It’s Monday and that means I have a delicious recipe for you! Today I’m sharing my easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy recipe for artisan bread. Well, I call it artisan bread but it’s really just any-shape-you-want and has a crispy crust kind of bread. When I make it the house smells amazing and I feel like some awesome French baker (or, like one of the contestants on The Great British Baking Show). Don’t be intimidated if you’re not a bread baker. You just need to know how to measure, dump, stir, and turn on the oven. 😉
Would you believe this recipe only has 4 ingredients?! YES, JUST 4! So so easy. It only takes a little forethought to make the dough ahead and then once you’re ready to bake it you’ll have a delicious artisan loaf of bread in just over an hour. It sounds too good to be true doesn’t it?
On to the recipe!
Easy Artisan Bread
- 3 C hot water (I use tap water and let it run for a little while so it’s nice and hot. Like, uncomfortably hot when you put your hand in it).
- 3 packets fast rising yeast (or about 2 TBS measured).
- 1 1/2 Tbs salt
- 6-61/2 C flour**
For making the dough
- Put water in a mixing bowl, then add yeast and salt.
- Mix in flour until a sticky dough forms.
- Knead it with your hand a bit until all the flour is mixed in (if the dough seems dry add a tad more water). You really don’t have to knead it much, and you can use a spoon for this part if you don’t want your hand to get all doughy.
- Cover dough bowl and put in the fridge (I set the lid on, but don’t put it on all the way so some air can get through).
- Let rise for at least 2-3 hours, but a day ahead is even better.
When you’re ready to bake the bread:
- Place a metal baking pan (like a 13×9 with raised edges, etc. I use my roasting pan) on the bottom rack of the oven.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Yes, you read that right. It has to be HOT.
- Line a baking sheet or cast iron skillet with parchment paper.
- Remove dough bowl from fridge. Sprinkle flour on your hands and top of dough. Knead the dough for about 30 seconds. It should be moist, but not too sticky.
- Shape the dough into a nice roundish ball or whatever shape you wish (or you can make 2-4 small loaves, these would be great for bread bowls for soup!), and place on pan.
- Take a very sharp knife, or your kitchen sheers (I find that my scissors work best for me) and cut 3-5 slices across the top of the dough. This will create vents for the dough as it cooks. It also makes it look all cool and artisan like.
- Open the oven and carefully pour about 4 cups of water into pan you already put in the oven (I leave it on the rack, and just pour it slowly). You need this water to create steam that will make the crust of the bread.
- Put bread pan in oven (The oven won’t be totally preheated, and that’s okay. The bread will proof as the oven heats up. Told you this was easy).
- Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until top of bread is a deep dark brown. When I think it’s done, I like to get it out and tap the top of the bread. If I hear a hollow sound, I know it’s done.
- Let cool on a cooling rack so the underside of the bread doesn’t get soft.
- Enjoy, and feel all cool like a French baker. 😁
Hope you make this bread! Let me know what you think.
*Original recipe found via Pinterest
**With my PCOS, it’s a lot better for me if I make this bread with whole wheat flour (just use a little less flour). I also let it rise in the fridge for 3 days before I bake it. This makes it more like a sourdough bread, and thus the the carbs are healthier for my body to digest. It doesn’t rise as high, but it still tastes yummy! If you’re following the Trim Healthy Mama plan, then this version of the bread could be used for an E meal.