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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. Rose Robins says:

    5 stars
    I just made this recipe and it came out perfect! Thank you for sharing it, as well as the extra directions to get a nice, crispy crust.

    1. Kristyn Merkley says:

      You are welcome! Glad it came out perfect! Thank you!

  2. Heidi says:

    5 stars
    Thanks so much!! I made this recipe the other day and my family really loved it. My first attempt at yeasted bread. I will make this again in a heartbeat. Wondering if you have a tip. I’d love to make buns with the dough. Any suggestions? Is it is simple as forming balls instead of logs? Thanks a million. I’m hopefully over being intimidated by yeast. 🙃

    1. Kristyn Merkley says:

      Yay! Glad you tried it! I have not tried this recipe for buns, but I would assume forming them into balls would be the way to go 🙂 Great idea!

  3. Amy says:

    5 stars
    I have made a lot of bread. Soft. Chewy. Crunchy. So many kinds. THIS IS THEEEEEE SOFT FRENCH BREAD RECIPE. I WILL SEARCH NO LONGER. I HAVE FOUND IT.

    THANK YOU!!!

    1. Kristyn Merkley says:

      You made my day!! Thank you for letting me know!

  4. Cris says:

    5 stars
    The easiest and tastiest bread!

    1. Kristyn Merkley says:

      Glad you think so 🙂 Thank you for trying it!

  5. Amy says:

    Are the calories listed for the entire recipe or one loaf?

    1. Michelle A says:

      5 stars
      I need to know this too because what it says is a huge amount.

      1. Lil'Luna Team says:

        It would be for the whole recipe! 🙂

  6. Julie says:

    5 stars
    I LOVE this recipe! Thank you SO MUCH for sharing it!
    Sharing my tweaks… I’m kinda lazy and like to minimize work any chance I can, lol!

    Water: total amount = 2.5 cups
    I hear 1 cup to 108-110deg and dissolve *2 1/4 tsp* active dry yeast and 1 Tbsp sugar, and let the yeast bloom.
    Whisk the remaining sugar and all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl – make a well. Heat the remaining water to 108-110. Pour the yeast mixture into the well of dry ingredients, add the oil and 1.5 c heated water, and combine.
    Transfer the dough to a bread machine. Pizza Dough setting, but stop it when it reaches the rise time.
    Transfer dough onto surface to shape loaves, place loaves on baking trays in proving drawer/80-100deg oven for 35mins or until double in size. Bake as directed.
    FYI, 3oz flattened dough ball = perfect hamburger bun size.
    Nutrition info (3oz=serving size): 200 cal, 4.3g fat, 375g sodium, 34.3g carbs, 2.1g sugar, 4.8g protein

    1. Julie says:

      *HEAT* not hear!

    2. Kristyn Merkley says:

      Sounds great! Thank you for sharing that 🙂

  7. Mackenzie says:

    5 stars
    Always turns out great! This is a fantastic recipe that the whole family loves!

  8. Jen says:

    5 stars
    I made this French Bread 🥖 for my family. They loved it!!! I can’t believe how easy and fast it is to have fresh bread. It is so yummy and my house smells amazing!!!!!

  9. Dina says:

    5 stars
    Made this to go along with our dinner! The bread turned out fantastic! It was the favorite part of the meal!

  10. Antoinette Padilla says:

    5 stars
    The most easiest recipe by far. I was able to get 3 full loafs of delicious bread

    1. Kristyn Merkley says:

      I am so happy to hear that! That makes me so happy! Thank you!