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Homemade artisan bread has to be one of the most delicious types of bread in the world! It also happens to be one of the easiest as well!  This amazing, easy homemade artisan bread recipe is from scratch and is SO easy and yummy and it also makes the perfect traditional baguette! Even if baking is not your thing, this bread is so foolproof that you will even impress yourself! Take a look below at the recipe for homemade artisan bread and then try it with this delicious chicken barley soup or from scratch strawberry jam recipe for a delicious snack.

Easy Steps To Homemade Artisan Bread

What is Artisan Bread?


There is no true definition of Artisan bread. However, generally, the term refers to a from scratch, homemade bread that requires a long fermentation time and consists of very basic ingredients: flour, water, yeast, salt,. 

Artisan bread is made by skilled artisans using their hands, is shaped in many different ways and turns out rustic in appearance. This basic bread is appreciated for its simple process, delicious taste, crusty coating and chewy texture.

Reason to Love this Bread

There is truly nothing better than freshly baked bread, straight out of the oven!! Making bread can be so much work though and not something most people are willing to do on a regular basis. This homemade bread is so perfect for the first-time baker or beginner as it doesn’t require any special pots or any kneading to come out perfectly every single time. A few more reasons to love this artisan bread are:

  • With only 4 ingredients, this recipe is easier than you ever imagined and perfect for beginners
  • The bread turns out chewy, crispy crust every time
  • Artisan bread is soft inside
  • There is always so much flavor to this bread
  • Get creative and shape this bread however you want
  • There is no special pans or dough starter required
  • This from-scratch bread only requires 4 ingredients 
  • There is a variable rise time which is wonderful to work into a busy schedule!
artisan french bread on a linen kitchen towel

Types of No Knead Bread

There are a few different variations of bread that fall into the grouping of Artisan bread. Sourdough bread, hearth bread (bread that can be baked without a pan), Baguette, Ciabatta and Focaccia, just to name a few. 

Homemade Artisan Bread vs Store Bought Bread

There are many differences between store-bought bread and handmade artisan bread. Quality, price and the fermentation process of the bread are a few of the biggest differences. 

Mass-produced, store-bought bread is machine-made and not required to ferment for a long period of time, thus doesn’t generally have as good of a taste or flavor. It is also available at a variety of price points.

Artisan bread is handmade from scratch and requires more time to produce which often comes at a much higher cost. It does generally come with a better flavor and texture. 

Health Benefits Of Artisan Bread

Homemade Artisan bread is considered to be a lean variation of bread as it is not made with any kind of butter or dough conditioners. It is also stripped down to just the basics leaving out all those yucky preservatives that make other bread last so long. 

Due to the long fermentation process, Artisan bread creates gut-healthy enzymes that may not cause a spike in blood sugar like other regular loaves of bread.

No Knead Bread Without a Dutch Oven

Although a dutch oven is an excellent tool for baking this style of bread, it is not the only tool that can be used. A few other options include baking stone or loaf pans (round or rectangular pans will do), pyrex, enamel or ceramic pots.

Baking Stone Method: The way that baking stones or pizza stones work is very simple. They absorb and retain heat very well so placing a baking stone in the oven will cause it to heat up. By placing the bread onto the warm stone, the heat transfers directly to the bottom of the bread. The bread will bake very evenly with this method and the end result will be a nicer, crisper crust overall.  The oven temperature is also not changed by the opening or closing of the oven.

To use this method for baking, simply replace the baking or pizza stone with the dutch oven and follow as instructed. You can also add parchment paper to the base of the baking stone if desired.

Bread Pan Method: The biggest difference between using a Dutch oven and a bread pan is that you don’t preheat the bread pan like you would the Dutch oven. Most loaf or bread pans are also smaller than a dutch oven so using a sharp knife, you can cut your loaf in half to make two loaves.

Dust the pan with flour and place the dough into the pan, seam side down. Shake and center the dough then sprinkle it with flour. Cover the bowl and let proof for 30 minutes. Alternatively, you can place the dough on parchment paper to move it from the work surface to the pan. Also, you can also use a pyrex, enamel or ceramic pot.

Artisan style French bread dough being prepared for baking

Tools Used

One of the best parts of making artisan bread is that you don’t need to have all the fancy tools to make it! Almost any household should have what you require already in the kitchen. 

Optional*

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Ingredients

  • 3 cups of Flour (preferably Bread Flour): You can use all-purpose flour in this recipe, but I recommend using bread flour. Bread flour produces stronger, chewier bread and that makes a big difference in recipes with only 3 other ingredients. Whole wheat flour is not recommended for this recipe
  • 1 tsp of Salt (table salt): Salt adds the flavor to this bread! Table salt is what I used both in the bread however you can use coarse salt to sprinkled on top!
  • 1/2 tsp of Instant Yeast (active yeast variation shared below) : Instant yeast is key in this recipe. You can use active dry if that’s all you have, any quick rise or instant yeast will produce flavorful results in less time. You only use a very small amount of yeast in this recipe because of the long rise time. 
  • 1.5 cups of Warm Water: The water needs to be warm! Not hot to the touch and not to cool either.
  • Corn meal (optional): Although this recipe is delicious with minimal ingredients, adding some cornmeal to the base of the pan will give a pop of flavor and a little crunch to the bottom crust. This is of course completely optional. 
flour in vintage enamel bowl with copper measuring cups to make Parisian Baguette

Easy Steps To Homemade Artisan Bread

  1. In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients together. Add the water to the dry ingredients. The dough will seem very dry and shaggy and it will be sticky. Don’t worry, this is normal and the dough will work out. Just ensure the dough is mixed thoroughly.
artisan french bread dough in an antique enamel bowl
  1. Let it rise at room temperature for at least 8 hours.  Cover the dough and let it rise at room temperature until doubled in size. This dough is best when allowed to rise for 18-24 hrs. It can be left in the refrigerator for up to three days, the longer you leave this dough, the better it tastes. The cold air helps to slow the fermentation process and adds so much flavor and texture. 
  2. Preheat the oven to 475 C. Place your dutch oven or crock into the oven while it warms to temperature. This is an important step as it will help your bread cook more evenly during the baking process and your finished product will be even more delicious.
  3. Remove dough onto a lightly floured surface or cutting board. Fold the dough into itself and shape it into your desired shape. You can even separate it into two loaves, it can be shaped into a round loaf of bread or two long loaves. Let the dough rise again for 30 minutes
Artisan bread dough rising in an antique enamel bowl
  1. Score the top of the dough with a very sharp knife. Sprinkle coarse salt on top for taste.
  2. OPTIONAL – Add cornmeal to the base of your dutch oven, crock or pan.
  3. Place dough in a warm crock or preheated dutch oven with the lid on and place in the oven.  The extremely hot air will immediately set the crust so the bread rises up instead of spreading all over.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes with the lid on. Remove the lid and bake for another 5-10 minutes until the crust is golden brown. If you are making two smaller loaves, only bake for 20 minutes, then check to see if it is the desired color.

  1. Remove from the hot dutch oven and take the loaf out of the pan.  Let cool for 15 minutes before serving. 
  2. Serve and Enjoy! This bread is best when consumed on the first day. It also makes the most amazing grilled cheese sandwiches when it is a day old.

Active Dry Yeast Variation

In a rush? Or If you only have active yeast, try making artisan bread dough with active yeast. There is a slight variation to take, but the results are the same! 

  • Add 1.5 cups of warm water to a bowl. 
  • Pour in 3/4 tsp. active dry yeast to the water.
  • Next, add 1/2 tsp. white sugar to the bowl. 
  • The yeast needs the sugar to “eat and grow.”Let the yeast water sit for approximately 15 minutes. 
  • Give the yeast mixture a gentle stir and then add to the flour and salt then continue the recipe as directed above. 

When it comes time to proof, place a slightly damp linen towel on top of the dough and place it in the oven on the proofer setting for 3 hours. The bread will bake up perfectly!. 

french bread on a linen kitchen towel


Tips For the Best Homemade Artisan Bread

Do not try to knead this bread, it is too high in water and will only end up with you having sticky hands. 

Don’t wrap the freshly baked bread in a towel or cloth before it is cooled. This will only make the outer crust soggy and not as crispy. 

Do not add extra flour! This bread is a high-hydration bread and is meant to be soft, wet and sticky when you work with it. Too much flour will make the loaf come out dense.

Let it be proof for as long as possible. Don’t try to skip out on the time that this bread needs to ferment. This is what is going to give you ALL that amazing flavor and should be left for at least 24 hours for the best results. 

Do not cut into the bread for at least 20 minutes after you remove it from the oven. If you cut into the loaf too early, all of the moisture (steam) will escape and evaporate leaving the bread tasting much too dry. 

Store at room temperature, rather than in the refrigerator. The cooler temperatures will also cause the loaf to dry out. It should last 2-3 days on the counter or at room temperature.

Remove the fresh bread as soon as possible after you take it out of the oven. Leaving it in the pan will cause it to get a soggy bottom and can continue to bake the bread.

Troubleshooting Issues

Why did my bread sink to the bottom of the Dutch oven?

This can occur if your Dutch oven or baking stone is not hot enough to begin baking. It is extremely important to preheat your baking container while you preheat the oven.

Why is my bread very thick and dense?

It is important not to add in flour as this recipe needs to be wet and sticky to bake properly.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long can I store this bread?

It will keep on the counter for 2-3 days. If you aren’t able to consume it in that amount of time, then it is always an option to freeze it. 

Can you freeze Artisan Bread?

Absolutely! This bread is actually a wonderful option to freeze and store for later. If you slice the bread prior to freezing it, then you can pull out one or two pieces and pop it in the microwave or toaster oven to unthaw. 

What is the best flour to use for artisan bread? 

Although you can use many different types of flour for this recipe, bread flour or all-purpose flour seem to be the best. Bread flour will make this bread come out a bit chewy compared to regular flour, however.

I hope you love it as much as my family does! Make sure you try it with this scrumptious slow-cooker turkey chilli too! 

As always, I love to hear from you. Leave me a rating or let me know in the comments below how your homemade artisan bread turned out. You can always find me on one of my social media channels like Instagram or Tik Tok too. Be sure you Pin this recipe to use it again at a later date. 

artsian bread on a vintage drying rack
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5 from 1 vote

How to Make Homemade Artisan Bread (With or Without a Dutch Oven)

This easy and delicious homemade artisan bread recipe is perfect for the beginner baker! With only 4 ingredients, this no-knead bread can be made with or without a dutch oven and it turns out perfectly every single time.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Proof Time1 d
Course: from scratch recipes
Cuisine: American
Keyword: artisan bread, bread
Servings: 2 Loaves
Calories: 129kcal

Equipment

  • Large mixing bowl
  • Plastic Wrap or towel 
  • Wooden Spoon
  • Sharp Knife
  • Oven Mitts
  • Large dutch oven  optional
  • Baking or Pizza Stone optional
  • Piece of Parchment Paper optional

Ingredients

  • 3 cups Flour preferably bread flour
  • 1 tsp Salt Coarse salt or Sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp Instant yeast Active dry yeast variation shared below
  • 1.5 cups Warm water 
  • 1 tbsp Corn meal optional

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients together. Add the water to the dry ingredients.
  • Let it rise at room temperature for at least 8 hours.  Cover the dough and let it rise at room temperature until doubled in size.
    Artisan Bread rising
  • Preheat the oven to 475 C. Place your dutch oven or crock into the oven while it warms to temperature.
  • Remove dough onto a lightly floured surface or cutting board. Fold the dough into itself and shape it into your desired shape.
  • Let the dough rise again for 30 minutes
  • Score the top of the dough with a very sharp knife. Sprinkle coarse salt on top for taste.
  • Add cornmeal to the base of your dutch oven, crock or pan. This step is optional.
  • Place dough in a warm crock or preheated dutch oven with the lid on and place in the oven.  
  • Bake for 30 minutes with the lid on.
  • Remove the lid and bake for another 5-10 minutes until the crust is golden brown. If you are making two smaller loaves, only bake for 20 minutes, then check to see if it is the desired color.
    artsian bread on a vintage drying rack
  • Remove from the hot dutch oven and take the loaf out of the pan.  Let cool for 15 minutes before serving. 
  • Serve and Enjoy!

Video

Notes

Active Dry Yeast Variation

In a rush? Or If you only have active yeast, try making artisan bread dough with active yeast. There is a slight variation to take, but the results are the same! 
 
  • Add 1.5 cups of warm water to a bowl. 
  • Pour in 3/4 tsp. active dry yeast to the water.
  • Next, add 1/2 tsp. white sugar to the bowl. 
  • The yeast needs the sugar to “eat and grow.”Let the yeast water sit for approximately 15 minutes. 
  • Give the yeast mixture a gentle stir and then add to the flour and salt then continue the recipe as directed above. 
 
When it comes time to proof, place a slightly damp linen towel on top of the dough and place it in the oven on the proofer setting for 3 hours. The bread will bake up perfectly!. 

Nutrition

Serving: 100g | Calories: 129kcal

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