This crispy French Bread Recipe has a light and soft crumb perfect for sandwich recipes, French toast, garlic bread, and French bread pizza! Once it goes stale it’s perfect for croutons or bread stuffing! Our favorite way to eat it is as toast with scrambled eggs or with butter and jam for a dinner meal!

French bread recipe

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For a crusty French bread recipe try our Sourdough French Bread Baguette. Baking with sourdough creates a crunchy texture! For more types of French bread try our No-Knead Boule (Artisan loaf)!

What is French Bread?

French bread is a long crisp loaf of bread typically made from white flour. French bread recipes can vary in processes and techniques. This homemade French Bread is such a quick and easy recipe to make on a whim! It rises so quickly, everyone loves it, and you can use a loaf for a casserole, as French toast bread, or homemade croutons! My family can finish a loaf in a sitting, it’s so fabulous! For bigger loaves try our Italian Bread Recipe.

The texture of this bread has a golden delicious crisp crust. It does soften after cooling but if you want a crispier outer crust then you will want to create steam while the bread bakes. Try increasing the oven temperature to 425°F and spray loaves with water a few times using a spray bottle. Another tip for deeper golden crust is to bake the loaves in a cloche or vessel with a lid to create steam. Moving the rack upward in the oven can create a better crust, however I simply bake my loaves on a sheet pan in the oven knowing that I will freeze the rest anyways.

French bread

Ingredients:

This easy French Bread recipe comes together with super simple and basic ingredients!

  • Baker’s yeast- is the leavening agent you will need for baking bread here. I use dry active yeast by Red Star.
  • Fat- like lard or oil can be used. You’ll need to use a liquid oil or melted fat, I like extra virgin olive oil or sunflower oil.
  • Flour- with high gluten is best for bread making. I like to use King Arthur bread flour. You can also add part whole wheat up to half the amount.
  • Salt- a high-quality sea salt is best.
  • Sugar- feeds the yeast and is great for proofing or making a sponge. It can speed up the blooming process of the yeast.
  • Water- use warm water that is comfortable to the touch and isn’t too hot, somewhere between 90-105°F.

Equipment:

Making French bread dough is super easy to do with a stand mixer or bread machine. I prefer to do my kneading by hand since I make a hefty batch at once. All the equipment you really need is obviously an oven, a large sheet pan lined with a silicone mat (to prevent the bread from sweating), and a dough scraper aside from measuring tools.

How To Make French Bread:

  • Make the bread dough- combine the dough ingredients and start mixing in the flour well. Keep kneading the dough until it comes together to a soft and smooth ball. Don’t stress about the exact flour measurements, sometimes the humidity, elevation, and room temperature can affect the amount of flour we need so, go by the feel and look of the dough. It should hold it’s shape well, be slightly tacky to the touch and be very soft and supple. Too much flour will make dense and crumbly bread and too little flour will be too sticky to work with and can loose its shape and rise as it bakes. You want a soft pliable dough that will be easy to shape later.
  • Let the dough rise- not only do you want to proof and sponge the yeast in some water to get a head start on the activation and soften the yeast but you want to rest the dough in a lightly greased bowl until it doubles. Keep the dough covered with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap, so you don’t have any dry spots on the surface of the dough. Allowing the dough to rest is key to a fluffy loaf. Depending on how warm your kitchen is it can under 1 hour to fully double in size. For even a more lighter crumb allow the dough to rise until it doubled then punch down the dough in the center and allow it to come to a double rise again.
  • Shape the loaves- it is so easy to shape homemade French bread! I usually end up with 12 to 13-inch loaves (the width of my sheet pan), by simply portioning out my dough into pieces first, then I will pat each piece into a flat rectangle and roll up the dough jellyroll-style to create a fluffy loaf. This makes airy pockets of dough and the bread holds its shape well for sandwiches and more! Pinch and seal the seam so it doesn’t come undone.
  • You can score the bread dough- after shaping by slashing the tops diagonally with a razor blade or sharp knife but this bread rises so quick and beautifully it hardly ever cracks on me. Always score bread after shaping to prevent the loaves from deflating.
  • Bake the French Bread- baking French bread at 350°F for a softer crust or 425°F for a deeper golden crust.

Can I Use Whole Wheat Flour For French Bread?

French bread works with whole wheat flour, simply measure out the wheat flour with a scale using 1635 grams of hard red wheat or hard white flour. You can also use store bought white whole wheat flour, only I recommend using a tablespoon of vital wheat gluten to make a lighter and fluffier loaf. Freshly milled whole wheat flour absorbs slower so, start with the exact amount of flour first than add more when shaping.

Can You Freeze French Bread?

French bread freezes fantastically! The key is to freeze the loaves the same day you baked them for optimum freshness. It’s also important to cool and store the bread properly when freezing so it doesn’t develop frost when being frozen. I allow my loaves to cool completely before placing in freezer bags. This french bread freezes well sliced or whole. Pre-slicing the bread makes it so easy to pull out as many slices as you need without thawing the entire loaf. Squeeze out any excess air from the freezer bags and keep in the freezer for up to 3 months for the best results.

What To Make with French Bread?

Need French Bread Ideas? French bread is a universal and versatile bread! When fresh, It goes best with soup, sandwiches, or a side to a main course meal with butter and jam. However, if your wondering what to do with leftover French bread, here are creative ideas!

  • Use stale French bread for French toast, garlic bread, pizza. Reheating bread revives the texture!
  • Leftovers are great for making croutons or bread stuffing!
  • Canapés like our avocado sandwiches or open-faced turkey melts are amazing using this bread!
  • Cut on the thicker side for amazing toast to scrambled eggs or when you need to Texas-style toast bread.
  • Spread your favorite dip over the top or bake into crispy crostini slices for a dip or snack!

How To Store French Bread?

How long does French bread last? Homemade yeasts bread don’t last too long at room temperature so, store what you will eat in two days worth and freeze the rest. After a day freshly baked bread tends to get a drier crumb so, plan to reheat French bread in recipes like French toast, garlic bread, stuffed french bread, pizza, or any other way to heat up the bread.

Have you made this Quick and easy French Bread Recipe? Leave a comment, rating or review down below to share your bread experience!

Tips for Making Homemade French Bread:

  1. Use this classic French bread recipe to make French bread rolls. I could easily imagine this loaf of French bread to make soft dinner rolls if you follow my tips on how to soften french bread (above).
  2. This recipe for French bread freezes very well! To keep french bread fresh its best to freeze the loaves immediately after cooling before they can even go stale!
  3. Bread making is easy when using fresh and active yeast. If for some reason you proof your yeast and there is hardly any activity after 5-10 minutes, its likely that your yeast is dead or weak. I always store my yeast in the fridge or freezer for longer storage.
  4. Wondering how long to bake French bread? I like to check the crust of the top and bottom to determine if it’s even ready to check. Bread is done when the internal temp reads 190°F. Usually when the house smells like bread its a sign to check the bread.
  5. The dough should be a soft, supple dough that is slightly tacky to the touch but doesn’t leave too much dough on your fingers.

homemade french bread baguette with butter on cutting board

 

French Bread Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Rising Time:: 35 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 4 loaves
Author: Alyona Demyanchuk
This crispy French Bread Recipe has a light and soft crumb perfect for sandwich recipes, French toast, garlic bread, and French bread pizza! Once it goes stale it's perfect for croutons or bread stuffing! Our favorite way to eat it is as toast with scrambled eggs or with butter and jam for a dinner meal!

Equipment

  • 1 Extra Large Mixing Bowl (for kneading and rising dough)
  • 1 large 18x13 sheet pan
  • 1 rubber silicone mat (or parchment paper to line baking sheet)
  • 1 razor blade or sharp knife (if scoring French bread)

Ingredients

Ingredients:

Instructions

How to make French Bread:

  • proofing yeast for French Bread
    In a large mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast in water.
  • Add the remaining ingredients and knead for 5 minutes by hand until you make a soft dough. You may need to dust a little more flour until the dough comes together without sticking to your hands.
  • proofing and rising French bread dough
    Allow dough to rise until doubled (about 1 hour).
  • shaping French Bread
    Divide into 4 equal pieces and shape each piece into a small rectangle (11"x5"). Roll up jellyroll-style pinching down the seams.
  • Place loaves seam down onto a lined cookie sheet, 2-inches apart. (All four loaves will fit one 18x13 sheet pan if placed horizontally.) Now is the time to score and make 3-4 diagonal slashes. Let rise until doubled.
  • baking French Bread
    Bake in a pre-heated 350°F for softer crust or 425°F for a deep golden crust for 25-30 minutes on the middle rack. Bread is done when the internal temp reads 190°F.

Notes

Notes: This recipe makes four 12 to 13-inch loaves. 
  • Bread flour or all-purpose flour will work for this bread recipe. 
  • See notes on the blog for using freshly milled Whole Wheat flour.
  • You can easily cut this recipe in halve to fit a stand mixer and not knead by hand. Use a bread machine (if halving recipe) to knead the dough, simply set the machine to dough settings. 
  • Depending on the humidity, temperature, and altitude you may need to add up to a cup of flour if the dough is too sticky. You want a soft and supple dough that isn't too sticky. 

Nutrition per serving

Serving: 1sliceCalories: 85kcalCarbohydrates: 14gProtein: 2gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 175mgPotassium: 20mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gCalcium: 3mgIron: 1mg

 

 

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6 comments

    • Alina

    Have made this twice already, and it’s delicious and simple to make for sure ! ( still have to perfect it), but as is, already very delicious! My kids can eat a loaf a day if I let them ! 😊thank you for the awesome recipe Alyona !

      • Alyona Demyanchuk

      I’m all smiles:)) So happy to hear!

    • Jerriann

    I’ve been on a bread baking kick for a few months now. I will say this is absolutely my favorite recipe. I can’t believe how easy it was to make. This bread is the perfect texture. We ate 2 loaves for dinner! 🙂 Thank you so much! This will be my go to from now on!

      • Alyona Demyanchuk

      I’m so glad to hear this French Bread Recipe is a favorite! You are very welcome!

    • Nina

    Thank you so much ! Such a great recipe bread turns out soo soft ! Easy recipe

      • Alyona Demyanchuk

      I’m so happy to hear, Nina! Thanks for taking the time to leave such a wonderful feedback!

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