Quick and Easy 2 Hour Artisan-Style Peasant Bread

Delicious whole-grain bread with divine crumb, crust and texture is actually possible in a short two hour loaf. Give this chef-inspired recipe a try!

Making complicated and highly flavorful artisan bread is an art. There is also some science involved in getting just the right fermentation conditions, temperatures, and length of time the dough goes through its process to produce an ideal loaf of bread. We mean the loaves of bread with excellent crumb, crust, and texture. We love that bread. Let’s face it, though; sometimes, people want a quick loaf that doesn’t involve ever thinking about making the dough several days ahead. That’s okay. Our chef has come up with this little gem.

This artisan-style peasant bread is ready in as little as 2 hours. It isn’t traditional artisan bread. It doesn’t claim to be. It does, however, have a remarkable texture and flavor like artisan bread. The addition of the prune juice or apple juice gives it a nice well-rounded fruity undertone, and the balsamic vinegar gives it just a hint of a sourdough note. The darker color, though it appears to be whole wheat, is, in fact, a result of adding the balsamic vinegar to the dough. We think you’ll agree that it is an excellent choice for your quick artisan bread needs.

2-Hour Artisan-Style Peasant Bread

4 ½ cups Panhandle Milling Bread flour
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. Red Star rapid-rise instant yeast
1 cup lukewarm water
¾ cup lukewarm apple juice or prune juice
2 Tbsp. High-Quality Balsamic Vinegar


  • In a 4-quart electric mixer with a dough hook mix all the ingredients 3 minutes on medium speed until the liquid is absorbed and the ingredients form a sticky dough.
  • Grease a 2-quart oven-safe Dutch oven pan generously.
  • Remove the bread dough from the mixer and form into a loose ball, pinching the bottom like a balloon.
  • Place in the Dutch oven seam-side down and cover.
  • Set aside in a warm spot to rise 45 minutes to an hour until doubled.
  • Preheat the oven to 425° F. Bake 15 minutes covered. Reduce heat to 375° F, remove the lid, and bake 20-30 minutes more until golden brown.