This homemade artisan bread recipe is a cinch to make, and it only requires four ingredients - bread flour, instant yeast, salt, and water. Its soft, chewy texture and crusty edges make it perfect for sandwiches and toast, and will quickly become a staple on your dinner table!
🌟 Why this recipe works
Homemade artisan bread is a winner because it only requires four ingredients - bread flour, instant yeast, salt, and water - to make it. Plus, It's also quick and simple enough for even the novice baker to try.
You can't beat the smell of baking bread and the excitement of spreading butter on a fresh warm slice. Although you need to wait a few hours for the dough to rise, it is well worth the wait, and you can even make 2 or 3 loaves to keep you going throughout the week.
This homemade bread recipe is easy to make and full of flavor. The crusty exterior and soft, chewy texture are perfect for sandwiches or dipping in soup recipes, making it a great addition to any meal.
Whether you're a novice baker or a seasoned cook, you can't go wrong with this simple 4-ingredient easy artisan bread recipe.
And if you want to try your hands at other tasty bread recipes, check out our focaccia bread, monkey bread, peanut butter bread, cream cheese banana bread, or Texas Roadhouse rolls.
🌟 Key Ingredients
This recipe calls for some basic pantry ingredients - all of which you already have in your pantry.
Bread flour - To achieve the perfect loaf, bread flour is a must-have ingredient. It helps to create a dough that holds together well and provides a chewy texture throughout. Not only that, but its higher gluten content also assists in developing structure, resulting in a lighter crumb.
Yeast - Instant yeast is a must for this recipe. It's my favorite type of yeast to use because it works quickly and efficiently, so you don't have to wait a long time for your bread to rise. Plus, it helps create an incredibly fluffy and light loaf!
Coarse salt - A little bit of salt goes a long way in this recipe as It helps to flavor the dough.
Water - Using room temperature water is key for making bread, as it helps the yeast to activate.
You can substitute all-purpose flour for bread flour, but it won't give you the same chewy texture or structure.
If you don't have instant yeast, you can use active dry yeast. Just make sure to increase the amount of yeast slightly and let the dough rise for a little bit longer.
You can substitute table salt for coarse salt, but you'll want to use less of it, as table salt has a much higher concentration.
🔪 How to make
Making this homemade artisan bread recipe is easier than you might think! This recipe is perfect for beginners and experienced bakers alike - all you need is 4 ingredients and a loaf pan to make a fluffy loaf of homemade bread.
Mix the flour, yeast, and salt in a large bowl and gently pour the water in, mixing with a spatula until you have a sticky dough.
Start to massage the bread dough into a ball with your hands. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise at room temperature for 2 to 3 hours.
Once the bread dough has doubled in size, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and cut the dough in half.
Shape the dough into 2 loaves and place them on a baking sheet dusted with floured/cornmeal. Loosely cover them with a damp cloth or plastic wrap and let them rise for 45 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 475 degrees Fahrenheit (246 degrees Celsius).
Once the loaves have risen slightly, score them across the top (½ inch deep) with a sharp knife or blade.
Place the loaves in the preheated oven on the center rack for 20-25 minutes. When the bread has a golden brown crispy crust, and the center temperature reads 195°F (90°C), it's ready.
Remove the fresh bread from the oven and let it cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before slicing the baked bread and serving it with butter, jam, or cinnamon honey butter.
💭 Cooking tips
Refrigerate the dough overnight!
If you leave the bread dough to rise overnight in the fridge (maximum 18 hours), it will develop a more robust flavor. I love doing this!
Don't use too much flour!
If you want to avoid the mistake of creating dense bread, be sure to measure the flour. It is important not to add more flour to the dough to make it easier to handle when it is sticky because it will make the bread dense in texture.
Don't over-knead the dough!
If you knead the dough for too long, it will become tough. It is important to knead the dough until it just about comes together and then stop.
Scoring the dough
When you score the dough before baking, it allows for the steam to escape and helps give the bread its distinctive shape. Make sure to use a sharp knife or bread lame when scoring the dough and make shallow cuts about ½ inch deep.
Let the dough rest before baking!
It is important to let the dough rest for 45 minutes before baking. This allows the gluten to relax and helps create a more flavorful bread.
Super crusty bread recipe
Place a skillet or shall pan half full with hot water on the bottom oven rack below the bread to create steam during baking. The steam helps to create a crispier crust.
📖 Easy Variations
This basic bread recipe can be modified to create a variety of delicious homemade loaves. Here are some easy variations that you can try:
Add 2 tablespoons of herbs, such as fresh rosemary, thyme, oregano, or cilantro to the dough for a flavorful twist.
Add dried fruit and nuts
Give your bread a touch of sweetness and crunch by adding 1 cup of chopped nuts and/or dried fruits to the dough after it has risen. Some good suggestions are dried cranberries, raisins, walnuts, almonds, or hazelnuts.
Mix 1 cup of shredded cheese into the bread dough before shaping it. Once it's shaped and proofed a second time, sprinkle some more cheese on top before baking.
🥗 What to serve with
You can enjoy homemade artisan bread just as you would making a sandwich, making toast, dipping it into soups, or any time you need a slice of soft crusty bread. Here are a few ideas to enjoy with your bread:
Cheese & dips
Slice and toast the bread and use it for dips and cheese, like this Asiago, spinach artichoke dip and baked crab dip, or our flavorful cheddar cheese ball.
This bread pairs perfectly with soups and stews, like cream of chicken soup, creamy chicken corn chowder, tomato bisque, and a hearty cowboy stew.
This bread is the perfect choice for making sandwiches and paninis. Enjoy it with a grilled cheese sandwich, BLT grilled cheese sandwich, or a white truffle egg sandwich.
🙋 Frequently asked questions
Can I make artisan bread in a Dutch oven?
Yes, you can! For best results, bake the bread in a preheated Dutch oven at 425°F (220°C) for 30 minutes and use parchment paper to line it before adding the bread.
Can I use sourdough started to make artisan bread?
Yes, you can use a sourdough starter to make artisan bread. Just add the starter to the other ingredients and follow the same instructions. The end result will have a slightly tangy flavor that is unique to sourdough bread.
What makes the bread artisanal?
Artisanal bread is made with slow fermentation, simple ingredients, and baking techniques that produce a unique flavor and texture. The dough is usually hand-shaped, baked in a hot oven, and allowed to cool naturally before slicing.
🧊 Storing and ♨️ reheating
If you're making artisan bread to have your packed lunches sorted with sandwiches throughout the week, you'll be glad to know that this delicious bread stays soft and fresh for a few days and even longer frozen.
Room temperature - This bread should be stored in an airtight container or bag at room temperature (ideally a bread bin) for up to four days.
Freezer - The bread can also be stored in the freezer, double-wrapped in plastic, and placed in a zip-lock bag to prevent freezer burn. It should last up to 3 months this way.
Reheating - To reheat, wrap a piece of artisan bread in foil and place it on a baking sheet. Heat the oven to 350°F (175°C) and bake the bread for 8-10 minutes until heated. Alternatively, you can place the bread in a toaster for a few minutes.
🍳 More Bread Recipes
If you love baking and have more inspiration after making this easy bread recipe, give one of these 37 fun things to bake a try or checkout all of our delicious bread recipes including my sandwich bread and strawberry banana bread, we have a lot.
🍳 Serving size
This artisan bread recipe yields one large artisan loaf or two smaller loaves, depending on your preference. If you have a family of 4 and want to make enough bread for the week, I recommend making a double batch of this recipe.
Making artisan bread is both easy and fun, and your entire family will enjoy it! With this guide, you'll be able to make delicious handmade loaves of bread with ease. Have fun baking and enjoying homemade artisanal bread!
Love this recipe? Please leave a 5-star 🌟rating in the recipe card below and/or a review in the comments section further down the page.
Try one of my comfort dinner recipes for your next family meal! And if you have any questions, I'm here to help!
- 3¼ cups Bread flour - about 430g, (spoon & leveled), plus more for hands and pan
- 2 teaspoons Instant yeast - about 6g
- 2 teaspoons Coarse salt
- 1½ cups Water - 360ml, close to room temperature at about 70°F (21°C)
- optional: cornmeal for dusting pan
- Mix the flour, yeast, and salt in a large bowl and gently pour the water in, mixing with a spatula until you have a sticky dough.
- Start to massage the bread dough into a ball with your hands. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise at room temperature for 2 to 3 hours.
- Once the bread dough has doubled in size, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and cut the dough in half.
- Shape the dough into 2 loaves and place them on a baking sheet dusted with floured/cornmeal. Loosely cover them with a damp cloth or plastic wrap and let them rise for 45 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 475 degrees Fahrenheit (246 degrees Celsius).
- Once the loaves have risen slightly, score them across the top (½ inch deep) with a sharp knife or blade.
- Place the loaves in the preheated oven on the center rack for 20-25 minutes. When the bread has a golden brown crispy crust, and the center temperature reads 195°F (90°C), it's ready.
- Remove the fresh bread from the oven and let it cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before slicing the baked bread and serving it with butter, jam, or cinnamon honey butter.
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