Quick & Easy Crusty Artisan Bread

artisan_bread_4

Hello again, Somewhat Simple readers! I’m happy to be back again today with another great recipe for you! I am a huge bread lover, and would prefer a piece of fresh-baked bread to pretty much anything else… even dessert! I’ve been experimenting with bread recipes a lot during the last year, and have found a few fail-safe recipes that always turn out well. This quick and easy crusty artisan bread is one of my favorites!

It’s pretty simple. You start out by adding yeast and salt to warm water, and letting it proof. Then you stir in the flour to make a (very loose) dough, and let it rise. It will look different than your typical bread dough, but that’s okay! After it has risen, shape it into two (probably sticky) balls, and let them rest on parchment paper for about 40 minutes.

artisan_bread_1

Preheat your oven to 450 with a pizza stone inside. If you don’t have a pizza stone, you can use a cookie sheet turned upside down and preheated in the oven. On the shelf below the pizza stone, place a broiler pan or cake pan.When the dough has risen again, dust the top with flour and cut three deep slashes in the top with a sharp knife.

artisan_bread_2

Using a pizza peel (or a cutting board if you’re like me and don’t own a peel), transfer the dough carefully to the pizza stone. Pour 1 cup of water into your broiler pan or cake pan, and close the oven door quickly so the steam will stay inside. Bake 24-28 minutes, and enjoy!

artisan_bread_3

My favorite way to eat it is just slathered with butter (and sometimes a little honey). We also love dipping it in soup! My husband’s favorite way to eat it is to spread it with butter, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and toast in the toaster oven for a few minutes. No matter how you eat it, it’s delicious!

Crusty Artisan Bread

1 1/2 tablespoons instant yeast
3 cups warm water
1 tablespoon salt
6 1/2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting dough

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Mix in salt and flour, stirring until there are no dry patches. The dough will be very soft and not like a typical bread dough. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place for 2 hours.

After rising, divide dough into two pieces and shape each into a round ball. Place each ball of dough on a piece of parchment paper, and let rest 40 minutes.

During the second rise, preheat oven to 450. Place a baking stone or overturned baking sheet on the upper oven rack, and a broiler pan or metal cake pan on the lower shelf. Heat the baking stone at least 20 minutes before baking.

When the dough is ready to bake, dust it with flour and cut three deep slashes across the top. Slide the dough on the parchment paper onto the baking stone using a pizza peel (or a thin cutting board). Pour a cup of water into the broiler pan/cake pan and shut the oven door quickly. Bake until golden brown, 24-28 minutes.

adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

Alicia S.

Alicia S.

Hi! I’m Alicia, and I blog at The Baker Upstairs. I’m an RN, an avid reader, a wannabe photographer, and I love to cook and bake. My husband and I have been married ten years, and have two sweet little girls, Abby and Lizzy. I love a good challenge, especially in the kitchen, and it’s fun to push my culinary limits and see what I can create!
Alicia S.
#ad Come check out these super delicious chicken parmesan sliders I made using Club Tyson crispy chicken strips!... http://t.co/x9xROQjHKK - 2 days ago
Alicia S.
Alicia S.

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Comments

  1. Stephanie says:

    Making bread always scares me, but this looks easy enough and super yummy!

  2. Mothercrone says:

    Hi! Besides shaping the dough into a round ball, is there any kneading involved? Thanks!

    • Alicia S. says:

      Nope, no kneading! That’s one of my favorite things about the recipe. I usually flour my hands and flour the countertop to make it easier to handle the dough, but I like that it’s a little looser and stickier than a typical bread dough.

  3. That looks so yummy & my mouth is watering. Thanks for sharing the recipe. :)

  4. Love the simple recipe, one question. Do you back both loaves at the same time on two separate pizza stones (I have two, but they would have to be on two different levels of the oven)? or just one at a time? Not sure my oven is tall enough.

    • Alicia S. says:

      Hi Meleah! I usually bake the loaves separately, since I have a tiny oven and a small baking stone, but when I baked it at a friend’s house I was able to fit both loaves on her baking stone in the oven. They do fine, though, if you bake them separately. If you’re worried about the second loaf rising too much you can just keep it in the fridge while the first loaf is baking.

  5. Can you use bread flour for this one? Thanks!

  6. Oh my…I just made this and it is the BEST bread I have ever tasted. I brushed on a layer of olive oil, sea salt and garlic to form a tasty crust before and after baking and it is amazing. I have eaten 2 pieces already! Thank you Alicia for such a wonderful recipe. It will be my go-to bread recipe for my next soiree.

  7. So I am at the second rise stage right now, and I can tell you that it is impossible to form this stuff into a ball, it just kind of is a blob. I definitely put in the right amounts of everything, maybe it just needs more flour in the recipe. Also, it stuck to the parchment immediately.

    • you definitely need to flour your hands, the parchment paper, and the dough, you might need a helping hand with it. it’s common for artisan bread to be very sticky, don’t be afraid of using flour. a tip on making a ball out of the dough is to grab the dough and tuck the dough underneath itself over and over until you get a ball. it’s a bit difficult to explain, but with practice and maybe a quick youtube tutorial on it, you’ll get it. wish i had seen this earlier! i love when people try out baking. don’t quit on account of one bad try =] good luck and i hope my advice helped you out a little

  8. I only had 1 packet of Rapid Rise Yeast (about 1 Tbsp), so I cut the recipe by 1/3. I also used half whole wheat and half white flour, added a little extra water, and about 1tbsp of honey. Only had to bake it about 22 minutes and it started to get too brown.

    1 Tbsp rapid rise yeast
    2 cups warm water
    2/3 Tbsp salt
    1 Tbsp honey
    2 cups whole wheat flour
    2 1/3 cup white flour

    NOTE: DO NOT preheat a glass dish in the oven then add water. It will SHATTER as mine did :/

    I didn’t have the steam effect due to that and the oven temperature reduced to about 400 while I was trying to clean up that mess, but the bread still turned out to be delicious! Perfect recipe for an inexperienced bread maker!

  9. The directions say put a pan on top shelf and pan on “lower shelf”
    does this mean the lowest bottom shelf ??

    is that the shelf that I put the bread on to bake it ?? seems like it is too low on the lowest shelf and will burn
    also, why do you need a pan on the top shelf ??

    I just completed the dough, on second rise and am stuck on the baking directions

    • Alicia S. says:

      The pan or baking stone on the upper shelf is to actually bake the bread on. I always use my baking stone but you could also use an overturned cookie sheet. It needs to preheat in the oven so the bottom of the bread will be nice and crusty. The second pan (on the lower shelf) is to put water in so the oven will fill with steam and make the bread chewy.

  10. can i use a cast iron pan instead of a pizza stone?

  11. Just came across this on pinterest. I am anxious to give it a try. Thanks for the recipe.

  12. This looks great. Do you think it would turn out if I used white whole wheat flour instead of regular white flour?

  13. This is my favorite go to recipe for bread. It is easy and delicious!

  14. Can I use my pizza stone instead? Im all out of yeast heading to store now and home to bake this with beef stew… just need to know if pizza stone plate will work also.

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