My experience with the popular 5-minute no-knead artisan bread recipe was such a success! Chewy, flavorful bread with hardly any work!
If you’ve ever look for a bread recipe online, you’ve probably come across some version of this no-knead bread. Most versions call for the loaf to be baked in a Dutch oven, which I don’t have. However, as I looked for more bread recipes to add to my collection a few weeks ago, I came across a few recipes that did not suggest baking in a Dutch oven! I traced them back to the original, the “basic” Artisan Bread in Five Minutes.
Now, if you’ve been reading my blog, you know that I’m not afraid of spending time and effort on making bread. Most of the bread recipes I’ve shared involve kneading, and I actually enjoy it–getting to feel the dough change–but sometimes short-cuts are great. Especially when they actually are short-cuts, and aren’t just pretending to be. I guess this isn’t really a short-cut, as it involves letting the dough sit, but if you plan in advance than this is certainly a quicker way to pop some homemade bread in the oven!
Though I know following a recipe exactly is not at all necessary, even when working with finicky yeast, I stuck pretty close to the original. I did halve the recipe, as the original uses six and a half cups of flour. Even for dough that can be stored for up to two weeks, I didn’t think I would use that much.
So, with my half recipe I made two decent-sized (9 inch? 10 inch?) oblong loaves. The first loaf I made right away and the second I made after I finished the first, five days later. I liked the second loaf better–it had more flavor and more air holes which I think are essential to any type of bread that’s being called “artisan.” Loaf #2 sat in the fridge for five days, so I can’t vouch for the alleged two-week storage period but I can safely say that after five days you will have a wonderful loaf!
5-Minute Artisan Bread
- 1/2 T active dry yeast
- 1 1/2 cups warm water
- 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 T salt
This will make two loaves like the ones in the photo above. Go to the original for more about sizing loaves.
Place yeast, water, and salt in a very large bowl (or large tub or clean spaghetti pot). Immediately add the flour and stir to combine.
Cover the container but make sure there is room for the gases being produced to escape, i.e. set the lid of the pot off-kilter. Let the dough sit for about two hours. It should rise to at least double and then begin to settle. Do not punch down the dough.
After the two hour rise, you can use the dough. Or, store it in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
When ready to make dough, sprinkle some flour over the top of the dough (to keep your hands cleaner) and divide the dough in two. Tidy into the desired shape and let the dough rest on a floured surface or parchment paper for about an hour.
In the meantime, heat your oven to 450ºF. If you have a pizza stone or cast iron pizza pan, place it in the center of the oven as it heats. If not, just bake on a regular baking sheet (which is what I did). Make sure you have a rack in the lower half of the oven as well.
After the dough sits for an hour, slash the loaf and place it on the stone or baking sheet in the oven . Fill a metal cake pan (not glass!) with hot water and place on the lower rack of the oven, closing the door quickly. This will produce steam and help with the development of a crust. Bake about 30 minutes until golden brown and hollow-sounding.