Homemade bread. The entire house smells amazing throughout the baking process and by the time it’s done you are more than ready to devour the loaf. Thankfully, bread is one of the most budget friendly things you can make and, in my opinion, you can’t have too many varieties in your repertoire. This homemade french bread is definitely one you need.
French bread might sound intimidating, but it’s really quite easy. You’ll need to be home for a few hours to get the process done, but the hands on time is actually minimal. Your family will be excited you made the effort and ask for this bread again and again.
I pull out my trusty KitchenAid mixer for most all of my bread making jobs. The mixer even made my list of favorite kitchen appliances. Sure you could knead by hand but this saves me a lot of time (and man power).
After making the dough, you’ll dump it onto a floured surface were you will knead it every 10 minutes for the next hour.
Next you’ll roll out the dough in a rectangle.
Then roll the dough up on the long side (like you are making cinnamon rolls), tuck the ends under, and slash the top 4 times. This next step is optional – brush with some beaten egg white.
The dough will rest a little longer and then you’ll get to enjoy the wonderful smell of your loaves baking!
This batch makes 2 small loaves or 1 large loaf. Feel free to double the recipe by simply doubling the all the ingredients except for the yeast. For the yeast use 1 1/2 Tablespoons.
For small loaves, I use my air bake cookies sheets. For a large loaf I have to use my half sheet pan.
Homemade French Bread
- 1 tablespoon instant yeast (1½ T if doubling the recipe)
- 1¼ cup warm water
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1¼ teaspoons salt
- 1 tablespoon oil (I used olive oil)
- 3 cups flour
- 1 egg white beaten, optional
- Put yeast, warm water, and sugar in the stand mixer bowl. Let sit 5 minutes.
- Add salt, oil, and 2 cups of flour and mix together.
- Add remaining cup of flour and knead 3-5 minutes. The dough will be soft, but if it's overly sticky add a tablespoon or two more flour.
- Dump the kneaded dough out onto a floured surface. Every 10 minutes for the next hour knead it a couple of times.
- After the hour, divide the dough into two for small loaves or for a large/regular sized loaf don't divide.
- Roll dough into rectangles and roll up on the long side. Fold ends under.
- Place loaves on a baking sheet and slash the tops 4 times.
- Brush with beaten egg white (optional).
- Let raise for 30 minutes or until doubled in size.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Bake for 10 minutes at 425 and turn down the temperature to 375 for another 10-15 minutes.
- (If making the larger loaf, might need to increase the second baking time to 15-20 minutes).