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Homemade French Bread Recipe

Love freshly baked bread? Make your own simply and frugally with this Homemade French Bread Recipe. Great for any day of the week!

Homemade French Bread Recipe

There is something about a loaf of home-baked bread. You really can’t beat its taste and flavor. While some people may be scared to try their hand at traditional bread baking, this delicious Homemade French Bread Recipe is simple and perfect for beginners. You will end up with 2 loaves of bread that are soft and chewy on the inside with a nice crust.

Vegan & Dairy Free

The added and unintended bonus of this bread is the recipe is dairy-free and vegan. All of the ingredients are very basic, feel free to use organic flour or even add some herbs to your bread dough to flavor your loaf even more.

The Best Bread Flour

Type 00 flour

I have made this recipe for years! In fact, this recipe was originally posted on A Few Shortcuts in 2010. Over the years, I have gotten wiser and choose my ingredients a little more carefully. I recently bought some Type 00 Flour that was imported from Italy. Why,you ask? Well, gluten, in general, hasn’t been agreeing with my stomach lately. It has to do a lot with how wheat is grown in the U.S. and the chemicals in the process. Just google “glyphosate in flour”. I will spare you the details, but it is eye-opening.

Long story short, I made this bread with the Type 00 Flour and not only was it the prettiest bread dough that ever came out of my kitchen, but the bread was heavenly. The added bonus was no stomach upset or bloating. So, if you hear stories of people that can eat European bread but not American bread. I highly recommend you try this flour. It is really the best I have ever baked with.

What to do with Extra French Bread

Someone is going to say that they don’t need 2 loaves of french bread. I am going to stop you right there. Everyone needs two loaves of french bread! You don’t need that kind of negativity in your life. Here are some ideas for that extra loaf of bread if you don’t plan on eating it right away.

  • Turn it into garlic bread. Just cut the loaf long ways, and spread butter and garlic salt on the inside. Wrap it in aluminum foil and freeze it until you want to serve it with dinner. Pop it in a 375-degree oven for about 10 minutes or until heated through.
  • Make French Toast Casserole. One of my favorite uses of extra french bread. Check out this simple French Toast Casserole Recipe.
  • French Bread Pizzas! Have a pizza night. Use the extra bread for french bread pizzas. Assemble them as you would a normal pizza and pop them in a 400-degree oven until the cheese and toppings have cooked. Enjoy!
  • Make Croutons. Hey, while this might not be everyone’s first choice, if your bread goes stale it is a great option. Check out these Homemade Croutons

How to Make Homemade French Bread

French Bread Steps

In a bowl dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water but not too hot. You want to activate your yeast. If it doesn’t bubble, then either the water was too hot or your yeast was bad.

While waiting for your yeast to activate, add salt and 2 cups of flour to mixing bowl.

Once the yeast has been activated go ahead and add the yeast mixture to the flour in the mixer and beat until smooth.  Now, start adding flour. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough; about 2-3 cups.

Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes.  This is so therapeutic. While you are kneading, you will need to add flour to keep the dough from sticking to counter or your hands.

French Bread Dough

In a large bowl, pour 1 tbsp. of Olive oil and place the dough ball in the bowl turning once to grease the top. Cover the bowl with a light dish towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

After the dough has risen, punch it down. Turn it out onto a lightly floured surface; divide in half.  Then just hand shape into 12 in long loaves.

French Bread on pan

Place the seam side down on a parchment-covered baking sheet.  Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.

Brush with olive oil, and sprinkle cornmeal on top.  With a sharp knife, make 4 shallow slits across the top of each loaf. Bake at 450 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

Homemade French Bread

 

Homemade French Bread

Love freshly baked bread? Make your own simply and frugally with this Homemade French Bread Recipe. Great for any day of the week!
Print Recipe
Prep Time:2 hrs
Cook Time:20 mins
Total Time:2 hrs 20 mins

Ingredients

  • 2 TBSP quick acting yeast 2 packets
  • 2 Cups Warm Water 110-115 degrees
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 4 ½-5 cups bread flour I used all purpose
  • 1 tsp. cornmeal
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil

Instructions

  • In a bowl dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water but not too hot. You want to activate your yeast. If it doesn't bubble, then either the water was too hot or your yeast was bad.
  • While waiting for your yeast to activate, add salt and 2 cups of flour to mixing bowl.
  • Once the yeast has been activated go ahead and add the yeast mixture to the flour in the mixer and beat until smooth.  Now, start adding flour. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough; about 2-3 cups.
  • Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes.  This is so therapeutic. While you are kneading, you will need to add flour to keep the dough from sticking to counter or your hands.
  • In a large bowl, pour 1 tbsp. of Olive oil and place the dough ball in the bowl turning once to grease the top. Cover the bowl with a light dish towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
  • After the dough has risen, punch it down. Turn it out onto a lightly floured surface; divide in half.  Then just hand shape into 12 in long loaves.
  • Place the seam side down on a parchment-covered baking sheet.  Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.
  • Brush with olive oil, and sprinkle cornmeal on top.  With a sharp knife, make 4 shallow slits across the top of each loaf. Bake at 450 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

Notes

I highly reccomend you try this Italian Type 00 Flour from Healthy Traditions if you are looking for the highest quality bread. This flour is imported from Europe and free of all pesticides. I can't really say enough good things about it!
Servings: 2 loaves
Author: Amanda@AFewShortCuts.com

French bread with butter

This recipe was originally posted and shared in 2010, but updated with new info and pictures on July 26, 2019.

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11 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This recipe is amazing! It was so simple to replicate and the bread was fantastic! I found your site by googling “French Bread Recipes without a Bread Machine” or something like that. I don’t even have a mixer with a bread paddle and it still turned out fine, just took some extra hand mixing once adding the additional flour since a standard mixer cannot handle that task (yes, I was learning as I went). Thank you for sharing!

  2. 5 stars
    This is the best French Bread recipe I have ever made,the bread came out great,it was soft and light,not heavy like some breads,and it’s so simple and easy,thank you so much for sharing the recipe,it’s a keeper in our family.

  3. 5 stars
    This is my new favorite blog!!! I am making your french toast casserole for Christmas day this year and you have now inspired me to make my own bread for it using this recipe. Can’t wait, I know it will turn out delicious!

  4. a way to have a warm place is to warm up some water in a small pan, place it in your cool oven and then place the bread in the oven. it is draft free and just warm enough. just remember not to turn on the oven while your bread is rising!!

  5. 5 stars
    Great recipe! First time I’ve made French bread. I subbed one cup of the white flour for wheat, and even overcooked it a little and it was still super good (and cheap)! Thanks! I will definitely make it again.

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