Homemade French Bread
Super simple, quick and fool-proof bread recipe. You’ll make this again and again, even on your busiest days!
Homemade bread sounds like a daunting task. Tricky to master, takes hours of your time, with lots of kneading and fussing. But, I assure you: this homemade french bread is none of those things!
Best of all? My kids can even help out with it and it still works out beautifully. Every. Single. Time. Plus, it’s their absolute favorite. They beg for it with supper at least a few times each week. And it makes enough to have left overs for the most divine grilled cheese sandwiches or french toast the next day.
Now, let’s chat about some important (but simple) hints to your own homemade french bread:
FOOLPROOF TIPS & TRICKS
- Be sure to “proof” your yeast. This takes about 10 minutes and is such a simple, basic step. Simply combine your yeast with a pinch of sugar and water. The water should be warm — not too hot, but not too cold. Then just let it sit 10 minutes. I like to do this first, before gathering any ingredients. By the time I have everything gathered, measured and ready-to-go, the yeast is foamy and proofed!
- Flour your counter space generously. If you don’t, you will be stuck. Literally. You don’t want your dough to stick to your counter, which makes rolling it into a pretty loaf a big challenge.
- Use an adjustable rolling pin. I got mine for Christmas, and it’s been a total game changer. From cookies to cinnamon rolls to french bread, this rolling pin makes sure you’re rolling out at an the thickness you want in a nice, even level. I recommend a 1/4-inch thickness for this loaf.
- Bake for the full amount of time. You might be tempted to pull your loaf out the moment it gets a little golden, but don’t! Give it that extra few minutes to allow the bread to fully cook. Otherwise, you’ll find it falls a little more flat, which produces a denser product.
Homemade French Bread
Super simple, easy, quick french bread, straight from your oven!
- 2 tbsp dry active yeast
- ½ cup warm water
- 1 cup hot water
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 2½ tsp salt
- ⅓ cup oil
- 6½ cup bread flour
- 1 whole egg (for egg wash)
Preheat oven to 375° F.
Dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup warm water and allow to proof 10 minutes.
While yeast proofs, combine hot water, sugar, slat, oil and three cups flour in mixing bowl. Add yeast when ready.
Add remaining 3½ cups flour gradually, one cup at a time. Mix with dough hook after each addition until the dough starts to pull away from sides of the mixing bowl. Allow dough to rest in the mixing bowl for 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes, divide dough into three equal parts. Generously flour a surface; roll each ball into a rectangle, roughly 9 x 12″.
Roll up your rectangle and shape into a long french loaf shape. Pinch seams closed and place loaves, seam-side down, onto a greased pan. Cut 3 to 4, ¼” slits in the top of each loaf.
Combine your egg with a small amount of water; whisk. Brush each loaf with your egg wash. Allow to rise 30-45 minutes, or until doubled in size.
Bake 18-22 minutes, or until a rich, golden brown.
- This bread can be made using all-purpose or whole wheat flour. You can use a combination of half white and half whole wheat, or 100% whole wheat. If you do use entirely whole wheat flour, I recommend increasing your mixing time to produce more gluten.
- If you’re looking for a more “crisp” crust, place a pan on the lowest oven rack when preheating the oven. When it’s time to bake your bread, toss a few ice cubes in it when you put your bread in the oven (place bread pan on middle rack). The steam from the ice help produce a crisper crust.
- Use the flour amount I’ve given as a guide, but be aware that different elements can affect how much flour is necessary. I reference this guide to help me know when my dough has enough flour added to it.
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Hope you enjoy this simple loaf of goodness! And if you’re looking for an easy, comforting supper to make it alongside, look no further than my set it & forget it beef roast! Or if you’re still in the baking mood and need some dessert, try my super simple Can’t Leave Alone bars.
So much yumminess, make sure you pin all of it for later!