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. If you’re having trouble getting this recipe to turn out the way you’d like, check out the troubleshooting tips on our FAQs page here. 

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

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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. (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.)

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

  1. You have changed my life….this is amazing…I am still learning the art of SHAPING which is key. I would like to know if I can transfer the wet dough after the initial rise to a smaller container to refrigerate it? I have a limited space and the 6L container is a struggle.

    1. Hi Dyanna,

      If the dough is still warm when it goes in the refrigerator it may continue to rise, so you want to make sure whatever container you transfer it to will allow it to do some rising.

      Enjoy! Zoë

  2. Let’s say that you do not refrigerate the dough after the initial 2 hour rise. After you shape it, do you then allow it to rise again (90 minutes) OR do you bake it right after it is shaped? Thank you.

    1. Hi Victoria,

      It should rise for about 45 minutes or half as long as the chilled dough. After you shape the bread, it needs to rest again.

      Thanks, Zoë

  3. Hi,

    Just wondering if the master recipe can be used to make hamburger buns? If so, would it be a case of adding egg wash and sesame seeds on top? Or would the brioche work better?

    Thank you!

  4. Can I use the master recipe for pizza crust? If so, do I need to do anything else with it? Can I freeze pizza dough balls? How?

      1. Thank you.. Now all I need is some new yeast (which seems to be hard to find right now) I tested mine and it was old. I haven’t baked in a while

  5. Thanks for all the time you take to write out these recipes. I love all the detail, especially what to look for as you progress.

    How many packets of yeast or do you measure to 1 T?
    The picture is packets.

    Have you ever used a cast iron dutch oven instead of the preheated stone and eliminate the water since it will hold the steam?

    1. Hi Linda,

      Thank you for the note. Yes, measure out 1 tablespoon from any yeast you have.

      I have used a cast iron dutch oven and it is great. You can use any Dutch oven to get a nice bread.

      Thanks, Zoë

    2. 1 “pkt” (sachet/envelope) of yeast = 2 1/4 tsp. so you’ll need most of 2 pkts. but do measure in a Tblsp. to be accurate.

  6. This dough was so so wet compared to the master recipe in the holiday bread book. I really had trouble working it at all, even with the extra flour. Did I do something wrong

      1. I’ve had the same issue, the dough was fully runny and impossible to handle. I ended up adding a good amount more flour and sticking it back in the fridge for a few hours. It was a bit better (I could reach in a pull out a chunk) but as I handled it it was still pretty goopy. I never managed to get an actual ball out of it. We’ll see how it bakes but it’s currently spreading rapidly on a parchment paper.

        I would love to know why this is happening, since others seem to have perfectly normal doughs with the same measurements

      2. Hi Jeff. I measured my flour in cups as I normally would, not scooping into a bag. I’m wondering if this recipe was designed more for those who dig into a bag of flour and therefore get too much/too compacted a cup? The flour itself is a T65 organic (French) flour which is generally the closest match to American AP flour

      3. If you’re measuring flour by cup-measures rather than by weight, this is the method we used: http://www.artisanbreadinfive.com/2010/04/28/how-we-measure-our-flour-using-the-scoop-and-sweep-method — if you’re doing anything different than that, you won’t get the same result. Weights are definitely more reliable. Also, using T65 may be the problem, though since we don’t have access to that, I can’t say with any certainty. If you’re sure of your measurement, and you’re still having trouble with the flour that you have access to, go ahead and decrease the water a bit. A couple of spoons to start?

  7. Hi, if I want to add sweet potatoes/ pumpkin purée into the bread, which recipe would you advise me to use? ( I have both books) and do I adjust the water? What is the baker percentage be for the purée? I do know that in your book, page 169, there is a oatmeal pumpkin bread, but I do not like oatmeal. Looking forward for your advise☺️ Thank you

  8. Could you use a ditch oven to cook the bread in? And if so, what is the process of using a Dutch Oven for bread

  9. I wish I could show you how beautiful my baguettes look using this recipe. I used a perforated baguette pan and a separate sheet pan for the steam. OMG!

    I’m on day two of my ferment.

  10. While storing the dough from the master recipe for up to 14 days do you leave the top cracked the entire time? Or do you seal it at some point?
    Thank you!
    Jen

    1. after two days you should be able to close it, but even then, it shouldn’t be completely airtight (generally, plastic vessels are not completely airtight, even when closed). With glass, this is very important–gasses accumulating can shatter the glass.

  11. Hi Zöe! I was trying to do the same bread but using wholemeal flour. The dough was good at the begining but after the 2 hours resting out of the freeze the dough didnt rise, it was like a big pizza not a big fluffy dough like when you use normal flour. After we baked it, it actually didnt grow, was a 1,5 inch loaf… What Im doing wrong? I used less flour because it was too dry at the beginning but I used the same quantity of yeast, water and salt that I use with normal flour.

    1. Well… you can’t just swap in wholemeal flour (btw, are you in the UK or Europe); those take a lot more water. Which of our books are you working from? I can direct you to how to find the adjustments…

    1. So long as it’s big enough, it can be anything, including just putting plastic wrap over whatever you have on hand. A soup pot with a lid works fine too (non-reactive material). Or put a plate over whatever you’re using. So long as it’s not completely airtight.

  12. Ho Zoe! Just discovered your master recipe and I love it! Made some Pan con Tomate for breakfast and it was SO good. My question is, I’m going to my mother’s house for the weekend and it is 3 hours away. Can I take your master dough out of the fridge for 3 hrs and then put it back in the fridge when we I get there? Thank u! I love everything you bake. Your Instagram account is such a joy! I’ve learned so much!

    1. You sure can! An older dough might taste a little over-sour to some tastes since the warm temp accelerates that process. I do this for visits to friends cabins…

      And FYI, this website is the place to come for questions about our recipes–it’s too cumbersome to answer questions on our Instagram identities (@BreadIn5 and @ZoeBakes). Zoe and I alternate months “on-duty” for website questions here.

      1. Of course! I totally understand. Thank you so much for answering! Can’t wait to show my mom your recipe! And sorry about the typos. 🙂

    1. That’s fine, though it’s going to get a head start on sour flavor, and may not store is long. Check out our FAQ s page, we have more on this

  13. Hi, I have the older Kindle version of ABi5. Page 26, master recipe. However I used 1tbl. active dry yeast per this post.

    Has anyone seen a separation of Some of the water from the dough after a week?
    Is this ok? Can I just add flour and knead?

    1. That’s perfectly normal and expectable. If it’s a lot, pour it off. In any case, dust with a lot of flour to absorb the liquid when you shape, but don’t knead a this stage or you’ll knock residual gas out of the dough, and you need it for a nice rise.

      1. Thank you Jeff!

        I’d guess it was about a tablespoon or two of water max. I added two to four tablespoons of flour until the dough was pliant but still moist. I then did the fold method every half hour or so for about two hours while it rested and developed a slight rise. Just pulled it out of the oven, and it’s just as awesome as the baguettes I made a week ago.

        Thanks again! I’m looking at your holiday book for my next baking investment.

  14. I just bought a used copy of the first edition of the book, not realizing that there were 2.
    Are there different: techniques, ingredients, measurements?
    As I really like to weigh ingredients, are these available anywhere?
    Anything else that I should know about that’s n the 2nd edition and not in the 1st?
    ents?

    1. Hi Debra,

      Yes, the second edition has weights, more photos, more recipes and is slightly updated from the one you bought. Those recipes still work and are great, but we just added some information to make the process even easier, like weights.

      Thanks, Zoë

      1. Thanks for the reply, Zoe. So the measurement by cups for water and flour have not changed?

      2. Hi Debra,

        No, the recipes haven’t changed, we just added some new recipes and added weights.

        Thanks, Zoë

  15. What happens if my dough doesn’t really rise. It doubled in size but doesn’t look flat on top and there’s no bubbles. I used pink Himalayan salt because that’s all I had on hand. Is this okay?

  16. I would like to make the bread that is on the cover of The New Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day. I have the book, but cannot seem to find a reference to what recipe is shown on the cover.
    TIA!

    1. It’s just the master recipe, shaped as for the whole grain rye on page 167, and liberally covered with a seed mixture.

  17. We are purchasing a steam oven. How can that be used for the baking. By the way I love the book and recommended it to many friends and family members.
    Thank you,

    1. Best bet will be the manual that comes with your new oven, but if it’s vague, I’d say that you want the steam to be “on” for the first 10 minutes of baking, and then off.

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