Simple Gal….Simple Bread

Simple Bread


I love the smell of the Ocean, Clean Laundry, and Garlic cooking. I love the scent of Gardenias and Jasmines in bloom.

And I absolutely love the smell of Cookies and Fresh Bread baking.

I am a Simple Gal really.

That’s why this recipe stopped me in my tracks with only two words…..SIMPLE BREAD.

Simple Bread


And it truly is. There are only a few ingredients, has a short “proofing time”, and is not the least bit complicated. Just for a little special touch, I added some fresh thyme to the dough and a little sprinkle of sea salt before placing it in the oven. Delicious.

Simple Bread


Crusty, Warm Bread + No Fuss = Simply Happy Gal


Simple Bread
Slightly adapted from Marcia Passos Duffy


5-6 Cups All Purpose Flour
2 Tablespoons Dry Yeast
2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
1 Teaspoon Fresh Thyme (optional)
1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt
Sea Salt (optional)
2 Cups Hot Water (120-130 degrees F.)
A cake pan of hot water

Mix 3 cups of the flour with the yeast, sugar, thyme and salt.  Pour in the hot water and beat 100 strokes (or 3 minutes with a mixer).

Stir in the remaining flour until the dough loses its stickiness.  Turn onto a floured surface. Knead for 8 minutes.

Place dough in a greased bowl and cover with a warm damp cloth.  Let rise for 15 minutes in a warm spot (away from drafts).

Punch down and divide the dough into two pieces.  Shape into round loaves and place on a greased baking sheet.  Cut an “X” one-half inch deep in each of the loaves with a wet sharp knife. Sprinkle the tops with sea salt.

Place baking sheet with loaves in the middle of a COLD oven.   Place a pan of hot water on the lowest shelf. Heat the oven to 400 degrees and bake 40-50 minutes until golden brown.


29 thoughts on “Simple Gal….Simple Bread

  1. It sounds to me like it would finish proofing in the oven as it warms up! I thought I had a good bread recipe but since bread making day for me is tomorrow, I guess I have a new recipe to try! Hope my tester likes it!!! This just sounds too good not to try!

  2. I just made this bread and it is SO good. I was making other food as well so i let it rise both times for a half hour and lost track of time when it was baking but thankfully didn’t over bake it too much! Thank you so much for sharing the recipe.

  3. This bread look fantastic and the recipe seems so user friendly! Thanks for sharing… looking forward to giving this a whirl.


  4. i made this recipe and had very tasty results but the bread was sooooooo dense. i used only 5 cups of flour and took the dough out of the mixer as soon as it started pulling away from the bowl – any tips?

    1. Hi Monica! I’m sorry to hear that the bread turned out so dense for you. This was the first time I had handled this recipe and found the bread to be dense but not too dense.

      Here are a couple of suggestions you could try doing the next time you try it:
      – Knead the dough for a few minutes longer
      – Allow the dough to proof 25-30 minutes before punching it down
      – Reduce the flour a bit—-add only enough flour for the dough to lose it’s stickiness

      These are just a few suggestions. I find that when I bake bread, I sometimes have different outcomes depending on the weather (moisture in the air, warmth), yeast packet, and need to slightly adjust accordingly.

      Hope this helps! Cheers!

      1. All of these suggestions have worked for me too. I have made this bread a few times and find that I need to hold back the last cup to half cup of flour and only add as needed during kneading. I also knead it longer than 8 minutes — usually 12-15. I have had it rise beautifully after 15 minutes but other times I’ve needed to let it rise for closer to 30 minutes.

  5. I use a similar bread recipe that only proofs for 15 minutes! I was amazed the first time I made it, and it’s probably the best bread I’ve ever made. Definitely will have to give this one a go sometime too! =)

  6. I tried this recipe out and I think I messed it up some how (this was my first attempt making bread though). I think my yeast packet may have been out of date. Also, the dough was just kinda falling apart on me…still kind of sticky, but clumpy. Then when I put it in the oven it started to brown way too fast. The top getting very brown, but the rest wasn’t cooked all the way. Maybe my oven is too hot.

    It did taste good though. I guess I will just have to keep trying. Maybe I should use the dough hook instead of trying to knead myself as well.

    1. Hi Christa!

      I think there can be a few factors that may have affected your bread. With bread baking, I find that weather (moisture in the air, temperature) and yeast are my “make it or break it” factors.

      Since you mentioned your bread was still kind of sticky, it sounds like you could have added a tad more flour. Not a lot but just a few spoonfuls at a time until it loses its stickiness. Kneading by hand vs. Mixer is completely up to your preference. I’m lazy and use my mixer stand 🙂

      Do you have “hot” spots in your oven? The water acts as a “steaming agent” to allow the crust to have a nice crunchy texture that should help regulate your oven temp but it’s difficult to say if you don’t have an oven thermometer to check how your oven is registering. I really suggest picking up an oven thermometer if you do any kinds of baking bc you really don’t know if your oven is “true” to temp without one. They’re fairly inexpensive–def under $10.

      Finally, the yeast. It’s really important to use yeast that is not old. I’ve tried to sneak some old packets in before and have failed miserably with other recipes 😦 Also, what kind of yeast packets do you use? I know others have had success with them but I always seem to have “flops” when I try Rapid Rise Yeast.

      Hope this helps!

  7. YUM! made this today, so easy and so yummy! crispy on the outside and tender on the inside:-) my house now smells like bread! best smell ever!

  8. Great Bread Recipe! I actually halved your recipe to yield one loaf and I wish I just went ahead and did the whole thing… Kudos to you!

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