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Homemade Artisan Bread

Homemade Artisan Bread

By Ellen Fruchtman, President


3 and 1/4 cups (420g) bread flour, such as King Arthur, plus more for hands and pan
2 teaspoons instant yeast, such as Red Star
2 teaspoons coarse salt (see note)
1 and 1/2 cups (360ml) cool water (70 degrees is great)
optional: cornmeal for dusting pan


-In a large un-greased mixing bowl, whisk the flour, yeast, and salt together. Pour in the cool water and gently mix together with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon. The dough will seem dry and shaggy, but keep working it until all the flour is moistened. If needed, use your hands (as I do in the video tutorial above) to work the dough ingredients together. The dough will be sticky. Shape into a ball in the bowl as best you can.

-Cover the dough tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and set on the counter at room temperature (honestly any normal room temperature is fine!). Allow to rise for 2-3 hours. The dough will just about double in size, stick to the sides of the bowl, and have a lot of air bubbles.

-You can continue with step 4 immediately, but for absolute best flavor and texture, I strongly recommend letting this risen dough rest in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours and up to 3 days. Place covered dough in the refrigerator for 12 hours – 3 days. I usually let it rest in the refrigerator for about 18 hours. The dough will puff up during this time but may begin to deflate after 2 days. That’s fine and normal– nothing to worry about.

-Lightly dust a large nonstick baking sheet (with or without rims) with flour and/or cornmeal. Turn the cold dough out onto a floured work surface. Using a sharp knife or bench scraper, cut dough in half. Some air bubbles will deflate as you work with it. Place dough halves on a prepared baking sheet. Using floured hands, shape into 2 long loaves about 9×3 inches each (doesn’t have to be exact) about 3 inches apart. Loosely cover and allow to rest for 45 minutes. You will bake the dough on this prepared baking sheet. See recipe note if you want to use a pizza stone.

-During these 45 minutes, preheat the oven to 475°F (246°C).

-When ready to bake, using a very sharp knife or bread lame (some even use kitchen shears), score (shallow cut) the bread loaves with 3 slashes, about 1/2 inch deep. If the shaped loaves flattened out during the 45 minutes, use floured hands to narrow them out along the sides again.

-Place the shaped and scored dough (on the flour/cornmeal-dusted pan) in the preheated oven on the center rack. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Gently tap the loaves– if they sound hollow, the bread is done.

-Remove the bread from the oven and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes before slicing and serving. Store leftovers loosely covered at room temperature for up to 5 days or in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.


-If you only have fine salt, reduce to 1 ½ teaspoons
-If you want to add extra flavor to the bread, add any of the following BEFORE the water in step 1: 4 cloves minced garlic + 3 tablespoons chopped rosemary, 3 tablespoons of your favorite fresh herb, 1 cup of your favorite shredded cheese, a diced jalapeno, ¾ - 1 cup dried cranberries and/or chopped nuts, 2 teaspoons garlic powder.

Recipe courtesy of Sally’s Baking Addiction, Photo by Ellen Fruchtman

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