This homemade bread recipe tastes like life at 10 years old –> all delicious & nostalgia-like.

Are you sitting down?  This is theeeeeee best homemade bread recipe.  The. Best.  It’s a staple in our home now and it’s delish. If you try to get me to buy bread in a store, we will need to talk. The bread recipe is waaaaaay simple to make.  It only takes 4 ingredients (and one of those ingredients is WATER) and it’s no-fail perfection!


You’ll absolutely freak your face.

The best homemade bread recipe for DELISH French bread !!! It's so easy to make! Only 4 ingredients! The homemade bread tastes amazing ! | DESIGN THE LIFE YOU WANT TO LIVE | Lynne Knowlton

COVID UPDATE : It is sometimes difficult to buy yeast at the grocery stores. If you are stuck, without yeast, read to the bottom of this blog post, how to make your own yeast / sourdough starter !

Living life in the slow lane

Baking bread just makes life feel good, doesn’t it?  Homemade bread tastes like life at 10 years old… all delicious & nostalgia-like.  It may sound strangely weird, but I find that if I have a tidy home, light my all time fave unscented candles (we burn them daily) and bake some bread … well… everything wrong just feels right again.

I truly believe that when you quiet your mind and clear your space …. everything changes.  You think better.  You feel better.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been inspired to live an unhurried life.

It is how I Design The Life I Want To Live <—See how I just threw those words in there? LOL.

Slowing down.

Appreciating the little things in life.

 It’s where it’s at.

{   Bake bread.  Be domestic, dammit.  }

Want to jump straight to the recipe ? Enter your email here …

You could lock me in a room for forever with this bread.  It’s that good.  It’s fantastic with butter. and cheese. and olives. and wine. (times three)

I want it in my face right now.

Did you know that there are 4,738,990,845,790 gazillion trillion recipes on the internet, for homemade bread ? Don’t even think about fact checking this. I think the internet is down.  It will also take you a lifetime to find the best ones.  Not that I did that.  I totally did that.

The point is, there’s only one good bread recipe. This is it.

All my feelings are right up there ^^^^
  On that cutting board.  It’s theeeee easiest bread to make.

dutch oven faves

Cast iron, enamelled cookware is fab for this bread and Le Creuset does make some gorgeous ones. The problem is, I can’t afford Le Creuset for my homemade bread recipe.

If you can find Le Creuset on sale, or if you are independently wealthy with money trees in your backyard (in which case, you should invite me to your island home) … Le Creuset is ahhhhmazing.

I linked to alternative, more affordable cast iron enamelled dutch ovens here. They are sold on Wayfair, and the great thing right now is that Wayfair ships quite fast.

This one is even on sale!!!!!!  <—- hOLA !! And it is Wayfair too.

This dutch oven is also a super reasonable price and it has over a thousand reviews. Wow!

Our friend recently bought this dutch oven in matte white, and she loves it. It’s affordable too!

The best homemade bread recipe for DELISH French bread !!! It's so easy to make! Only 4 ingredients! The homemade bread tastes amazing ! | DESIGN THE LIFE YOU WANT TO LIVE | Lynne Knowlton


I don’t know how else to describe this homemade bread recipe other than:

!!!!!OMG OMG OMG!!!!!  

You’ll lose your marbles over it.



3 cups all purpose flour

We use organic unbleached all purpose, and it’s also easier to find these days. You can use whatever floats your boat.

2 tsp salt

¼ tsp rapid rise / instant yeast (tips listed at end of post)

1 ½ cup lukewarm water

PS. Need a whole wheat alternative?….Substitute whole wheat flour for up to 2 cups of the all-purpose flour. The recipe would therefore have 2 cups of whole wheat flour and one cup of all purpose flour.

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Easily print the recipe card on your home printer, or save it in a bookmarked file.

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Now for the bad news.  If you eat too much of this no-knead french bread, you may end up with a permanent life preserver draped like a fat hula hoop around your hips.  These are my first world bread problems. My struggles are real.

The best homemade bread recipe for DELISH French bread !!! It's so easy to make! Only 4 ingredients! The homemade bread tastes amazing ! | DESIGN THE LIFE YOU WANT TO LIVE | Lynne Knowlton

Don’t take shortcuts.  They take too long.

{  Except this time.  I have a couple of bread making short cuts.  }

First, go check the recipe card in your inbox.

I’ve added a few extra details below to make it even easier for you.

This recipe is super simple to make.

It’s literally fool proof, and requires no kneading, or crazy bakery skills.

You got this. Here’s how…


Tea towel :  Sometimes I skip the whole wrapping it in a flour-y tea towel bit. Rather than put the ball of dough in a couple of tea towels, I literally just put the ball of dough back in the bowl and cover the bowl with saran wrap and /or a tea towel .  Easy. Sneezy. Lemon. Breezy.


 Tight sealed lid :  Do not take a short cut on the tight sealed lid / dutch oven thannnng when baking.  It needs to be something with a tight sealing lid <— I screamed that.  And preferably a cast iron enamelled pot, because they hold the heat beautifully and are heavy duty thick (less likely for your bread base to burn as well.) Be sure to buy a pot where the lid can also be heated up in a 450 degree oven annnnnnd don’t forget that you need to heat that dutch oven in the stove while it’s preheating for the bread. Remember.  Cast Iron and/or tight sealed lid.  Supes important. I bought this one recently when it was on sale. (cutest lid ever). This cast iron enamelware dutch oven has FANTASTIC reviews. I have the most luck, making this bread, when I use a cast iron enamelware dutch oven.

Note to self: If you accidentally touch your pot without oven mitts on…. ooooooooooooouch….life is ruined.  Time to call a hawt firefighter.


Dutch oven size :  I believe the 4.3 quart dutch oven is the smallest you could go when making this bread…. I cheat and use one that is quite big.  We use it for casseroles and other family meals too. I already stole owned the larger sized dutch oven, so I just went with it.  My dutch oven is the size of Australia.  Here’s the thing…. you can use it for all kinds of other meals too. So, for the win. In this case, size doesn’t matter 🙂


Small loaf :  All of that was the long way of saying, this recipe makes a small loaf of bread, not a massive one…. and it’s basically PERFECT.   And it’s easy to do.  And it will be the best bread you’ve ever eaten.  And it will change your life.

The best homemade bread recipe for DELISH French bread !!! It's so easy to make! Only 4 ingredients! The homemade bread tastes amazing ! | DESIGN THE LIFE YOU WANT TO LIVE | Lynne Knowlton

You’ll squeal like a tool when the bread pops outta the oven. Here’s another hot tip. When the bread is done cooking, rather than take it out of the oven right away…. just turn off the oven…. leave the door cracked open a bit… and let it cool down inside the oven for about 20 minutes or so. It really makes for a nice crisp outer crust.

I double dawg dare you to see how long you can wait before you want to put it in your face. PS. Wait a minimum of one hour for the bread to cool, before slicing. Dare.


Tips: I use a wooden spoon to mix. It just works best. I also like to use a ceramic bowl for mixing, as the plastic wrap sticks nicely to the bowl, and you can get a nice tight seal for when the bread sits overnight in the bowl. I have tried stainless steel bowls but it’s no-bueno for me.


I cut a little hashtag in the top of the loaf right before I pop it into the oven. I score it pretty deep, and wowsers. Nice!! It looks pretty and the bread bakes with a big crevice at the top. My fave! Here’s the thing. Scoring your bread is actually really important. Give it a strong score with a super sharp knife, right along the top, so the bread has a place to ‘break open/ release steam’ as it is baking. SCORE.


For washing the bowl, let is soak in some hot soapy water. Clean it with your bare hands, as the dough is super sticky on cloths, sponges, all the things. The easiest clean is straight up with your nak’d hands.


Storage: That is a tricky one. We basically never have any left over, because it is THAT GOOD. If by some crazy chance we have leftover bread, I use plastic wrap on the cut edge only, and wrap the loaf in parchment paper or wax paper. We also use a bread box. I dunno if it really works, but I like it. I’m a weirdo like that.


Instant or Active yeast :  It may be difficult for some to find instant-rise yeast these days.  GAH, right?  The good news is, you can use active dry yeast if you don’t have any instant yeast. The difference between instant and active dry is, active dry yeast has a larger granule and needs to be dissolved in water before being able to use it. Instant yeast has a more fine texture and can be mixed right into dry ingredients with no pre dissolve required. Dissolving the yeast in the water only takes an extra minute or two, and is totally do-able.


Best tips for working with yeast

How to check if your yeast is fresh : If you suspect that your yeast may be a little old, there’s an easy way to make sure it’s still active. Measure out the liquid (room temperature or lukewarm!) for the bread recipe and pour about a half-cup of it into a bowl. Sprinkle the yeast and a pinch of sugar over the top, give it a stir, and let it sit for a few minutes. If the yeast is still active, it will dissolve completely into the water and the liquid will start bubbling.

Keep Rising Dough Warm: Yeast works best at temperatures between 70°F to 80°F. If your house is cool, place the bowl somewhere warm. If your house is very warm, the dough may rise quicker than expected.

Store Unused Yeast in the Freezer: Freezing yeast will put it on pause and extend its active lifespan. Seal the yeast in an airtight container before freezing.

NOTE : if your bread does not rise, it is likely because your yeast is not fresh. Remember to store the packets in the freezer for next time. Another culprit could be your flour.

Just remember, yeast is a living thing. There are conditions that help it thrive and conditions that slow it down. Treat it kindly and make it comfy, and you’ll be turning out beautiful no-knead French bread, no problemo.


With COVID, it has become increasingly difficult to buy commercially prepared yeast. Almost impossible, Am.I.Right?!. GAH!

Here’s the good news! You can make your own starter/yeast. It is called a sourdough starter. Yes, initially the process of the first week of making the starter will take longer, but it takes minutes a day… and then you will be able to make bread for the rest of forever. It is a beautifully tasty bread too.

I be lovin’ it.

I found, as I started the journey of learning how to make the sourdough starter, that I didn’t like all the waste of throwing away the starter as it grew. I also failed about 438597 starter recipes. Then, I found Bake with Jack. Here is his super easy recipe for starter, and with no waste!

The secret to a successful starter is to keep it in a nice warm place. And to not give up. Feed it every day. The bread is DIVINE. And I have a no-knead bread recipe coming soon // made with starter. Get started 🙂

Hawt tip: Having a scale realllllly made a difference for me. My food scale is super old, but I found this one with thousands of positive reviews. There are some here too that look pretty great, affordable and all have the tare function. The one thing to look for when buying a scale is the tare function. The tare function resets the scale to zero and automatically subtracts the weight of a bowl or jar from your measurement. So basically, you can view the exact weight of your starter without worrying about the math. Oh thank gawd.

Follow along on our journey on Instagram. We can do this together! Check back to this blog post again soon, as I hope to adapt our recipe to making it with a sourdough starter.

Big love and happy baking !!


Also, how much bread is “too much bread?” Asking for a friend, who’s considering weight watchers.

Tell us your baking stories!

{  We need these details to thrive in life  }

What should I bake next?  <— I happy hollered that.

This apple crumble recipe? Brownies?  Cookies?  Banana Bread?

What is your fave recipe evarrrr????!!!!

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Mari-Lynn Wells

Hi Lynne! I’ve been making your bread recipe for a month now, and every time my kitchen smells like a fancy bistro bakery! (Hmmm, think Williamsford! :)) I’ve adjusted the recipe at times and added seeds and nuts and cinnamon at first, and then folding in raisins (any dried fruit) before the dough sits for two hours. Voila…muesli bread for breakfast. The recipe brought back memories of my uncle Steve who passed away a few years ago…a consummate home chef he got into bread making just before then and this was the same recipe he used. My aunt was so… Read more »


Hi Lynne,
I love this bread recipe! It is so delicious, easy and fool proof. It has provided a nice diversion and tasty treat during isolation. The only problem I am having is keeping the bottom of the bread from either burning a bit and/or sticking to the bottom of the dutch oven. Any suggestions?
Also, if I add fruit to the bread, when do I add it and how? I’ve also heard that some people add cheddar and fresh rosemary.
Thanks so much.

Beatrice Decker

This bread is fantastic. I am83 and have been making bread for 60 years.


Hi Lynn
Very excited to try this. If I use traditional dry yeast chow do I substitute that. Alternatively if I substitute sourdough starter how does that change your recipe and how much do I use? With sour dough starter is it still no knead?


I made this bread yesterday and I must have done something wrong because it turned out very, very dense and stodgy. Also even though I covered the bowl with Saran, the dough developed an unappealing crust. Suggestions on how I may have gone wrong? My yeast was fine (good til 2021).

Fran Booth

Currently hitting the 21st day of self isolation here in South Australia and so I’ll make a fruit loaf – so going to make your bread tomorrow (I have dried yeast) to save going nuts – also have dried fruit and nuts (NUTS?) so could make a fruit loaf – Should I add a bit of sugar?


Hi , so living in the U.K. we have 7g packets of instant yeast . Do I just need 1/4 tsp of this to 450g (U.K. equiv to 3cups ) flour .? Sooooooooo looking forward to making this . Xx

Colleen Finn


What size dutch oven do you suggest? A few months ago I scored a beautiful yellow Le Creuset size 26, which is 5.5 quarts, at the outlet store in my town. It is so damn pretty I literally look for recipes meant for Dutch ovens just so I can put it on the table, haha. I’m wondering if the size of my Le Creuset in addition to not adjusting for the my non-quick yeast contributed to my fail on this?!


My house is on the cool side so I use a heating pad on low/medium to help rise the bread dough.

I have nearly the exact same recipe but uses a light lager and 1 tablespoon of vinegar for liquid rather than water. You won’t be disappointed.

Stay safe…T

Barb Stamm

I’m going to try the bread,hopefully I can find yeast.
Have you ever tried itt in the bread maker?


I love making bread. It feels like a big achievement.
Today I made banana bread. Tomorrow pumpkin and the next day good ol’ bread bread. Doing porch drops at all my families houses during the shut in. Sending love your way from Cali.


Wait, I’m confused. Where is the receipe? lol. How do I mix the ingredients? How long do I bake it for? Am I missing something?
I can only see the ingredients list and the shortcut tips. Someone help me lol


Lynne, do you have a GF alternate? Can I use any flour for the bread recipe?


Hi Lynn, I’m looking for your knitted blanket directions & how to make & what to buy. I’ve made 3 of them. Somehow i can’t find anymore. Can’t remember the color & what type of wool. I get your e-mails, yanphart@me.com is it possible for you to send? I need to make one for my daughter who is getting married.
Thank you.


I LOVE, lerv this bread! I make it in my cast iron Dutch oven that I rescued and fixed up for cooking again! It turns out perfect every time! Thank you for introducing g me to this amazing deliciousness! Now a glass of red!


I have this recipe on my list to make. Have you tried any other flours, like rye, whole wheat mixed with white? Yer gonna hate me…our wee island recycles stuff by leaving things on the boulevard in front of their homes. One day as I was toodling home in my golf cart, there was stuff out. Like a raven spotting a ‘sparkly’, I spotted a red pot. I backed up, jumped out and there, to my amazement was a red Le Cretot. It’s a small Le Creuset oven. It is sitting in my cupboard waiting on me to make some… Read more »


I made the bread!!! (Started early in the morning and just finished it now (11:02 at night)). IT LOOKS AMAZING! I want to eat the whole thing with some butter, but I will wait until morning (already ate too many cookies tonight, that will do). Seriously, I can’t believe it worked! It is beautiful, smells really good and crackles as it cools down on the counter. Perfect. My first actual bread success. I am very proud. Thanks Lynne. (P.S. I love this font, it makes you feel like everything you write is cool, like what you write!) (P.S 2 I… Read more »

Annick Torfs

It was bliss. Not only does it look like the perfect loaf, but it also tastes incredible. Very good bread! What a discovery. Thanks Lynne.


Respectfully, you do NOT need cast iron for this no knead bread recipe people!! You can successfully use a round Pyrex dish w it’s own lid that is easily found at Sally Ann or in Gramma’s kitchen and it will take a 450-500* oven! Have been making this exact loaf for 4 yrs. w/o fail as taught to me by a friend, and if u read all the no knead recipes on YouTube you will find that people use ANYthing they can get their hands on as long as it has a tight fitting lid to keep in steam…..so Plse.… Read more »


P.s. My Pyrex cost $6 at the local second hand store and the other two I inherited from my grandmother …so they have been in use 40+ yrs. …..just make sure it is real Pyrex and/or says Oven Safe.!

Suzanne Joyce

What a find!!! I am delighted to discover your website!!! Best thing to happen to me today! You inspire me 🙂


My stepmom-in-law has two! Le creusets at her rustic cabin. I have the on-sale-at-Canadian-Tire versions, which work pretty well. I’m going to make this bread tonight, instead of using up the 5 pounds of frozen bananas I found in the pantry today.

Never mind, I’m wrong. “Generously” flouring the tea towel resulted in flour all over the counter, the floor, the oven, the pot and me. So. Much. Flour. And it burnt so the bread had a heavy bottom crust and a bitter flavour. 🙁

What I will say is that covering the dough with saran wrap (pressed down to the top of the dough) while it does its thing overnight will prevent that weird crust from forming on it.

I recently found out the floured tea towel thing is to help your bread rise up as opposed to spreading out. The dough grips the tea towel, I guess? I’m not really clear on the science, but I think it was The Art of Doing Stuff that mentioned it. It might help your loaf become taller as opposed to wide in the Australia-sized pot? I’ve done breads similar to this before and love them. And I finally broke down and bought an enameled cast iron french oven just to try this recipe (I’ve seen them sold as part of a… Read more »


p.s. The beautiful Wayfair dutch oven you link to is not available in Canada it seems 🙁


Hi Lynne, Your bread looks so amazing! I really just want everything you own, and then I will be happy. (especially the tree house, omg!) I used to always make bread when my boys were little and I had a family to cook for. I would also make those 3-ball rolls, plus some pretty fantastic cinnamon buns. And I was so thin! Those were the days, sigh….I used my granny’s recipe, which I’ve long forgotten, I’m afraid. This is the time to get back into anything “old fashioned” oops, I mean “artisan” lol…I may have to purchase one of those… Read more »


Hi Lynne,

Great blog! Definitely plan on making this delicious bread!!! Where is your flour canister from? Desperate for some new ones…. Thanks!

I used to sell Le Creuset so I have pieces I got on sale at my work, Chefs Retail store (before we closed). But I’d often hear people saying they would see a piece at a garage sale or second hand shop. It’s worth a try to keep an eye out. We also have an outlet here, wonder if that helps. But we always got color’s on sale because they’re getting discontinued, I’m sure other shops get it at that discount price, if you don’t mind that avocado green of previous year! An inexpensive option I used to recommend was… Read more »


About ten years ago I hit the motherlode of Le Creuset at a yard sale. Seriously, I ended up with about hundreds worth of stuff for FIFTEEN BUCKS. I think that they must have been a gift from a despised mother-in-law, because the woman who was selling it didn’t seem to ascribe any value whatsoever to the stuff. I got a medium dutch oven, a small dutch oven, three oval casserole dishes of different sizes, and a huge lasagna dish that weighs a hundred pounds (and which I gave away to someone who now considers herself in my debt forever,… Read more »

Im gonna get on this recipe stat! Thanks for sharing Lynne and really? Does it end up on our backs? lol xo


OMG! You are so funny! “When you have a thought, set it free… it is going to disappear anyway” (I’m going to find a sign with this on it!) and “You and I passed out on the mall floor.. looking like dorks… dreaming of bread”! I can just see us doing that!!!!!

I’m running for the kitchen! Have you tried adding olives to your bread? Or anything else?

Give Michael a Magical Healthy Hug from me! Kick that Cancer Butt!

Love – Auntiepatch =^..^=

I flipping love this beautiful crusty artisan no knead bread ! I have been making it now for about 6 years. in my cast iron Dutch oven . I always put the dough on a big sheet of parchment paper before transferring it into the preheated Dutch oven, really helps so one doesn’t get burned..

Sha ????

I do not own a cast iron pot, so would this recipe work in a loaf pan? Or bread maker? Also when they say let the dough rest overnight, how long is that? I want to make this bread like now Not tomorrow lol Oh how I would love to have some of my grandmas Newfie. homemade bread right now (bye bye diet. Hello yummy bread)

I never like cooking, but tasting this bread makes me wanna try and be all domestic-like!!!!!!!!!

I love your style ,taste,and attitude! Keep it up!

Shauna Q

Love your sense of humor, zest….no not the lemon kind…lol
You brighten my day! Now for the bread, can’t wait to try it…I have a Le Creuset…didn’t know that was what it was called…got it from somewhere years ago. ..aweful orange color but my oven is color blind…phew…
Thanks again! Shauna


So curious to know where you got the 3 pendants – wire ones – over your kitchen counter?!?!? They are great:)

Sheri Hewetson

Can you tell me who makes your pendant island lights? Thank You!

Michael Knowlton

I do LOVE this bread. I love the smell of it baking and I love the taste and texture of it. After living in Paris for years and having baguettes on the daily, this bread is making me not miss living there. Oh… btw, I finished the loaf last night when you were sleeping. Can you bake some more bread pretty please with a cherry on top? xo


RAKE RAKE RAKE!!! Not take my leaves!! Well they can take them if they want!


Thank you for this delish sounding bread recipe!! In your defense, the recipe did not specify what size cast iron Le Creuset to use! I yelled that!
Im going to make a loaf and fill my house with that insane smell and get every 10 year old in the neighborhood over here. Maybe they will take my leaves. 🙂

I remember as a little girl watching my grandmother make homemade dinner rolls in Neustadt, ON. She rolled up the dough into little balls and put three of them into each cup of a muffin tin. When they were baked, they smelled and tasted amazing! I was very impressed by her talent to make something so magical!

When I have made a bread like this Le Crueset one, I’ve used a large cast iron frying pan and inverted a second large cast iron frying pan on top of it as a lid. That worked pretty well.


Thanks… ????

???????????????????????? ????

Debbie Bashford

I have been making this same bread for years but I use a Sassafras Bread Dome. I have made it in cast iron as well and really there is no difference for me.


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