Today we wanted to share a recipe for easy homemade French bread. Even if you’ve never made homemade bread before, you’ll find this recipe to be easy no matter how experienced you are making homemade bread.
We started making homemade bread several years ago and this has been added to our rotation of favorites. Not to mention how versatile this bread is. You can serve this bread alongside your pasta or soup. You can turn it into garlic bread or French bread pizza. You can also make submarine sandwiches with it. You can even make French toast with it.
Therefore, you will be thankful that this recipe makes two loaves so you can try it all these ways. Also it is a fairly quick recipe. You really only need to start it a couple hours ahead of time. Even if you start it by 3 or 4:00pm, it’ll still be ready in time for dinner. Or you can make it the day before and have it ready the next day.
This recipe is pretty foolproof too. One time, we went to run errands and this bread was left to rise much longer than 2 hours. But it didn’t seem to phase it. It still turned out amazing. You can also use different flours or a combination of flours. We tend to prefer a mixture of all-purpose and wheat pastry flour but you can use any flour you prefer.
One of the most important things when making homemade bread is that your yeast is good. As long as it gets all bubbly when you proof it you know it is viable. Proofing it is the first step and is where you add some water and sugar along with the yeast and is long as it gets bubbly than it is viable.
Easy Homemade French Bread
One of the easiest recipes for versatile homemade bread.
- 2 1/2 cup warm water
- 2 tbsp active dry yeast
- 2 tbsp honey or sugar
- 2 tbsp white vinegar
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1/3 cup oil
- 6-7 cups flour (we use 3 cups all-purpose and 3 cups wheat pastry flour)
- 1 egg
- cornmeal for pan (optional)
In a stand mixer mix warm water, yeast, sugar (or honey) and white vinegar. Stir until the yeast is fully dissolved. Let sit for 3-4 minutes.
Add salt, oil, and flour. Add flour one cup at a time until the dough is soft, but firm enough to mold into dough loaves.
Knead for 2-5 minutes and then put in the oven with a small pot of boiling water. The water will keep the dough moist. Watch the dough and punch it down when it gets to the top of the mixing bowl. Do this 2-5 times or as long as you have time to babysit the dough.
Put the dough on a greased counter top and divide into 2 or 3 sections. Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray and sprinkle and thin layer of cornmeal on the bottom of the sheet.
Roll each section of dough out (like making a pie) on a very lightly floured work surface. We like to roll dough out onto a clean towel so that your mess stays on this towel. Roll the dough into a 9-10 inch long rectangular shape. Using your clean hands, roll up the dough, starting with the long edge of the dough and roll tightly up into a loaf shape. Transfer to the prepared cookie sheet.
Using a very sharp knife, make diagonal slits (about an inch deep) across the tops of each loaf. Then brush each loaf with a beaten egg. Let rise for 30 minutes (or until doubled) on the counter, or you can put them in the oven at 170 degrees and wait until they are the size you want to cook them at. Once they are the right size, turn up your oven to 375 (without opening the door) and let them bake until done about 15-20 minutes. If you let them rise on counter, bake them at 375 for 30 minutes.
Once the loaves are golden brown, remove them from the oven and place on wire rack. Let bread cool slightly before slicing, for best results. Enjoy!
We encourage you to try this bread recipe for yourself. We know you won’t be disappointed and will be thankful you found it. Feel free to share this recipe with anyone who could benefit from having it. We think it’s a great recipe and we just had to share it.
We’d love to hear what you think about this recipe. Let us know in the comments below. Thank you for visiting Sunup to Sundown! We’ll be back soon with another recipe or update regarding our garden or our journey to become more self-reliant.