No-Knead 5-Minute Artisan Bread

This no-knead 5-minute artisan bread explains how to make homemade bread in just minutes a day without fuss. Quick, easy, rustic, and the best bread you’ll ever bake ever, including after you come home from work.

Six round loaves of no-knead artisan bread

This no-knead 5-minute artisan bread is truly “revolutionary.” That’s the word the authors who created this quick homemade bread recipe use to describe it, and we couldn’t agree more. Like so many rustic bread recipes, it relies on just pantry staples of all-purpose flour, yeast, salt, and water. But what distinguishes this recipe, its true genius, is the technique. There’s no kneading required. More than that, though, you can stash it in the fridge for later. So you simply forget about it until you’re overtaken by the craving for freshly baked bread. When that happens, you just grab the dough from the fridge, lop off enough for a loaf, shape it, let it rest a few moments, and then slide it in the oven before you continue to go about your life. We’re talking 5 minutes of effort here. Seriously. Just don’t come forget to come back later to retrieve the best loaf of artisan bread you’ve ever experienced from the oven.

[Editor’s Note: Okay. If you want to get technical, this bread does take a little more than 5 minutes to make, but that’s only if you include the resting and baking time. But in terms of actual effort? Seriously, it’s just 5 minutes. We’ve relied on this recipe 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. Nothing short of a miracle, that is.] Originally published January 13, 2014.Renee Schettler Rossi

How To Make Other Shapes Of Bread

The authors created this recipe so that it can accommodate any shape loaf, whether the round boule you see in the photo above, a baguette, bâtard, ciabatta, couronne, crusty white sandwich loaf, Pullman sandwich loaf, or soft dinner rolls. The recipe below instructs you on how to make the French boule (pronounced “bool” and meaning “ball”). But if you’re experienced in shaping the others, or want to Google instructions on the others, by all means, go right ahead. The dough will work admirably.

5-Minute Artisan Bread

  • Quick Glance
  • 10 M
  • 5 H
  • Four 1-pound loaves
4.8/5 - 35 reviews
Print RecipeBuy the The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day cookbook

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Ingredients

  • 3 cups lukewarm water (100°F or 38°C) (24 oz), plus more for the broiler tray
  • 1 tablespoon granulated yeast (active dry, instant, quick rise, or bread machine is fine)
  • 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher or other coarse salt, to taste
  • 6 1/2 cups 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.

Recipe Testers Reviews

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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David Says

David Leite caricature

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 black 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

Comments

  1. Hi everyone! This recipe was my first time ever making bread and it was a huge success!!! Thank you for sharing!

    I have two questions. I wonder if anyone else has tried:

    – To make this recipe with half white and half whole wheat flour?? How was it?
    – To double the loaf size (ie make a 2 lb loaf)? How long would you cook it for? This loaf is quite small for my big family!

    Thanks :)

    1. Hello, Carmen. I know the answer to both your questions is yes. If you head over to BreadIn5.com, that’s the website of the authors of this cookbook. They have a ton of resources and video that can gave you specifics.

  2. Help. My bread looks more like a flying saucer than a loaf of bread. It flattered more and more during the time before baking. I had a hard time getting the dough out of the container , it stuck to my hands really bad, the flour didn’t help. I measured the ingredients carefully but it seems to me the dough is to wet. What can I do to prevent this next time? It did raise while baking. It is fluffy and moist on the inside.
    Martina Jewell

    1. Hi. I just wanted to say I had the same problem. My first loaf came our very flat. I tried again a few days later trying to make a tighter ball and thinking it needed to rest more before baking but the longer it sat the flatter it got. my second (and third) tries were a little better but look nothing like the pictures in this article. It’s mostly flat with a small dome in the middle. Flying saucer is actually a great description. So disappointing.

      1. Ray and Martina, am incredibly sorry to hear that you had trouble with your experience. We’ve asked the author of the recipe to reach out and respond as she’s wonderful with troubleshooting and coming to understand what went awry. I’m certain she’ll have some suggestions to prevent this from happening again…

      2. Hi Ray,

        I hope you saw my response to Martina’s question. It sounds like you were having similar issues, so I hope it was helpful to you as well. Please let me know if you have any more questions about the bread.

        Cheers, Zoë

        1. Hi Zoe,

          Wow! Thanks for sharing that video. You definitely handled the dough waaaay more than I did in making my dough ball. I think I was too nervous about kneading it. It ended up looking a lot like your dough ball to start with but I figure it wasn’t shaped well or tight enough. Good know. Looking forward to trying this again soon. I’m just getting into baking bread and failing a lot lol.

    2. Hi Martina,

      It sounds like your dough is too wet. How did you measure your flour, with a scale or cups? If you use cups, did you scoop the flour out of the bin and then sweep it clean or did you spoon the flour into the cup. If you spoon the flour into the cup, it results in less flour and a very wet dough. I always suggest using a scale to make sure you are getting a consistent amount each time, but if you use cups, be sure to scoop and sweep.

      The other issue can be the proper way of shaping the dough. Here is a video on shaping wet dough.

      Thank you for trying the bread and let me know if this is helpful!

      Zoë

  3. I realize this is an older recipe but I’m hoping someone can shed some light on what went wrong. My loaf came out super dense, flat and pale as a ghost. I didn’t make any changes to the recipe. Cooked mine for 35 minutes at 450 on a stone preheated for close to an hour. At that point, the internal temp was well above 220 and has a super crispy crust but the loaf didn’t brown at all. Top, bottom, sides are all pretty much the color of raw dough or flour. It barely rose at all in the over too.

    1. Hi Ray,

      This really is an odd outcome, considering your internal temperature was at 220°F. Do you use an independent oven thermometer to make sure it is calibrated correctly? Do you bake in a gas oven?

      Thanks, Zoë

      1. Hello,

        Using a gas oven. Yes, I’ll have to get another thermometer to check the calibration. To be honest I’d be surprised. I’ve never had any issues with other cakes, cookies, banana bread etc., but it’s definitely worth checking. Any other ideas? I read somewhere that lack of color could be from “over-proofed” dough. I don’t know what that means, lol but could it be that?

        1. Hi Ray,

          This is actually a common result in some gas ovens. They tend to vent the steam, so it doesn’t soften or gelatinize the crust, so it is pale and dull looking. I would suggest that you try baking the bread in a Dutch oven and you will have a much nicer crust color and rise. Here is a post about baking in a DO:

          Thanks, Zoë

  4. I love this recipe but I somehow managed to fail despite the foolproof steps! When taken out of the fridge, my dough was so sticky that couldn’t add any shape or form into it–leaving me to put a big blob in the oven!

    What did it do wrong?

    Thanks so much.

    1. Valentina, the only thing you didn’t do was sprinkle enough flour on the dough before taking it out of the container. This is one sticky dough, so you need a lot of flour–on the dough and on the counter.

  5. I tried this bread today. The dough has been in the for two days. I couldn’t wait to make it. The dough formed well into the shape and I let it rise on the counter for about 45 minutes. I baked as directed on a pre-heated pizza stone for 25 minutes. It looked great on the outside but the inside was gummy. I put it back in the oven for about 10 more minutes. The taste was good but still not done on the inside. What did I do wrong?

    1. Lyssa, sorry you had some issues. I’m almost 100% certain the culprit is your oven. I suggest buying two oven thermometers and hanging them on both sides of the oven. Chances are your oven is running cold, which would account for the gummy texture.

  6. Hello,

    I have been making bread from the recipes in the book Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day, and my family is in heaven. The first recipe I used came from your website. It was the Master Recipe of white bread. Once I made a few loaves, I had to purchase the book. Highly recommended by the way!

    The loaf pictured here is Deli Style Rye Bread and it is delicious. The caraway seeds and rye flour make this dough beautiful smelling and looking. The crust is crunchy and the inside crumb is moist, dense but surprisingly light tasting.

    I have been baking and gifting many different loaves and people are in awe of the creations. Love your website! Happy Baking!!

    a loaf of deli-style rye from Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day

  7. I found this recipe about 6 months ago. I had never made homemade any kind of bread before, but I’ve made this at least a dozen times now, following THIS recipe exactly. It is so simple!! 4 ingredients, not a lot of work involved, no kneading….and best of all, my whole family loves it!! I have never gotten the chance to refrigerate any, it all gets made on day 1 and we have no leftovers.

    1. Brandi B, where is the LOVE button that I can click for your kind and thoughtful comment?! It’s messages like this that are why we do what we do here at Leite’s. Thank you for sharing your experience. We’re thrilled to hear that everyone in your household loves it as much as we do! Looking forward to hearing which recipe on the site you try next…

  8. Instead of the baking stone and steam method, I used a heavy duty Le Creuset casserole with cover. I preheated the dish + cover in the oven for the 40 minutes while the shaped round of bread was resting. I quickly removed the lid, put the dough in and covered it back up. I baked it for 20 min with lid on, then 20 min with lid off and it turned out beautifully – the crust crackled when I removed it from the oven! Since the Le Creuset dishes are enamel coated to make them non-stick, I skipped the cornmeal flour. The bread still slid off the dish beautifully and had a lovely crust.

    As a first time bread baker, this recipe was incredibly easy to make. I now have fresh dough in my fridge and I can make a fresh loaf any night I want to.

    A woman holding an oval pot with mitts; in side is a loaf of five minute artisan bread

    1. Debbie, I love everything about this. Your technique, the crackly crust, and (especially) the fact that as a first-time bread baker you clearly know what the the heck you are doing. Thank you for sharing your modification with us. Wishing you countless more loaves of loveliness. And hoping you’ll let us know which recipe on our site you try next…

  9. Novice breadmaker here. My lovely aunt sent me a link to this recipe, and it has changed our lives. Here’s our second ever little loaf. I only wish I could send you the glorious fresh baked bread smell wafting through the kitchen.

  10. The recipe is simple to follow but I find that it has way too many steps. I don’t find the broiler pan part necessary but what happens if I don’t use it? I have time restrictions which makes it difficult for me to undergo so many steps since I need to pay attention to all of them. Wouldn’t it be easier if I just mix all the ingredients, let it rise, then shape the bread and bake and take out afterwards? I really don’t want to go to the hassle of going through the other processes.

    1. Cynthia, if you don’t use the broiler pan, you won’t get a good crispy crust. And the recipe is indeed simple. It is just a matter of mixing, rising, shaping, and baking. It may seem long or complicated, but the authors wanted to give all the information to assure success. From mixing to finished loaf, you’re looking at about 3 hours–2 hours and 50 minutes of which are unattended.

  11. A 5-star recipe for sure. My first try had a little user issue as I set my oven temp at 230°F…oops. I did crank the oven and rescued the loaf with an additional 20 min of baking at the proper temp. The second loaf was much much better. I am an avid jam and jelly maker and this bread complements it well. Cannot wait to try making a savory loaf next.

    A loaf of no-knead 5-minute artisan bread on parchment paper

  12. I find the recipe produces a heavy moist bread with a good crust. My loaves are very dense yet flavourful. I have not baked a loaf with the holes in it that others write about, and that is my goal. The bread rises nice and I get my best results when I bake it right away. I left half the batch in the fridge for 24 hours but it didn’t rise when I took it out. The second time I tried it the dough never got to room temp after three hours and didn’t really rise all. I’m not sure what the problem is. The bread is tasty but not as light as the recipe shows. If anyone has suggestions I’m open to trying something different.

    1. Brent, Jim Lahey and I have discussed this point several times. Don’t be a slave to the directions when it comes to time. There have been times I had to let the dough rise 8 or more hours at room temperature before it doubled in size. The holes are another result of time (and little handling of the dough).

      As Jim reminds readers in his books, patience is the most important ingredient when it comes to working with bread dough.

  13. “Blooby dough, not a newborn, broiler pan, pizza peel, jiggle and sing” and I know I have once again relocated my favourite “go-to” bread recipe! This is by far the best bread recipe I have ever used…I say “used” because I never quite follow any recipe but with only 4 ingredients…well, let’s say you can’t go wrong! I have tweaked this using various cheeses, seeds, flours, and more and this recipe never fails! Thanks! My co-workers thank you too! #canthavemannafromheavenalone

  14. I made this recipe using the pizza stone method as described, as well as using a cast-iron Dutch oven, and the dutch oven was superior. With the pizza stone, my crust was very tough and center was slightly undercooked.

    I baked the second loaf for 25 minutes in a covered and preheated Dutch oven and then another 15 minutes uncovered and the bread came out perfectly.

    1. Hi Alex,

      There are a few reasons you may have had less satisfying results with the pizza stone.

      1. The stone was not preheated thoroughly enough. If the stone is thick, this can take up to 60 minutes to really get it up to temperature. If you bake on a stone that is not fully preheated it will effect the crust and the ability to bake the bread through.

      2. If you are baking in a gas oven, they do not trap steam well and this creates a dull and tougher crust. It is not likely the culprit for the under baked interior.

      3. Your oven runs a bit lower than is indicated by the set temperature. Do you use an oven thermometer to check the true temp? The low temperature would effect the crust and the interior. (Because the Dutch Oven is a small, enclosed space, it will have a more intense heat and wouldn’t be as effected by the lower temp, so you would still likely have good results baking in the pot).

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

  15. My 10 year old son and I made this bread and it was AMAZING! As good as any boule I’ve had in France. Slightly warm with salted butter – so delicious!

    1. Magnificent, Anne! Not just that you love this recipe as much as we do but that you enlist the help of your son in the kitchen. Thank you for taking the time to let us know. May you two continue to cook together for years…

  16. I have a wheat grinder that I use to make flour. With trying out this recipe can I use the same amount as listed? Or should I change the recipe? It sounds amazing, I can’t wait to try it!

  17. Despite me doing everything I could to mess it up (sticking it straight into the fridge rather than letting it rise for 2 hrs first). Not only did I get a fairly prompt reply to my question in the comments, but it was salvaged! I took it out of the fridge when I got home, stuck it in my oven and turned on the proof setting, 2.25 hrs later, it had risen beautifully and I stuck it back into the fridge. An easy recipe for delicious bread! I will be using this one over and over again.

  18. Help! I made a mistake and literally just popped it into the fridge immediately after mixing and left my house and won’t be back home for at least a few hours. Is there any way to salvage it?

    1. Poe, I’m sure it will be perfectly fine. Just take it out of the fridge and let it double in size. Then refrigerate it again until your ready to make the bread.

  19. I have just mixed up my first batch of this bread and can’t wait to see what my end results are. In the interest of full disclosure, I modified this recipe and take full responsibility should it fail. So, I added chia, flax, pumpkin & sunflower seeds as well as whole grain oats and some locally sourced honey. I also added a little additional flour, yeast, salt and water. I will share my results in a few hours.

      1. I am actually about to go bake my first loaf. I kept myself distracted so I would leave the dough alone for the night to ferment a bit. Considering I blindly modified an untested (by me) recipe, I am confident the results are going to be delish! I took pics along the way. Will post the pics once finished.

          1. My bread was a success! I slightly under-baked so we could toast and retain the chewiness. Tastes great w/salted butter, better toasted w/salted butter & jam. Am thinking sammies – ham & butterkase w/pineapple sauce or smoked turkey & gouda w/thinly sliced pears. Seasoned rare roast beef & havarti w/butter bibb.

            A round rustic loaf of bred on a wire rack

  20. What happens when you actually forget about your dough sitting out and leave it out all night, ehehe? Still salvageable?

    1. Erika, why, pray tell are you asking? I think it would be fine-ish. I’d shape gennnnntly it and bake away. Tell me what happens. (Or is this strictly hypothetical…?!)

      1. Unfortunately, that wasnt hypothetical :/… but surprisingly my bread turned out ok! It was a little more dense and the crust was a little tougher, but still soft and delicious inside. Im glad I gave it a go. Even with my goof it turned out nicely. This recipe might just be fail proof, haha.

  21. I’m considering trying this with a fresh milled flour that is sifted wheat and is 11.5% protein has anyone used local flours for this recipe or similar?

  22. I have made this bread numerous times and have had much success, although, I have not quite perfected it yet! I want my bread to be light and holey. Mine usually turns out heavy and moist. It still tastes great but I just wonder what I am doing wrong. I follow the directions exactly. I use my KitchenAid mixer with the dough attachment. What speed and for how long should I mix the dough? Also, I always bake a boule after the two hour rise before refrigeration. I use a dutch oven with the lid on as opposed to a baking stone. I cool for 30 minutes as any sooner and my crust is not brown. My crust is usually very hard..sometimes difficult to cut. My husband prefers it this way but I would like to know how to make both! Does anyone have any suggestions for me? Thanks in advance!

  23. I have a quick question, my baking stone cracked whilst the bread was breaking. Does anyone have any idea why this would happen?

    1. Nicole, wow, I’ve never had that happen while baking the bread. Did you allow the stone to heat up, or did you slide it into a hot oven? Had you washed it earlier? Water in the stone can cause it to crack. I know this is a wet dough, but there’s not enough water in it to cause the stone to crack.

  24. I made the dough Monday night and left it in the pan with lid ajar as instructed. I made the first loaf last night. Tuesday, in haste to make the bread, I forgot to slash top of dough and add flour 10/10. Is it ok to put a piece of plastic wrap plastic or a towel over the dough as got a little dry on top?

    Thanks,

    Kim Farrell

    1. Kim, so happy you enjoyed the recipe. I’d advise against covering the dough with plastic wrap, as it could stick and prevent any slow rising in the fridge. The dough isn’t fussy. I’d make sure the lid is open just the slightest–truly. Even an eighth of an inch is plenty.

  25. Just baked my first loaves this morning, and they turned out so good I started another batch already. Nice crumb, excellent texture. This was exactly what I was looking for in a go-to bread recipe, I just didn’t anticipate finding one that was so easy to make. I just need to figure out the bake time for splitting the dough in half, rather than in quarters. If anyone has any suggestions, I am all ears! I was looking for larger loaves to make sandwiches out of, it worked well doubled up.

    1. Kim, isn’t the bread just great?! So glad you like it. I think 40 to 50 minutes should be enough for a 2-pound loaf. But to be extra sure, poke an instant-read thermometer into the loaf. The bread’s done when the thermometer reads 200°F.

  26. I started making this bread during Hurricane Harvey when, during a call from an old friend in NY to check on me, I was complaining there was no bread to be had anywhere. She said, “Do you have flour, water and yeast? Make your own, it’s easy!” Onto google, and “five minutes with no kneading” called out to me. I do low carb myself for health reasons, but this bread is so easy and so delicious, I have to cheat sometimes. Since my kids use it for toast, I bake it in a loaf pan, using half the risen dough. I have been experimenting with the rise and baking times, though. Know what else I love? Fresh baked bread like this in the store is $4 a loaf, and it has preservatives! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    1. You’re welcome, you’re welcome, you’re welcome, Paula! Love your spirit of innovation and also your spirit of moderation in allowing yourself an occasional cheat! Happy to oblige. Looking forward to hearing what you think, in due time, of other recipes on the site…

      1. Happy to report that I’ve made batches of this dough every single week since Hurricane Harvey. I usually make the smaller boules now, although my latest experiment is making little rolls. Shorter rising/baking time, and oven set at 425. These days if I don’t bring my principal and assistant superintendent some fresh bread every Monday morning in an old-fashioned paper lunch bag, they are sad—I’ve spoiled them so! I will be making these rolls for the school potluck this Wednesday.

        1. Love this, Paula! All of it! And yes, you have spoiled them so. What a lovely colleague you are! Many kind thanks for taking the time to let us know. Here’s wishing you all the magic of the season…

          1. Well, expect more visitors to your page, as I brought several loaves to the big Garrett family Christmas yesterday. Everyone not only raved about the bread, but was truly shocked, shocked, I tell you, when I told them I didn’t use a breadmaker. “But the bread is so perfect!” See, I think there’s a universal fear of breadmaking running rampant. I made sure to mention that your article/recipe puts to rest the long-standing notion that in baking you must get everything perfect or you’ll ruin it all. I made sure to tell them to read the comments and maybe see a few from Aunt Paula. :)

            1. Aunt Paula, I’m delighted to see your comment here. And I love that others enjoyed the bread as much as you did. Perhaps you’ll become our Culinary Moses, leading a multitude to the Promise Land of Perfect Loaves!

  27. Hi, I have made this dough 5 times. I have tried different plain flours just to see what works best. For some reason my bread takes about an hour to cook. Any reason why? I still get 4 lovely loaves but they just take a bit longer. I do have a big oven and i cook the 4 loaves at once. Thank you for a great recipe!

    1. Antonella, the timing in the recipe is for one loaf. I find when I make multiples of anything (cookies, cake, loaves of bread, etc.) it takes longer because there’s more cold items going in the oven. The oven has to heat up four times as much food. Another small factor is it probably takes you longer to slip four loaves in rather than one, so the oven door is opened longer, causing more heat to escape. I’d try baking just one loaf and see if the timing is correct. If not, you’re oven might need a small calibration.

      1. What is the best way to store the bread so it retains it’s crunchy crust the next day (if there’s any left over :)

        1. Antonella, the best way to store the bread is to turn it cut-side down on a cutting board. That way the inside stays nice and soft while the outside retains its crunch.

  28. I have made dozens of loaves from this recipe and just about always have it in the refrigerator. It”s requested by my friends as a hostess gift and I’m sure has garnered me many dinner invitations!

  29. How does it do with other flours like Rye, Semolina, Buckwheat, even Cornmeal? Of course I know not to use these things as anything but additive, but how about things like Millet? This dough is basically fermenting in the reefer, right? Does the salt keep it from souring?

    1. Andi, I can’t answer your question fully. I have used rye in some of the recipes in their book, and it works fine. As to the others, I can’t say. There are too many variables when you consider each flour. I’d suggest purchasing their book–it has recipes for a multitude of flours.

  30. My husband and I have been making bread using your recipe for a long time. It is amazing. We share our bread with our friends, family, and our kids. We are the cool teachers, neighbors, and friends. People prefer this bread than any other goodies we share. It is crusty, tasty, and so easy to make. Pure, fresh, and satisfying. The only problem we have is that it goes fast. Everybody loves it but we also love sharing it. I don’t know why but this is something that brings us close to old times, traditions, and nature. I am from Greece, the smell while the bread is baking brings me home every time. Thanks for sharing this recipe. We LOVE it!

  31. Hello, I sell bread at the local farmers market and I would love to try this recipe! Just wondering, if I want to put 4 loaves in the oven at a time, would i need to change the amount of time for baking? Or would i need to change the amount of water poured in the broiler pan? Also, if I want to make 2lb loaves, how much longer will I need to bake the loaves?
    Thanks in advance!! ?

    1. Rachel, what a great idea. Best of luck with that. You would need to change the baking time somewhat because you’re lowering the temperature of the oven more by baking four times the bread. I can’t give you a precise time because I’ve never done that. Look for a rich brown crust and a hollow sound when tappped on the bottom. Yes, I would pour in a bit more water: perhaps 1 1/2 cups. And for 2-pound loaves, 45 to 50 minutes should do it.

  32. Is it possible for it to rise for too long? I got involved with something with my son and left it out to rise for 3 hours, in a humid, tropical climate.

      1. It seemed to spread a bit and I didn’t get a super high boule like some of the photos, but it wasn’t super dense. I made it with fresh rosemary, and the unbelievable aroma coming out of the oven more than made up for any lack of rise. Slathered with French butter and my 8 year old nearly ate the whole loaf. The crust was perfect. Could have been a tad more done inside, next time will use a thermometer and not just thump it. Inspired to keep trying. Thanks!

  33. I’d like to try this recipe, but am not sure how to break off a pound of dough – about how many pounds does the recipe make?

  34. Alright…I just made it. Added some Italian seasoning and garlic and a little ground flaxseed for the husband’s health. It’s really great. Tastes wonderful. Has a BEAUTIFUL firm, crisp yet chewy crust. So fantastic.

    However, the inside is a little dense though. Not as airy or holey as I’d like. Really thick and spongy…in the best way possible. Haha. Don’t get me wrong…for my first time making bread EVER, it’s so amazing. Not wrong or bad…just different than I was expecting. I also didn’t let it refrigerate overnight, but just for a few hours. No time to wait! ;)

    Any suggestions for a lighter inside?

    1. Maisie, congests on baking bread! Regarding your question, let the dough sit in the fridge the required amount of time and give it some extra time on the counter. That should give it a bit more lift.

  35. Hi, I recently started baking artisan bread. I have a question. This recipe states all purpose flour. I live in South Africa. We have cake flour and bread flour. Do I use bread flour? The same quantity – 910g? If I want to use whole wheat or brown bread flour, will the liquid amount of 680g still be the same?

    Thank you and look forward to your feedback.

    Henriette

    1. Henriette, yes, you can use the same amount of bread flour. I’ve never made it with whole wheat or brown bread flours, so I can’t confidently say the amount of liquid won’t change.

  36. Used this recipe, but halved it and also added a pinch of sugar to the dough mix.

    Preheated oven with my baking stone in it.

    Removed dough from the bowl at approximately 2 hours. To my work surface, which had been dusted with a little flour. Did NOT punch it down. Gently dusted the top with some flour as well and formed it into a large long wide oval. Not as thin as a regular baguette. Ran a blade lengthwise along the top and baked for about 25 minuues and transferred to a cooking rack. Brushed the top with a little butter and let cool.

    BEAU-DI-FUL!!

    Nice crust but not too hard. And lovely crumb (not too dense).

    I did not do any refrigeration at all. 2 hours on the counter and straight into the oven.

    Thank you so much!!

  37. So I tried this for my very first attempt at making bread ever. I don’t have a stone and really didn’t know what to expect for a finished product. I built the dough using the measured weight of the flour and water rather than the volume. I mixed the ingredients in a bowl according to the recipe and let it rest at room temperature for a little more than 2 hours then put it in the fridge. I removed the dough from the fridge an hour before baking and tried to take about half it out to make a boule. Much to my dismay everything deflated as soon as I started to slice off the part I wanted. I was left with this sticky mass in my hand and a totally deflated mass in the container (and I am saving this for a second attempt). I managed to roughly form a boule and placed it on a perforated pizza pan that had been coated with cornmeal. Since I don’t have a stone I thought using my pizza pan that I use when making pizza would work. I left the dough sit for the 40 minutes (very disappointed that it didn’t rise) liberally dusted the top with flower and then used a sharp blade to score it. I popped it in the oven at 450 (along with some water in a pan as instructed). To my surprise after 15 to 20 minutes the boule had increased in height by 3 to 4 times! After 35 minutes the bread was a nice golden brown so I pulled it from the oven and let it cool. I was surprised that the loaf slid right off the pan. The result was a dense bread with lots of little holes, a crispy crust with a nice chew. It was a great first attempt and I think it was edible. My wife loved it thinks I’m a genius. Next time around I need to figure out how to make the inside cook a little more as the bread was a little gummy at the center bottom of the loaf. I think if I cut the dough a little deeper next time (I was afraid to cut a half inch deep since the dough was only about 1 inch high) it may help get the moisture out of the bread. Also I read where I could turn off the oven and crack the oven door a couple of inches I could leave the loaf inside to cool and that may help. Anyway I think this is a fool proof recipe for some great classic bread. Thanks.

    1. Terry, you bet. Have you tested your oven temperature with a thermometer? It might be running hot, which would bake the crust but leave the inside a bit gummy. I also have an instant read thermometer that I stick into the loaves. I pull them out when it’s between 200 and 210 degrees F.

      1. Thanks for the tip David. I bought an oven thermometer on the weekend to test the oven temp. When my oven says 450 the thermometer says 430. When I put the loaf into the oven and add the water to the pan the temperature drops to 400 and stays there so I baked the loaf for 35 minutes. This time I scored the loaf deeper maybe a half inch deep. The loaf rose nicely. The outside is nice and brown and crispy, There is plenty of nice air pockets inside the loaf but it is still gummy. I don’t have a instant read thermometer so maybe I will get one of those next. I don’t think I could have left the loaf in the oven much longer as it was starting to smell over cooked.

        Sorry but I can’t seem to attach pictures here to show you what it looks like.

        1. Terry, as long as there was progress, I’m happy. And I think an instant-read thermometer would be a good idea. The way you don’t have to rely upon just your nose! You can send a picture to me at david @ leitesculinaria . com. I’ll happily add it to your comment.

  38. Turned out gorgeous! Easy. Love the slightly sourdough taste. Could this be made into a rye loaf? I love sourdough rye.

  39. Hi, I made this bread three times. The first time it came out perfect. The last two times, the dough seemed to be a bit mushy even though it was thoroughly cooked. I’m using the same cooking methods and techniques that I used the first time but something must be off. Any idea what would cause this? It’s just too soft. I use a cooking thermometer and the temperature is over 220°.

    1. Hi Jenny,

      My apologies for the delay in responding. How old was the dough when you baked it the last two times? If the dough had sat for a number of days without being used, it may have lost some of it’s rising power, which can result in being a bit denser. Did it seem different in consistency when you pulled it out of the container? Any more details you could give me would help me advise you better.

      Thanks, Zoë

      1. Hi Zoe,

        I must’ve missed the notification that you replied. Anyhow, no the dough was fresh. I’ve made it a few more times and experimented with letting the dough fully cool. Although it was much less mushy it wasn’t that perfect artisan bread texture yet. I don’t have a Dutch oven so I’m wondering if it has to do with that. I was using a Pyrex dish with a lid… When I bake my batch today I plan on trying a stainless steel pot with aluminum foil covering it. I still can’t figure out what changed since the first time I baked this bread.

        1. Jenny, I think the problem is this recipes doesn’t call for a Dutch oven or any kind of pot. That’s a different artisan bread recipe. I know that some readers have baked the bread that way, but that’s not how the recipe is written. I’ve made this bread a lot, and have never used a pot.

          1. David,

            I did try it without the Dutch oven and baked it in a Wolfgang Puck pressure cooker oven, sealed and without a tray of water because there was no room for it. It came out great, close to perfect, I would say. But the bread consistency is kind of heavy the next day. Is there a problem with slicing it when it’s still warm right out if the oven? Will that affect texture?

            1. Jenny, I can’t really say what’s causing the heaviness. This recipe isn’t written for a pressure cooker oven or a Dutch oven. Have you made it is regular oven? And yes, it’s always best to let the loaf cool completely before slicing.

  40. Hi! I just popped my first try loaves in the oven, I’m so happy with how easy this was to make. Everything was going great and my loaves were poofed up but I really had trouble with the scoring. I used a new serrated knife and tried to slash quickly, but it snagged and deformed the loaf. Tried working slower on the second loaf, but that didn’t work great either. They’re not ruined and still looked pretty good, but the were bent out of shape. Any advice on how to do better next time? Thanks!!

      1. That did make a difference, thanks David! I’ll get better with practice too!

        I tried to mix in some caramelized onions while I was shaping the loaves; it was difficult to do. They came out well, but the onions could have been better distributed. Would the dough still work if I mix them in from the very beginning?

          1. Yes that sounds much easier; I’ll do that next time. I’m loving these loaves! I haven’t bought bread from the store since I made my first ones:)

  41. Has anyone ever tried making raisin bread using this dough recipe? i’m a complete novice bread maker but would be as simple as adding cinnamon and raisins to the dough when making it and baking as normal?

        1. Dave, it is, indeed, incredibly versatile! I wanted to share some advice with you on adding raisins (or nuts or olives) to bread dough from our resident professional bread baker. I’ve tweaked it slightly as it was in response to a reader query about adding olives to ciabatta, although it applies to raisins and any bread dough as well. There are two methods she recommends. Here’s what she has to say: “The first method gives a stronger raisin-y taste all through the bread by incorporating the raisins at the beginning of the kneading. This is what most beginners do with any addition such as olives, nuts, cheese. Yes, this means a more uniform distribution and the taste of the addition throughout the loaf, but I almost never do it this way because it requires adjustments to hydration (more for dry ingredients, less for wet ones) and, more important, it can interfere with gluten development. The second method, my preferred technique, is to add the raisins (or olives, nuts, cheese) after the dough has fully developed—that is to say, after it has been kneaded completely. Just knead the raisins in by hand before the first rise. With this method, you should not need to adjust the water. A problem that arises with additions (using either method above) is that they pop through the dough and whatever bits are exposed to the heat get dried out and hard. Not pleasant when it happens. With a regular country loaf, there’s two ways to minimize that. You can simply push the pieces that peek out after shaping the dough back into the dough before setting it to proof. That helps quite a bit. A fussier, but totally effective, approach is to cut off a piece of plain dough before the addition. I eyeball it at about 1/4 of the dough. Add the raisins to the larger pieces and shape the loaf. Then roll out the reserved piece to a thin sheet and drape it around the shaped dough, sealing on the bottom. This keeps all the bits inside, entirely preventing pop-throughs.” Kindly let us know how it goes!

          1. I absolutely adore this bread and have made a dozen or more loaves with great success. I have only tried the whole wheat recipe once (with hard red winter wheat) and while it was a bit denser than the AP version, it was still quite good.

            My question is about the addition of other ingredients. Do you mean above that you mix the dough as you would normally and then add in cheese/olives/nuts/herbs and then do the 40-90m rise? How much volume of additions would be acceptable to add? And would you grate or cube cheese? Would garlic or onion be better added as powdered or fresh chopped/minced? I’m just looking for some ideas to kick off my experimentation!

            Thank you to Jeff and Zoe for this unbelievable bread!!

            1. Lovely to hear that you adore this bread, Maddie! Thanks so much for taking the time to let us know. As for the addition of other ingredients, yes, in the method described in my comment above, I say to add those sorts of ingredients as you’re kneading the dough before the first rise. I think the amount is going to be dependent on personal preference and will depend on the specific ingredient but figure about a handful. As for the cheese, it depends if you want a more wispy hint of cheese that almost melts into the dough (grate) or blobs of cheese throughout (cube). If adding garlic, I would add roasted garlic that you’ve mashed into a paste or minced garlic that you’ve sauteed but beware garlic can be so pungent!

  42. This is a super long comment, but I feel excited and I just want to share my experience. I have to be honest, I’m kind of a visual-learner, so twice I tried to bake artisan bread, using 2 different recipes but based on the same source, twice I failed. My main issue (it’s not you, it’s me – this time I mean it) is that because I use metric measurements and I don’t have measuring cups, only a scale so I was doomed from the start. Also, because I don’t have a model before me, I couldn’t make out the liquid and flour ratio, how the right consistency looks like, how wet is not-wet-enough, how wet is just right? I know I got the “too-wet” right on the nose because both my attempts came out looking like flatbreads, waited 2-times overnight proofing for 3 focaccia-looking things and 1 sad loaf (if you put the dough in a loaf pan, it will come out quite decent, mine needed a bit more time in the oven than the round ones though – cannot bring myself to call them boule, they were just disks! *crying invisible tears*). But in the end it’s all great, please don’t think I’m mad, I typed the whole thing above with a smile on my face. Because 1st attempt I put chopped fresh rosemary and roasted garlic in the dough, though gravely disappointed with the shape, the smell swept me off my feet and I just had to slather on an unhealthy amount of butter on the first slide. After 1 bite I was knocked out cold, it was so divine that I just couldn’t stop eating! The crust was crispy and the inside was soft and chewy (I used wholewheat strong flour). 2nd attempt, I used this recipe, still put rosemary and roasted garlic in, this time with fresh thyme as well. I thought this flavour-combo would suit savory food only, but then I told myself “to hell with it” and tried it with marmalade and Nutella. My sweet tooth was satisfied, thoroughly satisfied! I think I’m gonna go broke for just buying flour and yeast alone, I’m so addicted to baking bread now!

    TL;RD: Thank you so much for this recipe, thank you for all the work you’ve put in. You’re all wonderful beautiful people and I love you!

    1. Jo LD, while I’m thrilled you’re happy, I’m dismayed that you didn’t get the results we promised: a nice, round boule! What can we do to help you get there? Would metric measurements help?

      1. Thank you for replying and oh yes, metric measurements would be a lifesaver. There are so many conversion websites on cups-to-metric but they are so inconsistent and vague (I can’t measure 275.98753 grams and 445.5879743 milliliters!). And if I could have a description of what the dough’s consistency is like after mixing, I would be so grateful (and if I can have a picture, then you’re a saint, because you’re a godsend already :D). May I ask for one more thing, my personal taste leans more on breads with chewy inside and a great crunchy crust, preferably wholegrain/wholewheat, so could I trouble you for more bread recipes that fit the description? (English is not my mother tongue so I hope you get my gibberish.) Thank you for your help and best wishes to you and your loved ones!

        1. Jo, I just input the metric equivalents for the recipe so that you can make it. The dough is going to be pretty standard after mixing as far as American-style bread doughs go and not nearly so wet as most Italian doughs. (I hope that helps. I’m not certain what types of bread dough you typically make.) As for more whole grain bread, we have a truly lovely rye bread publishing on the site in the next couple weeks so kindly keep that in mind. We are constantly testing whole grain bread recipes in our kitchens but most of the time they don’t make it to the site because they end up overly dense. But we continue to search and will let you know when we find one that we feel is stellar enough to share!

          1. Update on the artisan bread journey: I finally got around the liquid measuring (3 cups = 700ml roughly) and because I used instant yeast, I didn’t mix the yeast with water or anything. I just mixed the dry ingredients together with my stand mixer and gradually added water like with most bread (I don’t know if it’s going to change the bread’s quality). Was a tad confused with how wet is too wet (again) but thanks to that video on this recipe that I saw somewhere in this comment section, I managed to get an idea on how the dough’s consistency would be (visual learner struggles). Covered with a tea towel for both proofs, and when I got it out of the fridge to bake it, I almost choked up because I could finally hold the damn dough! I don’t have a baking stone so I just put a baking sheet in the oven while it was heating up (made pizza that way, perfect every time) and after that 40 minutes rest I put the dough (shaped into 2 boules) on parchment paper and put the whole thing on that heated baking sheet (and burned on myself on the wrist, but I got a bunch of oven-burn scars on my hands already, I like to call them my “battle scars”). After 26 minutes, I checked on the breads and oh my goodness, they were beautiful. I had to turned them around for an even colorization because my oven gets hotter at the back, and when they were not as dark as I expected, but I didn’t want to push my luck and dry them out just to get a darker crust. One more thing, I slid the dough with the parchment paper into the oven when I baked it, so the loaves’ bottoms were soft and not crusty. (May I suggest you add in a note that if people can’t slide the dough off the parchment paper onto the heated baking stone/sheet, just use kitchen foil instead and not worrying about sliding anything off of anything. Twice I made homemade pizza like that and it came out perfect everything, so I can attest to this.) And they SANG! They really did! I laughed like a maniac who had just made her first successful loaves of artisan bread. I wouldn’t know how they’d look on the inside, because I made them as gift for a friend, so their outside beauty is all I can give you. Thank you for your help and this recipe. Best of luck and lots of love from the UK!

            reader-artisan-bread-recipe

            1. Much thanks to you for your patience and perseverence with learning how to work with a new dough, Jo LD! Thank you, too, for taking the time to let us know. Am so relieved that it worked out so well. And I know exactly that giddy ebullience that comes from a recipe working out well. (I am prone not just to laughter and tears but the occasional dancing about the kitchen.) Would love the picture. If you have problems uploading the photo, just email it to me at renee@leitesculinaria.com and I’ll take care of it. Also, one last thing, my arms, too, are scarred from oven burns. My husband calls me reckless but I prefer to think of it as intensely fixated on the recipe. Again, I’m so pleased for you! You made my day.

  43. Oh, sweet honey in the rock! This bread recipe KILLS it! I just discovered your master recipe 2 weeks ago and have been making it every.single.day since! I have been baking bread for years and never quite achieved this level of taste and texture. Thank you SO MUCH for making this free for all to share! I (and my family and friends) am in heaven!

  44. Mixed up a half batch on Sunday and finally got around to baking it yesterday night. Made several mistakes: a tad too much water and forgot to slash the top. Center of the bread ended up just slightly gummy but the sides are awesome! Great crumb! Will bake the rest of the dough soon.

  45. I’ve been baking a no-knead bread that is identical to this one as far as ingredients and am happy with the results. I love that yours waits in the fridge for me though! I’m wondering if I can use my present baking technique which is preheating a cast-iron pot in the oven and dropping the rested loaf on parchment into the pan, putting the lid on and baking for half an hour after which I remove the lid for 15 minutes to form the crust. Is this doable, or should I just follow your technique to ensure your awesome result?

    1. larry, I’d do this: Follow the recipe as is once and see if you like the results. Then try the cast-iron method. My guess is you’ll lose some volume when you flip the dough into the pot.

  46. Absolutely despair of this bread! I’ve followed the recipe to the T (both weights and scoop and sweep methods) tried different flours, same flour different measures, etc etc. The flavor is great but my loaves have never (except once) looked like the pics. They all spread too much and look like overinflated pita breads. The one time I did have a good-looking loaf I had added loads more flour but then the texture and flavor were wrong. I must be missing something!

    1. Hi Sue,

      I’m sorry it’s been frustrating, but I think we can help you bake a wonderful loaf.

      What you have described can often be a matter of shaping the dough. If you don’t get a tight enough ball, it can spread and not rise as well. Here is a video to watch on shaping wet dough, which is a bit different than more traditional recipes.

      Are you baking on a stone? If so, how long are you preheating it? Sounds like perhaps you are not getting the initial oven spring that you want and this can often be from a too cool stone. Thick stones can take up to 60 minutes to really be hot through and through.

      Lastly, is your oven gas or electric?

      Oh, one more question, do you live at high altitude?

      Thanks, Zoë

  47. I’m confused by the amounts given for water. A cup of water weighs 8 fluid ounces, which is 8.32 ounces. Which is the correct amount for this recipe? Thank you so much. ;o)

      1. Thank you for the prompt reply.

        That appears to contradict the standard conversion of water from volume to mass, 1 cup = 236 grams. See all of the links on this search result page. (though, oddly, 1 says that a cup of water = 250 grams.) 236 grams divided by 28.35 (grams per ounce) = 8.34 ounces. What am I missing?

        Thanks again. ;o)

        1. Antonia, I think you answered your own question! There are inconsistencies to these algorithms. When I weighed 1 cup of water in my kitchen, I got three amounts: 7.9 ounces, 8.1 ounce, and 8.18 ounces. Serious Eats has 1 cup of water coming in at 237 ml/8.01 fluid ounces. (For this recipe, it would be 24.03 ounces.) I can assure you that whatever the precise amount of your water is, it will be perfect. This is a wet dough and thrives on the moisture. Does this help?

          1. Thank you for this response. I understand that the exact amount of moisture may not affect this bread in a noticeable way. But for the record, 24.03 fluid ounces (a volume measure as correctly noted in the SeriousEats piece you link) = 24.9 ounces (mass), or nearly a full ounce of difference. That might not matter for this recipe, but it kind of bothers me that people reading the ingredient list would come away thinking that a cup of water = 8 ounces exactly. It might not matter here, but you would agree, wouldn’t you, that the difference might matter in another, less forgiving recipe?
            I also don’t see any inconsistency in the use of a standard “algorithm” of dividing a universally accepted value (236.6 grams of water per cup) by the undisputed conversion of grams to ounces (28.35) to get 8.34 – the difference in this and the 8.32 first stated above attributable to rounding. Just saying. ;o)

  48. 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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  49. 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!

      1. I need to add something about this wonderful recipe—it works in the slow-cooker!!! With my AC working like mad to keep up with 100+ heat indices, I have not wanted to turn on my oven any more than absolutely necessary….but I still want fresh bread. So I let my slow-cooker heat up on high while my dough came to room temp. Brushed a bit of ghee (ghee because already I had it out for something else) and sprinkled with “everything” seasoning. I just plopped it into the slow-cooker and hoped for the best.
        OMGoodness! Yes, it is soft and not crusty…but it is lovely! Thank you again…restocking my fridge with another batch of dough now :)

        1. Brilliant, Mary Beth! Truly clever thinking. Do you happen to recall how long you baked the loaf? I’m certain others will want to try this, too. Including my husband. We live in the urban desert and try not to turn on the oven at all during summer, same as you, but we may just have to break down and buy a slow cooker…thank you so much for sharing your trick with us!

  50. 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.

  51. 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.

    1. 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

  52. 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.

      1. 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!

  53. 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!!

  54. 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

      1. Hi Zoe ! And hello Renee . . .

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

        Joy

    1. 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

  55. 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

  56. 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.?

  57. 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

    1. 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.

      1. 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!?

  58. 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!

  59. 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

  60. 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

  61. 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)

  62. 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

  63. 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.

    1. 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.

  64. 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?

    1. 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.

    2. 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

      1. 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!

  65. 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!

    1. 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!

  66. 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.

    1. 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)

  67. 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!

    1. 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?

  68. 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.

  69. 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! :-))

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

      1. 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?

  70. 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?

  71. 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?

    1. 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.

  72. 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!

  73. 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!!

    1. 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!

  74. 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?