Easy Homemade French Bread

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. 

Author Sunup to Sundown

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 2 tbsp active dry yeast
  • 2 tbsp honey or sugar
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 2 tbsp melted butter
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 6-7 cups flour (we use 3 cups all-purpose and 3 cups wheat pastry flour)
  • 1 egg
  • non-stick spray

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, mix together 1/2 cups warm water with the years and honey (or sugar).  Stir until the yeast is fully dissolved.  Let sit for 3-4 minutes. 

  2. In a large bowl, mix together 2 cups warm water, 2 tablespoons melted butter, and the salt.  When fully mixed, add the yeast/water mixture from the small bowl.  Stir to combine well. 

  3. Add 6 cups of flour to dough mixture.  Stir well by hand until fully combined (or use dough hook and stand mixer).  If the dough is way too sticky, add a bit more flour a little at a time, until mixture is no sticky. 

  4. Form the dough into a ball.  Spray a large bowl with non-stick spray or lightly oil the bowl.  Add the dough ball to the bowl; turn dough over, to coat sides with spray or oil.  

  5. Cover bowl with a tea towel, and let rise for 30-60 minutes in a warm place, free from drafts.  The dough should double in size.  Once doubled in size, divide the dough in half. 

  6. 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.  

  7. Shape 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.  Tuck the edges in slightly and carefully transfer the “loaf” onto a greased or sprayed sheet pan.  We prefer to use a silpat sheet and sprinkle cornmeal onto this so that the bread doesn’t stick to the silpat sheet.  

  8. Using a very sharp knife, make diagonal slits (about an inch deep) across the tops of each loaf.  Cover the loaves with a clean tea towel and let the dough rise again, for one hour, or until dough loaves have doubled in size.  Preheat your oven to 425 degrees during the last 15 minutes of rising time.  

  9. In a small bowl, beat together one egg and 2 tablespoons of milk.  Using a pastry brush, lightly brush this mixture over the top of each loaf.  

  10. Bake bread at 425 degrees for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown on top.  Remove loaves to 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.

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