22 Quick and Easy Recipes in 30 Minutes (or less) + 5 Chef Secrets To Make You A Better Cook!

Crusty Artisan Bread

Tested & Perfected Recipes

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy.

This crusty bread recipe is astonishingly easy — no kneading required — and it makes three beautiful loaves, which you can bake as needed.

This homemade artisan bread recipe is astonishingly easy, and it makes enough for three delicious loaves, which you can bake as needed. What’s more, the dough takes just five minutes to make, does not require kneading or any special equipment, and can rest in the fridge for up to two weeks (the flavor becomes more complex the longer it sits). The recipe is modestly adapted from one of my favorite baking books, Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes A Day by Jeff Hertzberg M.D. and Zoë François.

What You’ll Need To Make Crusty Artisan Bread

ingredients for homemade bread

This recipe has just four ingredients: all-purpose flour, instant yeast, kosher salt, and water. (The cornmeal is for dusting the pan.) As you can see, I use instant (or rapid-rise) yeast. Active dry yeast may be used instead of instant yeast, however, the dough will take longer to rise. To give active dry yeast a boost, you can dissolve it in the lukewarm water and let it sit until frothy, about 10 minutes. After that, add it to the flour and proceed with the recipe.

How To Make Crusty Artisan Bread

flour, yeast and salt in mixing bowl

In a very large (6-quart) bowl, combine the flour, salt, and yeast. Mix to combine.

mixed dry ingredients

Add 3 cups of lukewarm water (no need to be exact but lukewarm is about 100°F).

adding water

Stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture is uniformly moist, without any patches of flour.

bread dough

The dough should be sticky and conform to the shape of the bowl. If your dough is too dry, add a few tablespoons more warm water. If it’s too wet, add a few tablespoons of flour. Cover the bowl loosely with plastic wrap and let it sit on the counter in a warm spot for 2 hours. As you can see below, it will rise a lot!

dough after the first rise

When you’re ready to bake a loaf, pull out one-third of the dough.

removing some of the bread dough from the bowl

Coat the outside lightly with flour (you don’t want to incorporate more flour into the dough, you just want to be able to handle it). Gently work the dough into a smooth ball, stretching the surface and tucking the ends underneath.

shaping the bread dough into a ball

Put the dough ball onto a cornmeal-dusted baking sheet and let rest at room temperature, uncovered, for about 40 minutes. (If the dough has been refrigerated, allow it to rise for 60 minutes, or up to 90 minutes if you want a more open and airy crumb structure.) The dough will rise a bit. It may also spread/flatten a bit; that’s okay.

letting the bread dough rest on a baking sheet

The dough will rise a bit.

bread dough after second rise

Generously dust the dough with flour. Using a sharp knife, make a few 1/2-inch-deep slashes in the dough — a scallop, cross, or tic tac toe pattern all look nice.

slashing the bread dough

Set a metal pan on the bottom rack of a preheated 450°F-oven. Slide the baking sheet with the dough into the oven, and carefully fill the metal cake pan with one cup of hot tap water. This creates steam in the oven. (Try to do this quickly so as not to let heat out of the oven.) Bake until the loaf is golden brown, about 30 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack.

baked bread
This bread is best enjoyed fresh on the day it is made. Once sliced, place the loaf cut-side down on a cutting board or plate and leave it uncovered.

How To Freeze

The dough can be portioned into thirds and frozen in airtight plastic containers for up to 1 month. Defrost the dough in the refrigerator overnight, then shape, rest and bake as usual. The baked loaves can also be frozen whole or sliced. Wrap in a zip-top freezer bag and freeze for up to 1 month. To thaw, take the bread out of the freezer and let it come to room temperature, about 3 hours. Reheat in a 350°F oven until warmed through, about 10 minutes.

You May Also Like

Crusty Artisan Bread

This crusty bread recipe is astonishingly easy — no kneading required — and it makes three beautiful loaves, which you can bake as needed.

Servings: 3 loaves (about 10 slices per loaf)
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 30 Minutes
Total Time: 40 Minutes, plus 2 hours and 40 minutes to rise

Ingredients

  • 6½ cups all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off (preferably King Arthur; see note)
  • 4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1½ tablespoons instant/rapid-rise yeast (see note)
  • 3 cups lukewarm water (no need to be exact but lukewarm is about 100°F)
  • Cornmeal, for dusting the pan

Instructions

  1. In a very large (6-quart) bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and yeast. Add the water and stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture is uniformly moist, without any patches of flour. The dough should be sticky and conform to the shape of the bowl. If your dough is too dry, add a few tablespoons more warm water. If it's too wet, add a few tablespoons of flour. (See the step-by-step photos for guidance on what the dough should look like.) Cover the bowl loosely with plastic wrap and let it sit on the counter in a warm spot for 2 hours. If you plan to bake a loaf immediately, proceed to the next step. Otherwise, place the bowl of dough in the refrigerator to be used over the next 14 days. (Once refrigerated, the dough will shrink back a bit; that's okay. Do not punch down the dough at any point, and keep it loosely covered with plastic wrap.)
  2. Dust a sturdy baking sheet with cornmeal.
  3. Dust the surface of the dough and your hands lightly with flour. Pull out one-third of the dough and coat the outside lightly with flour (you don't want to incorporate more flour into the dough, you just want to be able to handle it). Gently work the dough into a smooth ball, stretching the surface and tucking the ends underneath, adding more flour as needed so it doesn't stick to your hands. (Don't overwork the dough; this process should only take about 30 seconds.) Put the dough ball onto the prepared baking sheet and let it rest at room temperature, uncovered, for about 40 minutes. (If the dough has been refrigerated, allow it to rise for 60 minutes, or up to 90 minutes if you want a more open and airy crumb structure.) The dough will rise a bit. It may also spread/flatten a bit; that's okay.
  4. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Set one rack in the lowest position of the oven and one rack in the middle position. Place a metal pan (any metal cake pan or broiler pan will work; just don't use glass) on the bottom rack. (You will fill this with water later to create steam in the oven).
  5. Generously dust the dough with flour. Using a sharp knife, make a few ½-inch-deep slashes in the dough -- a scallop, cross, or tic tac toe pattern all look nice.
  6. Slide the baking sheet with the dough into the oven, and carefully fill the metal cake pan with one cup of hot tap water. (Try to do this quickly so as not to let heat out of the oven.) Bake until the loaf is golden brown, about 30 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack.
  7. This bread is best enjoyed fresh on the day it is made. Once sliced, place the loaf cut-side down on a cutting board or plate and leave it uncovered. (If it lasts beyond a day, I suggest slicing and freezing.)
  8. Freezer-Friendly Instructions The dough can be portioned into thirds and frozen in airtight plastic containers for up to 1 month. Defrost the dough in the refrigerator overnight, then shape, rest and bake as usual. The baked loaves can also be frozen whole or sliced: Wrap in a zip-top freezer bag and freeze for up to 1 month. (If you plan to use slices one at a time, place pieces of parchment between them so they don't stick.) To thaw, take the bread out of the freezer and let it come to room temperature on the countertop. Reheat in a 350°F oven until warmed through, about 10 minutes.
  9. Note: Active dry yeast may be used instead of instant/rapid-rise yeast, however, the dough will take longer to rise. To give active dry yeast a boost, you can dissolve it in the lukewarm water and let it sit until frothy, about 10 minutes. After that, add it to the flour and salt, and proceed with the recipe.
  10. Note: I use King Arthur flour, which is higher in protein than some other all-purpose flours. If using a flour with a lower protein content, such as Gold Medal, you will likely need to add a few more tablespoons of flour.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Serving size: 1 slice
  • Calories: 100
  • Fat: 0 g
  • Saturated fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 21 g
  • Sugar: 0 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Protein: 3 g
  • Sodium: 64 mg
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

See more recipes:

Comments

  • Hi Jenn!
    Quick question………Can I use KA bread flour instead of all purpose flour?
    Thank you! Love all of your recipes!

    • — Suzanne on January 29, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Suzanne, Yes bread flour will work and will give the bread a chewier texture.

      • — Jenn on January 30, 2023
      • Reply
  • I’ve been using this recipe for a couple of years now so thought I better leave a review. Easiest bread to make and is guaranteed to taste delicious!

    • — Katie on January 24, 2023
    • Reply
  • Perfect bread. I have made this 4 times. Each time I adjust something. It is so good. I learned to top the bread with foil if it was browning too quickly, I learned to not add flaked salt until right before baking, I learned to have safety space when pouring water to inspire a crisp top. Yum

    • — Colleen Bickers on January 21, 2023
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn. Could I use a sourdough starter instead of yeast for this recipe? If yes, how much starter would you recommend I use? Thank you so much!

    • — Sam on January 18, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Sam, I’ve never used a sourdough starter for this so I’d be reluctant to recommend it without trying it — sorry!

      • — Jenn on January 19, 2023
      • Reply
  • Hi Jen. Love this bread, on our 6th loaf in 3 weeks! Turkey and Swiss sandwiches are so much more delicious!
    I’m having difficulty finding a 6 qt bowl that isn’t plastic. Where did you purchase yours? My largest Pyrex is 4 qt and what I’ve been using. The dough rises up over the top of the bowl and not certain how this affects the bread, texture etc?

    Kristy

    • — Kristy on January 11, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Kristy, I would recommend a bowl large enough that the dough doesn’t rise over the top. I see a few 6-quart bowls on Amazon that would work. See the first 2 rows on this page.

      • — Jenn on January 12, 2023
      • Reply
      • Oh I thought the bowl needed to be metal or glass for best result?

        • — Kristy on January 12, 2023
        • Reply
        • Any material bowl will work (including plastic). Hope that clarifies!

          • — Jenn on January 13, 2023
          • Reply
  • I have been making your bread for three years now and it’s amazing. I use three cast iron loaf pans (with a tiny bit of olive oil to coat pans) to bake the bread and otherwise follow your recipe exactly. We can’t ever go back to any other kind of bread. Thank you!

    • — Verissima Cairns on January 11, 2023
    • Reply
  • Hello. Thank you for sharing this recipe. I use a grain mill and grind my own flour as needed. Im about to try this recipe with hard white wheat berries. Fingers crossed it is as good as yours. I’m still pretty new to my grain mill and experimenting.

    • — Cheryl on January 7, 2023
    • Reply
  • Jen, I am obviously missing something here…how much flour and how much salt?

    • — Cindy Risher on December 24, 2022
    • Reply
    • It sounds like you are just looking at the portion of the page that has the pictures with some instructions underneath. If you scroll down a bit to under the pictures, you’ll find the full recipe. Alternatively, at the very top of the page, to the right of the recipe name, you’ll see an orange/red button that says Jump to Recipe – if you click on that, it will take you directly to the recipe. Hope that clarifies!

      • — Jenn on December 25, 2022
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn, This bread is phenomenal. It tastes like some of the best bread we have ever had in a restaurant & it is hard not to devour it all by myself in one sitting. I was wondering if you would recommend making this in a loaf pan so that the slices would be more equal in size when cut to use for sandwiches. Would it come out as crusty if not exposed all around? If a loaf pan can be used, would I still need to use the pan of water since the dough will be enclosed in the pan and not open to the heat of the oven and steam from the water on all sides? Thanks so much for your answer.
    Looking forward to many more recipes in 2023…Happy New Year!
    Marsha

    • — Marsha on December 24, 2022
    • Reply
    • So glad you like it, Marsha! It can be back in a nonstick, greased loaf pan, but you won’t get that crispy crust all around. Please LMK how it turns out if you try it!

      • — Jenn on December 25, 2022
      • Reply
      • Hi Jenn, thanks so much for the feedback. I did make it in a loaf pan; just to be on the safe side I put a pan of water in the oven with it. The top was crusty, the sides were not as crusty but actually came out crustier than I thought it would although certainly not as crusty as when baking it on a sheet pan. Still, it was delicious; this is one great recipe. In the future, I guess I will alternate between a sheet pan and a loaf pan, depending upon how the loaf will be used. Either way, both my husband and I look forward to stuffing our faces with it!! I am going to make the part of the loaf that is left into croutons and bake a fresh loaf today.
        Thanks again for all of the great recipes.

        • — Marsha on December 30, 2022
        • Reply
        • So glad it came out well — thanks for taking the time to report back! 🙂

          • — Jenn on December 30, 2022
          • Reply
  • Hi,
    your artisan bread recipe looks interesting and I would like to bake it. But, being from Europe, where we use grams instead of cups, (which I find can be very inaccurate) it really puts me off having a go. Could you possibly consider putting a metric conversion in grams alongside cups in your recipes? I’m sure you would find more followers online if you did this. Me for one!

    Many thanks,
    James

    • — James Cairns on December 21, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi James, The great majority of my recipes (including this one) include conversions to metric/weight measurements. To view them, scroll down to the recipe, and immediately under the recipe title on the right side, you’ll see a little toggle. If you move it from “cup measures” to metric, you’ll see measurements that will work for you. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on December 21, 2022
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,
    As the other 672 people have said, yes, the bread is amazing and remarkably easy to make. I am wondering if the recipe is adaptable to add-ins. I’d love to try cranberry walnut, rosemary, or something else along those lines. Can I just add them in with this as the base recipe? Or do you think I need to find different recipes? Also just want to say I think every single recipe I have ever made from your site is amazing. 🙂

    • — Pam on December 11, 2022
    • Reply
    • So glad you like the recipes including this bread! And while it may work to add nuts, etc, to the dough, I’ve never added any “extras”, so I’d be hesitant to suggest it.

      • — Jenn on December 13, 2022
      • Reply
  • What a delicious, easy recipe! We munched down the first two loaves and for the third batch of dough, I made it into monkey bread using a muffin pan. It was amazing and my family was moaning with delight. Also, made a few slices of French toast using eggnog—also very good. What a versatile recipe!

    • — Nancy on December 8, 2022
    • Reply
  • @onceuponachef This was sooo good! And easy too! We don’t keep our home very warm, so sat the bread on the open oven door (250F) to rise. Worked great! Then popped it back in the oven (now turned off) for the 2nd rise, with door open again. Froze 2 portions, so will see how they turn out as I use them. Will also try adding some rosemary and/or garlic the next time I make this. Thanks for the recipe Jenn!

    • — Tessie Wallace on December 4, 2022
    • Reply
  • I made this today, during my work breaks. It was so easy! I mostly followed the recipe, but I scooped the flour (I didn’t spoon it into the cup), used expired instant yeast, and it was rising for more than three hours in my not-very-warm kitchen. Due to this, the dough was probably drier and didn’t rise as much as it could have. Even so, it made a delicious, crusty, airy, soft and chewy loaf of tasty bread! Truly foolproof! Lol… So excited that I have two more balls of dough sitting in my fridge to make more fresh bread over the next couple of days!

    Also, I want to add that I asked Jenn via this site for advice on why my baguettes were not working out. She responded very soon, to my amazement, and helped me troubleshoot. Then she shared this amazing recipe and recommended it for baguettes as well. (That’s next week’s project.) If I could give six stars for being so helpful and kind to her site’s readers, I would. Thank you so much, Jenn!

    • — Heidi Genesis on December 1, 2022
    • Reply
    • 💗

      • — Jenn on December 2, 2022
      • Reply
  • Hello! The best bread recipe.It’s sooo good ,crusty even on the second day.I made 2 out of the recipe ,almost ready to eat the second one.Thank you !!

    • — LIZA M,MCNEELY on November 30, 2022
    • Reply
  • Very pleasantly surprised at the simplicity of this bread recipe. Didn’t really expect it to be so good as well. Thank you for posting this recipe. Will be sharing it with my son who enjoys making bread.

    • — Rebecca on November 29, 2022
    • Reply

Add a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.