Pain facile - easy and satisfying bread
Preparation time
Cooking time
Total time
Easy to make, satisfying to eat, this bread is heaven. If you want to switch up the recipe, swap out 1 cup of white flour for 1 cup of rye, or wholemeal or spelt. A low-gluten flour will give a lower rise but the deeper flavour is worth it, in my opinion. Remember that there is no kneading in this recipe: once the dough has risen, handle it gently to keep the air in. This freezes well and is dense and moist and dense - it's a 4-5 minute toasting job. It's so good toasted!
Recipe type: Bread
Cuisine: French
Serves: 1 loaf
  • 3 cups strong flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
  • 0.25 teaspoon fast acting yeast
  • 1.5 cups water
  1. Put the dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix.
  2. Add the water and stir together (I use the handle of a wooden spoon, like Yannick). Note: you're just combining the ingredients, and it doesn't take very long. The dough is fairly loose and you're not going to knead it.
  3. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a towel and leave for 8 to 12 hours.
  4. Pre-heat the oven, and in it a large oven-proof pot with lid, to 200C.
  5. Liberally coat the work surface with flour.
  6. With a spatula, turn out the dough. Don't flatten it or beat it down: you want to keep the air bubbles. Just loosen the sides with the spatula and tip it out on the flour.
  7. Now, gently grab one side, stretch it out and fold it over itself. Repeat on the other side.
  8. Shape the dough into a round by gently pushing the sides in and under to form a tight, round load.
  9. Take the hot pot out of the oven.
  10. Carefully lift the loaf into the pot.
  11. Put the lid on and put in the oven for 30 minutes. (This might take some adjustment: in my oven, it needs 5-10 minutes more.)
  12. Take the lid off and leave for another 15 minutes to colour the crust.
  13. Let the loaf rest for 2 hours before cutting.
Recipe by Edinburgh Foody at