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There’s nothing better than a homemade loaf of crispy French bread.

This recipe uses only a few ingredients and although it takes time, it’s easy. Even YOU can make the perfect French loaf of bread!

This is great to serve along with a spaghetti dinner (or any pasta recipe) and makes for delicious garlic bread. It’s also perfect for homemade French toast for a lazy Sunday morning!

Slices of fresh French bread on a wooden board

Tips for baking

bread yeast

The most important part of this recipe is making sure your yeast isn’t expired. Use an active dry yeast. You will test your yeast with a mixture of sugar and water, this ‘feeds’ the yeast so you can raise your bread! If you don’t see a foamy layer like the picture below, your yeast isn’t good for baking.

Flour Start with the least amount of flour in the recipe (2 3/4 cups in this recipe). For French bread, you need to add enough to create a dough that is still slightly sticky. Too much flour will make a dense bread.

Kneaded by hand Knead by hand on a lightly floured surface for 3-5 minutes.

Knead with a standing mixer

Place the dough in a mixer with a dough hook. Let it mix on medium speed for about 2 minutes.

The first image shows wet and dry ingredients in glass bowls and the second image shows raw French bread on parchment

How to make

French bread

A true French bread contains only water, flour, yeast and salt, although you will commonly find other ingredients added to French bread in North America. French bread can range in shapes and sizes from baguettes to breads to round shape and is often baked in a steam oven, resulting in the perfect crust (I’ve included my tip for getting steam in your oven below in the crust section).

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This basic French bread recipe can be modified to include garlic chips, fresh herbs like rosemary or thyme, or even a handful of grated cheese. The varieties are endless, but all versions start with the same basic steps!

  1. Combine the
    1. warm water with the sugar, until it dissolves completely, then add the yeast. Let it sit until it is foamy.
    2. Add the flour and salt, and mix well. Knead a few
  2. minutes Climb #1

  3. about 1 hour in a warm place until doubled
  4. .

  5. Climb #2 hit down and get up again
  6. 30 minutes.

  7. You can form the bread from the dumpling, but I like to spread it to a rectangle and roll it in jelly roll style and pinch the edges to seal
  8. .

  9. Get up #3 Let the bread rise for another 30 minutes and then brush with egg white.
  10. Bake until golden brown on top. Cool on a rack.

For the perfect crust

Add bars to the bar You can buy a tool for this (a lame bread) but if you don’t make a lot of bread, just use a very sharp knife. The purpose of the loaves you see on a loaf of bread is to help keep the bread in the desired shape while expanding as it bakes. If brushed with egg, cut the bread afterwards.

Brushing the outside of the bread with egg white will give a bright crispy crust, this is optional. For a smooth crust, brush with melted butter.

Generously sprinkle both the bread and the inside of the oven with water

(though don’t sprinkle your hot glass with water and be sure to check your user manual first) or add a handful of ice cubes in a cast iron pan and place it in the oven with the bread. Steam helps give the perfect crust

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Raw French bread on parchment brushed with oil

How to Soften

French Bread

The best way to keep your homemade French bread fresh is to store it in an airtight container or zippered bag. French bread can also be stored in aluminum foil, as long as it’s wrapped tightly, but be sure to store it away from extreme temperatures.

Make crostini and top with bruschetta, or top with garlic butter for delicious homemade garlic bread.

Slices of French bread on a wooden board with a knife

More delicious

  • Bacon Cheddar Garlic Bread recipes – loaded with ingredients
  • !

  • Irish soda bread – deliciously dense
  • Caprese Bruschetta bread – perfect on top of French
  • bread! Easy

  • Crostini: crunchy, versatile and with garlic.
  • Homemade garlic bread – classic accompaniment
  • Easy beer bread –

  • easy unleavened bread
  • !

  • Jalapeño cheddar bread – perfect amount
  • of spices Cheese bread (fast bread) – unkneaded
  • !

  • Homemade potato bread – so soft and fluffy!

Did you love this French bread? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below!

Recipe adapted Martin, Verneil. “Entre Amigos Vol II”. Calgary, AB, 1989. 39. Print.

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