This is the BEST Homemade French Bread recipe and is so easy to make! It’s soft, tasty and comes out perfect every time.
I love making a loaf or two of French Bread because it not only makes the perfect side for a pasta dish, but you can use it to make french toast, bruschetta, and even croutons! Definitely a favorite bread recipe.
the best homemade french bread!
We’ve always loved French Bread and were so excited when my mom mastered it. We know homemade bread can’t be beat, and to have this homemade French Bread recipe to add to our bread recipes is just what we needed.
If you’ve ever made French bread, then you’d know it’s ten times better than anything bought at the store. It’s great to have on it’s own with butter or jam or even as a side with soup. Make mini sandwiches out of it, homemade bruschetta, or slather on some garlic butter for a side of garlic bread- the possibilities are endless!
We think you’ll be surprised just how easy this recipe is, and we have a feeling you’ll want it as a side dish to every meal!
How to Make French Bread
French bread isn’t as intimidating as you’d think. Just follow these simple steps to make this homemade French bread recipe that everyone loves!!
PREP. Prep baking sheets by lining with parchment paper and sprinkle with cornmeal. Preheat oven to 375° F.
YEAST. Dissolve yeast in ½ cup warm water. In another bowl, combine hot water, sugar, salt, oil and 3 cups of flour – stir. With the paddle attachment, mix the yeast and hot water/flour mixture until combined.
DRY INGREDIENTS. Add remaining flour, one cup at a time, mixing after each cup. Once all flour is added, let sit for 10 minutes.
ROLL. Separate dough into 3 pieces. On a flour surface, roll each piece into a 9×12 rectangle. Roll it up like a jelly roll (long way).
SCORE + BRUSH. Place dough on prepared baking sheet (greased baking sheets work too, but we prefer the cornmeal method), seam side down. Score the bread across the top 3 or 4 times and brush with beaten egg wash.
RISE + BAKE. Let dough rise, uncovered, for 30 minutes in a warm place. Bake at 375°F for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
French bread Pairs well with:
- Crock Pot Spinach Tortellini Soup
- Slow Cooker Beef Stew
- Easy Spaghetti
- Chicken Alfredo
- Italian Meatballs
- Antipasto Salad
- Tomato Mozzarella Salad
make it extra crusty
You’re going to need to simulate a bakers oven to create a crispy crust:
PREP. Place a baking stone on the center rack. Preheat oven to 450º. Put a metal broiler pan on the lower rack (at least 4 inches below the baking stone)
SCORE. Once the French bread has risen, transfer to a baking peel sprinkled with flour. Slash slits on the top of the loaves and use a water bottle to lightly spray the loaves.
BAKE. Slide the loaves onto the preheated baking stone and add 1 cup of HOT water to the broiler tray. Reduce the oven temperature to 375°F and bake for 20 minutes.
SPRAY. After 10 minutes use the water bottle to spray the bread every 3 minutes for the remainder of the bake time.
COOL + ENJOY! Use the baking peel to remove the bread from the oven and cool. The result – crusty french bread which is to die for!!
Bread FAQ + Tips
Yeast: I used active dry yeast for this bread which requires it to bloom in warm water before being mixed in with the rest of the ingredients. You can also use an equal amount of instant yeast or rapid rise yeast. These two types of yeast do not need to be activated in warm water first.
Knead: You won’t need to hand knead this bread, but be sure to mix each cup of flour sufficiently. Use the paddle or dough hook attachment on a stand mixer and mix at medium speed. Mixing well will help activate the gluten to make an elastic dough which will then create a better structure to the bread.
Score: Scoring bread simply means to use a sharp knife, razor blade, or bread lame to make slashes on top of the dough that has been shaped, risen and ready for the oven. The slashes help control the way the bread will expand while it bakes, otherwise it will expand anywhere that the dough is weak, creating an odd shape.
Healthy: Homemade is always better than store bought because you can control exactly what ingredients you use. It is full of carbohydrates, so it’s wise to consume in moderation.
Special Pan: Some recipes call for baking in French bread pans, but I simply use a regular cookie sheet.
STORE baked bread inside a plastic bag, bread box, or aluminum foil. The bread should last 2-3 days.
FREEZE. Once the bread has been baked let it cool, wrap in parchment paper and then foil. It can last for up to 3 months in the freezer. When you’re ready to eat remove from freezer and thaw.
To reheat place in oven, preheated to 400°F, for 4-5 minutes or until warm.
Recipes using French Bread
This French bread is great alone, but also wonderful to use in other recipes. Here are some of our favorites we make using the French Bread:
- Homemade Bruschetta – just cut up and toast!
- Buffalo Chicken French Bread
- Barbecue Chicken French Bread
- Spinach & Artichoke Bread
So many options! You can also make Croutons out of it, French Toast and more!
We love that this french bread loaf is simple and so delicious. You’ll never want to buy store-bought french bread again after trying this! It’s SOOO good!
For more bread recipes, check out:
French Bread Recipe
- ¼ cup cornmeal
- 2 tablespoons rapid rise yeast
- ½ cup warm water 110–115 degrees F
- 2 cups hot water
- 5 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 6 cups all-purpose flour divided
- 1 egg beaten
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and sprinkle evenly with cornmeal. (Greased baking sheets work too, but we prefer the cornmeal method.)
- In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine hot water, oil, sugar, salt and 3 cups of the flour. Mix together with the paddle attachment.
- Add yeast mixture and mix to combine.
- Add remaining 3 cups of flour 1 cup at a time, mixing after each addition. Once all of the flour is added, let dough rest for 10 minutes.
- Place dough onto a lightly floured surface and divide into three pieces. Roll each piece into a 9-x-12-inch rectangle. Roll each rectangle up from the long edge like a jelly roll.
- Place each dough roll on a prepared baking sheet, seam side down.
- Score the bread across the top 3 or 4 times, and brush each loaf with beaten egg for a crisp and shiny crust. Let dough rise, uncovered, for 30 minutes in a warm place.
- Toward the end of the rise, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Bake on the middle rack for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
Use It Up: This recipe is a great bread for some of our other recipes, including Bruschetta, French Toast Bake, French Toast and Cheesy Garlic Bread.
Hello.In your bread tips……you said you used active dry yeast but in the recipe it says rapid dry yeast.So if I used rapid dry yeast do i still need to dissolve the yeast in warm water or just add it with the rest of the ingredients?Thanks!!
You do not need to activate the yeast first in the warm water if using rapid-rise. We’ll update the recipe card.
I tried this recipe because I needed a loaf of French Bread faster than 3 hours. I followed the recipe exactly as written, other than cutting the amounts of ingredients in half. PERFECT! My husband loved it better than the recipes that take 3+ hours. He said don’t lose this recipe. 😉 Thank you!
Super easy yo make and Absolutely delicious!!
Turned out insanely yummy. Super easy too. Thank you!
I made this recipe, it was excellent!
Only difference i did was put the egg in the mix. I also brushed the top with butter.
When I rolled it out I put Garlic and butter in it, It was sooooo moist and yummy!
Many years ago I made a bread similar but in the middle I used fresh local honey and garlic.
Mmmm that sounds delicious! Thanks for sharing what you did. I’m glad you enjoyed the french bread recipe!
Would the 2T yeast be one packet or two?
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