This Homemade French Bread recipe makes the best bread with a fluffy center and a deep golden, crunchy crust. Nothing beats the smell of homemade bread baking in the oven!
Fresh hot french bread, straight from the oven? There's nothing like it!
This french bread takes about 3 hours to make from start to finish, but most of that time is spent waiting for it to rise. The actual hands on time is about 20 minutes.
If you’ve never made homemade french bread you’re gonna love how easy this recipe is.
- bread flour: Bread flour contains a high gluten percentage which makes for the best bread.
- active dry yeast: 2 packets
- sugar: Feeds the yeast so the bread will rise.
- salt: Use a fine sea salt.
- oil: Vegetable oil or olive oil.
- egg: An egg wash gives the bread that shiny crust.
- cornmeal: Keeps the dough from sticking to the baking sheet while it rises.
How to make french bread from scratch
Here is the basic steps needed to bake french bread.
- Combine ingredients in a stand mixer using the dough hook attachment.
- Allow the dough to rise until doubled.
- Divide the dough in half, shape two loaves and allow them to rise once more.
- Brush the loaves with an egg wash, score and bake until golden brown in a preheated 400°F oven.
Allow to cool completely before slicing. Or, pull off a piece and slather it with butter while it's piping hot. Your choice! (I'll choose the latter.)
Slicing the loaf while it's still hot, the inside will be gummy.
5 soup recipes to eat with french bread
- Chicken Noodle Soup
- Instant Pot Beef Stew
- Instant Pot Corn Chowder
- Homemade French Onion Soup
- Broccoli Cheddar Soup
Homemade French Bread
- 2 packets of active dry yeast
- 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons sugar
- 2 cups of warm water
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- 5 cups bread flour
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 4 tablespoons yellow cornmeal
- 1 egg yolk mixed with 1 tablespoon water
- Using an electric mixer with a dough hook, combine the yeast, sugar and warm water and mix for 2 minutes to dissolve the yeast. Add the salt and flour. With the mixer on low, mix until the dough starts to come together. Increase the speed to medium-high and mix until the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl and crawls up to dough hook.
- Grease a mixing bowl with the oil. Place the dough in the greased bowl and turn once. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in a warm, draft free place until the dough doubles in size about 1 ½ hours.
- Remove the dough from the bowl and invert it onto a heavily floured surface. Divide the dough into 2 equal portions. Pat each portion into a large rectangle, about ¾-inch thick. Roll up the dough, beginning with the short side and stopping after each full turn to press the edge of the roll firmly into the flat sheet of dough to seal. Press with your fingertips. Tuck and roll so that any seams disappear into the dough.
- Sprinkle a baking sheet evenly with 2 tablespoons of the cornmeal. Place the loaves on the baking sheet, about 3 inches apart. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons cornmeal. Cover the loaves with a cloth and let rise until double in size, about 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- With a sharp knife, make diagonal slashes, about 1-inch apart, on the top of each loaf. With a pastry brush, brush the egg wash evenly over each loaf. Place a cup of hot water in an oven-proof container on the baking sheet with the loaves.
- Bake for 20 minutes, or until the bread is golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool on a cooling rack.