5-Minute Artisan Bread Recipe

This 5-minute artisan bread recipe instructs you on how to make homemade bread in just minutes a day. Seriously. Can you say quick, easy, rustic, and the best?

5-Minute Artisan Bread Recipe

This 5-minute artisan bread recipe is truly revolutionary. Actually, those are the words of the authors who created this quick homemade bread recipe and we couldn’t agree more. Like so many rustic bread recipes, this easy artisan bread relies on pantry staples—just all-purpose flour, yeast, salt, and water. The trick lies in not kneading the dough but instead mixing the dough in bulk, stashing it in the fridge, and then forgetting about it until the craving for freshly baked bread descends upon you. When that happens, simply take the dough out of the fridge, lop off enough for a loaf, shape it, let it rest, and then take a moment to slide it in the oven before you casually go about your life. And then don’t come forget to come back later to retrieve the best artisan bread of your life from the oven.

If you want to get technical, this 5-minute artisan bread recipe does take a little more than 5 minutes to make, but that’s only if you include the resting and baking time. Seriously. This recipe instructs you on how to make artisan bread in 5 minutes at a stretch. We’ve relied on this recipe and its brilliant technique literally dozens of times and we can assure you that 5 minutes hands-on time is all you’ll ever invest at any given stage in the recipe. That’s nothing for a loaf of rustic artisan bread that’s homemade, right?! Nothing short of a miracle, that is.

One last thing. The authors created this technique and recipe so that it can accommodate any shape loaf, whether baguette, bâtard, ciabatta, couronne, crusty white sandwich loaf, Pullman sandwich loaf, or soft dinner rolls. The recipe below instructs you on how to make an artisan bread that the French refer to as a boule (pronounced “bool” and meaning “ball”). This recipe has been updated. Originally published January 13, 2014.Renee Schettler Rossi

5-Minute Artisan Bread Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 10 M
  • 5 H
  • Four 1-pound loaves

Ingredients

  • 3 cups (24 ounces) water, plus more for the broiler tray
  • 1 tablespoon (.35 ounce) granulated yeast (active dry, instant, quick rise, or bread machine is fine)
  • 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons (.6 to .9 ounce) kosher or other coarse salt, to taste
  • 6 1/2 cups (2 pounds) unbleached all-purpose flour, measured by the scoop-and-sweep method
  • Cornmeal, for dusting (optional)

Directions

  • 1. Warm the 3 cups water just a little so that it feels just slightly warmer than body temperature. That should put it at about 100°F (40°C). In the large bowl of a standing mixer or a 6-quart container with a lid, mix the yeast, warm water, and salt. Don’t worry about getting the yeast to dissolve. Add the flour all at once, then use a spoon or stand mixer to mix until the flour is completely incorporated and you have a blobby dough. (If you’re hand-mixing the dough and it becomes too difficult to incorporate all the flour with the spoon, just use very wet hands to press the mixture together.) Don’t knead the dough! It’s not necessary. You just want the dough to be uniformly wet and loose enough to conform to the shape of its container. All you need to do is be certain that there are no dry patches of flour.
  • 2. Loosely cover the container and let the dough hang out at room temperature until it begins to rise and collapse or at least flatten a little on the top, about 2 hours. (Relax. It’s bread dough, not a newborn. You don’t need to monitor it constantly. And don’t worry about the dough being precisely double or triple its original volume as you would with a traditional bread recipe. Just walk away, go about your business, and come back in 2 hours. Seriously.)
  • 3. After 2 hours, stash the container of dough in the fridge. That’s it. (If your container isn’t vented, you want to ensure the gases can escape by leaving the cover open a crack for the first couple days in the fridge; after that, you can seal it.) You can use the dough anytime after the initial 2-hour rise, although the refrigerated wet dough is less sticky and easier to work with than dough at room temperature, so it’s best to refrigerate the dough overnight before handling it. Once refrigerated, the dough will seem to have shrunk back upon itself as though it will never rise again—that’s normal. Whatever you do, do not punch down this dough. You’re trying to retain as much gas in the dough as possible, and punching it down knocks gas out and results in denser loaves. Just be certain to use the dough at some point within 14 days.
  • 4. When you want to bake a loaf of artisan bread, dust a pizza peel or a baking sheet turned upside down with cornmeal or line it with parchment paper. Grab a hunk of the dough and use a serrated knife or scissors to cut off a 1-pound piece of dough. Hold the dough in your hands and, if necessary, add just enough flour so the dough doesn’t stick to your hands. (What you’re trying to do is surround the surface of the dough with flour so that it can be handled. You are not trying to incorporate more flour into the dough, so for the love of all things good, resist the temptation to get rid of all the dough’s inherent and lovely stickiness by working the flour into the dough.) Gently stretch the surface of the dough, tucking the ends underneath the ball and rotating it a quarter turn as you go. Most of the dusting flour will fall off, and that’s okay, because as we just said, it’s not intended to be incorporated into the dough. The bottom of the ball of dough may appear to be a collection of bunched ends, but it will flatten out and adhere during resting and baking. Your round loaf of bread should be smooth and cohesive, and the entire shaping process should take no more than 20 to 40 seconds—don’t work the dough any longer or your loaves may be dense. Place the shaped ball of dough on the prepared pizza peel and let it rest for about 40 minutes. It doesn’t need to be covered. You may not see much rise during this period, but don’t fret. It will rise much more during baking.
  • 5. Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C) for at least 20 to 30 minutes. Preheat a baking stone on a middle rack for at least 20 to 30 minutes. Place an empty metal broiler tray on any rack that won’t interfere with the rising bread. (Do not use a glass pan as it could shatter.)
  • 6. Dust the top of the raised loaf generously with flour and, using a serrated bread knife, slash a 1/2-inch-deep cross or tic-tac-toe pattern in the top. There’s no need to dust the flour off the loaf.
  • 7. Place the far edge of the peel or the upside-down baking sheet in the oven on the baking stone a few inches beyond where you want the bread to land. Give the peel or baking sheet a couple quick back-and-forth jiggles and then abruptly pull it out from under the loaf. The loaf should land on the baking stone with very little drama. Quickly but carefully pour about 1 cup hot water into the broiler tray and immediately shut the oven door to trap the steam. Bake the bread for a total of 20 to 35 minutes, until the crust is richly browned and firm to the touch. (Don’t worry. Because the dough is so wet, there’s very little risk of it becoming dry despite how dark the crust may become.) And crazily enough, a perfectly baked loaf will audibly crackle, or “sing,” when initially exposed to room temperature. Let the loaf cool completely, preferably on a wire rack for the best flavor, texture, and slicing. The crust may initially soften but will firm when cooled.
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David Says
David Says

I’ve made six or seven dozen loaves of 5-minute artisan bread. That’s no exaggeration. (That’s one of my babies below.) When I don’t want to think too hard, which these days is often, I whip out Zoë’s and Jeff’s book, flip it open to the master recipe, and start measuring. (I always use a scale, and every loaf has been perfect.) The One, who’s not a bread fan (it was always foisted upon him as a kid so he would fill up), devours these. In fact, he even pleads with me not to make them because he can’t stop eating them. What I love best about the recipe, though, is it’s so versatile. To whit, I have made loaves with bacon, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and black pepper; sausage and Cheddar cheese; rosemary and olive oil; sautéed onion; chopped back olives. You name it. And I’ve made all kinds of shapes: boules, loaves, pan loaves, couronnes, epi. It’s the official bread of our annual cassoulet party, and guests even place an order for a loaf to take home. Trust Fatty Daddy, you’ll never go wrong with this recipe.

5-minute Artisan Bread Recipe

Recipe Testers Reviews

Recipe Testers Reviews
Testers Choice
Sandy Hill

Jan 15, 2016

Wow! What a gorgeous, beautifully colored, irresistible loaf of artisan bread! I wish I'd made more loaves at the same time. The loaf had a chewy crust and a beautiful interior. The ingredients for the dough were fast and simple to assemble. I used a wooden spoon and didn't need a mixer. Make sure to use the scoop-and-sweep method to measure the flour. I placed the dough in a large, ungreased Tupperware with a lid and rested it on the counter for 2 hours. Then I placed the container in the refrigerator, loosely covered, and waited 2 days to use the soft, spongy, yeasty-smelling dough. (I stuck a sticky note on the outside of the container with the date, so I could keep track of the 14 days—not that I expected it to last that long!) Forming the boule and transferring it to my hot pizza stone were simple enough. I made a tic-tac-toe pattern on the top of the loaf, and there was definitely a significant amount of flour on the loaf, but it didn't burn. My loaf baked for 25 to 30 minutes. We love the aroma of bread baking in the oven, and we were all watching and waiting for the loaf to cool so it could be sliced. This was truly Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, and I can't wait to try some other variations on this.

Testers Choice
Larry Noak

Jan 15, 2016

I nearly always have some of this dough in the fridge. This 5-minute artisan bread is a simple 4-ingredient dough. I used a wooden spoon in a large mixing bowl and finished with my wet hands. The dough was very lumpy and sticky. After the 2-hour rise, the dough was full of holes, which are very noticeable throughout when using a glass bowl. After refrigerating the dough overnight, it was very easy to work with. So easy, in fact, I really didn't need to flour the surface before cutting a loaf-size amount from the dough. I made a couple of boules, and while they had a nice crumb, the crust was spectacular! This dough is perfect to have on hand for any occasion. If, like me, you love a crisp, crunchy bread, this recipe is for you. If you leave the dough in the fridge for at least 48 hours, the crumb has many more holes. When you use it the next day, the crumb is much tighter. I prefer mine with holes to capture all of the goodies that I apply.

Testers Choice
Helen Doberstein

Jan 15, 2016

This has to be the easiest and fastest way to make bread dough. It's also now my favorite way to make bread dough—and a decent loaf or boule of bread with little effort. I made a free-form boule and a loaf in a traditional loaf pan. I found that after baking the loaves for 30 minutes, I had a tanned boule, much like a round sourdough loaf. I found this loaf had a moist and dense crumb and a crunchy crust. As for the loaf pan, I found that batch didn't rise as much, but this may be due to my handling of the dough. It was still delicious. This is certainly a way to wow on a weeknight, as the bread does its own thing while you prep dinner. A great method for making bread. I used a 10-quart storage container with a lid. While the dough was rising, I left 1 corner open, and then when I refrigerated it, I closed that corner. It really is a good idea to open it the first few days to allow the extra gases out. I find it's a good workout mixing the dough with a wooden spoon (about 6 or 7 minutes of mixing), but I've used a stand mixer in the past with other bread doughs for speed (about 3 or 4 minutes). Both work equally well. The resulting dough looks like wet pizza dough, sort of jelly- or pudding-like. When the work is done, all that remains is to use it within 14 days. I so far have not had this dough last a week. The only suggestion I would make is that you should check your yeast to make sure it's still viable before mixing your dough. I forgot to do that, and my first batch failed to rise. I replaced my yeast with fresh, and the second batch performed as it should.

Testers Choice
Gail Rueckl

Jan 15, 2016

This 5-minute artisan bread is absolutely delicious! I love the warm, earthy flavors, the spongy, chewy texture, and the crisp crust. Great recipe. I just used the last of the dough that was in the refrigerator. However, I don't have a pizza peel, so I used a small bread board with a handle. When I tried to put the dough on the baking stone as instructed, it fell and lost its shape, and I had to pick it up and re-shape it. I took the bread out of the oven when it was 210°F, and the top was richly browned. It took only about 20 minutes to bake the bread. This recipe was well worth the time.

Testers Choice
Kristen Kennedy

Jan 15, 2016

I'm going to start off by saying that this 5-minute artisan bread dough is gorgeous and comes together without a hitch. I followed the directions precisely and used exactly 6 cups flour. It's a lovely, sticky dough that's a bit difficult to work with unless you're used to working with loose doughs. After allowing the dough to rest in the fridge for 2 days, I embarked on making the boule. I followed the directions precisely, and even without a pizza peel, I was able to put the formed boule onto the preheated baking stone without changing the shape too much. Don't be scared to use a lot of flour to help you shape the dough—it won't get incorporated at all, and it looks rather gorgeous against the burnished crust. I baked the bread for exactly 30 minutes and then placed it on a rack to cool. The resulting boule was golden brown, with a lovely crust, fantastic chew, and wonderful flavor.

Comments
Comments
  1. Rita J says:

    I have used this so often, I have used about 10 bags of flour making this bread. The taste is amazing! I prefer the baguette. Amazon sells the baguette pan. Very easy to make and almost addictive.

  2. sumara says:

    I have bread flour, can I substitute some of that for AP flour?

    • David Leite says:

      sumara, the authors are clear about when you can use bread flour–usually when the loaf needs to hold a particular shape. For this loaf, I think you’ll have better success if you use AP flour.

    • Hi Sumara, you can use your bread flour, but you’ll want to add 2 to 4 tablespoons of additional water to compensate for the additional protein in the bread flour. I recommend making the recipe with all-purpose once so you know what the consistency is supposed to feel like, then you can experiment with other flours. Here is some more information about using different types of flour.

      Thanks, Zoë

  3. Carla says:

    All of the recipes in this book are fantastic. If you end up with just a bit of dough leftover, make little balls and deep fry them…then toss with butter and garlic. SO good and they don’t get soggy either.

  4. I have been making Zoe and Jeff’s breads since their first book came out and the breads that I’m able to produce are amazing.

  5. Jamie says:

    This is the third Artisan Bread in 5 books I have and I love them. Bread for the lazy? No…. just super simple and perfect every loaf! And really the best Challah ever.

  6. Rita J says:

    While my youngest was still in school, I would have two loaves waiting fresh out of the oven when she got off the bus. She would stand by the kitchen island and eat half a loaf before she said hello! I still feel good every time I think about those days. Grown up and out of the house now. Zoe, you gave me and mine some great memories. Thank you!

    • Hi Rita, it is funny to think mine was sitting in a bouncy seat on the counter when I wrote that book and now he’s taller than me. ;) So pleased you enjoy the bread with your family!

      Cheers, Zoë

  7. My best childhood friend turned me onto this recipe; I turned my neighbor on to it; and we three make it all the time. I usually bake it in the oven on a half sheet pan with a roasting pan turned upside down over it to avoid using the water to create steam and find it works well. I have also baked it in a cast-iron Dutch oven with great success. I even baked a little ficelle in a Le Creuset cast iron terrine, but I would really need two terrines to do that regularly.

    I have recently found a baking “steel,” instead of a stone on which to bake bread and pizza, and if it works well, I will give you a heads up. It’s a great idea – should conduct heat superbly and will not break.

    I have the original Artisan Bread book and recently got the revised Kindle edition (1) so I have it with me all the time (you never know where you will be when the mood to bake a loaf of bread and show off strikes) and (2) I have a lonely Pullman Pan in my cupboard begging to be used for the first time.

    I consider this recipe to be a miracle.

    • David Leite says:

      Yes, and I consider Zöe and Jeff the his and hers Saints of Bread Baking (with all due respect to St. Elizabeth of Hungary.)

    • Thank you, Victoria. How wonderful that you and your friends all bake together. I am so curious what you think of the steel. I’ve yet to try it, but it seems like a great product. Do let me know what you think.

      Enjoy! Zoë

      • Kathleen says:

        I’ve done two batches of this recipe on the Baking Steel and it worked perfectly! The first batch was your recipe exactly. The second I subbed half of AP flour for whole wheat and it was wonderful! The steel is a lovely tool for a beautiful crust. Thanks for this recipe!

  8. Lola says:

    I use a similar recipe, but it has a higher water content, so it doesn’t need steam to make a crackly-crisp crust. This recipe is definitely going on my to-do list though!

  9. Hunddee says:

    Has anybody tried baking bread (specifically this bread as it is so easy and tasty) in a Roemer Topf? Would I still need that broiler pan of water after soaking the Topf in water overnight? Cover or not to cover, that is the question…… I’m going to try it anyway but it would be great if somebody could share what experience they have. Most people don’t have a clue what wonderful foods can be cooked in the RT, talk about the original one pot meal! Haven’t done any baking in it but would like to try. Thanks.

  10. Deborah says:

    I tried this bread recipe twice, although is is an easy recipe, I found it didn’t rise enough and it was very yeasty tasting. Threw it out.

  11. Miriam says:

    Wow, wow, wow. Best ever!!! Really 5 minutes tops to start the dough. Made 2 generous loaves, 1 regular, the second I stuck full of garlic cloves. In my book Zoe and Jeff get a Nobel prize for bread making. Next time will try with chopped dill, maybe fried onions. Can’t believe the quality and taste of the final product. Dipped it in chimichuri HEAVENLY!!! Can see myself using Costco bags of flour!!!

  12. Lola says:

    Sure!
    Will need:
    3 cups bread or all-purpose flour (sometimes I use multigrain)
    1/4 tsp instant yeast
    1 tsp table salt (or 3/4 Tbsp kosher salt)
    1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
    Cast iron pot, or baking pan with lid (I use an 8 in. square cake pan with aluminum foil for a lid. Pyrex will explode)

    Mix dry ingredients together, then add water and mix til combined. Dough will be a goopy shaggy mess. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a draft free place for 12-20 hours.

    2 hours before you want to bake, wet hands and turn dough out onto floured piece of parchment paper. Bring the edges of the dough together and turn over, and transfer the dough ball on top of the lightly floured parchment paper into another bowl. Cover with a cloth and let rest for those 2 hours.

    Half an hour before baking, set oven at 450F and place the baking pan or appropriate pot (think Le Creuset. Should be able to withstand very high temp) in the oven to preheat.

    After the dough has risen to your liking, take the pan/pot out of the oven and lift the parchment paper containing the dough right into your vessel (hassle-free transfer!). Place the lid and put back in the oven.

    Bake for 30 minutes, then take the lid off and bake for another 15-20 minutes or until bread is golden brown and makes a hollow sound when tapped.

    Enjoy hearing that crust crackle!

  13. Sue says:

    This is truly revolutionary — I can’t wait to give it a try!

  14. Karen Huffman says:

    Love, love, LOVE this bread. It’s one of those recipes where I can’t decide if I should tell everyone I know about it, or selfishly keep it as my own little secret and just impress everyone who doesn’t make their own bread. It is simple, rustic and the crust comes out to crispy perfection every time! Thanks for another “keeper”.

  15. Hi David, greatly simple hurrah! could I incoroprate cumin or seeds into this or is it not possible since there is no kneading? suggestions? Thanks in advance

  16. Mica says:

    Can I substitute the a portion of the flour for wholemeal, rye or spey flour?
    will it work if I knead in some roasted sunflower seeds before shaping?
    thanks and hugs from Germany!
    Mica

  17. basak says:

    Hi, does this recipe work with rye or whole-wheat flour??

    • Beth Price says:

      Hi Basak, the author of the recipe recommends that you follow the Master Recipe as written until you get a feel for the proper consistency. This is because the hydration needed for bread storage will vary from flour to flour due to the gluten content. The higher the gluten, the more water that will be needed. Once you get a feel for the dough, then experiment with other flours.

    • David Leite says:

      basak, it definitely can work with other flours, but the amounts are different. I suggest purchasing the book. You won’t be disappointed.

  18. The bread that I make from ABI5MAD is caraway rye. It is the bread that got these two “baking fools” together in the first place. I add caraway seed to the recipe in a greater amount and I add 1/4 cup of dry onion flakes to the dough. You need to make a couple to get the feel for the dough and how to handle it. Like everything in baking, technique is important and you have to work on the product to get it perfect. My daughter likes the larger bread for sandwiches and I make many appetizer size loaves for holidays where I need smaller slices for chopped liver or chopped herring salad.

  19. chris says:

    Um, where’s the interior crumb photo? Would like to see I’d you were able to achieve an open crumb…

  20. Patrick says:

    I haven’t tried this technique yet but I shall soon.Have you experimented with saving a portion of dough from a batch a few days old and and adding it to the next batch? I am wondering if you would then get the stronger flavor of an older batch right away with a 2 day old batch? Thank you

  21. Larry Noak says:

    Hi Patrick, I have never done this with The Zoe Francois bread but, I am certain that the flavor may be enhanced with a bit of “old dough” It certainly couldn’t hurt. This dough already rests in your refrigerator so old dough wouldn’t be necessary but it could be a matter of personal taste. This bread has a fine taste as written and I’m guessing you will be pleased.

  22. Gustavo A Pardo III says:

    Made this for the first time last night added fresh rosemary and roasted garlic. Simply put amazing recipe, very easy and delicious. Thank you very much this will recipe is one that will stay for good.

    Couldn’t add pics

    • David Leite says:

      Gustavo, you bet. I love this recipe. And if you send me your photos at david@leitesculinaria.com, I’ll add them to your comment.

      • Gustavo A Pardo III says:

        We are making more tonight roasted jalapeño & aged white cheddar, asiago & smoked chicken, cranberry, walnut & goat cheese!!!! Thank u so mucho!!!

        5-Minute Artisan Bread

        • David Leite says:

          Gustavo, I love this photo for many reasons. 1.) The breads look incredible. 2.) I think it’s the first photo that shows a reader in it. and 3.) You look so freaking happy and proud!! I love the variations you’re dreaming up. Send more photos, please.

  23. nader says:

    Aloha from Maui. I have experimented with this bread. I also get excellent taste and results skipping the last step! I add garlic and rosemary to the recipe and only use bread flour. I put it in a silicone form, fill it about half way, and let it rise for 2 or 3 hours. When you see it has doubled put your oven on at 450. Maybe not as pretty, but really good!!!!

    Nader

  24. Lynn says:

    Wow, can’t wait too try this! If one wants to freeze 1/2 for use beyond the 14 days, can the dough be successfully frozen?

    • David Leite says:

      Lynn, you can. Here’s What Zoë and Jeff say:

      “Yes, you can, just wrap it very well or seal it in airtight containers, anytime after the initial rise. Defrost overnight in the fridge when ready to use, then shape, rest, and bake as usual. How long to freeze is a bit controversial — our dough loses a bit of rising power over time in the freezer, and that’s especially true for enriched doughs like challah and brioche. Our testers were happy with lean dough frozen for four weeks (dough made without eggs, butter, or oil). For enriched doughs, we’d recommend shorter frozen storage times: challah, three weeks, and for brioche, two weeks. There’s no need to increase the yeast or make any other changes to dough that will be frozen.”

  25. Erica says:

    these look so yummy :) I wonder if they would work as bread bowls for chowder or chili…? I didn’t read over all the comments, but for the most part it sounds pretty simple, even for me (can’t bake to save my life). Thanks for such a simple, and apparently delicious bread recipe :) can’t wait to give it a try!!

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      Erica, I see no reason why not to use these as bread bowls, and actually, now that you you mention the notion, I have a mad crazy craving for a batch of New England Clam Chowder ladled in one of these boules! And yes, you’re correct, this recipe is insanely simple and not at all time-consuming. I really hope you like it, because most people I know who think they can’t bake simply haven’t had good recipes, and I suspect that’s what’s happened with you. So definitely give it a try and please let us know how it goes!

  26. jasper says:

    Made this substituting about 1/4 of the wheat flour with rye flour and half a bottle of brown beer for some of the water, no problem. Incredible bread!

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      Terrific to hear it, Jasper! Like the way you’re thinking. A lot. Really appreciate you taking the time to let us know.

  27. Tami says:

    I really would like to try this but I don’t have a baking stone or dutch oven. Would a baking sheet work? or is there another substitute?

    • David Leite says:

      Tami, you can use a baking sheet, my friend Christine does. Just make sure it’s wicked hot. I’d suggest sprinkling a piece of parchment with cornmeal and putting your shaped loaf on top. Then slide the paper and bread onto the baking sheet. It makes it easier.

  28. Fatima says:

    I tried this recipe last night. How do I get a beautiful round loaf? I tried the shaping but I wasn’t too successful and my loaf didn’t turn out as beautiful and golden. It was more like a panini. It tasted great though. Any tips?

  29. Eunice Choo says:

    My dough doesn’t quite hold its shape and it’s really kinda sticky! Any tips?

    • Beth Price says:

      Hi Eunice, it sounds like you have too much liquid or not enough flour. How did you measure your ingredients?

      • Eunice Choo says:

        Using the same measuring for flour and water, and the scoop and sweep method as per instructions. Nevertheless, the bread came out from the oven with a crusty top and moist inside. Maybe I should try it out again to get the right texture. What do think? Trial and error, right?

  30. BillieO2 says:

    I adore bread and this looks wonderful! I have read all the comments and hope that I will be able to make this because no matter how many times I have tried, I just cannot make a good loaf of bread…I guess I am baking-challenged. Looking forward to trying this recipe! :-))

  31. Karen Huffman says:

    I am always happy to see this recipe reappear. It is one of my favorite recipes that you’ve posted. Oh…and just so you know…you have become part of my Sunday morning ritual. A steaming cup of my husband’s wonderful perked coffee and my weekly recipes from you. I have loved each and every recipe that I have tried from this site, but this bread probably tops the list. Thank you!!!! Happy New Year to you and yours.

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      Karen, that is simply lovely to hear. We can ask for no greater compliment. So you’re welcome and thank you!

  32. Frances Robinson says:

    Hi. Love making bread, usually use Richard Bertinet recipe but thought this looked good. I did exactly as per the recipe. I thought it looked very wet but after 2 hours it had risen right to the top of my Kitchen Aid bowl and was beginning to collapse on itself as you said it would. It had masses of air bubbles so I covered the bowl with a shower cap and put it in the fridge overnight.

    This morning it had reduced in volume but was still working, however it was just liquid, like a thick double cream! I had to pour it out and no way would I have been able to form it into a loaf. Where have I gone wrong? I found the combination of american cup sizes and pounds and grms a bit confusing. I had to pour it away. Help!

    • Beth Price says:

      Hi Frances, so sorry that you found the measurements confusing. Do you remember how much flour, water and salt you ultimately used? Changes in these proportions can result in a slack dough.
      Sometimes, other variables affect the results as our professional baker, Cindi, explains:
      There’s a lot going on in an active dough. The proteins unravel and align themselves minimizing the need for kneading. Flavors develop. Yeast and bacteria multiply. Sometimes, however, the strains of yeast and bacteria that get the upper hand are ones that can cause undesirable results, producing enzymes and/or acids that can destroy the gluten network and the starches too.
      Is the reader’s water softened or did she use distilled? Lack of minerals can prevent strong gluten development.
      The second most likely culprit would be the flour. Even if it is the same brand as the reader always uses flour can easily become contaminated. Not in the unsafe sense but in the sense of the soil having different strains of bacteria that then become a part of the growing wheat. Also, if the flour contains malt or other dough conditioners a slight change in the amount can cause slack doughs.
      Certain bacteria, which could just be in the air or on a surface the reader used, can also infect a dough and cause trouble. Was there any off color or flavor?

  33. Jealith says:

    So I tried this all last week after buying two of the 6 qt buckets to store the dough in. The bread came out looking beautiful, the taste? Sucked. Maybe it was the flour? Although Gold Medal has never been a problem for me before. Maybe it was the yeast? Fleischmanns, same as I have always used, I even used a kitchen scale to weigh my ingredients. I used steam in the bake, too and got a great crust. The texture was a bit gummy and the flavor just wasn’t there. Even with weighing the ingredients the dough was so sticky it was impossible to shape so I just plopped it onto a baking sheet with parchment paper. I think I need (knead) to stick with my old fashioned recipes and not waste my time with this. Better to knead a bit and take some time with the rise then to throw out the end results.

    • Hi Jealith,

      Thank you for trying the recipe. I’m sorry your experience so far has been frustrating, but I think there are a couple of things that may help you get a result that you’ll like.

      1. Shaping wet dough can be challenging, especially for bakers who have a lot of experience with a more traditional dough. It’s a new way of handling the dough. Here is a video my co-author made to show some tips on shaping wet dough.

      2. The flavor of the dough on the first day of mixing can be a bit dull, especially if you are used to a longer rest (ferment) or if you typically use a starter in your dough. An easy way to develop more flavor is to just wait until the second day to start baking. This gives the dough a more complex character. If you find the dough is too yeasty, then you can always decrease the yeast in the recipe, but this will mean a longer rise time. Here is some more information about reducing the yeast.

      I hope this helps you get a loaf you are more excited about. If this doesn’t exactly address the issue, please give me more detail and I’ll try to help you get there.

      Thanks, Zoë (co-author Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day)

  34. Ian says:

    After years of being afraid of baking, I’m in culinary school now and taking a baking class. Made up a batch of this dough yesterday and baked my first loaf today. It was fantastic! We lived in Turkey many years ago and the freshly-baked loaf smelled and looked a lot like Turkish ekmek bread. This loaf had the same crackly crust but not as chewy an interior. It tasted wonderful alone, with butter, and as the foundation of a chicken salad sandwich. I don’t think it will make it anywhere near 14 days in the fridge!

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      Terrific, Ian! I always want to fist pump when I hear about someone overcoming the fear of anything—especially anything in the kitchen. Lovely to hear that you care for this recipe as much as we do, and appreciate you teaching us about ekmek—will be on the lookout for it!

  35. Kay says:

    First time bread maker. I used the pre-measured yeast packets (1/4 oz). One is not quite a tbsp and 2 is too much. I got a very yeasty tasting bread using 2 packets. Could I get away with using 1 packet of yeast or should I tear open the second packet to get the tbsp? The bread came out fabulous except for the really yeasty taste. Thanks for any comments / suggestions.

    Also, after several days of being in the refrigerator, there were some dark spots in the dough/bread. Not sure what that is. Could it be the start of mold?

    • David Leite says:

      Kay, I would definitely use the required amount of yeast. That way you have a baseline. As far as the spots, I’ll defer to Zöe (I’ll ping her), one of the authors of the book. My guess is it might be related to the excess yeast.

    • Zoe Francois says:

      Hi Kay,

      I’m thrilled that you tried the bread and enjoyed it. I’d start by reducing the amount of yeast to 1 tablespoon of yeast, especially if you’re are sensitive to the flavor. Is it a sweet yeasty taste or more of an alcohol flavor? The fermentation, especially if you’ve used extra yeast, can cause more of an alcohol smell and flavor to the dough. You can reduce this by using less yeast and by making sure the bucket is vented so the gas from the yeast can escape as the dough is rising. If the lid is on too tightly the gas gets trapped and can impart that yeasty or alcohol flavor. This is also the cause of the dark spots on the dough. As long as the dark spots are not black and do not have the classic mold look to them, the dough should be fine. It is highly unlikely, in fact I’ve never heard of it happening, that you will get mold after only several days.

      I hope that helps. Thanks, Zoë

      • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

        Many, many kind thanks. Zoë!

      • Kay says:

        Thank you for your kind reply. It was more of an alcohol type taste. I will try using only 1 tbsp of yeast next go round. Will also look for a better container. I used a large bowl with a plastic lid that just sat on top of the bowl unsealed. I think on day 3 I tried to seal the lid but it kept popping off so I just let it sit on top of the bowl. Thanks again for your reply. If not for my faux pas I would have probably had some pretty great bread. Take care!

  36. Preston says:

    I have to say, I was pretty skeptical about this recipe. I mixed everything up around noon today, and watched it doubtfully. Around 2, it had clearly increased in size, and I stuck it in the fridge with some measure of hope that this might not be a wasted effort. I just couldn’t wait a full day, so I pulled a hunk off in the evening, turned the oven on, and set up the loaf to rise … and it didn’t rise very much at all. A failed attempt, I figured. Oh well, I stuck it in the oven anyway in hopes that it would rise more. After 20 minutes, it was a fairly small loaf of … delicious. Truly delicious. I’m mystified and thrilled by this recipe. I can’t wait to see how the loaves turn out later this week.

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      Terrific, Preston! Thanks for keeping the faith…and for keeping us in the know regarding how your other loaves turn out. Really glad you’ve had the same delicious results we have with this recipe.

  37. Johnny says:

    Hi there.

    Well, I followed the recipe to the letter. My dough is busy rising as I write. Thing is, I’m in London, UK. I wondering, will this recipe still work using English cup measures? Are they the same? Also, I read that English plain flour is the same as American all-purpose flour. But I’m not sure. Should I perhaps try using English strong bread making flour? Hope someone can help. Hmmm. Guess I’ll just have to wait and see.
    Very exciting!

    Cheers, Johnny

  38. Zoe Francois says:

    Hi Johnny,

    We actually have a British edition of the book that you can check out. We do use plain flour. Until you get a copy, here is the recipe in weights:

    680 grams lukewarm water
    10 grams granulated yeast
    20 grams kosher salt
    910 grams plain flour

    I hope this helps. Zoë (co-author Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day)

  39. Jacques Marchand says:

    Second try got this right. Could have done with a minute or two more on the bake. It is blooming awesome.

    The dough has been sitting in the fridge since Sunday. Drawing some awesome flavour. 450 gram/1 lb in a small loaf pan. Drakensberg grown, stone ground flour. Another loaf pan with boiling water (1/2 cup) next to it in the convection oven! ?? Thanks Zoë.

    Did this in a southern town called Johannesburg in South Africa!

    P.S. Did my own metric conversion. Works just great!

    5 Minute Artisan Bread Recipe

  40. Brooks says:

    In using this recipe for the first time I was delighted with the minimal fuss and how quickly the dough comes together. Who wouldn’t love a batch that hangs out in the fridge doing its thing while producing fresh loaves through the week? Zoë and Jeff’s descriptive of the final 40 minutes on the counter after shaping was on point, “You may not see much rise during this period, but don’t fret. It will rise much more during baking.” My boule was looking rather lazy―it seemed to spread a tad more than rise in the final proof. But look at the oven spring it achieved while baking! And the flavor? Impeccable. Many thanks to the authors and to LC for sharing this gem of a recipe.

    Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes Recipe

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      Gorgeous, Brooks! And yes, we couldn’t agree more, Zoë and Jeff certainly know their bread!

  41. I use the same method for my pizza crusts. I leave the dough for at least 24 hours before shaping and baking them on a cornmeal dusted stone. The flour I use is from Italy.

  42. bkhuna says:

    I eschwed making resolutions this New Year.

    I broke down and put this bread on my list.

    Oh Happy Day!

  43. Susan says:

    This looks so wonderful. Is it possible to cut this recipe in half? I don’t have freezer room to store 1/2 of the dough, and I don’t want to tempt myself to go through that much bread in just two weeks. Not saying that I couldnt, but…Thanks!

  44. Jacques Marchand says:

    Even an awesome crumb! Can’t quite seem to get the amazing crust most of you manage. However I believe I am getting a bit better at this.

    5-Minute Artisan Bread Recipe

    • David Leite says:

      Jacques, wonderful! So glad you like the recipe. About the crust: Is your oven properly calibrated? If it’s not cranking that proper high heat, it’s hard to get the right crust. Also, maybe move the rack a bit higher. And you’re using the water, right? That’s crucial, too.

      • Jacques Marchand says:

        Definitely using water David. I am using a convection oven and will try one notch higher on the next batch (ie 230 centigrade). Cannot move the rack!?

  45. Roda says:

    This recipe is amazing. And it’s so good coz you can have it over and over again in the next days. Thank you so much.?

  46. Joy Bart says:

    Hello! Just two questions: 1.) Can the bread be cooked in an iron skillet, and 2.) what temp. should the Crock Pot be set to?

    Thanks!

    Joy

  47. Zoe Francois says:

    Hi Joy,

    You sure can bake in an iron skillet. We suggest preheating the skillet to improve the oven spring (rise). You’ll want to lower the bread into the skillet on a piece of parchment or use a pizza peel. Getting the bread out of the skillet is a bit trickier than a stone, because it has sides you can’t just scoop it onto a peel. You’ll want to use a spatula to help lift it out.

    All crockpots seem to have different levels of power. I put my crockpot on high and it takes a 1-pound loaf about an hour to bake. It is not unusual for the bread to take longer, sometimes even 1 1/2 hours or more, if the crockpot doesn’t run as hot. Here is a bit more information: http://www.artisanbreadinfive.com/2012/05/29/crock-pot-bread-baking-fast-bread-in-a-slow-cooker

    Thank you and enjoy the bread! Zoë François

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      Many thanks, Zoë! Bisous!

      • Joy Bart says:

        Hi Zoe ! And hello Renee . . .

        Thanks again for the info. I will let you know how the my bread comes out.

        Joy

    • Joy Bart says:

      Thanks Zoe!

      I have not made the bread before, I will try to educate myself using all the great instructions supplied by you and your websites. I will try each of the methods and probably stick to the one that works best. I expect I will gain some weight while enjoying the bread.

      Thanks again!

      Joy

  48. Jewel says:

    Hi there, I was wondering if it works well by using fresh yeast as opposed to using the dry granules? And if so, what would be the accurate conversion? Thanks, cannot wait to try this!!

  49. Lauren says:

    Another believer here! This was my first successful bread recipe after past failures and came out great on the first try. Thanks so much for posting. I halved the recipe and used my Kitchenaid with dough hook on speed 2 or 3 until it formed a ball. I added some herbs de provence but wish I had been a lot more generous with the salt – I didn’t measure just sprinkled a bit like I was seasoning a plate of food. I baked in a in a Le Creuset dutch oven sprayed with cooking spray (didn’t have any parchment and thankfully googled whether wax paper could go in the oven before attempting!) and followed the directions to preheat for 20 minutes. Definitely a keeper, will be trying next week with whole wheat flour.

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      You’re very welcome, Lauren! Terrific to hear that you, like so many, are hooked on this spectacular way to make bread. Would love to know how it goes with the whole wheat next week…

      • Lauren says:

        WW version went well, I halved the recipe again and did have AP/WW flour with fresh garlic and herbs. I didn’t have enough yeast so was short on that but it turned out fine, a little firmer than the all white version and ofcourse I didn’t get the same level of rise. I will definitely try WW again with the right amount of yeast. This recipe is so forgiving! If you have a pizza crust like it please post. And thanks again for sharing!

  50. Bill Bailey says:

    Well I am going to keep trying but I can’t say I enjoyed as much success as those that posted before me. The dough appeared to double in size so I followed the instructions and placed it in the fridge for 24 hours. Upon pulling it out of the fridge it appears to have continued to rise more in those 24 hours. When I pulled the bread out of the oven ( 25 minutes to achieve the crust color I saw in the pictures) I had 3 loaves of bread that smelled wonderful but were dense and contained little to none of the beautiful air holes that I saw in many of the pictures. Not certain what I am doing wrong and would love some additional guidance.

    • Zoe Francois says:

      Hi Bill,

      It is not entirely unusual for the dough to continue to rise in the refrigerator after the initial 2 hours on the counter. Did you bake the entire batch of dough at once? It sounds like you broke it into 3 loaves, is that right? If so, those loaves will have been larger than what we are giving resting and baking times for and a dense loaf would be expected. If you are baking larger loaves, you will need to let the dough rest longer, by about 30 to 40 minutes. If your loaves are large and you experienced a dense interior, I would recommend baking for at least 30, if not 35 minutes. Be sure not to cut into the loaves until they are completely cooled.

      I hope this helps!

      Thank you, Zoë François

  51. Tanya Apple says:

    I stumbled upon your website and think it’s fab! I have been an avid baker or no knead bread for a few years now. It turns out great. I am now trying to bake in a bell shaped cloche rather than a dutch oven, however even though I do the final rise in a banneton,the dough is still spreading giving me a super delicious but fat loaf rather like a ciabatta. Do you think that lining the banneton with oven paper and putting the whole thing, paper and all, in the pre heated cloche will help my loaf to become a boule please? Thanks.

  52. Mary Beth Elderton says:

    I am not a “real” cook or baker. I am just doing whole foods cooked at home from scratch. We are an older couple, so my huge challenge is to cook good small meals for two. Bread has been a serious challenge–we just usually don’t need whole loaves at a time, and we can only use so many croutons and puddings from the leftovers. And keeping bags of ciabatta rolls and partial loaves of bread is too much for my small freezer (and not as satisfying as fresh from the oven.) I made a batch of this recipe to try it out making just two sandwich sized rolls at a time. Beautiful! Nice and crusty and chewy…and easy. This may not replace every single kind of bread we like, but it is a wonderful way to have fresh baked bread on an hour or so notice. I have now invested in a bowl just for this dough in the fridge! Thank you!

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      You are so very welcome, Mary Beth! I am so pleased to hear that this recipe is working out so beautifully for your small-batch needs. Thank you so much for letting us know!

  53. Sheila says:

    For you high-altitude bakers: make sure to add an extra 3/4 cup of water to the recipe, and bake your bread for a minimum of 30 minutes. (learned this the trial and error way!) BEST BREAD EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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