This French Bread is soft and airy with a delicious crust on the outside. Best of all, this bread can be easily made from the comfort of your home! You will obsess over this recipe, guaranteed!
French Bread is a long and narrow loaf with a soft inside and a crusty outside. It consists of the most basic ingredients, and by French law, cannot have any added oils or fats. Since there are no preservatives added, this makes people buy their fresh French bread daily.
If you are looking for the classic crispy baguette recipe, you are in for a treat! We have a shortcut version for you.
How to Make Homemade French Bread
Making homemade French Bread takes just under 3 hours from start to finish. With only a few simple steps during this time, you’ll be enjoying the bread sooner than expected.
- Mix water with instant yeast and let sit. Add sugar and salt and mix in the flour in small portions.
- Knead for 2 minutes and let the dough rest for 5 minutes to fully absorb the flour. Knead for 5 more minutes.
- Let dough rise for 1 ½ hours.
- Divide the dough in half. Roll each half into a 10 x 8 inch rectangle and then roll up the long side jelly-roll style.
- Place the seam side down onto lined pan; let it rise for 30 minutes.
- Whisk egg with water, brush the tops of the bread. Using a sharp knife, cut 4 slashes over each bread.
- Bake in a preheated 375°F oven for 20-25 minutes until golden.
What is the difference between French bread and a baguette?
French bread is a simple bread recipe, often long in shape with rounded edges. The baguette is a specific type of French bread, translated to “stick” and refers to the popular shape.
How can you make the dough without a stand up mixer?
You can make dough without a stand up mixer by using your hands. Simply mix or knead the dough for the same amount of time on a floured surface.
How can I get my French bread more golden?
To get the golden look on your French bread, lightly brush the bread dough with an egg wash right before baking.
Is French Bread considered white bread?
Yes. In fact, it is best to make this bread with white flour. It makes for the soft chewy texture.
What is the best flour fro French Bread?
Bread flour works perfectly for this recipe. Two of my personal favorite brands are Bob’s Red Mill or King Arthur flour.
Serving French Bread
You can never go wrong by snacking on French bread just by itself. However, if you need some creative ways to serve your French Bread, we got you covered!
- Serve French Bread for breakfast with raspberry jam and butter to go with your coffee.
- We love to serve French Bread for lunch with a fresh garden tomato cucumber salad. We use it to make our steak sandwiches or Philly Cheesesteak.
- For dinner, French Bread pairs well with classic borscht or zuppa toscana soup.
Storing French Bread
Need to store away French Bread for later? We got you covered.
If you need a quick way to store French Bread for a short time, seal it in an airtight container or a plastic bag. This method will keep your bread fresh for several days.
To store French Bread for longer periods of time, it’s best to freeze it. Just wrap up your bread in a heavy duty freezer bag or aluminum foil and freeze it. Before serving it, place it into the fridge overnight to thaw out. Right before serving, pop it into a 375°F oven for 3-5 minutes and it’s ready to be enjoyed.
Hot Tip: To refresh your French Bread, warm up the loaf in a 375°F oven for 3-5 minutes.
Other Bread Recipes To Try
- White Country Bread Recipe – Make freshly baked bread like the one from Panera Bread, except in your own oven!
- Dutch Oven No Knead Bread – This bread is extra crispy on the outside and bubbly on the inside.
- Honey Wheat Bread – Feeling healthy? This bread is loaded with nutrients!
- No Knead Bread – Prep the day before and get fresh baked bread the next day.
- 1 1/4 cup luke warm water
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2 tsp salt
- 3 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
- 1 egg for glaze
- 1 tbsp water
- Mix water with yeast and let it sit for a minute or so. Add sugar and salt.
- In small portions add flour. If you are using a mixer, use the dough hook and mix on low speed until the dough really comes together.
- Knead at medium speed for 2 minutes. The dough should clear the sides, but stick to the bottom. (If it is too sticky, add 1 tablespoon of flour at a time. If too dry, add 1 tablespoon of water to the dough to adjust.) Let the dough rest for 5 minutes.
- Turn the mixer on again and mix for 3 minutes. When the cycle is completed, turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and cover with a damp towel. Let it rise for 1½ hours.
- Divide the dough in half. Roll each portion into a 10-in. x 8-in. rectangle. Starting with the long side, roll up the dough jelly-roll style; pinch the edges to seal.
- Place the bread rolls onto a lined baking sheet. Cover and let it rise in a warm place until doubled in size, at least 30 minutes.
- Whisk the egg and water; and brush over the loaves. Using a sharp knife, make four shallow slashes across the top of each loaf. Bake at 375°F for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
Is it posible to make the dough ahead of time, freeze and then take out and bake? If so, would I let is rise first, then freeze?
Hi Sue, I recommend baking the bread and then freezing it versus freezing the raw dough. Do this by wrapping up your bread in a heavy duty freezer bag or aluminum foil before freezing it. Before serving it, place it into the fridge overnight to thaw out. Right before serving, pop it into a 375°F oven for 3-5 minutes and it’s ready to be enjoyed.
Lovely! Wonderful crispness on the outside & delicious chewy texture on the inside! Wonderful warm with some nice butter or good cheese! Some of my all time favorite bread!
I'm so glad you enjoyed the recipe, it is the perfect bread to enjoy with a bit of butter!
This is my new go-to French bread recipe! The dough is so easy to work with and the baked bread is soft, airy and SOOO GOOD!
So glad you enjoyed it, Valentina 🙂
This recipe is amazing and so easy! I’m so glad I can freeze the second loaf. Definitely making this recipe again!
Yes!! Great to have prepared and ready to go.
Thank you. I use pizza dough to make French bread.
Interesting using the pizza dough, I hope you enjoyed it!
Do you think it would work to make the dough in the bread maker machine? If yes, would I put everything in that order?
Yes, it would work just as great.
I heard that the bread in bakeries that make this bread use stone ovens because they get hotter than our home ovens. Yet I see a lot of recipes that don't go near or over the temp that my stove reaches. That is 450 degrees fahrenheit. Have you heard this?
I have heard that about pizza and artisan breads. For me French bread turned out good baked at 375.
I wonder how much of this is true. Humidity and temperature distribution would make more of a difference. Sense we all live in different climates temperature requirements differ. Why would temperature have anything to do with it when these two factors change how the center of the breads texture will turn out? That is just a rhetorical question to inspire further investigation. Thanks for the free recipes
Adam, you gave me so much to think about. I love baking breads and now want to research what you said here 🙂
I cannot understand why you need spam to grease the pan?
You can use olive oil. Hope this helps 🙂
You might want to change the recipe because Spam is a canned meat product while Pam is the vegetable spray. 😉
oh lol 🙂 Thanks
an awesome idea.
I love this idea http://pinterest.com/pin/2811…
Try putting the dough in muffin pans or mini muffin pans makes great rolls.