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Easy Homemade French Bread

This Easy Homemade French Bread recipe is practically foolproof and rivals bread you may get from the bakery. This bread is golden, crisp and chewy on the outside, and light and fluffy on the inside. The best part? It can be made in roughly 90 minutes. If you are a beginner at making bread, try this one!

The details

Mixing and kneading the dough

You can either make this French Bread recipe with a stand mixer, or by hand. To begin, add all ingredients to your bowl and knead the dough for 3 minutes, or 6 minutes, if kneading by hand. Allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes. This rest period allows the gluten and the starches to fully absorb the water and expand. In the end, this results in a dough that will rise taller, when baked.

After the rest period, knead the dough for an additional 2 minutes with the stand mixer or 4 minutes by hand. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, turn the dough to coat, or spray the top of the dough with nonstick spray and cover with plastic wrap.

first rise

As always, I am providing you with a way to allow this dough to rise faster, because if you are like me, time is always your limiting factor. Chasing after my 3 little boys keeps me busy :).

You can either allow the dough to rise for 1 hour at room temperature (find a warm spot in the house), or preheat your oven to 100F. Once the oven reaches 100F, turn the oven off. Place the dough in the warm oven and allow to rise for 30 minutes.

shaping the dough

Once the dough is done rising, you will flatten and shape the dough. Place the dough on a lightly greased surface, then pat the dough into a 9×13 inch rectangle. It doesn’t have to be exact. You don’t want to use a rolling pin, because it would completely deflate the dough. Also, you don’t want to use flour, because you want the dough to stick together once rolled, and not fall apart after baking. The flour could cause the rolled layers to not stick together.

Starting at the long edge, roll the dough into a cylinder. Pinch the edges together to seal. Pinch the ends on either side of the bread together, then pinch them inward to seal together with the center seam (in a way you are tucking the ends underneath the bread).

Place the dough, seam side down, on a parchment paper lined baking sheet, then cover with plastic wrap. Use a bread lame, razor or very sharp knife, cut 6 diagonal slits in the bread.

second rise

Now it’s time for the second rise. Much like the first rise, you can allow to rise at room temperature for 45 minutes, or place in a warm oven for 20 minutes.

egg wash and baking

Preheat your oven to 375F (make sure the bread is not in the oven, if you used a warm oven to help rise the dough).

Brush the dough with a beaten egg, then place bread in center oven rack, as well as 4 ice cubes, tossed on the floor of the oven. Bake 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. The ice cubes help create a crispy crust.

If you made this French Bread recipe, let me know what you thought in the ratings and comments below. I appreciate your feedback, always! Make sure you find me on instagram and youtube for the full baking video for this as well as some fun behind the scenes.

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Easy Homemade French Bread


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5 from 5 reviews

  • Author: Jolene
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 1 1x

Description

This Easy Homemade French Bread recipe is practically foolproof and rivals bread you may get from the bakery. This bread is golden, crisp and chewy on the outside, and light and fluffy on the inside. The best part? It can be made in roughly 90 minutes. If you are a beginner at making bread, try this one!


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast (1 0.25 ounce packet)
  • 1 1/3 cups water, warmed to 110F
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 cups bread flour
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Instructions

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the dough hook attachment, or a large bowl, add yeast, water, honey, bread and all-purpose flour, salt and olive oil. Knead for 3 minutes in stand mixer (6 minutes if you are doing this by hand). Allow dough to rest for 10 minutes, then knead an additional 2 minutes (or 4 minutes if doing this by hand).

2. Transfer dough to greased bowl. Spray the top of dough with nonstick cooking spray and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise in a warm place for 1 hour. Alternatively, you can turn your oven on and preheat until the oven reaches 100F. Once the oven has reached 100F, turn the oven off. Place the covered dough in the warm oven and allow to rise for 30 minutes.

3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly greased surface. Pat the dough into a rectangle that’s approximately 9×13 inches. Starting from the long edge, roll the dough up into a cylinder. Pinch the edges together to seal. Pinch the edges at the tips together and pinch together with the seam down the center of the bread (so that the ends will be tucked under). Place the bread onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet, seam side down.

4. Using a bread lame, razor blade or very sharp knife, cut 6 slits in bread at an angle. Cover bread with plastic wrap.

5. Allow bread to rise for 45 minutes at room temperature, or 20 minutes in a warm oven (using the same method as above).

6. Preheat oven to 375F. (Make sure bread is out of oven, if you used a warm oven to proof the bread).

7. Brush the top and sides of the bread with egg wash. Place bread in preheated oven and toss 4 ice cubes onto the bottom of the oven. Close the oven door (the ice helps create a crispy crust). Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the bread is golden brown in color.

  • Prep Time: 70
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Category: Bread
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

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18 Comments

    1. Erin,

      Yes, you can use just all-purpose flour to make this! It will turn out just fine. The only difference is the texture. Bread flour gives a bit more of the chewiness and all-purpose flour gives the light and fluffy bread. You’ll still get a good crust when you bake it with the ice cubes. Hope you enjoy!

      -Jolene

  1. Quite literally the easiest french bread recipe I’ve encountered so far. I used AP flour instead of the combo suggested and it turned out phenomenal. Using it for homemade bruschetta for dinner tonight!






  2. For someone who is forever running to the store to pick up a loaf of French bread, I was pleasantly surprised I could do it myself (with your help). Winter storm time, so I wasn’t going anywhere. My mom’s oven baked stew in the oven. YUM! I had everything except for instant yeast, so after some research, I used the same amount, just let it rest and rise an extra 5-10 minutes. I didn’t even let the yeast activate! Did everything by hand, following your instructions for that. Happy dough… lots of rising! The baked loaf was beautiful. Sorry i didn’t photo. The only thing I’ll do different next time is to use sugar rather than honey. I used beautiful local honey, but my husband just didn’t care for the smell or flavor… granted, he still ate enough of the loaf! Thank you, Jolene!






  3. Loved this recipe, used instant yeast, my kitchen aid dough hook, easy… fun and tasted delicious! This recipe is a keeper. Love all your recipes.






  4. Have you ever tried this recipe in the bread maker for first rise and allow second rise in the oven? If so, which setting did you use?

    1. Holly,

      I have not! I tried to look up information on it. It looks like it would be a 1 1/2 pound capacity and I’d choose the basic, medium crust cycle. However, since I’ve never actually used a bread machine I’m not entirely sure how long to let it rise or how it would work. Sorry I’m not of any help! Hope you get to try this recipe :).

      -Jolene

  5. It turned out great besides the scoring on top but I think I need a sharper knife or razor blade for next time! It was such an easy recipe to follow.






    1. Taylor,

      I am soooo happy to hear that! Yes, a sharp blade makes a huge difference in scoring the bread. I used a bread lame to score mine. Thanks for making the recipe!

      -Jolene

  6. New favorite bread for everything. I think it is the 10 min rest period. This time I made individual French rolls..still cute little slash..adorable. works great for breadsticks and pizza too. Thanks!!






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