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Since I started baking a few years ago, I’ve tried quite a few artisan recipes. So far, they’ve ranged from simple no-knead recipes to more challenging blended flour recipes that require careful timing and shaping to get right.
Most of artisan recipes require several days from start to finish. Whenever I crave that crackly, crispy crust and full flavor, I need a sourdough starter on hand and ready to go, and I have to let my dough rise overnight in the fridge.
And some days, I just don’t want to wait that long.
Fortunately, I have stumbled across a good artisan-style recipe that I can finish in a day. If I start in the morning, I’ll have the bread finished just in time for dinner.
And since this recipe isn’t sourdough, I don’t have to worry about timing my starter feeds for peak activity.
Seriously, it’s a win-win all around. I just wish I had stumbled across this recipe a little sooner.
If you’re just starting out with artisan bread, this same-day recipe is a good one. Although it might take some time to master some of the shaping techniques, Same-Day Artisan-Style White Bread is worth the time and effort.
Prep time: 15 to 20 Minutes+
Rise time: 4 to 5 Hours
Cook time: 45 Minutes
Total time: 6 1/2 Hours to 7 1/2 Hours
Don’t have a lot of ingredients on hand? Don’t worry! You only need 4 ingredients to make this Artisan-Style White Bread:
- 500 Grams (4 Cups + 2 1/2 Tablespoons) All-Purpose Flour*
- 375 Grams (1 1/2 Cup + 1 Tablespoon) Warm Water
- 10.5 Grams (1 3/4 Teaspoon) Fine Sea Salt
- 1.5 Grams (1/2 Teaspoon) Dry Active Yeast
*You can use bread flour for this recipe if you want or create your own bread flour substitute:
- 475 Grams (3 3/4 Cups + 3 Tablespoons) All-Purpose Flour
- 25 Grams (3 Tablespoons) Vital Wheat Gluten
The vital wheat gluten will give your bread a chewier texture and can help your bread hold its shape better.
Want to Scale this Recipe?
Here are the baker’s percentages for Same-Day Artisan-Style White Bread:
- 100% All-Purpose Flour or Bread Flour
- 75% Water
- 2.1% Salt
- 0.3% Yeast
Feel free to adjust the percentages and hydration to get your perfect loaf!
As with many other artisan-style recipes, you’ll need to have a few essential tools on hand when making this bread:
- Kitchen Scale
- Measuring Cups, Bowls, and Spoons
- 4 to 6 Quart Container with Lid
- Bench Scraper/Dough Cutter
- Banneton Basket
- 4 to 5 Quart Dutch Oven
- High-Heat Parchment Paper
- Bread Lame
- Wire Cooling Rack
- Oven Mitts
Don’t have all of these? Don’t panic. You can be a little creative with what you use. I’ve provided both measurements by volume and measurements by weight if you don’t have a kitchen scale. And if you don’t have a container, you can easily use a large bowl with a lid or plastic wrap to keep your dough from drying out during its rise.
Note that if you use a casserole dish with a lid instead of a Dutch Oven, make sure it can handle the high heat. Some casserole dish lids are not meant for excessive heat.
Same-Day Artisan-Style White Bread doesn’t need a sourdough starter to give it lift and oven spring. Instead, it uses commercial dry active yeast.
However, you’ll still need to be somewhat careful with your timing. Although you don’t have to watch for peak activity in a starter, you do need to pay attention to how long you let your bread rise both in the container and in the proofing basket.
To help you out, I’ve provided a sample schedule. Feel free to adjust times to better fit your needs.
10:00 AM – Autolyse the Dough
In your large plastic container, mix your flour and water by hand until just incorporated. If you worry about dough sticking to your hands, feel free to wet your hands with water. If you need to, use a spoon to scrape away any dough still clinging to your fingers.
Cover and set aside for 30 to 60 minutes.
11:00 AM – Add Salt and Yeast to the Dough
Evenly sprinkle the salt and yeast over the top of the dough. Wet your hands, and fold the dough over the top of the salt and yeast. Squish, pinch, and stretch the dough to fully incorporate the new ingredients.
Cover and let rest for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
11:30 AM – 12:30 PM Stretch and Fold the Dough
Unlike traditional sandwich breads, artisan-style white bread doesn’t rely on kneading to build up and strengthen the gluten. Instead, it uses a stretch and fold technique.
To start, grab a corner of the dough and pull it up toward you. You want to pull until you feel some resistance without breaking the dough.
Fold that corner over the top of the dough.
Rotate your container and repeat with another corner of dough. You’ll want to stretch and fold the dough until your dough starts to tighten and take shape, looking almost like a round.
Cover and let rest for 30 minutes and repeat with another stretch-and-fold session. Then, cover and lest rest for 30 minutes and repeat one last stretch-and-fold for a total of 3 stretch-and-fold sessions.
12:30 PM – 2:30 PM – Bulk Fermentation
Once you’ve finished your stretch-and-folds, cover your dough and let it rise until it has nearly tripled its volume, about 2 hours. Your dough will look puffy, and you should see plenty of air bubbles throughout.
Keep in mind that your kitchen temperature will affect how slowly or quickly your bread rises. A colder kitchen may require longer rise times than a warmer one. As a rule of thumb, the best rise times happen when your kitchen is at room temperature, or between 68 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit (20 to 22 degrees Celsius).
You may want to invest in a kitchen thermometer and take notes as you bake to ensure consistent results each time.
2:30 PM – 2:45 PM – Pre-Shape and Shape Dough
This is probably the most difficult step of making Same-Day Artisan-Style White Bread. Although I’ve baked plenty of loaves, I still don’t feel completely confident whenever I shape bread. Fortunately, this dough isn’t excessively high hydration, so you have some room to play with dough without hurting the final loaf.
Slowly turn out the dough onto a lightly greased surface. Try not to knock too much air out of your loaves as you do so.
Slide your bench scraper underneath your dough.
Then turn your scraper with the same motion you would use for turning a steering wheel. Gently push into the dough as you do so. Work quickly to minimize sticking to your scraper.
Repeat sliding, turning, and pushing around the edges of the dough until your dough takes shape into a round. You want to build tension on the surface of the dough without breaking the skin.
Overturn your container or bowl to cover the dough, and let the dough rest for 15 to 20 minutes. The dough will relax somewhat after your initial shaping.
Now it’s time for the final shaping!
Use the same method you did for the initial shaping: slide under, turn, and push around the edges of the dough. Repeat until you have a nice, tight round.
2:45 PM – 3:30 PM – Proof in the Banneton Baskets
Generously flour a banneton basket. You can use all-purpose flour for this step, or you can use rice flour if you have a problem with dough sticking to your basket.
Carefully slide a bench scraper underneath your round, and use it to flip your dough into the basket with the seams facing up. (You could technically place it seam sides down, but this will prevent you from scoring your loaf later).
Cover your dough and let it proof about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Note that it’s easy to over proof your dough at this stage. During the second rise, the yeast becomes especially active. Your dough can go from under proofed to over proofed in about 15 minutes, so watch it close.
3:30 PM – 5:00 PM – Preheat Your Dutch Oven, Score, and Bake
While your dough proofs in the Banneton baskets, don’t forget to preheat your oven. Set your Dutch oven with its lid inside your oven and preheat to 475 degrees Fahrenheit (246 degrees Celsius).
You need your Dutch oven to preheat at least 45 minutes to an hour to ensure it’s hot enough to bake your bread, about the same amount of time it takes for your dough to rise properly. If your Dutch oven isn’t hot enough, your dough won’t spring properly in the oven, and it might even bake itself onto the cast-iron.
But once you’re Dutch oven is heated and your loaf is proofed, it’s time to score your bread.
Turn your loaf out onto a piece of high-heat parchment paper. If you placed your seams up in the basket, they should now be on the bottom of the parchment. (If you placed your seams down in the basket and they’re on top, don’t worry – you can just skip scoring and go straight to baking. The seams will naturally split in the oven.)
Use a bread lame or sharp razor to score your loaf. For the ever-popular bread ear, hold your lame at a 30-angle and make a deep slash across the dough.
Once you’ve made the initial slash, feel free to leave it at that and keep things simple. Or you can be creative and add your own unique scores and designs. Keep in mind that the deeper the cut, the wider the spread in the oven. Fine lines need shallow cuts.
Once you’ve scored your dough, use the parchment paper to transfer your dough to the Dutch oven.
Cover the dough with the Dutch oven lid, and place everything in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes at 475 degrees Fahrenheit (246 degrees Celsius). Remove the lid of the Dutch oven.
Your loaf should have sprung up nicely in the oven, but you should also note that you’re not done baking at this stage!
Put your Dutch oven back in the oven and continue baking your loaf without the lid for another 13 minutes to 18 minutes. The crust will turn a dark brown color. For maximum flavor in the crust, aim for a color that’s just shy of burnt. The bottom of the loaf will sound hollow when thumped.
Turn out the loaf onto a wire cooling rack and let it cool completely (or at least 30 minutes) before cutting into the bread. If you listen to the bread, you should hear a satisfying crackle sound as the loaf continues to bake with its own residual heat. If you cut into the bread now, the bread’s texture will turn gummy.
And you’re done!
If you’ve followed my schedule, you’ll have bread just in time for dinner. Or if you’re especially patient and good at waiting, you can save the bread for later and toast it for breakfast or make sandwiches for lunch the following day.
Same-Day Artisan-Style White Bread will keep on the counter for 3 to 5 days at room temperature. It does not last as long as similar sourdough recipes, however, so you’ll want to eat it quickly if you can. If you can’t eat it fast enough, freeze it, don’t refrigerate it, as refrigeration will make your bread go stale faster.
Just the Basics
Same-Day Artisan-Style White Bread
- 500 Grams All-Purpose Flour (or Bread Flour) (4 Cups + 2 1/2 Tablespoons)
- 375 Grams Warm Water (1 1/2 Cups + 1 Tablespoon)
- 10.5 Grams Fine Sea Salt (1 3/4 Teaspoons)
- 1.5 Grams Dry Active Yeast (1/2 Teaspoons)
- 10:00 AM – Mix flour and water by hand in plastic container until just incorporated. Cover and let rest for 1 hour.
- 11:00 AM – Add salt and yeast and mix thoroughly. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes.
- 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM – Stretch and fold the dough three times with 30 minute rests between each session.
- 12:30 PM to 2:30 PM – Bulk ferment the dough until it has doubled in volume.
- 2:30 PM to 2:45 PM – Shape and pre-shape the dough into a round.
- 2:45 to 3:30 PM – Transfer dough to a floured banneton basket. While the dough proofs, preheat the Dutch oven in the oven to 475° Fahrenheit (246° Celsius).
- 3:30 PM – 4:00 PM – Turn the dough out onto parchment paper. Score the dough, and transfer the dough to the Dutch oven. Replace lid and bake for 30 minutes.
- 4:00 PM – 4:15 PM – Remove lid from Dutch oven, and bake for another 15 minutes.
- 4:15 PM – 5:00 PM – Turn loaf out onto a wire cooling rack and allow it to cool completely before slicing and serving.
Secrets to Success
Same-day Artisan-Style White Bread takes some practice to get just right. Shaping and timing can mean the difference between a lumpy loaf and a Instagram-worthy one.
However, I do have a few tips for making things easier.
First, don’t be afraid to get your hands sticky and covered with dough. To avoid clumps of unmixed flour in your final loaf, you really need to mix your dough thoroughly. And you can’t mix your dough thoroughly without getting your hands a little messy.
Second, although you can use flour in your proofing baskets, don’t use flour on your bench (or countertop) when shaping your bread. Although other bread recipes might recommend a floured surface to minimize sticking, excessive flour will dry out your dough and change the consistency of your bread. Even worse, the flour won’t mix in with the rest of the dough, resulting in unappetizing flour clumps. Use spray butter or grease instead.
Third, take notes whenever your bake! Note your kitchen temperature and see what rise times give you the best oven spring. Depending on your temperature, 15 minutes could result in under proofed or over proofed bread.
Same-day Artisan-Style White Bread only uses flour, water, salt, and yeast. Without butter, milk, or sugar, it’s a more calorie-friendly recipe.
Keep in mind that this is a rounded boule, so the middle slices of bread will be bigger than the ends. The larger slices will have more calories than the smaller ones.
Did You Try It?
I love it whenever I hear from friends and family who tried my recipe, and I love to hear from you, too. If you have suggestions for making this recipe better, let me know in the comments below!
I made this recipe and it took me almost an entire Sunday but the result was worth the time spent.
Thank you so much for sharing your experience. I’m glad your bread turned out tasty!