Our foolproof Two Hour Artisan Bread recipe gets that perfectly chewy, crispy crust on the outside together with a marvelously light and airy crumb on the inside. The recipe is so simple that you can easily bake it after work and have this delicious, freshly baked bread in time for dinner.
If you’re looking for something quick and easy. this is it…
I love this recipe because its so easy – you can easily bake this while doing a number of other chores as long as you keep track of the time – I use a timer to keep me on track and the bread bakes beautifully every time..
Eating freshly baked bread is like getting a hug that warms you with happiness from the inside. Nothing compares to the “everything’s gonna be alright’ smell of freshly baked bread.
What you need to make this delicious bread
You only need five ingredients to make this bread from scratch – yeast, flour, salt, sugar and some warm water. Bread baking is a science so all ingredients are provided in grams and milliliters for maximum accuracy.
- Flour – I have used all purpose flour, bread flour and also a mixed flour combination (150g whole wheat and 250g all purpose flour) with excellent success. I have not tried 100% whole wheat because it is just a two hour bread after all and the limited proofing time might result in dough that is too dense.
- Rapid rise yeast – I use Rapid Rise Yeast because of its time saving advantages.
- Warm water – the water needs to be warm (around 105°F – so that the yeast activates quickly.
- Sugar – not everyone adds sugar but I do because it helps speed up the fermentation process and adds flavor. By adding the sugar, the yeast processes it first saving the time it would take to break down starch into sugar.
- Salt – the salt in this recipe is simply used to season the bread.
How to make Two Hour Artisan Bread
In addition to the ingredients, you will need a 3 quart dutch oven, casserole pot or any medium oven proof pot to bake the bread. Baking in a covered oven safe pot creates a hot, humid environment which creates that perfect crust and also helps the dough to rise faster. To speed up the baking process, heat the dutch oven for at least a half hour.
- Preheat the oven and pot – Place a covered medium oven proof pot in the middle rack of an oven and preheat the oven at 450° F.
- Mix the ingredients – In a large mixing bowl, first add the yeast, sugar and water together and stir to dissolve. Then add the flour and salt and mix until the dough comes together.
- Knead the dough 8-10 minutes – Knead the dough on a floured surface for about 8-10 minutes. If you have a stand mixer, use the dough hook. After a few minutes the dough will come together and look very smooth and silky. Pull and fold the dough pushing the sides into the center so it forms a into a tight ball or purse. Turn the dough over and continue pressing the dough so it is as compact as possible.
- First proof – 30 minutes – Cover the bowl and proof the dough at room temperature for a half hour. The dough will almost double in size.
- Stretch and fold the dough – 2 minutes – Roll out the dough onto a floured surface – stretch and fold the dough into a tight ball again – about 2 minutes. Do not worry about deflating the air pockets, Place inside a bowl and cover – you can cover with a plastic bag or a towel – I have had great results with using a large mixing bowl as a cover.
- Second proof – 30 minutes – Proof the dough at room temperature for a half hour.
- Score the top – Carefully loosen the sides on the dough and place it face up on a floured surface. Sprinkle the top with flour and smooth the flour over the surface. Tighten the dough by pressing the sides and tightening it into a ball again. Carefully score the top with a sharp knife or blade.
- Bake – Remove the hot dutch oven from the oven. Uncover. Place the dough from the mixing bowl, into the hot dutch oven. Cover and place it into the middle rack of the oven. Bake for 30 minutes. Uncover the dutch oven and bake the bread for about 10 minutes or until the top is nicely brown. Rest the bread for at least 10 minutes before slicing.
How to eat this bread…
Just pass me the butter.. All kidding aside though, this bread is incredibly versatile…you can eat it alone, with butter, fruit preserves and jam.. but it really shines when used to soak up a delicious sauce like a mussel broth or stew gravy.
We recently discovered that its absolutely phenomenal as the bread for grilled cheese sandwiches – you heard it here!
Finally, it goes really well with brie and prosciutto with a glass of chilled white wine.
Watch how to make it…
Two Hour Artisan Bread
- 400 g All purpose flour
- 280 ml warm water
- 7 g rapid rise yeast
- 10 g sugar
- 4 g salt
- Place a covered medium oven proof pot in the middle rack of an oven. Preheat the oven at 450° F. The pot needs to be heated for at least an hour before baking.
- In a large mixing bowl, first add the yeast, sugar and water together and stir to dissolve. Then add the flour and salt and mix.
- Knead the dough using the dough hook of a stand mixer or by hand, for about 8-10 minutes.
- Cover the bowl and proof the dough at room temperature for about a half hour.
- Roll out the dough onto a floured surface. Stretch and fold the dough into a tight ball - about 2 minutes, Place inside a bowl and cover.
- Proof the dough at room temperature for about a half hour.
- Uncover the dough. Carefully loosen the sides and place on a floured surface. Sprinkle with flour and smooth the flour over the top. Tighten into a ball by rotating and pressing the sides. Score the top with a sharp knife or blade.
- Place the dough from the mixing bowl, into the dutch oven. Cover and place it into the middle rack of the oven.
- Bake the dough in the covered dutch oven in the middle rack for 30 minutes.
- Uncover the pot and bake the bread for about 10 minutes or until the top is nicely brown. Rest the dough for at least 10 minutes before slicing.