Easy Homemade French Bread
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Super quick, crazy easy 5 ingredient Homemade French Bread. The perfect recipe to serve with hearty soups and saucy dishes.
Homemade French Bread sliced thick slathered in salty butter is the perfect pairing for a big plate of Classic Lasagna. This soft loaf toasts up perfectly to make the best Air Fryer Garlic Croutons for a family-style Italian Chopped Salad. To make this wonder bread takes little effort and even less time.
What you need to make French bread
Bread flour– You may substitute all-purpose flour for bread flour in equal amounts. Bread flour makes the bread a little more chewy which I prefer.
8×8 baking dish
Bread making is easier than you may think; especially this easy recipe. It’s literally 5 ingredients including the water. Mixing and kneading the dough is as involved as this recipe gets. The dough is rolled and shaped right after kneading with 20 minutes of rising. It’s crazy easy and super quick.
How to quickly rise bread dough
Besides the use of quick rise yeast, you can cut the rise time in half with the warm oven method. To quickly rise bread dough follow these steps:
- Pre-heat the oven to 250 degrees then turn it off once the temperature is achieved.
- Place a pan of hot water onto the bottom floor of the oven for moisture.
- Prepare the dough as you would for the final bake and place it uncovered in the turned off warmed oven for 20 minutes.
Homemade French bread step-by-step
I based this recipe on Your Home Based Mom’s recipe with a few preparation modifications.
Fill an 8×8 baking dish halfway with hot water then carefully place it onto the bottom floor of the oven. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees then turn it off.
Whisk the salt and flour and set aside. Proof the yeast for 5 minutes in the mixing bowl with the water, sugar, and oil. Next, pour a cup of the flour into the mixer bowl. Attach the dough hook and start the machine. Once the flour begins to absorb the water, add the remaining flour a cup or so at a time. Let the machine work the dough for 8-10 minutes. The dough will be stretchy and soft but should hold together beautifully.
Dust the kneading surface with flour and knead the dough into a ball. Divide the dough into 2 balls then roll out one dough ball into a rectangle. Roll it jellyroll style pinching the under-seam and ends to close. Place it on a baking sheet. Cut a few small slits into each loaf. Repeat. Brush each loaf generously with water.
Place the loaves into the off preheated oven to rise for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, turn the oven on to 400 degrees; don’t remove the loaves. Bake the loaves for 18-20 minutes until golden brown.
How to know when bread in done inside
Bread, like many baked goods, has an internal temperature 190 degrees when done. To check for doneness, insert a thermometer into the side of a loaf at the end of baking of the temperature is short of 190 degrees, return it to the oven for a couple of minutes.
Alternative uses for French bread dough
You can make a delicious dip and soup bowl from this dough as well as hoagie rolls for sandwiches.
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*This recipe was updated on 9/12/2020 for improved content and method. It was first published on 5/15/2017.*
Easy Homemade French Bread
- 3 1/2 c bread flour plus more for dusting
- 2 1/4 tsp instant yeast
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 c water
- 2 tbsp canola oil
- 1 tbsp milk
- 1 tsp honey
- Oil to coat the bowl
- Fill an 8×8 baking dish halfway with hot water then carefully place it onto the bottom floor of the oven. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees then turn it off.
- Start by adding water, oil sugar, and yeast to a mixing bowl; let us stand for 5 minutes. Whisk the flour and salt together and add to the bowl. Turn in the mixer to low speed and begin to scoop in the remaining flour. Knead with the dough hook until a soft dough* is formed; about 8-10 minutes.
- Dust the kneading surface with flour and knead the dough into a ball. Divide the dough into 2 balls then roll out one dough ball into a rectangle. Roll it jellyroll style pinching the under-seam and ends to close. Place it on a baking sheet. Cut a few small slits into each loaf. Repeat. Brush each loaf generously with water.
- Place baking the sheet into a pre-heated off oven uncovered for another 20 minutes until dough doubles in size. After 20 minutes, turn the oven back on to 400 degrees and bake for 18-20 minutes until golden brown.
When your bread has raised in an off oven, do you take it out and wait for the oven to reach 400 deg
Hi Lynn. I don’t take the bread out. Just turn the oven to 400 degrees and bake for 15-20 minutes.