Homemade French Bread


Homemade French Bread

Photo by Renna P.

  • Prep Time


  • Total Time


  • Servings



  • 5-6

    cups all-purpose or bread flour

  • 5

    teaspoons active dry yeast

  • 2

    teaspoons salt {sea salt is wonderful}

  • 2

    cups warm water {110º F}

  • 1

    tablespoon butter, melted

  • 1

    egg white

  • 1

    tablespoon water


In a large bowl, combine 2 cups flour, yeast and salt. Stir in 2 cups warm water and melted butter, and beat until well blended using a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment. Stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can. On a lightly floured surface, knead in enough flour to make a stiff dough that is smooth and elastic. Knead for about 8 to 10 minutes total. {Or knead in your mixer with the dough hook for 8 minutes on low-medium sped.} Shape into a ball. Place dough in a greased bowl, and turn once. Cover, and let rise in a warm place until doubled {about 30 minutes to 1 hour}. Punch dough down, and divide in half. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Cover, and let rest for 10 minutes. Roll each half into large rectangle. Roll up, starting from a long side. Moisten edge with water and seal. Taper ends. Grease a large baking sheet. Place loaves, seam side down, on the prepared baking sheet. With a very sharp knife, make 3 or 4 diagonal cuts about 1/4 inch deep across top of each loaf. Lightly beat the egg white with 1 tablespoon of water, and brush on. Cover with a damp cloth. Let rise until nearly doubled, 35 to 40 minutes. Bake in a preheated 375º F oven for 20 minutes. Brush again with egg white mixture. Bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, or until bread tests done. If necessary, cover loosely with foil to prevent over browning. Remove from baking sheet, and cool on a wire rack. Tips: For an even crispier crust, spray the loaves with water right before baking, then every 5 minutes for the first 10 minutes of baking. Add-Ins: To make flavored bread, before rolling up the dough, add in the ingredients. The roll, sprinkle a little more on top, then continue on with the recipe. * Butter, garlic and Parmesan cheese for garlic bread * Butter, cinnamon and sugar for cinnamon roll bread * Fresh or dried herbs * Cheddar or mozzarella cheese


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