, and 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. The dough may be shaggy looking, but 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.

artisan bread recipe done rising and dough placed in skillet and ready for the oven

2. 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.

Tip: 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.

3. Separate the dough

  • After the dough rises, 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.

4. Prep dough for baking

  • Lightly flour your hands and flat surface, and 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, uncovered until oven is ready.

5. Score the top

  • 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).
no knead artisan bread fresh from the oven in a cast iron skillet

6. Preheat oven

  • 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 bread looks best, color-wise, when the oven has been preheated for at least 30 minutes.

7. Bake the 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. Place prepped dough in center of baking vessel. Add the optional slash across the top as mentioned above in step 5.
  • Place bread on the center rack in the oven and bake 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 with minimal ingredients and no kneading involved!

With a crispy crust and tender center, it’s absolutely delicious, and I know you’re going to love it too.

artisan bread freshly cut in half

Serving Suggestions

Here are a few ways to use up your fresh baked loaf of artisan bread:

How To Make Pizza Dough

Follow the steps to make the dough. If making the larger master recipe, use 1/4 of the dough and shape it into a square or round pizza. Par-bake the dough for 7 – 10 minutes at 450 degrees F, carefully remove it from the oven, top with sauce and pizza topping, and bake for another 10 – 15 minutes.

artisan bread freshly sliced and slathered with non-dairy butter

More Easy Bread Recipes!

If you try this easy vegan yeast bread recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment and rate it below. I love to hear what you think, or any changes you make.

Print

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! Works great as pizza dough too. Recipe inspired by the book Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

  • Author: Julie | The Simple Veganista
  • Prep Time: 2 hours 30 min
  • Cook Time: 30 min
  • Total Time: 3 hours
  • Yield: Makes 4 loaves 1x
  • Category: Bread
  • Method: bake
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

Ingredients

Units Scale

Master Recipe:

  • 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 (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 2 teaspoons himalayan salt
  • 3 1/4 cups bread flour

Instructions

MAKE 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 you’re 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).

Separate: Once done, if making the master recipe, pull away 1/4 of the dough and refrigerate the rest to bake later. Store unused dough covered tightly with plastic wrap in the 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.

BAKE 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 tac 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!

Notes

To make pizza dough: Follow the steps to make the dough, if making the larger master recipe, use 1/4 of the dough and shape into a square or round pizza. Par-bake the dough for 7 – 10 minutes at 450 degrees F, carefully remove from oven, top with sauce and pizza topping and bake for another 10 – 15 minutes.

Using Grams: For those baking using weight instead of cups, here is a handy guide King Arthur’s Ingredient Weight Chart. Simply use the search filter to find the flour you are using.

Keywords: artisan bread

FOLLOW TSV on FacebookInstagramPinterest, or RSS for more updates and inspiration!

45 Comments

  1. Patricia L Maus says:

    Woman!! This is a KEEPER!! This Artisan bread recipe is crunchy on the outside and tender on the inside. It reminds me of a bread my husband and I use to get at an Italian Restaurant of the South South way south side of Chicago in the early 70’s. Everything was home made from soup to desserts. This is THE bread. Thank you soooo much for such a wonderful website. I am trying recipes daily. But I just HAD to tell you how wonderful this Artisan bread recipe is. Thank YOU THANK YOU!! Patty the Cleaning Lady

  2. Great basic artisan bread recipe. I added rosemary and fresh fennel springs on top to give it some color. I should’ve added more as I thought it was a bit lacking in flavor. But baked beautifully up. I baked in my Dutch oven, and didn’t skip the steam. Definitely makes a difference for the crustiness. Might use ice cubes next time.

  3. Family loved it. Wasn’t going to bother with the water under it but decided to at the last minute. Really glad I did.

  4. I Love this recipe!!! My first ever bread loaf and it was delish!! I also make pizza once a week so now I have an easy recipe for 2 loaves of bread and 2 pizza balls over 2 weeks. YAY!!!
    The only problem I ran into was wrapping it up tightly in the wrap. It exploded out of it…twice..my dough Blob. Suggestions?

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Yay, we are so happy this recipe is working well for you! As for the saved portions, you can try wrapping them a little loser and see if that helps, or try using a glass container with a lid (one that is large enough to hold the dough with a bit of room for expansion ). I’m not sure why your dough is expanding, so I hope these options can help. Enjoy your bread and pizza!

  5. Cheryl Mankin says:

    This is seriously the best bread recipe I’ve ever made, vegan or not. The flavor is superb, the crumb is perfect, it’s moist and airy yet hearty enough to be a good sandwich bread. I baked it in my dutch oven and it was just so amazingly good at my family game night. I’ll be making this at least weekly.

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      So glad you’re finding the recipe helpful and delicious, Cheryl! Thanks for sharing!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe rating