French Bread

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.

Two loaves of French Bread baked on a sheet pan.

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:

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.

Freshly baked and sliced french bread recipe served with butter on a white plate.

Storing Tips

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:

So many options! You can also make Croutons out of it, French Toast and more!

Three loaves of golden homemade french bread wrapped in a tea towel.

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

4.99 from 92 votes
This is the BEST Homemade French Bread recipe and is so easy to make! It's soft, tasty and comes out perfect every time.
Course Bread
Cuisine American, French
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Rise 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 3 loaves
Calories 1037 kcal
Author Lil’ Luna

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp active dry yeast
  • ½ cup warm water
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 5 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 6 cups all-purpose flour divided
  • 1 egg beaten – for glazing bread
  • ¼ cup cornmeal

Instructions
 

  • Prep baking sheets by lining with parchment paper and sprinkling with cornmeal.
  • Dissolve your yeast in ½ cup warm water.
  • In a separate bowl combine hot water, sugar, salt, oil and 3 cups of the flour and stir.
  • With the paddle attachment, mix the yeast mixture and the hot water-flour mixture together.
  • Add the remaining 3 cups of flour, one cup at a time, mixing after each addition. Once all of the flour is added, let sit for 10 minutes.
  • Separate your dough into 3 pieces. On a floured surface roll each piece into a 9×12 rectangle. Roll it up like a jelly roll (long way).
  • Place the dough on a 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 your beaten egg. Let dough rise uncovered for 30 minutes in a warm place.
  • Bake on the middle rack for 20 minutes at 375°F or until golden brown.

Video

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About Kristyn

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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Comments:

  1. Love making this for all kinds of things, but I’ve always wondered can I use the dough hook for it also?

  2. 5 stars
    I absolutely love this recipe. It’s so soft and delicious my family requests it all the time. Thanks for sharing

  3. 5 stars
    Amazingly easy and awesome! Used a dough hook and had to add more flour. Cook time was spot on. Will make again!!!

  4. 5 stars
    I love this recipe! Not only because it’s easy but because it doesn’t take too long to rise and fits within the time frame of most of the dinner meals I make.

  5. 5 stars
    I thought french bread would be too hard to make – these tips and steps make it easy! It’s absolutely delicious.

  6. Dear Kristyn,
    This recipe yields perfect Baguettes which I am confident even novice bakers will ace. In fairness, I believe the warm ambient climate during our Summer in sunny South Africa greatly aided the short proofing time which resulted in well risen, light loaves. I would recommend enjoying these loaves fresh, and to use the leftover stale bread like I did – to top French Onion Soup with a generous crown of Gruyere au gratin!

  7. 5 stars
    Made this today and it was fantastic! I halved the recipe and made one large loaf. More dense than many french breads, which is exactly how I like my breads. I brushed mine with two egg yolks mixed with a little half & half and water because I had yolks leftover from making a French Silk Pie. The only thing I would change is that I would add a touch more salt next time. So easy to make with excellent results!

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