Simple, European Style, Everyday Bread Recipe with Video

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Simple, European Style, Everyday Bread Recipe

I seem to be breaking many rules these days.  Particularly, when it comes to eating whole wheat bread. “I’m a loner, Dottie.  A rebel.”

There are many reasons that I’ve stopped eating whole wheat bread and I’ll certainly share them with you in the coming weeks. For now, I’ve been doing all of my bread baking with organic, un-enriched, un-bleached white flour. Although soon, I’d like to make the switch to Jovial’s Einkorn, high extraction flour.

I’ve got to admit, after eating whole wheat flour for so long, I had to get accustomed to the flavors in white bread. I also had to make adjustments to all of my standard recipes, particularly my morning pancakes and sandwich bread. However, since I’ve started feeding my children ridiculously good lunches for kids (follow me on instagram), I’ve found that we no longer eat sandwich bread like we used to.

We’re eating more fruits and vegetables and less bread all together. With that in mind, I started tinkering with a European style bread I had learned from my friend Sadagat.

Sadagat is from Azerbaijan, in Northern Europe. She works wonders in her kitchen and she knows I enjoy learning about her cultures food. Every so often, she randomly stops by to bring me over a flat loaf of bread and we end up chatting about family, food, design, and life. She’s a fantastic graphic designer and illustrator. I’ll have to show you her work once her new website is set up.

It’s kind of funny, every time I’d get together with Sadagat, our conversations would somehow circle back to her bread. Yes, I thought about it that often. Perfectly soft, chewy crumb, simple flavor – it reminded me of a perfect everyday bread that my family would eat in Spain.

My Simple, European Style, Everyday Bread Recipe

One day over a conversation that, yes, included her bread she finally told me, “I’m coming over to make bread with you.”  I jokingly told her, “It’s about time!”

Sadagat came over mid-morning with her children. Since it was already past 10am I started to wonder if we would have time to make the bread.  Reflecting on the taste, it must certainly take hours to make.  I asked her if we had time, and she said, “of course!”

So, while the kids played outside, chasing chickens, Sadagat made my kitchen her own. She started pulling out bowls, digging through shelves, and lining up ingredients until she found everything she needed.

What surprised me came next.  In the matter of a few minutes she added flour, salt, yeast, water, kneaded a bit, added some olive oil, and… done.  With wide eyes, I asked, “is that it?”  She said, “yes, that’s it.”

Wow!  I was stunned.  I asked her if she needed to measure or weigh her ingredients.  She laughed at me and said, “no, you just add a bit of this and a bit of that – that is all.”

For bread that tastes as fantastic as hers, this was it for me.  I’d finally found a simple, everyday bread recipe for my family.

European Style, Everyday Bread

There are many factors that go into baking, which is one of the reasons homemade bread can be one of the most difficult recipes to share.  The humidity level, temperature, and elevation in which you live can all factor in as to how much water the flour will absorb and in turn how the final crumb (interior) will turn out.  Too dense, too chewy, too crumbly, etc…

This is why I absolutely love this bread recipe.  It’s very flexible!

There are no rules to this homemade bread.  There’s no need to pull out a scale to measure the flour or to gauge an exact temperature to the water being added.  As long as you don’t add too much flour in the beginning, your loaf will turn out perfect.

To give you a rundown of exactly how I make this bread, I’ve created a video demonstrating the process for my everyday bread recipe.

And… check out the crumb.

Simple, European Style, Everyday Bread Recipe

Not too shabby, eh ;D  I’m very happy with this delicious and simple everyday bread and I hope you will be to.

Simple, European Style, Everyday Bread Recipe with Video

Prep Time: 6 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Simple, European Style, Everyday Bread Recipe with Video

A simple, European style, everyday bread recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups flour (you'll add more as you knead)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 1/2 tsp yeast
  • 1 1/4 cup warm water
  • extra virgin olive oil

Method:

    For detailed instructions please view video
  1. In a large bowl add the flour, salt, and yeast. Mix through.
  2. Add the water and stir into a shaggy dough.
  3. Using your hands, in the bowl, knead the dough; adding a tablespoon of flour more at a time to help you continue to knead. About an extra 3 - 4 tablespoons. Knead for 3-4 minutes. The dough should remain light, and sticky.
  4. Once the dough is holding together well and still feels sticky, tacky, yet firm, add a teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil to the dough and shape into a tight ball. (The extra virgin olive oil will give flavor and prevent the dough from sticking to your hands.)
  5. Place the dough into a clean, oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, then a cloth towel, and allow to rise for one hour.
  6. Once the dough has doubled, carefully, remove the dough from the bowl onto a floured counter making sure to not compress it. You do not want to release all of its gasses. (View the video for a demonstration)
  7. With floured hands, sprinkle a bit of flour onto the dough and shape it as demonstrated in the video into a tight ball.
  8. Place it on top of parchment paper, on a cookie sheet or cutting board, and score the top with a sharp knife or razor blade. With a brush, oil the top and sprinkle additional flour on top to get that nice rustic look.
  9. Cover with plastic wrap and a towel for an additional 20 minutes.
  10. While it's resting, preheat your oven to 500F with a pizza stone inside.
  11. After the 20 minutes transfer the boule with the parchment paper to the pizza stone in the oven. Slide from one surface to the other and bake for 10 minutes at 500F.
  12. After the 10 minutes, lower the oven temperature to 350F and bake an additional 25 minutes.
  13. Once done, remove the bread with the parchment paper to a cooling rack.
  14. Allow the bread to cool completely before slicing. If you slice the bread before it's completely cooled, you will end up with a gummy inside texture.
  15. Enjoy!
http://www.myhumblekitchen.com/2013/03/simple-european-style-everyday-bread-recipe-with-video/

If you enjoy this recipe and try it out, come back and let me know how it turned out!

 

76 Responses to "Simple, European Style, Everyday Bread Recipe with Video"
  1. 4HungryBunnies says:

    So I am attempting to tweak this recipe gluten-free today using Better Batter flour. A tweaking I will go, a tweaking I will go, high-ho the dairy-ooo, a tweaking I will go! (: This is where I am most happy, in my kitchen creating! I will report back the results soon!

  2. 4HungryBunnies says:

    Beautiful job on the video, Diana!

  3. 4HungryBunnies says:

    Diana,
    I am a rebel with a cause right with you! I read that article by the Healthy Home Economist last year about white rice too and switched immediately. Also, the gluten-free flours I use (Better Batter and Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free All Purpose) mostly have naturally white-ish in color, especially the Better Batter flour. Unfortunately, I am not able to obtain white rice pasta. I buy Tinkyada which is brown rice, rice bran and water. It doesn’t seem to bother us though. I have seen what I think is white rice pasta but it still has bran in it and doesn’t have a nice texture or as many choices. It’s basically only spaghetti or lasagna.

  4. Daria says:

    Love the recipe but I have to say that the bread background makes it very difficult to read the rest of the entry.

  5. I had to go look up that article from Healthy Home Economist. Here it is: http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/what-white-rice-better-than-brown/

    Very interesting. I saw something similar over at chowstalker.com

  6. 4HungryBunnies says:

    My gluten-free version of the bread turned out great for it’s first run, but the fun and challenge have just begun!

    I used:
    2 1/2 c Better Batter flour (whisk flour first and spoon in measuring cup, do NOT shake, but level off with a table knife)

    2 tsp salt
    1 Tbsp yeast
    1 1/4c + 1/2c + 1/8c warm whole milk
    2 tsp evoo
    2 tsp apple cider vinegar

    This time I put the dry ingredients in the bowl and whisk together.
    Added the evoo and the acv into the warm milk before adding to the dry.

    First rise 20 minutes, second rise 5 minutes.

    Kept with the 500 degrees for 10 minutes (which produced a VERY nice hard crunchy outside as promised) and 350 degrees for about 23 minutes. I got impatient and I knee the tips were just starting to burn. I did place the other rack above and put an upside down cookie sheet part way through to shield it so it wouldn’t burn so much.

    Unfortunately, though it tasted wonderful and had a pretty nice texture, I would not want to show my “crumb”. It was on it’s way, it partically had air holes, but in the middle was the gf tackiness. What the answer is to that, I am not sure yet! But, I will find out! I have some research to do and a few ideas on what to tweak differently!

    Bottom line: it looked great! The outside crust was awesome! It was soft and melted in your mouth with hot butter and my family begged for more!! (:

    • Diana Bauman says:

      Alicia, that’s great! I do have one question, did you let it cool completely? I know whole wheat sourdough would be tacky inside as well if I cut into it too early. I’m excited to see if you can perfect this! I think that would make a LOT of people happy :D

      • 4HungryBunnies says:

        No, of course not! It was dinner time and the bunnies were hungry! Hehe! I will make another loaf tomorrow and make some alterations and will try to let it cool completely! (: I know it would be better if I measured the flour by weight, but I have yet to get a digital food scale. So I am using the cheat method I described in what I did. Also, I believe I will have to cook it a little longer, like maybe 30 minutes on 350 instead of only 25. I can’t wait to try again tomorrow!

    • Nicki says:

      Did you do the gf version in a bread machine? We don’t make enough bread to get a machine and I was just curious before I give it a go. It looks yummy!

      • 4HungryBunnies says:

        No, I have never used or owned a bread machine. I don’t see where it would be worth the money or the space in my kitchen. It doesn’t really seem like they are very helpful anyway. It’s not like I can say “hey little box, go in the kitchen and make me some bread and it obeys”. Hehe! Plus, I kind of like the idea that I make it with my own two little hands, cause then my hubby and children can say, “Wow! This bread you made is AWESOME!” (:

        I haven’t gotten a chance to tweak the recipe further, but I don’t think I will be kneading it by hand again, because gluten-free yeast bread dough really needs to be stirred very vigorously and that can be accomplished best by my Kitchen-aid heavy duty stand mixer on a high speed for 3 minutes. I will report back again later after experimenting and tweaking more. All I know is gluten-free does NOT have to be difficult. It does not require a million flours and it can be very lovely!

        • 4HungryBunnies says:

          So my second attempt at tweaking the bread recipe gluten-free, went pretty well. This time put all of the flour in at once including the 1/4c that Diana adds little by little. I used the same amount of warm milk as last time, but added 1 tbsp of raw honey and the 1 tbsp yeast just to the milk. Unfortunately, I managed to kill the yeast which sometimes happens. It may have been a tad too warm. Then, like my pizza crust, I went ahead and added the 2 tsp apple cider vinegar and 2 tsp evoo to the milk mixture. Then I went ahead and mixed it with the Better Batter flour and salt in the heavy duty mixer for 3 minutes. Then I picked up in Diana’s video with shaping it right before oiling the metal bowl and covering it to let rise. I only let it rise about 20 minutes because I have read that is all that is needed for gluten-free bread. My second rise was 20 minutes instead of 5 like last time. I kept the same temps as Diana said and timing. I had a pan pre-heated in the oven. Again I had to shield the bread in the oven after a while by putting a pan above it. It looks amazing! Nice crusty crust! It has a decent crumb, just kind of squished holes, because of accidentally killing the yeast. The texture? Soft and firm, a little chewy. Very good!! Slices up wonderfully! It would be great for toast or sandwiches. Would NOT need to be heated in any way before serving like most gluten-free breads. It was painless to make, it’s very non-gf typical. I think this is the best gf bread I have ever made hands down. Next time, if I don’t kill the yeast, it will be perfect! (:

          • 4HungryBunnies says:

            I would not keep this in the fridge. On the counter is just fine. It won’t last long anyhow. (;

          • 4HungryBunnies says:

            I am pretty sure a person could turn out more bread faster than with a machine anyhow. Save your pennies and buy more ingredients instead. (: And don’t forget the butta for when it’s done! This bread would couple nicely with Diana’s nourishing chicken salad recipe!!

  7. Tara says:

    Where do you find flour that is un-enriched? I can only find it enriched. Your bread looks awesome!

    • Diana Bauman says:

      Tara, I buy it directly from my bakery. Our local Hy-Vee has an artisanal bakery which will sell its flour. I would contact your local bakery and ask them if they’ll sell you the flour they use.

    • julianne says:

      also, natural grocers by vitamin cottage carries it in their bulk section, reasonably priced for organic flour :)

  8. Steph says:

    Looks great, and I am looking forward to reading why you switched from whole grains to non…I have been perplexed by this “issue” for some time as well-Thankfully our family has had no digestion or health problems that we would associate with grain consumption, but with so many differing opinions out there-whole grain, no grain, soaked, sprouted, fermented etc. etc. it is tough to know what is really the “best!” So, I went to the Bible, knowing that God gave us what we needed before man thought they could do better :(. Grains were MUCH different in Biblical times, but Spelt and Kamut are still available, so for now have decided to switch my family to spelt. I would LOVE to switch to Einkorn berries, but right now is very much out of budget!

  9. Tara says:

    I think I love you. :D lol. I wish you were my neighbor! Thank you sooo much for the video. Though I have made bread successfully in the past, I loved getting to see someone else make it; now I know I’m doing it “right”! Have you ever made this bread with milk instead of water? While I love a rustic, crusty loaf, my husband tends to prefer a soft, milk loaf. One last thing: do you use rapid rise (instant) yeast? And I see you don’t worry about the salt “killing” the yeast, putting them together at once… does that mean that fear is unfounded? I guess that was two things. Hah.

    I hope you’re having a great day!

    Tara

    PS: I follow you on instagram (@raysofsoul)… thank you for referring me to your favorite recipe for Mexican chorizo! I haven’t made it yet, but I just know it’s going to be “the one”. :)

    • Diana Bauman says:

      Tara, yes!! @rayofsoul, I’m so glad you found Mely’s recipe for chorizo! I know you’ll love it :D

      Okay, let me see. I use Red Star Active Dry Yeast. I’ve never made this bread with milk, although I don’t see why it wouldn’t work. Give it a try and let me know how it turns out :D This is the first loaf where I do mix the yeast with salt… doesn’t seem to bother it ;D Have a great evening, Tara!!

  10. Lori says:

    Love, love, love this bread recipe. I just made it for dinner with soup and it was unbelievable!! My boyfriend thanks you…lol Very simple to make, will absolutely be making this again :)

  11. Linda says:

    Diana –
    I just made this and it tastes great! I had to put it in a traditional loaf pan because I don’t have a pizza stone, but for a first attempt, I think it worked ok. The video was very, very helpful! One question — which kind of yeast — regular or quick rise?

    • Diana Bauman says:

      Linda, that’s great to know! I use Red Star Active Dry Yeast. I should put that in the ingredients!

    • 4HungryBunnies says:

      Although pizza stones are wonderful (I totally recommend them too), you don’t have to use a loaf pan. Simply put unbleached parchment paper on a cookie sheet or jelly roll pan. I pre-heated it, as Diana said also. (=

  12. andrea says:

    Hi, I don’t know if something’s wrong with my computer, but I can’t find the video link anywhere… The bread looks delicious!

  13. Danielle says:

    Would you be able to use sourdough starter instead of the yeast?

  14. YUM! I’ve always enjoyed simple european bread… ciabatta is my favorite :D

    We need to catch up, amiga! It has been too long since we’ve emailed or chatted! I will try to email you this week.

  15. Jiji says:

    This bread looks AMAZING! Yum!!

  16. Elsie says:

    I’ve been craving just such a recipe! I made it Sunday afternoon and my husband and I LOVE it! It tasted amazing, but I did have a few troubles with the process. When I was shaping the loaf after the first rise, it eventually turned into a doughnut as I tucked it under. Also, the oven smoked like a BBQ pit. I don’t know if it was the oil from my seasoned baking stone, or the fact that I used wax paper instead of parchment, but it smoked before and after I put in the loaf. Anyway thanks for sharing this recipe! We’re going to make it every week for the rest of our lives. Or something like that.

    • Diana Bauman says:

      Elsi, thanks for sharing! One thing, it was most likely the wax paper! 500F is way too hot for that. Those chemicals were burning!! Better to use parchment paper. It’s made without wax :D

  17. Rene' says:

    Wow!! I did it!! I made bread…and it was not a brick! I am so happy you posted this bread recipe and video! I have tried several recipes and every time they turn out so hard and didn’t raise. I am happy to say that this recipe rose and was so easy to follow thanks to the video! My whole family loved it and I can’t wait to make it again since it is all gone! :)

  18. Amy D. says:

    Honestly, I think that the problem with the fiber from whole grains is that that we are eating it, but rather how often most people are eating it. Moderation is tricky thing.

  19. Kathy says:

    For some time I have been thinking about doing some bread baking, I use to enjoy baking bread but years of anti-carb rhetoric had taken away some of the joy; even though bread baking is perhaps one of the oldest life-sustaining traditions the world over. Then a few days ago I came across this bread recipe – “Simple European Style Everyday Bread” – with a title like that, who could resist! So for Easter dinner I prepared this beautiful, and beautifully simple, bread for my family. Inspired by the tradition and simplicity of the bread I also decided to make some home-made butter; another super simple process.
    My family shared our Easter meal on the porch and dined on steak grilled on Himalayan salt blocks, asparagus casserole, baked potatoes, warm-from-the-oven home-baked bread and freshly churned (blended) creamy white butter – yum!
    Thanks, Diana for sharing

  20. Desireé Owen says:

    Thanks for the recipe! I pinned on Pinterest and wished to make it this afternoon, but had no yeast. I have discovered that you get tremendous results using equal parts baking powder and lemon juice to equal the amount of yeast you would have used. The chemical reaction means “zero” rising time! Simply amazing. Just thought I would pass this along since this quite a revelation to me. Granted, this is my first time using your recipe, so I don’t know how it actually alters the texture, if at all. Thanks again!

  21. Kathy says:

    For the past few days my son and I have been experimenting and tweaking the recipe to make an equally simple, but little more hearty, basic bread (I know you are not into whole wheat, we used nuts and seeds flour) Anyway, the whole process has been great fun and now I’m ready to share our modified recipe. It is soooo good and soooo simple!.

    My Modified, ” Hearty Basic Everyday Bread Recipe”
    2 cups flour
    1/4 cup almond flour
    1/4 cup milled flax seed
    1 cup sunflower seed
    2 tsp salt
    2 1/2 tsp yeast
    1 1/4 cup warm water
    EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)

    The method is exactly the same, you simply add the extra flour and seeds along with the other dry ingredients.

  22. Diane says:

    Diana,

    This bread is awesome, thank you! I just made it out of sprouted whole wheat flour (Did you post somewhere why you don’t use whole wheat?). I was just wondering if there is anyway to double the recipe to make one large loaf so it will last longer than a day for my family?

    Thank you!
    Diane

    • Diana Bauman says:

      Diane, I haven’t posted anywhere about the bread choices my family has been making. Recently we’ve bounced back to freshly ground whole wheat. I honestly want to go to Einkorn it’s just too expensive right now :( You should definitely be able to double the batch. The only thing is that this type of bread will spoil and harden quickly. It’s a really good everyday bread, I’m just not too sure about keeping it more than two days. If you try it out, let me know :D

  23. Alexandra says:

    Hi Diana,

    I have what might be a silly question…when you transfer the bread to the pizza stone, does the parchment paper go into the oven too?

    Can’t wait to try this!
    Alexandra

  24. Karenrod says:

    I am wondering if I someone used successfully sourdough starter for this? I used to love to make bread like this but recently learned how improperly soaked grains could leach minerals from the body and cause cavities among other issues so I switched to sourdough only but miss this crunchy bread! Looking for a way to have the best of both worlds. Anyways love your site, the meal planning has been such a blessing to me, thank you!!!

  25. Bernadette says:

    Hi Diana,
    I have my bread rising for the first hour, but my dough was not as sticky as yours. Did a do something wrong?
    Bernadette

    • Diana Bauman says:

      Bernadette, I wouldn’t worry too much right now. Let it rise and proceed with the directions. It all takes a bit of trial and error :) So, after today, try again and next time, add a bit less flour.

  26. Traci says:

    Thank you – thank you- thank you! This is the first time I’ve actually been able to make a tasty loaf of bread! I was so nervous at first (I guess because of past failures!), but printed out directions then watched your video making notes on the directions and forged ahead! Really, you just have to do it – wasn’t that hard! Yes, some steps but totally worth it. Since the first time, I’ve made 2 more loaves and they have ALL come out wonderfully! I was just reading out of 1 Kings 17 when the widow fed Elijah and she had a small amount of flour and some oil – reminded me of this bread and I wanted to leave you a comment. Thanks again!

  27. Janelle says:

    I WILL be making this tomorrow! I’m wanting to try making roasted tomato soup and this bread would go perfect with it! I got a pizza stone for Christmas and I haven’t used it yet! Thank you! About how many hours do you think it took for it to cool?

  28. Jen says:

    Hi Diana,
    Just wondering if you’ve tried this recipe with the einkorn flour yet? If so how did it turn out?
    Thanks, Jen

    • Jen says:

      I made this today with the einkorn flour and it came out incredible. The only things I changed were the amount of water (decreased 20% to 1 cup) and the rising time ( first rise about 40 min. And second rise about ten) the shorter rising time was due to the fact that we had to run out for my son’s piano lesson. Thank you for such a great recipe and the video tutorial was excellent. Jen

  29. IT WAS AMAZING! THANK YOU!!! I live in Buenos Aires….I’m 16 weeks pregnant and I wanted an easy bread recipe! I loved yours!!! It satisfied my cravings! Gracias!

  30. Doris rigby says:

    Where is the video? Looked and looked again and again. Would love to see it.

  31. John Pilla says:

    My wife and I have gone mostly grain-free, so looking for a good grain-free bread recipe.
    Though when I can afford it, at times, I will use a little Einkorn flour.
    Does not seem to have as many anti-nutrients as modern flours.
    Esp. since nearly all flours, except Einkorn, are now made ala 1950’s onward. Mexican changing to make higher yield. Albeit altruistic cause to feed more third world countries, initially. But, as a result, since that time, issues and diseases like Celiac can be traced back to changing what God had initially provided. Hence, the addition back into our diet of linited Einkorn flour.

  32. Pattie says:

    I recently bought a kitchen aid processor and it has a bread blade. Can I use this recipe with it?

  33. Karen says:

    Diana,
    I am completely new to bread-making but would like to try this recipe. I just purchased einkorn high-extraction flour from Jovial. Can I use this flour for your recipe? Or would I have to purchase the einkorn wheat berries and grind them and use that flour instead of the high-extraction flour?

    I am just confused as to the difference between the two flours and don’t know if it makes a difference using one over the other.

    Thanks,
    Karen

    • Diana Bauman says:

      Karen, I’ve not tried this recipe with the high extraction flour; however, I would definitely give it a try. I think it should work fine. As far as buying and grinding, einkorn wheat berries, this recipe will not work with that flour as it doesn’t have enough gluten for the rise. I hope that helps a bit!

  34. Nancy says:

    I love this bread! Great recipe. One question though. Every time I try to tuck the dough under after the first rise, it always ends up with a hole in the middle in the bottom. You can see the tucked ends after scoring the top with a knife. How do you get yours to meld together? My dough also doesn’t ever to seem as “smooth” as yours. Is it because I’m using bread flour? Thanks!

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