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

Artisan Bread | Breadin5

Since Zoe first published these photos a few years back, it’s become one of our most popular posts. Why? It answers many of the questions that you asked us here on the site, and we’ve incorporated that into our new book, The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. Thank you all for making this new edition possible–our readers are where the new ideas come from.

For our Master Recipe:

If you’re new to our site, we’d like to say 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) 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) 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


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


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!


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


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


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.


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.


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.  The flavor will deepen over that time, developing sourdough characteristics.


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.


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.


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.)


Cut off a 1-pound piece of dough using kitchen shears* and form it into a ball. For instructions on how to form the ball watch one of our videos.  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.


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 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)


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.


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.


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.


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.


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 and have fun baking. Bread that is made with love and joy tastes better!

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

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.

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

  1. Im reading your book (2007 edition), thank you for explaining things well.I made the Boule, but my dough didn’t rise well can i add more yeast? i think my yeast was not that fresh ! I bought quick yeast , but i don’t know how much should be the proportion used , since its written that I have to add it in flour.please give me your advice , thank you again

    1. It’s very hard to add yeast to already-mixed dough. There’s nothing in the 2007 book about mixing the flour and yeast. How did the dough bake off? I’d try that first–you may be fine.

  2. This is the first time I made bread, it turned out way to dense , maybe it was under proofed, I left it the refrigerator for two hours for it’s second rise .
    Any idea where I went wrong ?

  3. I am in love with the Continuous Sourdough Refrigerator Method. I keep both my starter and a small dough in the fridge all the time. And, bake as needed. I learned the basics from a friend. But, am just researching the possibilities of doing the same thing, only gluten free. I would love to have a book though. I was referred to you from a sourdough group on facebook. Can you help? Sincerely, Rhonda U.

    1. Our book, The New Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day, has a whole chapter on sourdough creation, maintenance, and use in finished dough. It uses wheat flour, so you’d have to do some experimentation. GF doughs tend to be dense, and natural leavening tends to be less active, so you may find this denser than you might like. We haven’t tested this ourselves.

  4. How can I care for the leftover dough in the tub? I used a pound for the bread that is rising now for 60 minutes, but can I leave the other dough in the fridge for the following days and add flour to it as I go?

      1. Hunter: assuming you are now posting for the comment just above here, from Carley…

        The idea is to use the dough gradually, dusting with flour each time so you can shape it without it sticking to everything. We also have instructions in The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day ( for using aged dough as the basis for a new batch (see page 62)

  5. My question is about the new Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day Master Recipe. May I shape the bread as a baguette instead of a boule? Would that need different baking directions from what you have published?

    1. Sure–much more on that in our book, “The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day” (, in that book’s baguette variation in Chapter 5. You also can type “baguette” into our Search Bar above for more limited information we have here on the website. Do understand: our publisher would be very upset with us if we put all our books’ content here on the website!

  6. Hi there! In the age of quarantine, it’s fun to be able to try lots of new things at home! Thankfully you have lots of fun things to try on line. Is there any thought about using a ‘baking steel’ to make the bread on in the oven? They were all out of stones at KAF (King Arthur Flour) and we had to accept a steel in it’s place.

    1. Yes! Type “equipment” into our Search Bar above, and go to that post, scroll down to the various metal implements you can use for this, the baking steel, or a cast iron pizza pan. Some people actually prefer the steel or iron as being unbreakable–stones eventually crack, though I love them.

  7. I’ve always been unclear on this point: do you dust and slash the bread directly before you slide it into the oven, or do you dust and slash the bread right after you form it and lay it out to rest? Based on this post, it sounds like you do it right before baking.

      1. Can you please give a recommendation for alternative baking strategies if we don’t have a baking stone? Can I use a regular baking sheet or a cast iron skillet? Thank you in advance

      2. You can swap, especially with the cast-iron–that’s pretty much a baking stone and works nicely.

  8. Hi Jeff, I have been making bread for 5 years now. I love the master recipe. My question is how do I get larger custard bubbles? Over the years I seem to have lost the knack for that. When resting the dough prior to baking my times vary from 40-60-90 mins, based to outside temp, how busy I am etc. The result always seems the same. i love big custard bubbles but it seems hit and miss. Cheers

      1. For the master recipe, can I cut the recipe in half? I’m nervous about using so much of my precious flour and somehow messing it up, resulting in a lot of wasteage.

    1. Sure, type “Dutch Oven” into our Search Bar above. Make sure the knob is heatproof as well, otherwise remove it and stuff the hole with aluminum foil.

  9. My first loaf is in the oven now. Looking forward to tasting it although the dough a bit wet.

    I’m already planning to bake more in the coming weeks. How do I feed the dough? I have the 2009 edition of the book. Thank you!

    1. Sounds like you want to use sourdough (“levain”), and we’ve posted on this. Just type “sourdough” into our Search Bar above. I think you’ll find it helpful.

      1. Thank you Jeff. I do want to make sourdough and this looks great. My question is when I’m close to finish the master batch, What do I do to make more? Start a batch or add flour and water to the batch in the fridge?

        Also, by reading the comments here I think I would benefit from getting the new version of the Healthy Bread in Five book, yes?

      2. You can do it either way, but if you’re doing purely sourdough-risen bread, there’s no particular advantage to building onto the old batch, since pre-fermented “levain” is already the basis of the flavor. Also, you might find that building on the old batch is giving too much sour taste (though I like it).

        The New Healthy has a chapter on this, but it’s focused on whole grain flours, so if that’s not what you want, might not be a fit. Also, keep in mind we use vital wheat gluten in most of the recipes in that book.

  10. Ok. I’m back at making bread after many years of being “too busy”, haha. Question. Do I need to wash the dough container between mixing new batches of dough? I think I remember reading in the cookbook, which a friend has at the moment, that unless it was a dough mixed with egg I can just add the ingredients to the current container, which will start to give it a sourdough taste. Am I remembering correctly?

    1. You are! So long as it’s not made with spoil-able ingredients (eg., eggs, butter, dairy), you can do this indefinitely.

      1. Thanks for the quick reply! I actually found our clog of the book shortly after posting the question. Apparently our friend did return our copy
        Just mixed another batch! Thanks!
        Another question though: we tried to make pizza the other night and failed miserably. The dough was way too wet and sticky to be manageable. Thoughts? Just keep adding flour while shaping?

    1. I’m guessing you mis-measured… you can work in extra flour now though, so that you can work with it. Or just keep the flour on the surface, don’t work it in–depends on how far off your measurement was.

  11. At a loss. Asked a question (about your brioche dough) several times. I KNOW you answered — you always do. But I don’t know where or how to find the answer. I also know you don’t answer directly to e-mail, which leaves me with a Catch-22 situation. Desperate for the answer but need a message about how to find it. I fear I’ll never solve the problem…

  12. Last try, because now I know I can come back to this page for the answer. Apologies because you’ve probably answered already on another page. The problem is with the Healthy Bread in 5 brioche. The result is disastrously loose — a pourable mess. Twice. I managed to make a decent bread by plopping it onto a baking mat and forming a blobby mass, into the oven really quickly. But I wanted to make a cinnamon ring or just a better shaped brioche. I use oil instead of butter (it’s in the recipe). Could the extra liquid in the oil be the problem? Should I throw caution to the wind and just add more flour to get to the same consistency as the master recipe? But a thousand, million thanks.

    1. Here’s the answer I’d posted:
      Assume you mean the WW brioche in The New Healthy Bread? I know that recipe works well. Any chance you measured wrong? What brands of flour? Did you use vital wheat gluten (without that, it’s much too loose). Extra-large eggs?

      Finally, the recipe calls for butter or oil, but if you use oil, it’s looser. The butter, when it chills, firms up the whole dough, while oil stays liquid even when chilled.

      Go ahead and add more flour, let it ferment on the counter for two hours, chill, and try again.

      1. Yes, the WW brioche. I know I measured correctly because it happened twice (not that I couldn’t have made the same mistake twice but I am always very careful and I weigh.) Anyway, I suspected it might iin part be because of the oil.. I’m not giving up. I will have a coach standing by to check my measurements 🙂 I’ll also try it with the butter, because, well, butter! ,And I’ll add flour. If the final consistency is what the master recipe produces, I have a good sense of how to correct it. And, your incredible, thoughtful, kind, generous and PATIENT! attention is so very much appreciated. Stay safe.

      2. Sure Rosalind! The more I hear about this, the more I think you’ll prefer the butter version. Or even just a little more flour may make the difference. 2 tablespoons in the full recipe?

  13. Hi, its me again 🙂 I am determined to get this right, so…
    Ok, I’m on my second batch of dough/bread. The first batch I followed the directions as listed in the master recipe above (the one in the post dated 10/22/13). The dough was very sticky, not stretchy at all, and the bread came out very dense and even moist. I did some Googling and it looks like the original version of the recipe may have asked for 1.5tbsp of yeast instead of the 1tbsp as listed in the current recipe. I decided to give the 1.5tbsp of yeast a try and my second batch came out much, much better. My only gripe is I feel like I’m not getting the hole structure as pictured in the post above. Don’t get me wrong, this batch gave me much better results than my first, but still mostly small holes. The flavor overall is great, but again just mostly small, but uniform, holes throughout. If it matters I gave it two slashes with a knife before baking. I can send a picture if possible. Any suggestions? More or deeper cuts/slashes? Does that matter?

    1. I know exactly what you’re talking about. You’ll get bigger holes if you age the dough longer. I think about 7 days is optimum, and you can stagger batches so you are always using older stuff.

  14. Hello. Made your new artisan bread in five recipe original post 10/22/2013.
    We made it with all instructions except used 1.5 tablespoons of yeast and 1 teaspoon of salt.
    Everything turned out exactly as stated. Perfect crunchy crust. Nice inside.
    The taste of ours was bland though. Would more salt have helped? Also, I was concerned that the 1 cup of hot water evaporated quickly and the pan was going to burn. I did open the oven a couple of times but fortunately it didn’t effect the bread. Could I have added more water?

    Thanks for any ideas.

    1. The steam’s only needed at the beginning, so you’re good with the steam. The broiler pans for water do take a beating, so if you have an old one, that’s better.

      About bland: the taste strikingly improves with dough-storage–I love it best at about 7 days. If you do that, you might not need the salt to bring up the flavor, but you can go as high as 1.5T of coarse salt (if you’re using table salt, it’s different).

      1. Thank you! Would it worthwhile throwing rosemary, cheese, or garlic butter on top before baking? I was going to try another one today. Thanks again!

  15. Hi! I used this recipe for my 2nd time of baking bread ever and I am pretty happy with it. I watched Zoe make it on Instagram tv last week. It was really helpful. I am wondering if I can move my refrigerated dough to another container? I have it in a soup pot, because that was the biggest vessel we had, but now it is smaller I’d like to move it into a smaller tupperware container. Is that going to cause any issues?

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.