peasant bread

How to Make a 2-pound Loaf

In Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day and Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day I suggested baking a 1-pound loaf and gave detailed instructions for making this smallish bread. It seems like a nice size loaf for a family of 4 to eat in a day. On some occasions you may want to bake a larger loaf and it requires a few adjustments to the recipe. Here are step by step instructions for baking a 2-pound free form loaf.

2 pounds pre-made, refrigerated dough (the timing will be different for fresh dough that has not yet been chilled)

peasant bread

Form the dough into a ball (here is a video on how to form wet dough), then place ball of dough on piece of parchment or a cornmeal covered Pizza Peel.

Loosely cover the ball with plastic wrap. For this larger loaf you can’t skimp on the resting-time, otherwise it can form a tight skin that prevents full rising, can can distort the shape of the baked loaf. Allow to rest at room temperature (65-70°F) for 90 minutes (2 hours if using doughs made mostly with whole grains).

Preheat the oven with a Baking Stone set on the middle rack, to 450°F as read on an Oven Thermometer. Have a roasting pan on the bottom rack.

The dough will have risen slightly but mostly spread sideways. It should no longer feel chilled or tight and will shake like set gelatin when you shimmy the loaf on the parchment (this won’t be as apparent with whole-grain dough).

Slash the loaf with 1/2-inch deep cuts.

Slide the loaf onto the baking stone. Add one cup of water to the roasting pan and bake the bread for 45-50 minutes.

Remove the golden brown loaf, take off the parchment and let it rest on a cooling rack for about an hour. The loaf may still be gummy on the inside if you cut into it before the hour is up.

Cut with a very sharp Bread Knife.

141 thoughts to “How to Make a 2-pound Loaf”

  1. Hi. Love baking bread this way.
    Anyway, I have a question. You state in your post “2 pounds pre-made, refrigerated dough (the timing will be different for fresh dough that has not yet been chilled)”. What would be different about the timing for the un-chilled dough?

    1. Hi Julie,

      It is typically half the resting time, but each recipe in the books will state the timing for fresh dough.

      Thanks, Zoë

    2. I tried to work with un-chilled dough the other day and it was a nightmare. I would recommend putting it in the fridge for a couple hours. Makes handling the dough so much easier. Hope it helps!

    1. Just keep a good 4 inches between the loaves or they’ll stick together, then you should be fine with as many as fit that way. So–depends on the size of your stone. May require a little more baking time (10% more??).

    1. Hi Emily,

      Yes, the timing is about the same, it may take an extra 5 minutes, but 60 minutes should do it.

      Thanks, Zoë

  2. Can glass pans be used for the Sandwich Bread on page 268 of the New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day? Can’t find 8 1/2 by 4 1/2 size in non-stick.
    Thanks for a reply…

    1. Hi Jean,

      I was just answering you in “ask a question,” here is the response again:

      I’m so surprised you’re having such a tough time finding that size, it is the industry standard for loaf pans. Here is one to check out: You can use glass pans, but be sure to grease them really well.

      The dough will fill the pan nicely when it rises and bakes, so you’ll end up with a nice size slice. Here are some posts on more GF options:

      Gluten-Free Bread:

      Gluten-Free flour mix:

      Thanks, Zoë

  3. My 2lb loaves take about 90 min @450F to cook to an internal temp of about 205-209 F. At 450F they get very dark with thick crust. Can you recommend any temp/time that will cook the inside completely but not get so dark thick crust? Thanks.

    1. Hi Jonathan,

      90 minutes is a very long bake time. Which recipe are you baking? How long are you letting the dough rest before baking?

      Thanks, Zoë

    1. Hi Barbara,

      I would think a pound of dough would fit in it, maybe a scant pound and you can just bake it as the master instructs for the one pound loaf.

      Thanks, Zoë

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.