Homemade French Bread

homemade french bread recipe

Nothing smells better than fresh baked bread and this recipe for homemade French bread tastes as good as it smells.  Yeasty and crusty, this bread is a treat by itself or with a meal.  Doesn’t the thought of freshly baked bread make you want to bake bread now?

What exactly is French bread?  In France it is a legally defined type of bread baked with no added oil or fat.  It’s long in shape, crispy and crunchy on the outside with a soft interior.  Other countries are not as strict with the definition and in the US, french bread is usually in long loaf form and is a type of white bread.

Homemade Bread In A Snap

I like this recipe because you can have 2 loaves of delicious French bread in just a couple of hours.  Some of the more traditional recipes can take up to 6 hours, the dough takes 5 hours to rise.  While the results are great that time frame isn’t practical for me and I have found this recipe to be just as tasty.


I always use my stand mixer for this recipe.  Some people like to knead dough, I am far too lazy.  The results tend to be the same, it’s your choice.  I do hand knead to very last part of the process, just before putting the dough into the pans.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups warm water (about 110°F)

  • 1 Tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 5-6 cups flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons table salt or fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil

Instructions

  • In a small bowl, combine the warm water, yeast and sugar. Let sit for 5 minutes, or until it has begin to foam.
  • Place 2 cups of flour into a large mixing bowl with the salt. Stir in the yeast mixture and begin to knead by hand or using a dough hook and stand mixer. Add 1/2 cup of the remaining flour at a time until the dough is smooth but not sticky. Rub the olive oil around the dough ball and let rest for 15 minutes.

    Turn the dough onto a floured surface and divide it in half. Roll one half into a rectangle. Starting from the long side, roll the dough into a cylinder. Turn both ends in and pinch the seams closed. Round the edges and place onto a baking sheet. Repeat with the second dough ball. Let rise for 30-45 minutes. Make three diagonal cuts across the top of each loaf.
    french bread loaves
  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. Bake for 17-20 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.
  • Brush the top with melted butter if desired. Slice and enjoy!

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