This is the easiest bread to make!  Promise!  Once you make it you won't believe how simple it is.  Just give it a try!

Inspired by Joy The Baker - Easy Spicy Garlic Bread


1 cup (8 ounces) of warm water (between 110 and 115 degrees F)
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/8 teaspoon white sugar
1 stick butter
A couple tablespoons chopped herbs of your choice (use fresh if possible, otherwise dried works too)
3/4 teaspoon dried red chili flakes (optional)
2 or 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced (optional)
4 cups bread flour, plus more for dusting the work surface (regular flour will work if that is all that you have)
a few big pinches of coarse ground black pepper
2 teaspoons salt
olive oil, coarse sea salt, and chili flakes for topping


Measure 1 cup of warm water and add your yeast.  Wait for about 5 minutes for it to froth and bubble.

If your yeast doesn't dissolve and foam/bubble in the water than throw it out and start over.  Your bread won't rise if this initial part doesn't work.

While the yeast is foaming, melt your butter on the stovetop.  Once melted remove butter from heat and stir in herbs chili flakes and garlic.
Place 4 cups of flour into stand mixer with your dough hook.  Add the yeast mixture and butter mixture. Turn the mixer on low and allow it to knead the dough.  It will take about 10-12 minutes.

Once it is done it will look like a ball stuck to the dough hook and the dough will have cleaned the sides and bottom of your mixture:

Place the dough ball into a lightly greased bowl and cover it in plastic wrap (I use the same dutch oven I plan to bake it in - one less pan to clean later!).  Let it rise in a warm draft free location for about an hour.  

Or, if you have a "bread proof" button on your oven then turn it on and put it in there.

Once it has risen it will be at least double in size:

Take it out of the bowl and hand knead it on a floured surface for a minute or two.  Then place into an oiled dutch oven (or other similar pot) and cut two slashes into the top of it (make an "X" on the top) about halfway down the bread.  Drizzle a little more olive oil on top (into the X) and sprinkle with salt.  Place the lid on the dutch oven.
Here is mine with the "X" cut into the top and extra olive oil placed on the dough along with some salt: 

Place in the oven at 450 degrees F for 30 minutes.  Then turn down the heat to 400 degrees and remove the lid and bake for another 15-20 minutes (until golden and crispy on the outside).

MMMMMMM....Yummy, Homemade Bread!  I use whatever herbs we have and sometimes throw in some parmesan cheese too to make cheesy bread!  Enjoy!