How to Make Homemade Bread Like NY Bakeries – But So Much Easier!

How to Make Homemade Bread – and Why You’ll Want To!

By Lu, OTL City Guides & Seat Fillers

I promise that I’ll get to “how to make homemade bread” very quickly without having you scroll through endless images and introductions. But first, I want to give you a bit of a sales job here because my mission is to convince you to make super simple, unbelievably mouthwatering Artisan bread.

Why? Because I love to share new recipes, ideas, products, etc., that make a difference in your best life ever. It’s particularly gratifying because this Artisan bread sounds impressive but is soooo easy!

All you need are flour, water, salt, a wooden spoon, and a Dutch oven. Yes, a Dutch oven makes all the difference!

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Recipe Card

Step-by-step images

homemade bread, bread varieties, rolls

The Best Bread You’ve Ever Tasted

So, indulge me here for just a minute, and think about the best slice of bread you’ve ever tasted. Ask yourself the following three questions and then close your eyes to really activate your memory.

  • Is it warm?
  • Does it have a thin but crispy crust?
  • How about the inside? Is it light and soft with just an ever-so-slight saltiness that gives it a pop?

You can probably even smell it right now, can’t you? The aroma of just-baked bread is enough to activate a craving. There’s only one thing better than driving by a bakery churning out fresh loaves, and that’s going in to buy one. But now you don’t have to, because the best bread you’ve ever tasted is about to come out of your kitchen!

I admit it, as I love to dunk good bread in olive oil or slather it in butter. But when a hunk of bread is fresh from the oven and done to perfection, plain is just fine by me.

New Homemade Bread Techniques for Everyone

Until recently, it seemed like homemade bread went hand in hand with expensive bread-making machines and intricate techniques. Dough hooks, endless kneading, and multiple rising times were a deterrent for most home bakers (or wannabes). Then, suddenly, during COVID lockdowns, novice bakers were pulling out picture-perfect loaves with no special tools required, and I’m one of them.

Now, I’m not entirely new to the kitchen. I love to bake cookies, and I can do pretty much anything with pasta, including making it from scratch. But, working with yeast is intimidating – at least until recently, and that’s why I wanted to share this blog post. If you feel the same, but you love bread (I mean REALLY GOOD bread), then please keep reading. You’re going to love this!

I’ve got a little collection of images and quick tips coming up, but if you want to get straight to it, here’s the recipe card.

homemade bread recipe, easy artisan bread recipe, no knead bread recipe

Click the image to save or print the recipe card.

Why You’ll Want to Learn How to Make Homemade Bread

So, here’s the scoop on this particular homemade bread recipe – it’s nothing new. You’ll find plenty of sources sharing these same 4-5 ingredients.

But the purpose of this blog post isn’t to wow you with crazy bread additions or combinations. Instead, I want to talk you through how to make homemade bread to excite you to give it a go. I swear, the first time I made this, my jaw dropped at how easy it is and how well it turned out (and disappeared off the cutting board!).

Benefits of This Homemade Artisan Bread Method

I don’t know about you, but I tend to steer clear of recipes that are too time-consuming or will turn my kitchen into a huge mess. If you feel the same, then you’ll be excited when you find out how quick and easy this bread is to make, and that’s only one benefit.

  • Five inexpensive ingredients
  • A bowl and a wooden spoon replace mixers or other special equipment
  • You don’t have to proof the yeast
  • No kneading required

Ingredients for This Homemade Artisan Bread

To make this particular bread, the five ingredients you’ll need are:

  1. Flour
  2. Water
  3. Yeast
  4. Salt
  5. Cornmeal*

*If you don’t have cornmeal, you could also try some ground oats, grits, or even breadcrumbs as a substitute. It’s used at the bottom of the pan, not in the dough itself.

Bob's red mill flour, artisan bread flour, best flour for homemade bread

Best Flour for Homemade Artisan Bread

I recommend Artisan flour, like Bob’s Red Mill, as I think it makes the most delicious version of this bread. But you can get by with other bread or all-purpose flour. Keep in mind, though, that a bag of Artisan flour might run you about $7.00 or so, but it’s enough for four or five loaves – can’t beat that!

BREAD FLOUR TIP: You can find Artisan flour in Sprouts or Whole Foods. But it’s also a staple in most local grocery stores these days. I also checked Amazon and it features an entire line of Bob’s Red Mill flours.

One Piece of Kitchen Equipment That’s a Must for Homemade Bread

The four ingredients are common. You don’t need a stand mixer with a dough hook or anything electric to prepare the dough. However, there is one thing that you might have to invest in if it’s currently in your kitchen.

Your key to making the most delicious homemade bread is… a Dutch Oven. A good, old-fashioned cast iron Dutch Oven is the best. It’s like baking your bread in a mini-oven in your oven.

Inexpensive Dutch Ovens

I bought my Dutch Oven on Amazon in early 2020. It’s a Westinghouse Select Series Seasoned Cast Iron 5-Quart version, and I paid $24.97. When I checked back so I could leave the link for you, it was currently unavailable.

However, I did a little shopping, and the following are some alternatives if you’re interested in a similar model. If you’re ordering through overnight shipping on Amazon, you could still whip up the dough tonight and bake it when your package arrives tomorrow.

5-quart is a good size. You might be able to get away with something slightly smaller but shoot for five, if possible.

Grab a Bowl and Wooden Spoon, and Let’s Go!

As long as you’ve got your four ingredients and your Dutch Oven, you’re ready to make bread that’ll rival nearby Italian restaurants.

So, again, the recipe isn’t anything new and groundbreaking. You’ll find it in quite a few places. But, I wanted to show you how quick and easy it is with step-by-step images. Go easy on me – I’m not a photographer. I think you’ll get the gist, though.

The One Reason Why You Might Not Want to Make This Homemade Bread

Unless you’re steering clear of carbs (then, why are you reading this?), I hope that I’ve convinced you to give this a go. I’m originally from Syracuse, New York where the city has been divided between Columbus Bakery and DiLauro’s devotees. But, for more than a decade, I’ve lived in Las Vegas – where anything goes except the best bread in the US!

It’s tough to find anywhere to buy crunchy on the outside, and soft and fluffy on the inside homemade bread. That’s why this recipe is like a dream come true!

The downside, though? I can only think of one reason why you wouldn’t want to make this artisan bread – you could eat the whole loaf as soon as it comes out of the oven!

Oh, and, I know you came here for a direct route to homemade bread, but take a small detour and check out our family’s membership club, OTL Seat Fillers. It’s been a well-kept secret, but seat fillers across the US and in London receive free pairs of tickets to theatre, comedy, music, and more!