Even if you’ve never made homemade bread or worked with yeast before, this homemade crusty artisan bread is for you. It’s the perfect beginner recipe because it only requires 4 ingredients without any special pans or mixer, there’s no kneading or complicated shaping involved, and 95% of the work is hands-off. Bread masters will appreciate this recipe too because it delivers with delicious flavor, a slightly crisp and mega chewy crust, and those signature soft holes inside like ciabatta or French bread.
Have you ever wanted to master homemade bread? Real, crusty, chewy, delicious bakery-style loaves that taste incredible with dips, soups, sauces, and comforting dinners? This recipe is where you start. This artisan bread is for beginners, but even bread masters will appreciate its flavor and ease. It’s so fresh, so flavorful, and so surprisingly easy because it basically makes itself.
You only need 4 ingredients without any special pans or mixer, there’s no kneading, no poolish or dough starter required, and you can add herbs, cheeses, and spices to make a variety of bread flavors.
This base recipe will soon be on repeat in your kitchen. After you realize how easy it is to make real homemade bread, you’ll find any excuse to bake a loaf.
Literally The Best Bread Recipe Ever (Adapted)
1/2 cup warm water
2 cups of warm milk
2 Tbsp melted UNSALTED butter
1-3 tablespoons of sugar (add more if you like sweeter bread)
3 tablespoons of active dry yeast (conservative side)
6 cups of whole wheat flour (or 3 cups whole wheat & 3 cups all-purpose flour)
2 teaspoons of salt
1 teaspoon of baking powder
Grab a big bowl, and stir the 1/2 cup of warm water, 1 (or more) tablespoons of sugar, 3 tablespoons of yeast. Wait for 5 minutes (no longer – mine went all over the place the first time!) – it should be frothy on the top. While your waiting warm 2 cups of milk and 2 Tbsp of butter in microwave.
Next, add milk and butter to yeast mixture. Using a standing mixer slowly add the 6 cups of flour, 2 teaspoons of salt, and 1 teaspoon of baking powder. Mix and knead the dough. (I used dough hook once I had incorporated most of the flour for about 5 minutes then kneaded by hand for another 5-7 minutes.)
Line your slow cooker with cooking (baking) paper and place in your round ball of dough. I will rise in the slow cooker as it heats through. Cook on High power for 2- 2.5 hours. Start checking at every 7-10 minutes until top is sponge-y but springs back and no moisture on the top. The bottom should be a nice brown colour as well as sides. I put mine (just the loaf) in the oven on broil/grill for less than 5 minutes to get a nice crusty top too!
NOTE: You can use a tea towel on top if you want to avoid condensation dripping in down on the loaf. I haven’t tried this myself – let me know how you go!
*Use UNSALTED butter or adjust extra salt added!
*Add MORE sugar if you want a sweet bread like in the shops.
*If you can’t or are not skilled/practiced at kneading try the 50:50 ratio with whole wheat flour and all purpose flour, otherwise you will end up with a very dense loaf.
*Make sure it is completely cooked through – my loaf took 2 1/2 hours!!
Slice and enjoy as whole grain toast or sandwich bread!