The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day Master Recipe! (Back to Basics updated)

Artisan Bread | Breadin5

This is one of the site’s most popular posts. Why? It answers many of the questions that you asked, with the answers incorporated The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. Thank you all for making this new edition possible–readers are where the new ideas come from. If you’re having trouble getting this recipe to turn out the way you’d like, check out the troubleshooting tips on the FAQs page here. 

For our Master Recipe:

If you’re new to the site, welcome, and thank you for trying the bread. Our new edition has lots of material that wasn’t in the original Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day:

—More color pictures, there are 40 now (compared with 8), and 100 B+W instructionals

—A gluten-free chapter

—An expanded Tips and Techniques section

—Weight equivalents for every dough–for those of you with digital scales at home (optional!)

—Instructions for adjusting yeast and salt to your taste. And we decreased our standard yeast amount to 1 tablespoon (used to use 1.5 tablespoons for four pounds of dough).

—And 30 new recipes, including crock pot bread, a whole wheat variation that lets you increase the whole grain, rolls, panini, and more. About 130 more pages than our first edition.

As we bake through the basic Master recipe from NewABin5 we’ll try to answer some of the most frequently asked questions. The goal is to create a large batch of dough that stores in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. That’s why our method saves  you so much time– all the mixing and prep is divided over four one-pound loaves.

Master Recipe from The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking

3 cups (1 1/2 pounds/680 grams) lukewarm water (you can use cold water, but it will take the dough longer to rise. Just don’t use hot water or you may kill the yeast)

1 tablespoon granulated yeast ( you can use any kind of yeast including: instant, “quick,” rapid rise, bread machine, active dry, or fresh cake yeast*. We’ve always tested with Red Star Yeast and they have a new premium product called PLATINUM, which has worked beautifully in our recipes. You can also decrease the amount of yeast in the recipe by following the directions here. Or you can bake with a sour dough starter, see instructions here.)

*If you use cake yeast you will need 1.3 ounces (37g).

1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons Morton Kosher Sal(adjust to suit your taste or eliminate it all together. Find more information here)

6 1/2 cups (2 pounds/910 grams) all-purpose flour (we’ve always tested our recipes with typical supermarket flour. If you use a higher protein flour check here)

Mixing the dough:

In a 5 or 6 quart bowl or lidded dough bucket (the lid is sold separately), dump in the water, and add the yeast and salt.

Platinum Yeast | Breadin5

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Because we are mixing in the flour so quickly it doesn’t matter that the salt and yeast are thrown in together.

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Dump in the flour all at once and stir with a long handled wooden spoon or a Danish Dough Whisk which is one of the tools that makes the job so much easier!

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Stir it until all of the flour is incorporated into the dough, as you can see it will be a wet rough dough.

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Put the lid on the container, but do not snap it shut. You want the gases from the yeast to escape. (you can put a little hole in the top of the lid so that you can close the lid and still allow the gases to get out. As you can see it doesn’t take much of a hole to accomplish this.)

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Allow the dough to sit at room temperature for about 2 hours to rise. When you first mix the dough it will not occupy much of the container.

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But, after the initial 2 hour rise it will pretty much fill it. (If you have decreased the yeast you will have to let it go longer than 2 hours.)  DO NOT PUNCH DOWN THE DOUGH! Just let it settle by itself.

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The dough will be flat on the top and some of the bubbles may even appear to be popping. (If you intend to refrigerate the dough after this stage it can be placed in the refrigerator even if the dough is not perfectly flat. The yeast will continue to work even in the refrigerator.) The dough can be used right after the initial 2 hour rise, but it is much easier to handle when it is chilled.  It is intended for refrigeration and use over the next two weeks, ready for you anytime. For the first two days of storage, be sure to leave the lid open a crack, to allow gasses to escape. After that, you can usually snap down the lid on plastic contains without problems, because they’re usually not entirely airtight. BUT, DON’T SEAL GLASS CONTAINERS OR THEY MIGHT SHATTER. The flavor will deepen over that time, developing sourdough characteristics.

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The next day when you pull the dough out of the refrigerator you will notice that it has collapsed and this is totally normal for our dough. It will never rise up again in the container.

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Dust the surface of the dough with a little flour, just enough to prevent it from sticking to your hands when you reach in to pull a piece out.

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You should notice that the dough has a lot of stretch once it has rested. (If your dough breaks off instead of stretching like this your dough is probably too dry and you can just add a few tablespoons of water and let it sit again until the dough absorbs the additional water.)

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Cut off a 1-pound piece of dough using kitchen shears* and form it into a ball. This video shows the technique for shaping this very wet dough.

Place the ball on a sheet of parchment paper… (or rest it on a generous layer of corn meal on top of a pizza peel.)

*I actually use a pair of Sewing Shears because I like the long blade. I just dedicated a pair to the kitchen.

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Let the dough rest for at least 40 minutes, (although letting it go 60 or even 90 minutes will give you a more open hole structure in the interior of the loaf. This may also improve the look of your loaf and prevent it from splitting on the bottom.) You will notice that the loaf does not rise much during this rest, in fact it may just spread sideways, this is normal for our dough.

You can also try our “refrigerator rise trick,” shaping the loaves and then immediately refrigerating them overnight.  By morning, they’ll have risen and are ready for the oven after a brief room-temp rest while the oven preheats (click for instructions).

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. with a Baking Stone* on the center rack, with a metal broiler tray on the bottom (never use a glass vessel for this or it will shatter), which will be used to produce steam. (The tray needs to be at least 4 or 5 inches away from your stone to prevent it from cracking.)

*(or Cast Iron Pizza Pan– which will never crack and conducts heat really well. Be careful to dry it after rinsing with water or it will rust)

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Cut the loaf with 1/4-inch slashes using a very sharp serrated knife. (If your slashes are too shallow you will end up with an oddly shaped loaf and also prevent it from splitting on the bottom.) If your dough is collapsing when you make the slashes, it may be that the dough has overproofed or your knife it dull and dragging the dough too much.

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Slide the loaf into the oven onto a preheated stone (the one I’m using is the cast iron) and add a cup of hot water to the broiler tray. Bake the bread for 30-35 minutes or until a deep brown color. As the bread bakes you should notice a nice oven spring in the dough. This is where the dough rises. To insure that you get the best results it is crucial to have an Oven Thermometer to make sure your oven is accurate.

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If you used parchment paper you will want to remove it after about 20-25 minutes to crisp up the bottom crust. Continue baking the loaf directly on the stone for the last 5-10 minutes.

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Allow the loaf to cool on a rack until it is room temperature. If you cut into a loaf before it is cooled you will have a tough crust and a gummy interior. It is hard to wait, but you will be happy you did! Make sure you have a nice sharp Bread Knife that will not crush the bread as you cut. Or you can tear it apart as they do in most of Europe.

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If you have any leftover bread just let it sit, uncovered on the cutting board or counter with the cut side down. If you cover a bread that has a crust it will get soggy.

Enjoy, have fun baking, and check out our FAQs page if you’re having trouble getting the bread to turn out the way you’d like. Bread that is made with love and joy tastes better!

Note: Red Star Yeast is a sponsor of BreadIn5 LLC’s promotional activities.



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718 thoughts on “The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day Master Recipe! (Back to Basics updated)

  1. Hi – I just made my first batch of dough and loaves this week. I have a pound of dough left in the bucket. My question is, if I want to make more dough should I add the yeast, or only the flour and water? Will the remaining pound of dough act like a starter?

    Thanks so much! Just started your show, Zoe Bakes, and loving it…getting into baking for the first time!

  2. I have made this a few times and so in love with the process but the bread keeps coming out extremely dense. Any tips on how to get a lighter more airy bread?

  3. Hello! Thank you for this tutorial My question, which sound a bit dumb, is after it has risen for 2 hours and you put it in the refrigerator, do I tighten down the lid on the container, or do I continue to keep it ajar. Thank you in advance!!
    Kris

    1. First off, don’t use glass jars with a threaded lid which, which can shatter if you’re not very careful. Many plastic lids don’t make an airtight seal so you can tighten them right away. Almost all of them can be fully tightened after about 2 days. Leave them open a crack before that

  4. I love this recipe! It’s so versatile. I’ve been making this bread for a month now, always making the new dough in the tub without washing it in between. The flavor has improved with doing this, like a sourdough starter. My question is if I should wash out the tub sometimes (maybe once a month?), or if it will continue to safely build a strong flavor if I keep making dough in the same tub, without washing in between. Love this recipe, and the show! Thank you!

    1. I can’t really comment on the safety except to say that so long as there are no eggs and butter, things should go well. I’d wash it once a month.

  5. Love the show Zoe. From the episode for Easy Breads, I want to make the dough and copy your breads as well but I’m not sure about oven temperature and how long to bake the bagette and epi. 475 seems really hot for such a small loaf. Thanks.

    1. Hi Jeanette,

      Thank you for watching! The baguette only bakes for about 20-25 minutes at that temperature, so it will be crusty and caramel brown.

      Enjoy, Zoë

  6. We are so loving your show! The Bread episode makes this process look so easy and I’m planning to give a go this week! Your explanations are very clear and you make us feel like we are sitting right there in your kitchen with you! Your tours of the bakeries are always interesting. Keep up the great work!

    1. Hi Kaylar,

      Thank you so much for watching, I am thrilled you will be baking the bread, it really is just that easy!

      Cheers, Zoë

    1. Hi Kathy,

      The starch from the flour actually turns to sugar and is enough to feed the yeast. You can use sugar to speed up the process or if you like sweeter bread, but it isn’t necessary.

      Thanks, Zoë

  7. What gluten-free flour would you recommend using with this recipe? My daughter needs to be gluten-free and I’m trying to find an easy but good gluten-free bread recipe. I watched your show Zoe Bakes Bread on the Magnolia Network and this seems like something I might be able to do, if only with gluten-free flour.
    Thank you

    1. Hi Elane,

      Thank you so much for watching. We have an entire book dedicated to gluten-free bread. We haven’t found a commercial GF flour blend that makes a loaf that we love, so we blend our own flour. The Better Batter brand is the closest we’ve come, but I suggest you make a small batch to make sure you like the results. It is best to use our recipes that are formulated to GF.

      https://artisanbreadinfive.com/2010/01/05/gluten-free-crusty-boule/

      https://artisanbreadinfive.com/2014/11/03/master-recipe-from-gluten-free-abin5/

      Thanks, Zoë

      1. Thank you for your response. I want to order your GF bread book, but want to make sure that “Gluten-Free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Baking Revolution Continues with 90 New, Delicious and Easy Recipes Made with Gluten-Free Flours” Hardcover – October 21, 2014, is the latest version before I order from Amazon.
        Thank you, Elaine

  8. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe and technique! I have made this twice and each loaf is better than the one before. The best was a boule brushed with olive oil and sprinkled with oregano, feta cheese and Greek olives. The family just sat and ate the whole thing. This recipe gives the pleasure of fresh bread every day without being stuck in the kitchen all day.
    Looking forward to experimenting with new flavor combinations in the batches to come.

    1. What temperature is the Boule baked at? I’ve gone over the show several times and still didn’t catch the temperature that the dutch oven was preheated at and the bread is baked at.

      1. Scroll down in the post you’re commenting on, it’s right there. Let me know if you don’t find it in case something’s wrong with this web post!

  9. Oh my goodness, so freaking good!! I saw it on the show and made the dough an hour later. The dough sat in the fridge for about 40 hours before I got my hands into it today and it’ll probably all be gone by the end of the night. I made baguettes and the first one was gone within 10 minutes. It’s so moist on the inside and you get that nice chewy crust. I think this will definitely be made on a weekly basis!

  10. Im in a predicament! I made my dough. Pretty sure the measurements were correct, but it looks so much drier than the “zoe photo” dough. I need to fix quick or toss and start again

    1. Hi Robin,

      It may be the kind of flour, but you can always add more water and make it a bit wetter.

      Thanks! Zoë

  11. I am planning on making this (I used to make it when your first book came out). Assuming the dough has had its initial rise and is now stored in the fridge, am I able to make fruit buns incorporating raisins and dried cranberries? From the video, no kneading is apparent, just the shaping of the dough. Can I take a hunk of the dough, knead the fruit into it and carry on with the rest of the instructions?

    1. Hi Elsie,

      Yes, you absolutely can, you’ll just want to add some time to the rest time after you shape the loaf to make sure it rises enough after kneading.

      Thanks, Zoë

    1. Hi Cindy,

      All of our recipes are in our books and many of them are here on the website! The recipes on this site are not printable as of now.

      Thanks, Zoë

  12. Bless you. I’ve wanted to make artisan bread. But it always seemed so difficult compared to the home style soft crust I’ve made for years. You showed me how easy it is and I can’t wait to make granddaughter’s favorite cheese bread and mine with dried fruit for breakfast.
    Thank you. I’ll not miss future programs.

  13. Hi Zoe and Jeff
    I watch your show faithfully and love it. I made the bread recipe almost exactly the same as you posted except that I substituted bread flour for all purpose.
    When I went to make the loaf, and I let it sit for the last rise, it just didn’t rise very much at all. Is it because I use the bread flour?

    1. Hi Adriana,

      Yes, you absolutely can. It will dictate the shape of the loaf you can make, but it will conduct and radiate heat very well.

      Thanks, Zoë

  14. I have your original book and love it. My wife is a nurse and culdnt understand how her co worker had the time to make home made bread. But we have made a life style change. Do you have any suggestions for people on whole food plant based life styles. We can only have whole grains, no oil or eggs, (flax see eggs are OK) and no dairy except plant based milk like almond milk. The oil is my big concern.

    1. Hi Phil,

      There are several breads in our Healthy Bread book that will fit your new dietary needs. Some of our readers have used egg replacers successfully, but we haven’t tested them ourselves. You can try replacing oil with water or dairy-free milk, but the texture of the bread may be different. I recommend making small batches of the dough to make sure you like the results.

      Thanks, Zoë

  15. I love your show. Please tell me you have more shows coming. I have two of your cook books and love them! Will be giving some books for gifts.
    Thank you Linda

    1. Thank you so much, Linda,

      We just finished shooting season 2. I’m not sure when it will air, but I am hoping soon and that I’ll get to do a season 3!

      Thanks for the note and happy baking! Zoë

  16. My loaves don’t seem to bounce as much as yours. I’m using a French All Purpose Flour (Francine) because a friend who is sensitive to gluten can eat. I’m going to try American All purpose next time and see how it goes. This is an amazing recipe and really takes very little time to make. My bread container is only four cup, but it held the top raise. I might need to get a bigger one if I switch flour!

    1. Hi Ruth,

      Flour really changes from one location to another, so the protein content may be different than what we’ve tested it with. If you have access to American AP flour, try that and see if you have more success.

      Thanks, Zoë

  17. First, my dough isn’t as wet as yours. I’m not sure why–I’m using unbleached Gold Medal all purpose with the basic dough recipe (I haven’t moved on from that–I just bought the book a couple of weeks ago) and I cover my container in the fridge (I use one of King Arthur’s dough buckets). Maybe it’s the season…or maybe it’s my water? My water is very hard and has quite a high pH — maybe there’s some dough chemistry happening there? Anyway, my dough is far more handleable than your video. Not truly dry, but not as wet as yours. And the dough seems to pull apart when I’m trying to cloak it, making it look shaggy. By the way, after watching your video on gluten cloaking, I’d say that the book isn’t super clear. It’s a longer process with more handling than the book suggests. My dough wasn’t turning into the pretty, smooth balls that the pictures show, so I had to come here.

    1. Yes, the videos make it much easier to see technique– text can be unclear. I’m guessing that your measurement of flour or water are off. Weighing ingredients, both flour and water are a more accurate way. If you’re using cup-measures, be sure to use a liquid cup-measure for the water, and the scoop-and-sweep method for the flour (see this video on that, at https://artisanbreadinfive.com/scoopandsweep). If all else fails, just add a little more water next time, try 2 tablespoons and then go from there.

      1. Thanks for the response, Jeff! I weigh my ingredients for pretty much any baking I do now (the pandemic gave me plenty of time to obsess over how to bake “right” 😉 ). And I’ve done two batches with the same results, so it seems unlikely that it’s a matter of being off in my measurement. I might just try adding a little extra water. Of course, about the time I do that, I’ll end up with a too wet batch because the flour is wetter or something. 😛 I did a loaf today after watching the video, and it seems a bit better. But it still suffered from having a rough spot that appears to be a break in the gluten cloak. No amount of trying to rebuild the cloak over that spot seemed to help. And the bread kind of burst out of there during baking. It will still taste good, but it certainly isn’t a beautiful loaf.

      2. See what you think with the wetter dough. If you’re not already doing it, go for a 90 minute resting time before baking.

    1. I’m afraid we’re not familiar with this product here in the United states. If the manufacturer recommends bread baking with it, my guess would be that our dough will work in it also.

  18. Love this recipe! I have two dough buckets I usually keep in my fridge now and I haven’t purchased a loaf of bread from the store in 5 months. I’ve made several loafs from it and all different sizes. I’ve also tried several different yeasts and redstar definitely has the best rise. I can’t find the red star platinum yeast anywhere though. Would love to try that.

  19. Convection or Conventional oven for the bread? I have convection, so I adjust bake times. BTW…..I need more episodes!!! Love your show!

  20. How many 1 lb. loaf would the full recipe make? I am sure you’ve answered this question before, but your feed is very long and I cannot find your previous answer!

    1. If you do it exactly as written, it makes 3.6 pounds of dough, so you get four 0.9 lb loaves (before baking’s water loss). If you want more generously sized loaves, you can proportionally scale up all the ingredients.

  21. Zoe or Jeff,
    I’m so ready to make my first loaf but I have 1 question. When I refrigerate my leftover dough, should the top remain loosely on the container or can it be place snuggly on the container?

    1. For the first two days of storage, be sure to leave the lid open a crack, to allow gasses to escape. After that, you can usually snap down the lid on plastic contains without problems, because they’re usually not entirely airtight. BUT, DON’T SEAL GLASS CONTAINERS OR THEY MIGHT SHATTER.

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