Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day? YES!

Be sure to click on “UPDATED SECOND LOAF” link on bottom of page to see how the second loaf turned out!


I’m still in a state of shock this morning.   I found a book at a thrift store titled, The Splendid Table by Lynne Rosetto Kasper.  I had heard of the author on NPR.  I was excited to find such a great book at a thrift store and I couldn’t wait to take it home and comb through it.  I always go online and look up the books I buy and check out the author’s bio.  I came across her web site which recommended a recipe for artison bread in five minutes.  More research led to the book I will be purchasing today:

Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois

If you enjoy great bread–run to the bookstore NOW!  The recipe allows you to mix flour, salt, yeast, and  water to make a dough that rises for a few hours on the counter and then goes into the refrigerator to use at your leisure for up to two weeks.  I have only made my first loaf, and there is plenty of dough leftover-I predict a few more loaves of bread and maybe a pizza in the next week or so.

When you’re ready for fresh baked bread –simply  load your hands up with flour, cut off a grapefruit size piece of dough from your container of dough, form it (if you haven’t made rounds before, you may need to see a video for this part) and place it on a pizza peel you have covered in corn meal to rise for about 40 minutes (I allowed mine to rise 60 minutes in the warmest part of my home).  Preheat your oven to 450 degrees for 20 minutes (or halfway through the rising time) with a pizza stone on the middle rack and a broiler pan on the bottom rack–to be filled with a cup of very hot water when you slide your risen bread dough into the oven onto the stone.  Slit the top of your risen dough with a serrated knife (dip knife in flour to keep it from sticking), sprinkle some flour over top, and bake!  30 minutes later, you should get something that looks like the photo at the top of the page.

Watch the video

The Recipe:

Recipe: Simple Crusty Bread

PRINT this Recipe

Adapted from “Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day,” by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François (Thomas Dunne Books, 2007)

1 1/2 tablespoons yeast

1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt

6 1/2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour, more for dusting dough


1. In a large bowl or plastic container, mix yeast and salt into 3 cups lukewarm water (about 100 degrees). Stir in flour, mixing until there are no dry patches. Dough will be quite loose. Cover, but not with an airtight lid. Let dough rise at room temperature 2 hours (or up to 5 hours).

2. Bake at this point or refrigerate, covered, for as long as two weeks. When ready to bake, sprinkle a little flour on dough and cut off a grapefruit-size piece with serrated knife. Turn dough in hands to lightly stretch surface, creating a rounded top and a lumpy bottom. Put dough on pizza peel sprinkled with cornmeal; let rest 40 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough or refrigerate it.

3. Place broiler pan on bottom of oven. Place baking stone on middle rack and turn oven to 450 degrees; heat stone at that temperature for 20 minutes.

4. Dust dough with flour, slash top with serrated or very sharp knife three times. Slide onto stone. Pour one cup hot water into broiler pan and shut oven quickly to trap steam. Bake until well browned, about 30 minutes. Cool completely.

Yield: 4 loaves.

I made a sandwich today and the bread is just like the great artisan breads you buy at the bakery!

NOTES FROM ANGELNINA: Make sure you use the pizza stone and add the hot water right after you slide dough oven.  I do not have a pizza peel, so I used a small flat edged cookie sheet which I practically piled cornmeal on to make sure it wouldn’t stick no matter what ( I mean heap it on!).  Then I grabbed my baker’s scraper just in case it needed a shove–it didn’t and slid right off.  Again, I had loads of flour and cornmeal on the bottom to ensure proper fast slip off pan.  Some people use parchment paper, but I haven’t tried it yet.

I used Gold Medal Bread Flour–so far nothing beats this flour for me, so I didn’t want to take a risk.


See MY photos of various stages here…

Rising right after mixing.


Risen for two hours.  ( I kept lid on looser because I wasn’t sure if it was too air tight


In the fridge to wait a few hours more…


My formed ball, slitted, and resting.  I slit it before the rest period, but the instructions say to slit before placing in oven!  I panicked but all went well.


Fresh out of the oven


Slicing while still a bit warm (not hot).  We couldn’t wait.



38 thoughts on “Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day? YES!

  1. this sounds so amazing! nothing i love more than fresh bread!! do you think it needs to be made on a stone? or is it posible to do it on another type of pan?

  2. This looks pretty amazing. I’ve tried the no-knead bread recipe from the NY Times but this one looks like a keeper too.

  3. Sarah: I think it changes the crispiness of the crust, but check out your local thrift shops–I find them everywhere–unused. Check out this link
    I just realized using my convection baking setting may make this bread even more amazing–if that is possible 🙂

    You might give it a try and let me know how it turns out.
    It sure is nice to know a fresh loaf of great bread can be prepared before I finsih cooking dinner!

  4. Hi Caitlin 🙂
    I have a no knead recipe from a farmer’s cookbook that my mother bought in Idaho when I was a kid. I thought it was my best kept secret until all the news broke about the no-knead bread in a dutch oven–mine was in loaf pans. It works like a charm, but doesn’t have the same look as the NY Times no-knead. I have been wanting to try the now popular no-knead bread too. Is it as great as people are saying?

  5. I can’t wait to try this! Very exciting! Have you ever tried the “no raise” bread that’s baked in a French Le Crueset type oven? I’ve been wanting to try that one too.

    Beautiful job. You’re very good at forming those loaves. It looks perfect.

  6. Thanks Melanie 🙂 You really must try it–it’s so good. I went to buy it tonight and the store I checked didn’t have it 😦 Tomorrow I’m going to try another place.
    I haven’t tried the “no knead” bread yet, but I will–you did mean no knead right?

  7. okay a day late and a dollar short. I saved this recipe but didn’t read the comments til today, guess I am late to the party.

    my bread dough just got mixed. I kind of freaked when I was doing the yeast thing and felt like I just had to add a little sugar and proof it… so I did.. we’ll see if that was a bad idea. 🙂

    I also freaked while mixing the yeast mix with the flour.. it just wasn’t coming together nicely.. so I mixed it pretty good.. with a few stragglers..and set it in my turned off gas oven to rise. … also, all I had was bleached flour. … everything else was by the “book”

    I am hoping to serve it with some sausage spaghetti for dinner tonight.

    When I read the recipe.. (which also wasn’t til today) I found it to be very very similar to no knead.. more yeast.. no sugar. the water in the oven.. on the pizza stone instead of in a covered dutch oven. .. and this one you don’t knead either.

    so I’ll let you know .. maybe I’ll document my final outcome with a picture or two.. since I didn’t take any pics during the mixing. 🙂

  8. OMG – I love the Splendid Table! I’ve been a subscriber to her podcast for several months now. I should look for her book since she’s rekindled my love of cooking again.

  9. I’m glad I found your site. I happened upon mention of the book “Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day” and thought I’d like to get ahold of the recipe without buying the book (desperate times, desperate measures). I googled the recipe and found your blog. Thanks for the tutorial. I made my dough last night and it is fermenting in my cold basement. I might make one loaf today. Thanks again. Oh, have you ever done a more whole grain version of this bread?

  10. PS to my last comment. I tried that no knead New York times recipe for bread. I baked it in my crueset ware dutch oven. The bread burned horribly and I had to scrape it out the pan. I don’t recommend that recipe at all.

  11. I baked my first loaf of bread yesterday. I cut off about a 12 oz. slab of slack dough, shaped it and let it rise for about 40 minutes. I baked it in my turbo oven, which worked great because I didn’t have to heat up my big oven. Thanks for the recipe and the help. I will be baking and brewing bread as the days go by!

  12. Angelnina, the bread was great the first time and then I baked another loaf the next day. Let’s just say that we didn’t have to worry about leftovers!
    Still hoping that you have some info on how to incorporate whole wheat flour into it.
    I am in sourdough heaven!

  13. Ooooho lordy me. That is definitely going to be tried as soon as I can wrangle myself a pizza stone. It looks amazing! I had good success with the no-knead bread but this one looks even more delish. Yum!! Great post!

  14. I just got this book from Amazon almost 2 weeks to check it out, and decided I just had to have it!

    I am on my 3rd time of making the basic Artisan bread, and learned a few things from the last loaf I made.

    1-make sure your oven is *very* well heated..I had just finished making the pretzels from the book, so mine was. It had been going for about 45min already.

    2-try to be patient and let the dough sit in the fridge for a day or 2 after the initial rise. I made my dough on Sunday, and did not make this last loaf til Tues. The dough was a bit firmer to use, but my end result was an *awesome* looking loaf of bread. I only baked @ 30min this time..and (sorry) it came out looking better than the one above – and that looks really good! I used a pastry brush to brush the flour on before making the slices – I did the tic-tac-toe version – and that seemed to make a BIG difference.! You have got to try this! It is sooo easy!!!

    I am trying to locate the version of Parmesan Garlic Artisan bread that someone posted and cannot find…can someone help me!

  15. I have tried this recipe several times. And I just can’t get it to look like yours. Mine is heavy and fine grained. The taste is delicious. I need bigger airholes. Should I let it rise longer than the 40 minutes? Thanks for anybody’s help.

    • Hmm, when mine comes out of the fridge, i let it rest 40-60 minutes (i just don’t want it too cold). Are you using a pizza stone? Also, is the temperature of your water 100-105 degrees? If you can email the steps and exact ingredients you use in making the bread, i can probably offer a few more suggestions. Also, I make sure my stone heats for 30-60 minutes in advance. I’m at

  16. I just got the book and made my first bread for communion this a.m. and everyone (after only a tiny bite, mind you) told me after church how delicious the bread was. So, now I’m very excited and have the half whole wheat flour version in the refrigerator. But, what I wanted to share is that the authors’ website,, has a tab for ERRORS and there are some corrections there. One of them is the rising time after refrigeration for some of the recipes, which need to rise 1 hour 40 minutes instead of just the 40 minutes. I think the basic recipe still only needs 40 minutes though, but one of the comments there said the dough should no longer feel cold.

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  19. I have tried the new Almost No-Knead Bread and it is also wonderful… Google it if you are interested. BTW, want your yeast to go crazy and bread have a really neat taste – try a tablespoon of vinegar and a couple of tablespoons full of Malta Goya!


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  21. i was beginning to sense i may possibly be the sole person who cared about this, at the very least at present i acknowledge i’m not loco 🙂 i am going to be sure to take a look at various other blogposts when i get my morning caffeine in me, adios for now 🙂

  22. I rev the oven to 500 – 550 F and put in a large, heavy ceramic bowl instead of the pizza stone.

    When the oven is up to temperature, I dump the dough into the bowl and shut the door. The oven has a pan of water in it so it is plenty moist.

    20 minutes or so later, I check for a browned loaf and if so, out it comes to the cooling rack.


    And be VERY careful because it is easy to burn yourself at these temperatures – goodness knows I have done that enough times.


  23. I made my own variation of the ‘master recipe’. 25% whole grain flour and 75% hard flour (bread flour). I let the dough sit in the fridge for 5 days, waiting for my pizza stone to arrive. Then cut off a piece of it – the dough – and tried to shape it neatly, which was not a great success and depositing it on the home-made pizza peel (just used a thin wooden plank – it kind of was a bit flat and thought, ‘this is a failure’. But I waited out the 40 minutes and prepped the oven: heated it to 230 degrees centigrade (about 450 degrees F) and programmed it to bake with steam (this oven has that function) for 10 minutes, and then another 20 minutes without steam. Miraculously the flattish pancake blew itself up in the oven to a dome shaped loaf. However it came out somewhat misshapen, I think because I had not slashed it deeply enough. I let it cool on a rack for about an hour (ambient temperature 25 degrees C) and then could wait no longer. The first 2 slices were fantastic. Good crust, excellent taste! But it was slightly underbaked deeper inside. Whole grain loaves require longer resting and baking times. While the oven was still hot I decided to bake another loaf. Baked that 5 minutes longer, but this one also turned out to be somewhat underbaked. I’ll continue to experiment with different baking and resting times, which is what we all should do to get it just right! Of course there are many factors. The kind of flour used, the ambient temperature, humidity, resting and baking times and the oven temperature.
    I got hold of THE BOOK and am very grateful for this great source of information. I have been baking bread on a regular basis for years, but this offers a totally new perspective. My appreciation also goes to Angelnina who directed me to this technique in the first place. Thank you!

  24. I know I am kind of late to the postings,but I had to join in. I have the book “Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes and absolutely love it. I am making Corned Beef for dinner tonight and wanted to make the Rye bread from the book and couldn’t find it. I know it is the house somewhere but was panicking because I wanted to get the bread started asap! I found your site and was thrilled to find the basic recipe. I knew once I saw it the rest would come back to me. I have a batch of rye rising as I type! Thanks for having it on here. Now I can look for my book in a less stressed way. FYI – the book is amazing! Well worth the price. I received it as a gift and have bought it for several people as gifts ever since. I have a whole circle of friends that bake the breads. We are competitive and always trying to out do each other. BTW, the Italian bread is to die for!

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