Easy French Bread

I love a nice warm, fresh out of the oven loaf of bread.  Easy French Bread is the perfect addition to any meal as far as I’m concerned.

The only downside to fresh, homemade bread is that it can take a bit of time. Proofing, rising, rolling, rising etc. Today’s recipe is a quick and easy one. It may not be quite as quick as the 30 Minute Roll recipe I have on my blog but it is pretty close.

This recipe makes one nice size loaf or two smaller loaves. I usually make two. We enjoy one and I give the other one away.

The dough is mixed up with a bread hook in your Kitchenaid or other mixer of choice.

Then I just leave it in the bowl, cover it with a towel and let it rise until doubled – about 20 minutes or so depending on how warm my kitchen is. It’s pretty fast.

At this point if I am in a generous, sharing mood I will divide the dough into two pieces so that I can make two loaves. If I’m not in a generous mood I roll it out in one big piece using my rolling pin.

Be sure and flour your counter enough so that the dough doesn’t stick. Then roll it up jellyroll style and place the seam side down.

With a sharp knife cut three slits into the bread. Be sure and only go about 1/4 inch deep. If you go too deep your bread may look a little funny after it rises the second time. (Ask me how I know this!)

Give the bread a nice little bath in an egg white wash (just add 1 Tbsp water to 1 egg white and mix together)

Heat up a pan of water on the stove until it boils

Have your oven preheated to 300 degrees and TURN OFF. Then place the pan of boiling water onto the lower rack of your oven and place your loaf of bread on the rack above. Allow the bread to rise until double (about 20 minutes or so).

Please excuse my dirty oven.

The steam that is given off from the water helps the loaf get that nice crust that a loaf of French bread has.

Remove the pan of water from the oven and turn the oven onto 425 degrees. Bake bread for 10 minutes and then turn heat down to 375 degrees and bake for another 8 minutes or until golden brown.

Enjoy a nice, warm loaf of home baked bread with dinner!

 

Easy French Bread

Ingredients

  • 1/4 C warm water (105-115 degrees)
  • 1 pkg dry active yeast
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 3 1/2 - 4 C flour
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 C plus 2 Tbsp. warm water
  • 1 egg white and 1 Tbsp water.

Instructions

  • Combine water, yeast and 1 tsp sugar into a bowl.
  • Allow to stand for 5 minutes until yeast is bubbly.
  • Add in 1 Tbsp sugar, salt and water.
  • Mix well.
  • Add flour.
  • Mix well and knead for 5 minutes or until dough is smooth.
  • Allow to rise until double (about 15-20 minutes)
  • On a lightly floured surface roll out with a rolling pin. (May divide dough into two pieces for two smaller loaves if desired)
  • Roll dough up jelly roll style and turn ends under and place seam down on a greased cookie sheet. Cut 3 diagonal slits into each loaf (only about 1/4 inch deep)
  • Mix together egg white and 1 Tbsp water and gently brush on loaves.
  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  • Boil a pan of water and then put it into a shallow dish.
  • TURN OFF OVEN
  • Place pan of water on lower rack and then bread on shelf above pan of water.
  • Allow to rise until double (about 20 minutes)
  • Remove pan of water
  • Turn oven to 425 degrees and bake bread for 10 minutes.
  • Reduce oven to 375 and continue to bake for 8 minutes longer or until bread is golden brown.
  • Recipe slightly adapted from Cooks.com

 

Recipe originally shared over at 30 Handmade Days!

Comments

  1. 1
    Frieda says:

    Looks wonderful!

  2. 2
    Christina says:

    I LOVE your blog! It has let me try new things and be more creative with my meals. I saw this recipe this morning and already made it to go with Parmesan chicken. It turned out perfect.
    Thanks for all of your delicious recipes!!

  3. 3
    Wendy B says:

    Thanks for ANOTHER great recipe. I found it yesterday and made two batches for our family and friends too. Everybody loved it!

  4. 4
    Okaasan says:

    I always put warm water under my dough to make it rise — it works amazing!! I can’t believe no one ever told me that when I first started making bread! Thanks for a great recipe! :)

    • 4.1
      Leigh Anne says:

      Great tip – last time I made bread I put it in the small guest bathroom downstairs, turned on a space heater and shut the door – worked like a charm!

  5. 5
    Jenni says:

    I’m in the process of making this right now and so far it smells delicious!! I’m assuming you remove the bread from the oven as well as the pan of water while it’s preheating to 425. Is that correct?

  6. 6
    Helen says:

    Wow, I just made this bread and it is by far the best I have ever made. So simple yet so delicious. Thank you for such a great recipe, now I have to try the 30 minute rolls!

  7. 7
    Nikki says:

    I just made these twice today and they were amazing! my only question is do you begin the ten minutes AFTER it has preheated to 425 because my oven goes right back down and by the time the ten minutes are up, it hasnt reached 425 so I have ended up leaving it in a little longer but the insides are still not as cooked as yours look. Other than that, even not at its most perfect, my husband and I have still eaten a whole loaf already while I am processing the second batch!

  8. 8
    Michelle says:

    LOVE LOVE LOVE this recipe! Thanks for sharing! Next week I think I’ll try your 30 minute buns :)

  9. 9
    Emily Dixon says:

    Just found your recipe on Pinterest!! So excited! Bread is in the oven! Can’t wait! Thanks!

  10. 10
    Andrea says:

    So very good! I tried French bread before and it was a baseball bat by the time I was done. This was perfect! When you say something is easy it truly is. I’ve made the thirty minute rolls countless times now. This one will be repeated as well!

  11. 11
    Kati says:

    Can you use your gluten free baking mix to make this bread? and if not, do you have a bread loaf recipe that utilizes the mix? Thank you! :)

  12. 12
    Rue says:

    When you let the bread rise in the oven, do you keep the oven door closed? I want to try this recipe but something about that step just rubs me the wrong way.

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