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Homemade French Bread Recipe

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Making homemade French bread is a twist! Golden on the outside and extremely soft and tender on the inside, it will perfectly complement any meal!

I love making bread at home because it’s so fresh, delicious, and preservative-free. Homemade Sourdough, Challah, and this French Baguette are some tasty bread recipes to add to your baking lineup.

Delicious homemade French bread recipe

There are few things in life better than a freshly baked loaf of bread. French bread is one of my favorite types of homemade bread because it is soft and thick and chews perfectly. It’s great to serve with dinner and even better for dipping! French Bread and Olive Oil Bread Dip is one of my all-time favorite appetizer combinations. It’s that simple but satisfying!

This homemade french bread recipe is a staple that you will want to return to again and again. It’s simple to make and something experienced and beginner bakers alike will have success with! With a little patience and a lot of love, you can make bread that is second to none at your favorite bakery! Just be careful – making homemade French bread from scratch is super addictive and you’ll want to do it all the time. Good news! I have a whole list of easy and delicious bread recipes waiting for you here.

french bread ingredients

One of the reasons I love making homemade French bread is the fact that it uses such simple baking ingredients. See the recipe card below for exact measurements!

  • Hot water: It is used to activate yeast.
  • Active Dry Yeast: This will give your bread that perfect yeast. Please note that it takes a long time to activate
  • Granulated sugar: Added to the yeast mixture to help activate it.
  • Salt: Prevents your bread from having flavor.
  • all-purpose flour: Give your French bread the perfect light and airy texture.
  • Olive oil: Helps your bread have a softer and more tender crumb.
  • Melted butter: Softens the crust of homemade French bread and adds a touch of rich flavor.

how to make french bread at home

Don’t be fooled by the number of steps. Making homemade French bread is pretty simple! You just have to let it rise for a long time so that your bread is light and fluffy.

Preparation of the dough:

  1. Activate the yeast: Add the water, yeast, and sugar to the bowl of a blender and stir with a fork to combine. Set aside for 5-10 minutes until the yeast is nice and fluffy.
  2. Add flour and salt: Add the salt and 4 cups of flour to the bowl. Mix at medium-low speed with a whisk until the mixture is smooth. It will be quite wet at this point. Add the remaining flour ¼ cup at a time until the dough is smooth and pliable but not sticky.
  3. Knead: Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead by hand for 3-4 minutes until the mixture is smooth. Pour the olive oil into a large bowl and add the mixture, turning to coat everything with the oil. Cover with cling film or a clean kitchen towel.
  4. Proof: Let the dough rise until doubled, about an hour at room temperature. You can speed up this process by setting the oven to a high or low temperature setting, usually 170 degrees F. Place the covered container in the oven and drop a couple of ice cubes into the bottom of the oven to create moisture. Check the dough for your homemade French bread after 20-25 minutes.
  5. Form: Once folded, divide the dough into two equal parts. Roll each half into a rectangle about 9×15 inches, though it doesn’t have to be exact. Roll the dough up the long side and pinch along the seam and ends.
  6. We rise again: Place the two dough rolls on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Use a sharp knife to cut 4-5 slightly diagonal cuts in the top of the dough. Cover with a cloth and let rise for 20-30 minutes.

Baking:

  1. Baking: While loaves rise, preheat oven to 400 degrees F. When loaves are almost doubled, bake on center rack of oven for 18-22 minutes until golden brown. If you want to create steam to add to the crispness of the crust, toss a few ice cubes into the bottom of the oven and quickly close the door to trap it inside.
  2. Paint with butter: If you like, brush the outside of the loaves with melted butter immediately after they come out of the oven.
  3. Chill and serve: Allow homemade French bread to cool completely before slicing to prevent it from becoming chewy.

Tips for making a successful bread

Here are some additional tips to keep in mind so your homemade French bread tastes like it came straight from your favorite bakery! Ever since I started making French bread from scratch, I haven’t wanted to buy from the store. It just isn’t comparable!

  • the lame baker: A lame baker is a fancy name for a knife used especially for slicing off the top of bread. I recommend investing in one. Makes it easy to score!
  • Make your bark shine: Have you ever wondered how bakeries get their products so bright and delicious? It’s a beaten egg! Simply whisk together an egg and water and then brush over the top of the bread before baking. It will add the perfect shine.
  • crispy crust: If you want to add more crispness to your crust, toss a few ice cubes into the bottom of the oven and quickly close the door to create steam.
  • Serve with: This bread is great on its own, but also with a little honey butter or homemade jam!

How long will my bread keep good?

Since there are no preservatives in this homemade French bread, it will only stay fresh for 2-3 days before it starts to dry out.

  • At room temperature: Store the bread in a bread bag or wrap it in plastic wrap. It will stay good for up to 3 days.
  • In the freezer: Your homemade French bread will stay good for up to 2 months in a zip lock bag. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before using.

Now that you have this French bread recipe under your belt, here are a few more for you to try! They are all so delicious and make the perfect snack or dinner! You can find my full list of recipes here.


  • In the bowl of a mixer put the water, yeast and sugar and mix with a mixing fork. Let sit for 5-10 minutes, until the yeast is nice and fluffy.

  • Add the salt and 4 cups of flour to the bowl. Mix at medium-low speed with a whisk until the mixture is smooth. It will be quite wet at this point. Add the remaining flour ¼ cup at a time until the dough is smooth and pliable, but not sticky.

  • Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead by hand for 3-4 minutes until the mixture is smooth. Pour the olive oil into a large bowl and add the mixture, turning to coat everything with the oil. Cover with cling film or a clean kitchen towel.

  • Let the dough rise until doubled, about an hour at room temperature. You can speed up this process by setting the oven to a warmer or lower temperature, usually 170℉. Put the covered bowl in the oven and drop a couple of ice cubes into the bottom of the oven to create moisture. Check the dough after 20-25 minutes.

  • Once folded, divide the dough into two equal parts. Roll each half into a rectangle about 9×15 inches, though it doesn’t have to be exact. Roll the dough up the long side and pinch along the seam and ends.

  • Place the two dough rolls on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Use a sharp knife to cut 4-5 slightly diagonal cuts in the top of the dough. Cover with a cloth and let rise for 20-30 minutes.

  • While the loaves rise, preheat the oven to 400°C. When the loaves have almost doubled, bake on the center rack of the oven for 18-22 minutes. If you want to create steam to add to the crispness of the crust, toss a few ice cubes into the bottom of the oven and quickly close the door to trap it inside.

  • If you like, brush the outside of the loaves with melted butter immediately after they come out of the oven.

  • Let cool completely before cutting to prevent the bread from becoming chewy.



Servants: 2

Calories1253kcal (63%) Carbohydrates245g (82%) Protein33g (66%) Fat13g (20%) Saturated Fat5g (25%) Polyunsaturated Fat2g Monounsaturated Fat5g Trans Fat0.2gCholesterol15mg (5%) Sodium2971mg (124%) Potassium 356mg (10g) Sugar7g ( 8%) Vitamin A175IU (4%) Vitamin C0.01mg Calcium58mg (6%) Iron15mg (83%)

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is an estimate only. Each recipe and nutritional value varies based on brands used, measurement methods, and serving sizes per family.

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