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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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Recipe Rating




211 Comments

  1. Ashley says:

    5 stars
    This made perfect bread for dinner, followed by the best French toast the next morning. Thanks!

    1. Kristyn Merkley says:

      Yay! Happy you think so 🙂 Thank you for letting me know!

  2. Ashley says:

    Should bread flour or AP flour be used?

    1. Kristyn Merkley says:

      Either work just fine 🙂 I’ve used both.

  3. Darlene says:

    Just wondering if you can substitute the oil with belted butter?

    1. Kristyn Merkley says:

      Yes, you sure could 🙂 Enjoy!!

  4. Brenda Silva says:

    5 stars
    I made this. The recipe was great and easy to follow. My husband and I loved it. I will definitely be making again. Thank you for this recipe. It’s a keeper.

    1. Kristyn Merkley says:

      You are welcome! Glad it’s a keeper 🙂 Thank you so much!

  5. Andy says:

    5 stars
    Wow, I’ve been trying to find a bread recipe forever. This one was perfect. The way she described how to make it happen–to so flawless.

    1. Kristyn Merkley says:

      Awe, you are too nice 🙂 Thank you so much!

  6. Harley Hill Mom says:

    5 stars
    My go-to for quick easy bread. Love to keep some in the freezer. Our favorite for garlic bread too!

    1. Kristyn Merkley says:

      Me too! Thank you for saying that!

  7. Kelij says:

    I’ve made thia recipe Several times and love how easy it is! However, the last two times, The Bread is undercooked/doughy but the top is Dark golden brown. I tried dropped the Oven shelf down, leaving it in long…i woNder if i am letting it over-rise? Ive set them On the open oven door to raise before because my house iSN’t a warm environment to encourage rising (once it turned out the next, not so much!) Maybe It’s too much to have three loaveS on One tray? I’m not sure How i should modify.

  8. Julia says:

    5 stars
    Best bread ever! Im not much oF A baker But this comes out perfect every time.

    1. Kristyn Merkley says:

      Happy to hear that!! Thank you for letting me know 🙂

  9. Seasons01 says:

    I looked this up on the Red star yeast page.. this is what they suggest… THE TEMPERATURE OF YOUR LIQUID IS KEY TO SUCCESS IN BAKING!

    Since yeast is a living organism, accurate liquid temperature is of utmost importance as it directly influences the yeast activity. Liquid ingredients can be mixed together and brought to the correct temperature in a small saucepan over low heat or in a mixing bowl in a microwave oven. If liquids are too hot, there is a risk of killing the yeast or over-stimulating it to multiply too quickly, thus causing the dough to overproof (rise inconsistently). On the other hand, if liquids are too cool, the yeast will not activate properly and the dough will rise too slowly or not at all.

    Using a thermometer is the most accurate way to determine the correct liquid temperature. Any thermometer will work as long as it measures temperatures between 75°F and 130°F.

    The appropriate temperature depends on the bread making method being used.

    Traditional baking

    Dissolve dry yeast in a water temperatures between 110°F – 115°F.
    If yeast is added directly to the dry ingredients, liquid temperatures should be 120°F – 130°F.
    Use 90°F – 95°F liquids for cake yeast
    Bread Machine baking

    Use 80°F liquids for bread machine baking

  10. Seasons01 says:

    Your recipe doesn’t say what type of yeast to use. I’m going to use the quick rise since the time seems to be pretty fast. Please correct in recipe.

    1. Kristyn Merkley says:

      I use active-dry yeast. Hope you like it!