A warm, fresh out of the oven home made bread is cracking in my hands. The smell is intoxicating. The feeling wonderful and light. Like the whole world is smiling at me and I am smiling back. Now I finally understand what the French mean, by saying “the bread sings”!
You won’t believe how easy it is to make this beautiful homemade artisan bread! Only 4 ingredients and about 5 minutes of hands-on time for a gorgeous loaf that looks like it came from a bakery. Perfect for beginners! I know that baking bread can be intimidating. There’s mixing and kneading and rising and it seems like it’s going to take forever and have a high chance of failure. If you’ve ever thought: “I just can’t make bread” then this easy artisan bread recipe is for you! Seriously, I can’t overstate how easy this recipe is and how beautifully the loaf turns out. The outside is crusty and chewy, while the inside is soft and tender. It’s perfect for serving alongside soup, with a creamy dip, or for making hearty sandwiches.
The secret to this incredible artisan bread is a long rise time, so you do have to plan ahead. The nice part is that the dough can rise anywhere between 8 and 24 hours, so it’s very flexible. You can start it the night before you plan to serve, or in the morning before work, and either way it will still turn out great! There is very little hands-on time so I find it’s a lot easier to make on a busy weekday than a traditional loaf. Plus it just looks fancy, which is fun.
You’ll start by mixing 3 cups white flour, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon yeast, and 1.5 cups of warm water in a bowl. Use a wooden spoon and just mix until everything’s combined, probably less than a minute. No kneading, and no worries it if looks like a shaggy mess. It’s ok. Cover with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature for 8-24 hours. It will get all bubbly. About 90 minutes before you’d like to serve it, turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface. Form it into a ball by pulling the four sides into the centre and flipping the bread over. Let it rest for 30 minutes.
In the meantime, turn on the oven to 230C degrees and put whatever dish you’ll cook it in inside the oven to preheat. You can use a dutch oven, or the crock from your slow-cooker, or a casserole dish with high sides, or an oven safe pot…pretty much anything that’s oven safe and has high sides will work. After the dough has rested and oven has preheated 30 minutes, use a sharp knife to slash across the top of the dough. Spray your baking dish with nonstick spray, pick up the dough with floured hands, and plop it in. Cover the dish with a lid and put it in the oven.
Bake covered for 30 minutes, then uncover and bake 30 minutes more until top is nicely browned. I like to let it cool for at least 15 minutes before I slice, but sometimes I simply cannot wait. There is nothing like a warm slice of bread covered with home made strawberry jam!
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon yeast
- 1.5 cups warm water