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Perfectly soft homemade French bread is easy to make at home!

Two loaves of French Bread baked on a sheet pan.

the best homemade French bread!

We love Homemade Bread and after my mom mastered this homemade French Bread recipe, we now love it too! We’ve officially added it to our go-to bread recipes because it’s amazing.

Why we love this recipe:

  • It’s simple! With simple ingredients and easy steps, this recipe is no-fail!
  • Made with pantry staples. All of the ingredients are ones you should have in the pantry or fridge, which means you can make it any time.
  • Versatile. This French bread can be used to eat on its own, or use it to make Croutons, French Toast Casserole or serve it with your favorite soup recipe.
  • Easy to store and freeze. Like most breads, this is easy to make ahead of time and freeze which is always a bonus!

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons rapid rise yeast – Active dry yeast, instant yeast, and rapid-rise yeast all work for this bread recipe.
  • ½ cup warm water – This is used to activate the yeast. And should be between 110-115 °F 
  • 2 cups hot water – adding hot water helps keep the dough warm which helps it rise better
  • 5 tablespoons vegetable oil – canola oil or olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar helps the yeast rise as well
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 6 cups all-purpose flour – bread flour can also be used for this recipe. Either way, be sure to Measure the Flour Correctly
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup cornmeal – is used to help keep the bread from sticking to the pan and it adds a delicious texture to the bottom. You can also use vegetable oil instead.

How to Make French Bread

  1. PREP. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and sprinkle evenly with ¼ cup cornmeal. (Greased baking sheets work too, but we prefer the cornmeal method.)
  2. YEAST. In a small bowl, dissolve 2 tablespoons yeast in ½ cup warm water.
  3. DOUGH. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine 2 cups hot water, 5 tablespoons oil, 3 tablespoons sugar, 1 tablespoon salt, and 3 cups of flour. Mix with the paddle attachment.
    • Add yeast mixture and mix to combine.
    • Add the remaining 3 cups of flour 1 cup at a time, mixing after each addition. Once all of the flour is added, cover with a kitchen towel and let the dough rest for 10 minutes.
  4. SHAPE. 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. Beat 1 egg and brush each loaf with the egg wash for a crisp and shiny crust. Let dough rise, uncovered, for 30 minutes in a warm place.
  5. BAKE. Toward the end of the rise, preheat the oven to 375°F.
    • Bake on the middle rack for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Make it extra crusty

You’re going to need to simulate a baker’s oven to create a crispy crust:

  • Place a baking stone on the center rack. Preheat oven to 450ºF. Put a metal broiler pan on the rack at the bottom of the oven (at least 4 inches below the baking stone).
  • Once risen, transfer the bread to a baking peel sprinkled with flour. Slash slits on the tops of the loaves and lightly spray the loaves with water.
  • 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.
  • After 10 minutes use the water bottle to spray the bread every 3 minutes for the remainder of the bake time.
  • Use the baking peel to remove the bread from the oven and cool. The result – crusty French bread which is to die for!!
Homemade French bread loves in dish towel.
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4.98 from 231 votes

French Bread

By: Lil’ Luna
This is the BEST homemade French bread and is so easy to make! It's soft, tasty, and comes out perfect every time.
Servings: 3 loaves
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Rise Time: 40 minutes
Total: 1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients 

  • ¼ cup cornmeal
  • 2 tablespoons rapid rise yeast
  • ½ cup warm water, 110–115°F
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 5 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 6 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1 egg, beaten
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Instructions 

  • Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and sprinkle evenly with ¼ cup cornmeal. (Greased baking sheets work too, but we prefer the cornmeal method.)
  • In a small bowl, dissolve 2 tablespoons yeast in ½ cup warm water.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine 2 cups hot water, 5 tablespoons oil, 3 tablespoons sugar, 1 tablespoon salt, and 3 cups of flour. Mix with the paddle attachment.
  • Add yeast mixture and mix to combine.
  • Add the remaining 3 cups of flour 1 cup at a time, mixing after each addition. Once all of the flour is added, let the 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. Beat 1 egg and brush each loaf 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°F.
  • Bake on the middle rack for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Video

Notes

Make ahead of time. To freeze baked loaves, let the bread cool and wrap in parchment paper, then aluminum foil. It can last for up to 3 months in the freezer. When you are ready to eat, remove from the freezer and thaw at room temperature. To reheat, preheated the oven to 400°F and bake for 4–5 minutes, or until warm.
Use it up. This recipe is great to serve as a slice of bread but you can use it to make other recipes, including Bruschetta, French Toast Casserole, French Toast, and Cheesy Garlic Bread.

Nutrition

Serving: 1loaf, Calories: 1037kcal, Carbohydrates: 214g, Protein: 30g, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Trans Fat: 0.01g, Cholesterol: 55mg, Sodium: 2363mg, Potassium: 357mg, Fiber: 9g, Sugar: 13g, Vitamin A: 79IU, Vitamin C: 0.01mg, Calcium: 55mg, Iron: 12mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Bread
Cuisine: American, French
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Share it with us on Instagram using the hashtag #lilluna, so we can see what you’re creating in the kitchen!

Recipe FAQ

  • Scoring bread simply means using a sharp knife or razor blade to make slashes on top of the dough that is 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.
  • 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.
  • Store baked bread inside a plastic bag, bread box, or aluminum foil. The bread should last 2-3 days.
  • Freeze cooled chewy bread by wrapping it in parchment paper, and then foil. This easy French bread recipe can last for up to 3 months in the freezer. When you’re ready to eat, remove from the freezer and thaw. 
  • To reheat place in oven, preheated to 400°F, for 4-5 minutes or until warm.

For More Bread Recipes:

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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4.98 from 231 votes (142 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating




211 Comments

  1. Kymberlyn I Tattrie says:

    5 stars
    I have never made good bread. It’s usually very dense and heavy and gets tossed out to the pigs to eat. This French Bread recipe was absolutely WONDERFUL!!! It’s perfect the first time I tried it. So easy. So much faster to make than white bread and taste wonderful.

    I didn’t wrap it up after day 1. I just placed it in the breadbox expecting to toss it out on day 2. This is day 3 and it’s still soft and delicious!

  2. Aimee says:

    4 stars
    Made this recipe and although it was good, it was super dense. The recipe never really states how long to mix the dough before letting it rise…If you are going to make this recipe, I suggest letting the dough mix for 5-10 minutes in a mixer with a paddle attachment to make this a fluffier loaf.

    1. Lil'Luna Team says:

      Thanks for the feedback and for giving the recipe a try!

  3. David Jacobson says:

    What is 0.33 Eggs??

    1. Lil'Luna Team says:

      Technically that would be about 1/3 of an egg. If you are wanting to reduce the recipe to only make one loaf, you could just a small egg. This bread also freezes really well! So if you did make a full batch, you could freeze the other two loaves. Then when you wanted to eat them, just pull out a few hours early and let them thaw.

  4. mitty says:

    5 stars
    Thank you. Simple and can be thawed.

  5. Molly says:

    Would the 2T yeast be one packet or two?

    1. Lil'Luna Team says:

      It would be just over 2. So I’d suggest getting 3 and then measuring it out. 🙂

  6. Patty Minghelli says:

    5 stars
    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.

    1. Lil'Luna Team says:

      Mmmm that sounds delicious! Thanks for sharing what you did. I’m glad you enjoyed the french bread recipe!

  7. Gracie says:

    5 stars
    Turned out insanely yummy. Super easy too. Thank you!

  8. Terry says:

    5 stars
    Super easy yo make and Absolutely delicious!!

  9. Tammy Smith says:

    5 stars
    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!

  10. liza says:

    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!!

    1. Lil'Luna Team says:

      You do not need to activate the yeast first in the warm water if using rapid-rise. We’ll update the recipe card.