1 1/2 cups warm water
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 tsp sea or kosher salt (1 tsp if using table salt)
3 cups bread flour
1 1/4 cups wheat bran (or use 1 cup oat bran, whole wheat flour, or rye flour)
1 Tbsp dried Rosemary & Thyme, or other herbs of choice (or 2-3 Tbsp fresh finely chopped herbs)
1 packet active yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
Mix all ingredients in a large bowl with a wooden spoon. When everything is combined (and your arm is tired!), remove dough to a floured surface and knead for about 5 min. Return to bowl, cover with a kitchen towel, and place in a warm spot for 1-2 hrs or until dough as doubled in size.
Punch down (really, sock it to the dough) then reshape into a 9 x 5 loaf pan, sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Cover with towel and let rise again for an hour. Bake at 425 for 10 min, then reduce heat to 350 and bake for additional 30 min, or until loaf sounds hollow when you knock on the top. Let bread cool directly on cooling rack for an hour before slicing (or at least 20 min if you are dying to sink your teeth into a hot piece with butter).
Note: you can also do this in a mixer or food processor with the dough hook attachment — the machine will do the mixing and kneading for you. Just let it rise right in the bowl and put in loaf pan for 2nd rise.