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 are sponsor is a sponsor of BreadIn5 LLC’s promotional activities.

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

  1. Hi, is there a video showing you guys transfer the loaf from the peel to the stone? Every time I do so it won’t easily go
    and I end up with a mess in my oven. I would love to see a video of how to properly transfer. Thank you. I love this book!!

    1. Hi Jessie,

      If you are using cornmeal under your loaf, then I suggest using quite a bit to avoid the wet dough sticking to the peel. Here is a video that shows the loaf going into he oven. You can skip to minute 1:34 to see that happen

      Or, you can use parchment paper under the loaf, which makes it super easy to get into the oven and no cornmeal to clean up.

      Thanks, Zoë

  2. 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”
    I do not agree. Read: [website omitted here].


    1. So sorry, but we can’t allow websites we can’t vouch for to be published to our site, so I had to omit. Can you re-phrase in your own words?

  3. So confused..In book © 2015 recipe calls for 1/4 Tsp yeast, Gold Metal bag 1 pkg = 2 1/4 Tsp. Printed copy of recipe from author on internet uses 1TBLS. What the stink…How is one to make this bread?

    1. We don’t have any books that are copyright 2015, can you check that again and tell me what page that 1/4-teaspoon quantity appears?

  4. Could I also use a preheated cast iron dutch oven without the lid instead of a stone to bake the bread in the oven?
    If this is possible, what size of a dutch oven should I use then?
    Hope to hear from you soon!

    1. Hi Liesbeth,

      Sure, you can bake it in a Dutch oven, with or without the lid. You’ll want to use parchment under the loaf, so you can get the bread out of the pot when it is done. The size of the Dutch oven depends on how large a loaf you are going to make. I typically use a 5 quart for a 1-pound loaf.

      Thanks, Zoë

      1. Thank you for the information!
        But now I am a little bit confused about using the lid or not….
        What is the best way?
        If I use the lid then probably I don’t need to add a cup of hot water to the broiler tray, right?
        What are the suggested baking times for both ways ( with and without the lid)?

  5. How big should a one lb loaf be when finished? I cannot for the life of me get my bread to be as large as yours. I used an 8×4 loaf pan and while the bread looks lovely and tastes good, it hasn’t risen past the halfway point of the loaf pan. Do I need to use 2 lbs for this? Thanks

    1. Sounds like your pan’s a little larger than the skimpy 1-pound pans–just use more, in a loaf pan, fill it to 3/4 full and you’ll be happy (may take longer to bake).

  6. I am excited to try your method Zoe. I have been following you for a while on Instagram and love the things you bake. Thank you for sharing your talent and good taste!

  7. Hi! I’ve baked single recipe bread using your recipe a couple of times and it has always turned out well. do you have your recipe with ingredients listed by weight and not volume? I want to try making bread in batches. Thank you.

    1. Hi Olive,

      Yes, that is one of the big changes we made in the new edition of the book, all the recipes are now done in weights and measures.

      Thanks, Zoë

      1. Hi Zoe and thank you! I encountered a problem with my breadmaking and wonder if you could help me. Ive been baking bread but the last time, after keeping the dough in the ref for 3 days, I noticed a strong “alcohol” aroma, and it didnt rise quite as much as my other batches. Also, there was liquid at the bottom. I think this is what they call “weeping”. I don’t understand what went wrong since it’s the same recipe I’ve been using. Do you know what probably caused it?

      2. Many people feel there’s an alcohol smell with aged dough, but it boils off with the baking. As for the weeping– just pick up your dough with floured hands and you’ll absorb it–use enough. It won’t harm the bread.

  8. I have used this dough a few times for baking projects with preschoolers and it’s great! We’ve used toaster ovens and slow cookers and had great success with both.
    I have access only to a convection oven here in S Korea so wondering about baking temps/time conversions. Also wondering if you have tips for getting it to a more “sourdough flavor.

  9. I’ve made only twice and am a novice, so that could explain my issues! My dough is soft and gooey and shapeless. I can’t make slashes in it. Does this mean it’s overproofed? I tried some pretty sharp knives, but maybe it’s my technique. It definitely doesn’t resemble your almost-ready-for-oven loaf.

    I let rise for 4 hrs (only 1/2 tbsp yeast), then in fridge for 30 min. Then I pulled off a 1 lb piece and shaped it although it was really sticky and loose. Then let rise for another 60 min. It didn’t change shape much, but did expand some. Thanks!

    1. Hi Molly,

      If you let it rise for 4 hours, then only refrigerated it for 30 minutes and let it rise again after shaping, for 60 minutes, it is very likely over proofed.

      We recommend you refrigerate it for several hours before shaping and then let it rest 60 minutes. If you use the dough fresh, without refrigerating (or only 30 minutes), then you only have to let it rest about 30 minutes before slashing.

      Here is a video on slashing the dough:

      Thanks, Zoë

      1. Thanks so much! I’m going to keep practicing. There is something so satisfying about baking bread. And the flavor in this bread is delicious, regardless of my errors.

  10. hi is there any metric measurement for your recipe?
    in here we dont use cups but gram, and every site has different weigh conversion. Please help me thanks

    1. Hi Kemala,

      Which book are you using? They all have metric measurements. The very first book didn’t but it is no longer in print.

      Thank you! Zoë

  11. Hi, I tried 5-6 t8mes the basic recipe with spelt flour and it didn’t work… I read all the book, the troubleshooting section, but I can’t solve my problem. When I form the bred, it doesn’t hold the shape. So I get a flat bread instead… I tried to add more flour, but it always does the same thing. Can you help, please? I would really love to try all the recipe in the book, but can’t have success with the basic one. Thank you!

  12. Oh my goodness! I made the master recipe in this post yesterday and baked my first loaf, boule? today. Thank you !

    I made substitutions as needed since I didn’t have the exact supplies.
    No kosher salt, used 1tsp of regular table salt
    1Tbsp yeast
    Scooped and swept 6.5 cups all purpose flour, then weighed it – over 2lbs so I took out 1/2 cup to get it to 2lbs. I trust my scale, it’s been accurate every time we’ve tested it. Next time I’ll use the full amount and see how it goes.

    Rested 2 hours then refrigerated overnight.

    Pulled out 1lb – nice stretch, really, really sticky !

    I fought with it to make a ball, unsuccessfully, but sat it on parchment for the 40 min.
    In the meantime I looked up and found the video for shaping wet balls and went back and reshaped it adding more flour til it was not sticky. Then rested for a full 40 min.

    No stone, I used an old cookie sheet (probably too thin for this, but it worked today)
    Baked for 35 min
    No oven thermometer to test, I crossed my fingers LOL

    Cooled for 2 hours before cutting. I’m pretty sure it is ok. There is a crispy crust, holes in the middle, but it’s a nice light inside rather than the chewy I was expecting. Is that right ?

    I’m going to make the next 3 loaves a few days apart over the 2 weeks to see how the flavour develops.
    This what I ended up with:

    1. Hi Claire,

      Your bread looks just about perfect to me. I wouldn’t change a thing! Thanks for the photos, so great to see what you are baking!

      Cheers, Zoë

    1. No easy way–it took lots of testing in our books. If you learn the method well from our recipes, you should be able to convert your recipes.

  13. Hello!

    I’d love to try this. I don’t have a large container with a lid to store the dough in for several weeks. Is it OK to just use a ceramic bowl and cover it with cling film? Just wondering if I really NEED the container.

    Thank you!

  14. I have always been confused when you call for “6 1/2 cups (2-pounds) all-purpose flour.” Is that for the everyday bleached all-purpose flour or for the unbleached all-purpose flour? Or does it make much of a difference, especially with the water amount?

    1. Hi Rita,

      We always use unbleached all-purpose flour in our recipes. You sure could substitute bleached, but we just prefer the flavor of unbleached.

      Thanks, Zoë

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