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ARTISAN BREAD

Artisan Bread Recipe – Crispy crust on the outside, soft and tender on the inside, this homemade no-knead bread with only 4 ingredients is easy to make and tastes amazing! And 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’s 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, 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, 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.

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, 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. Slash 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 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 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.

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

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45 Comments

  1. I made this bread last week with my 2 year old and it was a big hit! We loved the taste, it’s simple ingredients, and the fact that we could make it in a short amount of time. This is now our go to bread recipe.

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Hi Ashely, baking with kids is so fun! So glad you all loved it, and thanks for the feedback! Cheers :)

  2. Kris Brewer says:

    I made this yesterday and was amazed. I am living in an area with out organic breads and now I can make bread myself. It turned out a little dense though, is this because I didn’t let it rise enough on the second rise. or is this just how it is? I also didn’t read the directions too good, added 1/4 cup too much flower. I love breads with seeds on the top. How would I add them to this recipe? Thank you.

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      So glad you enjoyed the recipe! It could be a little dense depending on the flour you used, or that you added a tad too much. I’ve made this using whole wheat and my loaf was a little more like sandwich bread. To add a layer of seeds, just before going into the oven to bake add a sprinkle of seeds over top! Thanks for the feedback, and let me know how your next loaf goes! Cheers :)

  3. Can this be made in a bread maker?

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Yes, you can make this bread in a bread machine. You may consider using bread machine yeast or rapid rise yeast instead of active yeast. Just follow instructions for your bread machine for this type of bread and see what they recommend. For further reading, take a look at this article from Bob’s Red Mill to better help you and your success: Making Bread with a Bread Machine

      Would love know how it goes! Best of luck and enjoy this delicious bread! :)

  4. Can I bake this in a pie pan? I’m overseas and there isn’t much bakeware here. My options are a shallow, rectangular glass pan, a pie pan, or a deep bread pan. Thank you!

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      You sure can bake it in a pie pan or skillet! There are some videos you can check out on Youtube for further assistance if needed. Enjoy!

  5. rachel pugliese says:

    Just made this for the first time and it was fantastic! My husband can’t stop raving about the crust. Shared the recipe today on my blog.

  6. Courtney Caldwell says:

    Great recipe! I added thyme and zest from a meyers lemon, and presto! The hands-down best bread I’ve ever baked to date. ;) Admittedly, I did add 1/8 c of sugar but can see myself not using it the next round.

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      That sounds wonderful! Glad the recipe worked well for you. Cheers :)

  7. Anonymous says:

    Does the wholewheat four have to be bread (strong) flour or will any flour like plain or self raising be ok?

    1. You can use regular whole wheat flour, it doesn't have to be bread flour. Bread flour has more gluten and will result in a slightly better texture and more volume. But most flours will work fine, ie…all purpose, whole wheat, spelt, whole wheat bread flour are the ones I have used. As for self rising flour, that is flour that contains salt and leavening (baking powder/soda) and is best to use for bread recipes that do not call for yeast, but you can sub it in and omit 1/2 of the salt listed. Honestly, I would stick with the flours mentioned above for the best results. Best of luck with your loaf! :)

  8. Anonymous says:

    How long can you keep the dough in the fridge? I love the idea of being able to bake a fresh bread roll while cooking a meal!

    1. Bread dough will keep in the fridge for up to a week. I love this idea too. Just use the 'original recipe' listed above so you'll have enough to cut off a piece for whenever you want it. Perfect fresh loaf every time!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Can you please advise on how I would adjust the recipie if I only have instant dry yeast? I can't seem to find any other yeast around

  10. lysa jordan says:

    Oh my! This looks fantastic…a perfect bread!!

    1. Yes, it's really wonderful!

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