For this homemade Artisan Bread you only need four ingredients, which most of you have at home anyway: Flour, yeast, salt and water. This bread is chewy, with a slightly crispy crust and it has a lovely rustic touch. I like to eat it with some butter and a pinch of sea salt or honey on top.
Tools & Equipment
- Large bowl
- Silicone spatula
- Plastic wrap
- Large baking sheet
- Bench scraper
- Kitchen towel
- Sharp knife
- Small skillet
- Wire rack
Recipe tips for making Artisan Bread
- Preparation: since the dough can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days, it is possible to start ahead of time.
- Flour: to get the best flavor and the right texture, using bread flour is recommended. Regular flour should work too.
- Salt: Use coarse sea salt for this recipe, because using regular table salt is less intense in flavor.
- Water: The water should be cool, around 21°C/70°F.
- Freezing: you can freeze the dough by completing the recipe up to step 3, then wrapping in plastic wrap and placing in a freezer-friendly container. The bread can be frozen for up to 3 months after baking. To thaw both, the dough and the bread, place them in the fridge overnight.
- Cornmeal: if you don’t have cornmeal available, use regular flour. Cornmeal provides extra flavor and gives a nice crunch to the bottom crust.
- Storage: keep covered at room temperature for up to 5 days or in the fridge for up to 10 days.
Difficulty: easy and it requires only a couple of basic ingredients.
Taste: a tasty bread for both breakfast as well as other dishes. It fits perfectly to all kinds of occasions.
Texture: chewy, with a slightly crispy crust.
PROS: simple and yummy.
CONS: the use of yeast makes it more time-consuming.
- 840g bread flour, plus more for dusting
- 12g instant yeast
- 20g coarse salt
- 720ml cool water
- cornmeal, for dusting
- 1L water, for creating steam in the oven (optional)
- Mix flour, yeast and salt in a large, ungreased bowl. Pour in the cool water and use a rubber spatula to gently mix. The dough will appear dry and shaggy, but continue working until all the flour is moistened. Use your hands if necessary to work the ingredients together and shape it into a ball as best as you can. The dough will be sticky.
- Tightly cover the dough with plastic wrap and let it rise at room temperature for 2-3 hours. The dough almost doubles, sticks to the sides of the bowl and is full of air bubbles.
- Cover the dough and refrigerate for 12 hours.
- Dust a large baking sheet lightly with flour and corn flour. Place the cold dough on a floured surface and cut it in half with a bench scraper. During this process some air bubbles will be released. Transfer the dough halves to the prepared baking sheet. With floured hands form 2 long loaves about 23 x 8 cm/9 x 3 inches each, about 8 cm/3 inches apart. Cover loosely and rest for 45 minutes. Bake the dough on this baking sheet.
- Preheat the oven to 246°C/475°F
When ready, use a very sharp knife to score the loaves with 3 slashes, about 1.3cm/1/2-inch deep. In case the shaped loaves have flattened out during the 45 minutes, narrow them down again with floured hands at the sides.
- Once the oven is preheated and the dough pieces are scored, place a small skillet on a baking sheet and position it on the bottom rack of the oven. Carefully and quickly add about 1 liter of boiling water to the skillet. Place the baking sheet with the loaves on the center rack and close the oven quickly to trap the steam inside. It helps to create a crispier crust.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Tap the loaves gently, if they sound hollow, the bread is ready.
- Take the bread out of the oven and let it cool for at least 5 minutes before slicing.
Recipe adapted from sallysbakeblog.