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5 from 11 votes

Homemade Artisan French Bread

Anyone with an oven, flour, yeast, salt, and water could make authentic, artisan bread in just five minutes a day. Yes! We can. Makes four free-form artisan loaves, about 1 pound each. Recipe is easily doubled or halved.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Course: Bread
Cuisine: French
Servings: 32
Calories: 93kcal
Cost: About $.40 per loaf

Ingredients

  • 3 cups lukewarm water 100 F or below
  • 1 tablespoon granulated yeast (0.35 oz.; 10 grams)
  • 1 to 1½ tablespoon Kosher salt (0.6 to 0.9 oz.; 17 to 25 grams)
  • cups all-purpose flour (2 lbs.; 910 grams)
  • cornmeal or parchment paper for the pizza peel

Instructions

  • Warm the water slightly. It should feel just slightly warmer than body temperature or about 100 F.
  • Add the warm water to a lidded (not airtight) large container with a lid that can also be cracked just slightly. If you don't have a lid, you can use plastic wrap instead. More on that in a bit.
  • On baking day, prepare pizza peel or baking sheet with cornmeal or parchment paper to prevent your load from sticking, and so that you can slide it onto the baking stone
  • Set the loaf on the pizza peel and allow it to rest uncovered and rise for about 40 minutes.
  • Place an empty metal broiler tray or another pan (NOT GLASS!) for holding water on any shelf that won't interfere with the bread.
  • Carefully, slide the dough from the peel onto the pre-heated baking stone.
  • Remove from the oven to a cooling rack. For best results, allow cooling fully for 2 hours before serving. It's not easy to wait, but this will make all the difference in texture and taste.
  • Yield: This dough will yield four about 1-pound loaves.
  • Store the remaining dough in the refrigerator with lid attached loosely. The dough will remain useful for up to 14 days. And expect the flavor to develop and improve during this time!
  • When your dough bucket is finally empty, or nearly, it's time to make more dough. Don't clean or wash the bucket. The aged dough that remains on the sides of the container will give your new batch a head start on sourdough flavor!

Nutrition

Calories: 93kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 329mg | Potassium: 28mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Calcium: 4mg | Iron: 1mg