A mini twist on my all-time favorite (and best ever) artisan bread recipe. Super crusty, fluffy, and so easy! Just 3 ingredients and 5 minutes of prep. Use these mini loaves as sandwich rolls, or toast and add toppings for cute crostini.
I often change up what’s on the menu at home, just to keep exploring new flavors and trying new tastes. However, one recipe that remains on weekly repeat is my phenomenal (is that okay to say?) No-Knead Artisan Crusty Bread. It is truly one part recipe, one part magic trick.
Every. single. time. that I’ve baked it, the crust has come out light and crisp, with fluffy, pillow soft nooks begging to be buttered! We’ve served slices on the side of soups, salads, roasts, and just about any meal you can think of. And it makes a killer sandwich bread, of course.
But, enough about the big loaf, I’m here to tell you how to bake an even better crusty bread – but a bit smaller. Because then you might want to share. And sharing is caring. And mini is marvelous.
Here is the recipe for the full-sized loaf, pictured above. Which, let’s be honest, is absolutely dreamy with a dab of salted butter, or piled with bruschetta toppings. Or really, any way you slice it.
But today, I’m going to teach you how to change up the baking method slightly to get perfectly round, crusty little balls of bread with soft and fluffy insides. With three ingredients. No fancy gadgets or funny tricks. And no kneading.
Just baking. And slicing. And buttering. And devouring.
The ingredients are simple – flour, salt, yeast and a cup and a half of warm water. Minimal but quality is key. I’m often asked which flour brand works best, and my answer is always Bob’s Red Mill Unbleached White All-Purpose Flour, a longtime favorite.
It bakes up beautifully golden brown, fluffy artisan loaves every time. And, of course, what’s not to love about a good quality all-purpose flour? It is so versatile for use in cookies, cakes, muffins, quick breads, pie crusts, pizza crusts, and thickening sauces. I use this organic flour for everything.
Now, let me show you a little in-process action!
The top photo is what your dough should look like before rising – gently mixed but messy, shaggy and piecey. That’s what will get you those big air pockets (for melted butter to slip into, remember?). Don’t overwork it, now. The less you touch it, the more air pockets will form. That’s the beauty of a no-knead bread!
Cover it tightly with plastic wrap and throw a clean dish towel over top. Then patiently wait 8+ hours for it to rise. The waiting is the hardest part.
This one rose for 12 hours. Though it may not look super fluffy in the second photo, that’s just where you want it! Still a bit messy but softer. When you dump it onto a floured surface, it will be a little wet. Gently mold it into a cohesive, round ball. Then divide the dough ball into 6 pieces (a pastry cutter helps with this), then bake as directed.
Prepare yourself for the “OMG DID I REALLY JUST BAKE THAT” moment as you pull your perfect bread from the hot oven.
I love giving these mini loaves away as gifts, serving them as rolls, and piling them high with meats, cheeses and veggies for sandwiches and sliders.
You can even flavor them up with dried herbs, ground spices, citrus zests and shredded Parmesan. Just mix them into the dry flour mixture, before adding the water and rising.
I hope you have fun with this awesome homemade artisan bread. I know you’ll love these loaves, made full sized or mini. If you give them a try, please let me know how they turn out for you!
No-Knead Crusty Artisan Mini Loaves
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon dry yeast , (active dry or highly active dry work best)
- 2-3 teaspoons kosher salt (not table salt)
- 1 1/2 cups warm water
Special cookware needed:
- Dutch oven or any large oven-safe dish/bowl and lid*
- In a large bowl, stir together the flour, salt and yeast. Stir in water using a wooden spoon until the mixture forms a shaggy but cohesive dough. Do not over-work the dough. The less you "work" it, the more soft, fluffy air pockets will form.
- Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Let dough sit at room temperature for 8-24 hours*. Dough will bubble up and rise.
- After dough is ready, preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Place your Dutch oven (or other large baking dish), uncovered, into the preheated oven for 30 minutes.
- While your Dutch oven preheats, turn dough onto a well-floured surface. With floured hands, form the dough into a ball. Divide into 6 equal-sized pieces and gently form into round balls. Cover dough loosely with plastic wrap and let rest.
- After the 30 minutes are up, carefully remove Dutch oven. With floured hands, place dough balls into it. (You can put a piece of parchment under the dough if your Dutch oven isn’t enamel coated.)
- Replace cover and bake for 30 minutes covered. Carefully remove cover and bake for 7-15 minutes* more, uncovered.
- Carefully remove loaves to a cutting board. Use for crostini, sandwich buns, or garlic bread!
I can’t believe these mini loaves only take 3 ingredients and are so easy to make! They ARE just begging to be buttered! I can’t wait to try them. ;)
I’ve always been looking for a recipe like this! As much as I love to have a big loaf to serve when I have multiple guests to feed, mini loaves are a lot more versatile for our family of three and…let’s admit it, mini always looks cuter, right?! These would be perfect for so many recipes and sandwiches, I can’t wait to try them out. I’ve always been a bit intimidated by bread, because it always looked kind of difficult to make, but yours look super easy and quick! Fingers crossed :)
Oh Georgia, I am so going to try this recipe!
okay now that is one of the easiest bread recipes I have seen! i so must do this. I love the rustic take to the bread and you could have this with almost any dish!
I swear by this recipe! My husband and I have been your recipe for the large loaf of this bread for a while now. We are in LOVE with it! We often use it to accompany spinach artichoke dip for parties :) I can’t wait to try the mini version. Going to start my batch tonight!
Ooo, I love the idea of using it as a dipping bread!
I love the mini loaf idea. They are much easier to serve, and so great for bruschetta. I also like the crusty edges, they’re my favorite!
Phenomenal is the right word! These look beautiful. Pinning!
Three ingredients = success! These rolls look soooo tasty! Thank you for sharing :D x
I’ve made that beautiful bread recipe before (LOVE), but I never thought to turn it into mini loaves. What a great idea, and they really are perfect for gifts too!
This looks so easy (and delicious) it almost makes me want to bake bread.
Wow! This is a fantastic recipe, these cute little loaves look incredible!!!
I would love to just slather those all with some butter and dig in. :)
OBSESSED. I am totally going to make these gorgeous mini loaves!!
I swear by this recipe! My husband and I have been your recipe for the large loaf of this bread for a while now. We are in LOVE with it! We often use it to accompany spinach artichoke dip for parties :)
did you bake the mini rolls on a sheet pan, uncovered or in a covered Dutch oven?
I have baked these before both on a sheet pan and in a Dutch oven. As the recipe states, you first bake them covered, then uncover.
I just finished making your bread——I really do love it. Thank you so much. Could I add walnuts, raisins and cinnamon to my next loaf??? Would it turn out???
You can certainly try it! You may also be interested in my Soft Cinnamon Swirl Bread: http://www.thecomfortofcooking.com/2014/11/soft-cinnamon-swirl-bread.html
It was so easy making this bread! It’s delicious :)
However, it got pretty hard by the end of the day and this morning it’s almost impossible to bite into it. Any tips for that?
I’d be keen to know if anyone’s tried this in mini loaf tins. Will they still come out crusty? :)
I can’t even tell you. I’ve made these so many times. They are my new favorite. I feel so impressive when I serve them to people…and I do homemade bread a lot so it’s not just the novelty. They really are the BEST ever. I’ve had requests for them. I’ve been asked for the recipe and for lessons on making them. I’ve even been blessed for serving these. Ever had them with spinach dip? A-mazing. How about as the roll for a french dip? To die for! I don’t take the time to comment on most the great things I find online. That’s how you know that these are possibly the best reason for the internet to exist.
I found that they will turn delightfully chewy if put in a plastic bag. They can even be thrown back in the oven for a few minutes to crisp back up a little if you wanted. Or if you want them to stay crispy, I keep them wrapped tightly in a light cloth. They do still get a little hard though.
These sound amazing!!! Do you think they would still turn out if I substituted for gluten free flour by Bobs Red Mill?
I made these yesterday. They were great, although I strongly suggest cutting back on the salt. I used 2 teaspoons of kosher salt and they were on the verge of inedible. But, fortunately I tasted one before cooking the rest of my meal and I adjusted the salt in everything else accordingly so that the complete bite wouldn’t be too salty. That said, the texture was incredible. Also, my dutch oven wasn’t big enough to keep them separate so they all baked together. It meant slightly less crust but they were still delish.
I have been baking all kinds of yeast breads since I was 17 and I’m 60 now. I have made this basic 3 ingredient bread. All basic French baguettes and boules are made from these3 ingredients, as well as Italian country breads. A note to your editor: WHY, as I scroll down through the recipe, certain words that are underscored, “light up”? Might be helpful for a newbie but a tad annoying to one who’s been baking for over 40 years. Do they think we’re idiots?
These no knead mini loaves / rolls were super easy to mix simply with a wooden spoon. I only had bread flour, so that is what I used. I wish I could post a picture of my delicious crisp rolls baked in a tiny convection Halogen oven. My first attempt was a huge success so I baked these a few more times.
Thanks for sharing the recipe and detailed instructions.
Please advise whether I can post some pics.
If I wanted to divide the dough in half (instead of 6), what would the baking time be? Thank you!
How do you cover them if you cook them on a baking sheet, and is it really possible to bake them in a dutch over without them expanding and forming one loaf? Sorry but I’m confused.
Dip your hand in water and rub it on the outside of the bread so the loaf is just slightly damp. Then warm it up in a toaster oven or preheated regular oven. Fixes up hardened bread like magic!!
It looks like you cooked them on a sheet pan but then you talk about cooking them in a dutch oven?
I make a large loaf in a dutch oven but how do the rolls not stick together?
I had the same question! Do you cover it with foil on a baking sheet?
One thing I would recommend is to heat the cover of the baking vessel along with the vessel itself. And then bake it with the lid on for the first 30 minutes. It makes the crust crispy and even more awesome. I love this recipe and make it all the time. Thanks so much!
Do these freeze and reheat well? I need a make-ahead recipe for this weekend.
I’m also confused – the instructions say use a Dutch oven but the photos are of a baking sheet. I think the rolls would stick together to form a loaf if you bake them in a Dutch oven and be less crusty when pulled apart. As another commentor asks: how do you cover them if you bake them on a baking shee? Thanks.
Oh so good!! I reduced the salt a bit but other than that followed the recipe. I was able to fit 3 in my dutch oven so froze the other 3 for later. So crunchy but soft inside. Thanks!!
Made this for thanksgiving . Easy to follow, easy to make . I will make this again for sure
Easy and simple, thanks for sharing this one, will definitely gonna try this one.
This one “Crusty Artisan Mini Loaves” seems so amazing , will love to try this one. Thanks for sharing this one.
I am also confused. In the photo it shows them on a baking sheet. How do you cover them on a baking sheet? Thanks.
The loaves are not baked on a baking sheet, it is merely for presentation. Follow the recipe as instructed.
Love these No-Knead Crusty Artisan Mini Loaves, seems so delicious .Will love try this one.
Made a half batch for a test. Added some garlic powder for flavor. There are very easy and taste great!!!
Love these No-Knead Crusty Artisan Mini Loaves, this one seems super delicious . Will love to try this one , thanks for sharing this recipe with us .
Well I did it took 12 hours to rise. I left it as a loaf I haven’t ate any yet to hot. Can I double the amount to make bigger loaf. 1st time ever making bread will definitely do again. Ty
I would suggest making two individual loaves, not doubling the measurements.
Got an 8 quart Le Cruiser dutch oven from my kids for my birthday. This was the first recipe I using it. Followed the recipe exactly but made 8 rolls. They turned out beautifully and were delicious. My family loved it! This recipe is so easy. The crust was super crusty and I loved it!
Mine turned out with a spongy texture inside. Did I mix the dough too much? Any thoughts?
This dough can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks before baking, so if you don’t need all of the bread at once, just take what you need and refrigerate the rest. This is a better solution than baking it all and freezing what you don’t eat right away.
Will it cook the same as one big loaf?
I am planning to bake mini loaves and give them to nursing home residents with some jam, but cooking them in small batches in a Dutch oven would be to time consuming. Can I cook these on sheet pans?
Hi Steve, please see the “Notes” in this recipe for alternate baking options. I suggest a large covered, oven-safe casserole dish.
Wonderful! I have made this as a bread loaf several times, but never thought to turn them into rolls. Very versatile recipe, as I made some larger (almost a mini loaf) and then some smaller ones (more like a roll). Delicious!