Homemade bread is seriously pure comfort and a staple in my home. The very first recipe I ever made from scratch was my homemade white bread, which my family adores. I’ve made many more over the years, like my homemade french bread and whole wheat bread.
You seriously won’t find an easier bread recipe than this! It comes together with only 3 ingredients (I don’t count water as an ingredient) and is perfect for beginner bakers. There’s no kneading required and the dough can be made in one bowl. Plus it only takes 5 minutes to prep. The rest of the time is spent waiting while it rests and cooks.
I shaped this bread into a French Boule (circle), but this dough can easily be made into a French baguette, rolls, pizza dough or ciabatta. It’s super versatile and a recipe you’ll want to save for when you just have a few ingredients on hand.
How to make artisan bread
Make the dough. Add salt and yeast to a large bowl, then pour the warm water on top. Add the flour in all at once, then mix together. I used a dough whisk, but feel free to use a spatula, wooden spoon or even your hands. The dough will still be sticky once it’s mixed together, but this is what you want.
Cover and let rise. Cover the bowl with a towel until the dough doubles in size. This will take about 2 to 3 hours, however the longer you let it rise the better. You can leave it on the counter to rise for up to 12 hours. Once it rises, you can either prepare to bake or cover the bowl with saran wrap and stick it in the refrigerator to bake later. It will keep in the fridge for up to 1 week.
Shape the dough. Dust your hands with flour, then lightly turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Shape the dough into your preferred shape, making sure not to punch it down or knead it. I like to shape mine into a French boule (round circle). Or shape into 2 loaves and tuck the ends under. Add a light dust of flour on top, then use a bread knife to make about 1 to 4 lines across the top.
Let rest again. Line a pizza peel, skillet or pan with parchment, then lightly sprinkle flour on top. Add the dough and let rest for 20 to 30 minutes.
Bake in oven. Preheat the oven to 450°F. You want the bread to cook on a hot surface, so place a baking stone, pizza stone or flipped over iron skillet into the oven. Let it warm in the oven for about 20 minutes while the oven preheats.
Grab a hold of the parchment paper to slide the dough onto the hot stone or skillet. Quickly pour 1 cup hot water into a small broiler pan or 5 ice cubes into the bottom of the oven and close the door to trap the steam. Then bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes.
- You can easily double this recipe to make an extra loaf and freeze for later.
- If you don’t have a baking stone, you can turn a cast iron skillet or baking sheet upside down and place in to then to heat up.
- Use parchment paper to easily slide the dough ball onto the hot skillet in the oven. The bread will cook on the parchment paper.
- The longer you let it rise, the chewier the bread will be. You can let it rise on the counter for up to 12-18 hours and up to a week in the refrigerator. I prefer to make it the night before I’m baking it.
- Split the dough in half if you’d prefer to make 2 smaller loaves. This recipe makes about a 9-inch loaf.
- If you don’t have a broiler pan, stick a cup of water in a small oven-safe pan or toss in about 5 ice cubes to help keep steam in the oven. This will create the crusty crust.
- Store in a paper bag so it doesn’t soften.
What to serve with artisan bread?
- This bread tastes amazing along side of a warm bowl of chicken noodle or tomato soup.
- Simply spread butter and jam on top.
- Dip into a warm cheese dip.
- Use it to make a grilled caprese sandwich.
- The longer it rises, the chewier it will be. It can rise on the counter for up to 12 hours and up to a week in the fridge.
- If making loaves, split the dough in half. It will make 2 smaller 9-inch loaves.