Saturday, March 12, 2011

Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day

Anyone who has seen me knows I LOVE bread.  I am the unofficial Pillsbury Dough Girl.  Oh well.

Anyhow...I LOVE bread.  I love GOOD bread.  I love sourdough bread.  I love artisan bread.  I love chewy bread.  I love moist bread.  I love THIS bread!
And...I have been making it every couple days since January!  It is SO easy!  I've already gone through 25 pounds of Artisan flour.  I thought I'd add the recipe and instructions to my blog in case anyone out there wants the recipe.  You will never paid $3.99 for a loaf of this kind of bread again after eating this!

At first, I thought that the premise of this bread - Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day - was just a joke to get me to buy a cookbook.  Wrong.  It really does only take about 5 work minutes of my actual time to make a loaf of this bread.  I can handle that!  So I don't get in trouble for "not giving credit where credit is due" can find more recipes from the folks that created this one at

Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day Master Recipe

3 1/2 cups lukewarm water
4 teaspoons active dry yeast
4 teaspoons coarse salt
7 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose or artisan flour (measure using scoop and sweep method)

This is enough dough for 4 (1-lb.) loaves, but I actually make 2 (2-lb) loaves instead otherwise Melon Man eats a whole loaf at once.

Mixing the dough:

In a 5 or 6 quart bowl or lidded Food Storage Container, dump in the water and add the yeast and salt.
Dump in the flour all at once and stir with a long handled wooden spoon or a Danish Dough Whisk.
Stir it until all of the flour is incorporated into the dough, as you can see it will be a wet rough dough.
Put the lid on the container, but do not snap it shut. You want the gases from the yeast to escape. (You can put a little hole in the top of the lids so that you can close the lid and still allow the gases to get out. As you can see it doesn’t take much of a hole to accomplish this.)
Allow the dough to sit at room temperature for about 2 hours to rise. When you first mix the dough it will not occupy much of the container.
But, after the initial 2 hour rise it will pretty much fill it.
The dough will be flat on the top and some of the bubbles may even appear to be popping. (If you intend to refrigerate the dough after this stage it can be placed in the refrigerator even if the dough is not perfectly flat. The yeast will continue to work even in the refrigerator.) The dough can be used right after the initial 2 hour rise, but it is much easier to handle when it is chilled.

The next time you pull the dough out of the refrigerator you will notice that it has collapsed and this is totally normal for the dough. It will never rise up again in the container.

Making the loaf:

Dust the surface of the dough with a little flour, just enough to prevent it from sticking to your hands when you reach in to pull a piece out.
You should notice that the dough has a lot of stretch once it has rested. (If your dough breaks off instead of stretching like this your dough is probably too dry and you can just add a few tablespoons of water and let it sit again until the dough absorbs the additional water.)
Cut off a 1-pound piece of dough using kitchen shears and form it into a ball by tucking the sides of the dough under the ball while twisting and turning the dough to do so.  Place the ball on a generous layer of corn meal on top of a pizza peel.  (The picture shows it on parchment paper instead.)

Let the dough rest for at least 40 minutes (although letting it go 60 or even 90 minutes will give you a more open hole structure in the interior of the loaf. This may also improve the look of your loaf and prevent it from splitting on the bottom.). You will notice that the loaf does not rise much during this rest, in fact it may just spread sideways, this is normal for this dough.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees with a Baking Stone* on the center rack, with a broiler tray on the bottom rack, which will be used to produce steam. (The tray needs to be at least 4 or 5 inches away from your stone to prevent it from cracking.)
Cut the loaf with 1/4-inch slashes using a serrated knife. (If your slashes are too shallow you will end up with an oddly shaped loaf.)

Baking the bread:

Slide the loaf into the oven onto the preheated stone (the one in the picture is cast iron) and add a cup of hot water to the broiler tray.  Quickly close the oven door to prevent the steam from escaping.  Bake the bread for 30-35 minutes or until it's a deep brown color.  As the bread bakes you should notice a nice oven spring in the dough. This is where the dough rises.
Allow the loaf to cool on a rack until it is room temperature. If you cut into a loaf before it is cooled you will have a tough crust and a gummy interior. It is hard to wait, but you will be happy you did! Make sure you have a nice sharp bread knife that will not crush the bread as you cut. Or you can tear it apart as they do in most of Europe.
If you have any leftover bread just let it sit, uncovered on the cutting board or counter with the cut side down. If you cover a bread that has a crust it will get soggy.
This is seriously the yummiest bread!

I actually have enough dough in the fridge right now to make a load...that sounds so good right now!  Maybe I'll go pull it out and let it start to rest so I can bake it.

One more thing...don't wash your bucket.  Just make some more dough in it.  If you're not going to make more dough right then, just stick the bucket back in the fridge until you're ready to make more.  It will take on sourdough qualities and make your bread even better!


Cindy said...

Looks and sounds yummy. Where do you get a bucket like that?

Lisa Tucker said...

This looks fantastic. I am with Cindy where do you get a bucket like that and that dough mixer???

Kristin said...

You can get buckets like that at restaurant supply stores - probably the Danish wisk too. But, I just use a 1.5 gallon food storage bucket that I got at Honeyville and I use a wooden spoon. They work just as great!

Casey Lu said...

That doesn't look to difficult! Thanks for sharing. I need to start making my own bread!

Apple Eye Studio said...

How long can it remain in the fridge before using? Thanks

Theresa Major said...

Well, bread is in the oven. I am keeping my fingers crossed this is my first bread project. I am a cake/dessert home baker. It was easy enough. As easy as you made it sounds. I hope it turns out correctly, for I only had quick rise yeast in the cabinate. Will post again when it is out.

Kristin said...

Good luck Theresa! It really is a fabulous bread. If it isn't perfect on your first try, try again. Really...the key to this bread is to work with the dough cold. It forms much easier and the quality of the bread seems much better. Let me know how it goes!

Mirella Prado said...

This dough is impossible to handle! How can I shape something so wet and sticky? I followed the instructions strictly... I got so frustrated that I gave up and put mine back in the refrigerator to see if tomorrow I have more patience to work with it. I'll probably sift lots of flour into it to be able at least to make a shape and hope not to ruin the flavor and texture.

Sheila Brown said...

I made this and it was amazing! I will say that the bowl I put the dough into wasn't nearly big enough so I had to switch over. I would also recommend that anyone oil the container the dough will be rising in to avoid losing any of the chewy goodness to the container. I can highly recommend this recipe! It's easy but most importantly it's wonderful bread!!! :)

Anonymous said...

we needed a bread and its snowing really hard outside like above the knee level already..i found this recipe and God i was sooo happy for how it turned out! and so gooood too!! so..i am now ready to make another one!..thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Super easy and delish! I make smaller loaves and brush with egg and add toppings like rosemary in olive oil, jalapeno with cheddar, butter, YUM!

Anonymous said...

This bread is easy and awesome! My whole family loved it. Although the dough is sticky, you really don't have to handle it too much. Crusty, yummy and easy! Thanks for a great fine! I'll be making it all the time!

Dorothy Heymann said...

Are there any non-wheat flours that will work for this bread?

Anonymous said...

Just took out from oven! Looks very good. It is just I wanted! Thanks for sharing.

Charlotte said...

Looks amazing, can't wait to try it! Can you advise why you use all purpose flour instead of strong bread flour please? Will I not get the same loaf if I use my usual extra strong? Thanks

Dori said...

I bought my dough bucket at Ace Hardware, in the paint department.

Jane said...

Can you split the recipe in half? Also, how long can you keep this dough in the fridge before using it?

Kristin said...

Charlotte - I have never used all purpose flour before - but my aunt has and she has good success.

Jane - yes, you can split it in half. The original recipe says you can leave it in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, but I have never been able to do that. It turns gray and smells too sour for me. I am good with it in the fridge up to a week, but it never lasts that long in my house. I actually just made 7 batches of this dough last week....whew! It was for thank you gifts. Each batch made 4 small loaves. Perfect for thank you gifts. When I make it for my family, I make one batch into two bigger loaves.

The Uncommon Muse said...

could you freeze the dough to keep it longer? Im only on person so not sure I could go through that much dough in a week. or would it be better to bake it first then freeze it?

Butterfingers said...

I ordered the buckets on ebay from a vendor of restaurant supplies. They came in lots of 2 each so if I need to make a lot for entertaining, I can fill two buckets at once. They came in the mail the day before Christmas. I will be trying your recipe this week!

Butterfingers said...

Your recipe is delicious! Everything was perfect except please give me info on how to get the dough the right consistency to slash. I'm thinking if I add more flour to the dough when I take it out of the bucket it might be easier to slash. Delicious bread is great, but I want PRETTY bread like your picture!

Emily Seaboyer said...

Is there any reason why the loaf couldn't be baked right on the parchment that it rests on?
I've had the worst luck getting the dough to just "slide" off without sticking. In spite of flour and cornmeal. Otherwise it's shaped up really nicely!

Jane Boice said...

Good question Emily. I slashed my loaf but the knife just stuck to the dough and didn't
make much of a mark. Was my dough too wet? The bread is in the oven now....more to follow..

Jane Boice said...

Well the bread is delicious even though it doesn't have slash marks!!

Anonymous said...

Made this yesterday and it turned out great. I used half and mixed up the recipe again and mixed into the original batch. Leaving it out on the counter for two hour and putting it in the fridge. Going to see if I get a sourdough flavor going. My teenage boys are from Ukraine and they thought this bread tasted like home.

Marti B said...

Not getting how this is "bread in 5 minutes".

Jen Ow said...

I just made my first batch of dough! I'm anxious to bake it tonight, and hopeful that it can replace the "Neo-tuscan boule" I spend $4.29 per loaf to buy at my local grocery store! They don't always have it, so when they do I buy several loaves to freeze, meaning I have spent over $20 on just this type of bread SEVERAL times, ;-)

Beth Burrell said...

I made this recipe for our weekly family gathering (adult kids come each week to get a homemade meal and share their weekly trials, tribulations and of course excellent moments) and the bread was a hit! I made 1lb loaves for each adult kid to take home for the week and also left us a couple of loaves to eat for our Sunday evening meal.

I made 1 lb loaves to stretch it a little further and baked a couple of loaves ahead of time, then stuffed one with bree cheese and another with goat/provolone cheese...then brushed each loaf with a butter/garlic mix, bake for about 10-15 mins to warm and melt cheese - DELICIOUS!!!!

Such awesomeness in this recipe! Thanks for posting!

Mark Graves said...

I'm defiantly gonna make this bread. I have a couple of questions can you use a kitchen aid mixer with the dough hook❓And can it be put in loaf pans instead❓
Thanks in advance, Mark

Bob Lappe said...

Looks & sound easy & delicious, My Question is can regular bread flour be used or does it have to be Artisan Flour ? Looking forward to trying this recipe ! Thanks for sharing and the info .

Joanne | No Plate Like Home said...

I've made this recipe many times and love it as does my family. I usually add a tad more water and sometimes use bread flour. I like that I can make it in only a few hours. It is a nice crusty bread. Shared on FB.

Kimm Corser said...

Would love a Printable version of recipe. Thanks. Looks amazing.