How do you make an Easy No Knead Artisan Bread and have it turn out just like the local bakery? It all starts a day ahead, but don’t worry, it’s so simple.
When we were visiting San Francisco many, many years ago we took a walk down the boardwalk and the smell of fresh, hot bread was completely intoxicating. How can something as simple as bread be so wonderful? That beautiful, golden, crisp crust, the soft pillowy inside and the smell that makes you feel such peace no matter what.
You can’t deny it, fresh bread baking is one of the greatest smells of all time. And fresh cut grass. Oh, and the rain, I love the smell of the rain. Growing up in Washington state will do that to you.
We love to make homemade bread, and Cade’s dad happens to be a fantastic bread maker, but the truth is, sometimes you don’t just want a sandwich bread, no you want artisan bread. But can you really do it from home? Here’s how to make artisan bread in 5 minutes.
What Size of Dutch Oven
I’m adding a little note in here because since posting we’ve had a lot of emails about what dutch oven we prefer and what size of dutch oven to bake bread in. We love our Cobalt Blue Le Creuset 5 1/2 Qt Dutch Oven. We use it for everything from our Perfect Pizza Sauce and Favorite Homemade Spaghetti Sauce to Cade’s Poblano Braised Beef Tacos. If you’re not ready to bite the bullet on a Le Creuset we also like the Lodge Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven I kind of wish we had a smaller dutch oven as we aren’t a very big family but 5 1/2 is working well for us.
You only need flour, sugar, salt, yeast and water. That’s it. The sugar helps to activate or feed the yeast just a little which I’ve noticed helps to yield and fluffier inside, but in a pinch you can skip it. Just mix together the dry ingredients, pour in the warm, not hot water and mix until the dough comes together.
Everything You Need to Know About Yeast
There are more questions about yeast than we could ever answer in this post, but in an effort to help you all feel successful and confident about how to use yeast we’ve broken it all down, so just scroll past the recipe and read up because I promise, yeast is not hard to work with, you just have to be willing to try it once or twice and then it will be as easy as can be.
Instant Yeast is also known as Rapid Rise or Bread Machine Yeast. You can use instant yeast and active dry yeast pretty interchangeably. Instant yeast can be added straight to the flour without proofing first. Proofing yeast is when you add it to warm water to get fluffy before mixing it into the dough. Instant yeast also takes less time for the dough to rise which is pretty darn handy. We still proof our instant yeast at least half of the time because it’s a sure way for me to make sure my yeast is still fresh and the bread will turn out.
Active Dry Yeast
Active dry yeast is going to take a little longer to activate and get the dough rising. If you use this yeast instead of instant yeast plan on up to an extra hour of rise time. Also, make sure you use warm water so there’s no risk of killing the yeast (another reason instant yeast is easier) and make sure it foams up before using it.
How to Store Yeast
Yeast is a living thing and definitely goes bad. We keep a bigger bag of yeast in the freezer and a glass jar of yeast in our fridge. The cold will help it to have a longer shelf life.
Tips Making Yeast Breads
One of the biggest things I’ve noticed with yeast breads is that the temperature of my house matters. If your yeast is good, and the bread isn’t rising like it normally does there’s a chance your house is too cold.
Adding a little sugar to the yeast as it proofs in the water will give the yeast something to eat and you will get more action from it.
We prefer to proof both active and instant yeast just to be sure it’s still fresh and hasn’t died.
Salt can kill your yeast so when adding it straight into flour, try to keep them apart until everything is evenly mixed together so the flour can keep them apart.
Follow your recipe. Some yeast breads like a sandwich bread are going to want to be kneaded more, whereas a potato roll (aka the best roll ever) or even many roll recipes like to be stirred and then left to rise.
Cover the dough when it’s rising in the bowl with saran wrap versus a towel to keep the dough from drying out on top.
How to Store Easy No Knead Artisan Bread
Artisan breads are different than a soft, sandwich loaf or rolls. They like to breath so storing your bread in a paper bag with a cloth around it is really your best bet for easy no knead artisan bread.
If you wont be eating your bread for a day or two, store the bread in plastic, but never refrigerate it. Once you’re ready to serve it, do like my mom did, wrap it in a little foil and pop it in a 425 degree oven so it gets heated through again and the crust will crisp back up.
If you wish to freeze your bread, which I do all the time, wrap it in saran wrap and tinfoil and then place it in the freezer. If it will be in longer than a week or two add a ziploc bag to stretch it out an additional week or two longer.
Easy No Knead Artisan Bread
- 3 cups All Purpose Flour
- 1½ Teaspoons salt
- 1 Teaspoon Instant yeast
- ½ Teaspoon Sugar
- 1½ cups warm water
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and yeast, then pour in the warm water. Stir with a wooden spoon until completely combined. This is a no knead recipe so the dough will not be smooth.
- Once combined, cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let it sit on the counter overnight.
- When the dough is done rising, preheat the oven to 450 degrees with a dutch oven, without the lid is inside. On a lightly floured surface, shape into a round ball.
- Allow the dough to rest while you preheat the oven and the pot. The pot needs to heat for 30 minutes.
- After the dutch oven has preheated, line the bottom with parchment paper and place ball of dough in the center of the dutch oven and cover with the lid.
- Bake at 450 degrees for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove lid and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes until done. Bread will be golden in color.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool before slicing or tear the bread if you want to eat it hot.