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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
Making this recipe? Tag us!
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. Natalie says:

    5 stars
    My family loves this bread! We use it for many things. It is so soft & easy to make!

  2. Amy L Huntley says:

    5 stars
    Homemade bread is the absolute BEST, but Homemade French Bread is even better! Thanks for the step by Step instrucitons.

  3. Christine says:

    4 stars
    preTty good, however a few tips: since this makes three loaves, i highly recommend putting two on one pan and doing the third separate. I fos all three on a pan and they kind of smushed together. It also took about 35 min with all three on one pan. I did use the spray water method snd it is a must!

    1. Kristyn Merkley says:

      Thanks for trying this recipe 🙂

  4. James Bullock says:

    5 stars
    Really good bread
    My son loves it for pizza

    1. Kristyn Merkley says:

      It makes a great pizza for sure!

  5. Leslie says:

    5 stars
    tHIS BREAD WAS FANTASTIC! I MADE IT FOR OUR EASTER DINNER AND THOUGHT WE WOULD HAVE SOME LEFT OVER WITH THREE NICE SIZE LOAVES. BUT NO – IT WAS GONE! WILL BE MAKING THIS AGAIN.

    1. Kristyn Merkley says:

      Woohoo!! With bread..there is never anything left..lol! Thank you!

  6. Cheryl Duncan says:

    5 stars
    Amazing bread!! Great results. Used two loaves for spaghetti dinner, the last onE for artichoke bruschetta. Yum! Another Delicious recipe from your website.

    1. Kristyn Merkley says:

      Awe, thank you for saying that!! That sounds yum!

  7. Terri L Bailey says:

    5 stars
    made this today with my grandson. We loved it! So easy and turned out great!!! Thank you. Question, I saw on the nutrition you list 1197 calories per serving and 206 carbs??? That cant be right. ??regardless, my daughter nad her family devoured 2 loves in 1 day! Love it.

  8. MARIe-louise says:

    5 stars
    Easy & delicious. A little softer than a typical baguette.

    1. Kristyn Merkley says:

      Yes, that’s one of the reasons I like it. Thank you so much for letting me know.

  9. alicia q says:

    5 stars
    First time trying to make bread. turned out lovely. Thankyou for the recipe . Will definitely make again

    1. Kristyn Merkley says:

      You are welcome!! I am glad you tried it. Thank you so much for letting me know!

  10. Shannon Davis says:

    5 stars
    just finished making this bread for some subs tonight for dinner. Absolutely the best French bread I’ve ever had. It was so light and fluffy and had an amazing taste. Only issue I had was with the dough being very sticky so I had to add quite a bit extra flour a tbsp at a time. Not an issue though…definitely a keeper!!!