Few things in life are as satisfying as cutting into a fresh loaf of bread that you’ve made yourself. Add a little butter and some flaky sea salt to the slice and you’re looking at near perfection. If you’ve never made your own bread, now is the perfect time to give it a try – it only takes a few minutes and no kneading!
You really don’t need much to make your own artisan bread. All you’ll need is:
- 3 cups (709 grams) lukewarm water, plus more for broiler tray
- 1 tbsp (10 grams) active dry or quick rise yeast
- 1 tsp to 1 1/2 tsp (9 – 12 grams) kosher salt, to taste
- 6 1/2 cups (910 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour, measured by sweep-and-scoop if using cups measurement
- Cornmeal for dusting, optional
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Stand mixer
- Pizza peel
- Baking sheet
- Serrated knife, scissors, or bench scraper
- Kitchen scale, optional but recommended for more precise measurements
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The artisan bread in five minutes method was created and popularized by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François, who have published numerous books on the subject. Their full instructions are available here. In summary, there are four sections of steps to making your own bread.
First, you’ll make the dough by combining the ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer and letting the mixer mix the dough until the flour is completely incorporated – no kneading necessary. Next, you’ll move to the second phase, which is proofing the dough for at least two hours on the counter, but preferably with an additional overnight proof in the refrigerator. After the dough is proofed, it’s time for the third phase of shaping the dough into a loaf. To shape the dough, grab a section and use a serrated knife, scissors, or a bench scraper to cut off about 1 pound of dough. Then, gently stretch the surface of the dough, tucking the ends underneath the ball, turning it as you go. You might find this video tutorial helpful as you learn to shape bread dough. Finally, you’re ready to score and bake your bread, until it’s dark golden, crackling, and crusty. After the loaf has cooled, slice some off, and spread softened butter and a little flaky sea salt on top – enjoy!