Fabulous French Loaves Recipe - Allrecipes.com
Fabulous French Loaves Recipe
  • READY IN hrs

Fabulous French Loaves

Recipe by  

"Just like I'd buy in the stores! Makes a great garlic bread. Mixing it will give your arm a workout, so use a sturdy spoon!"

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 2 - 2 pound loaves Change Servings
  • PREP

    1 hr 30 mins
  • COOK

    35 mins

    2 hrs 45 mins


  1. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the yeast mixture with 2 cups water, 3 cups flour, salt, sugar and vegetable oil; stir well to combine. Stir in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well after each addition. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
  3. Divide dough half. Roll each half into a 9 x 12 rectangle and roll up jelly roll style, starting at long edge. Seal edges and place seam side down on a large baking sheet that has been sprinkled with cornmeal.
  4. Use a sharp knife to slash each loaf diagonally 3 times. Brush with beaten egg white and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Cover and allow to rise 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 35 minutes, or until golden brown.
Kitchen-Friendly View


  • Tip
  • Aluminum foil can be used to keep food moist, cook it evenly, and make clean-up easier.

Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Dec 08, 2003

The editor changed the original recipe a bit. I do it this way: after mixing all ingredients together, let rest 10 minutes (leaving spoon in batter). Stir vigorously, let rest another 10 minutes. Do this a total on 5 times instead of the traditional rising. After the 5th rest, turn onto a floured board and knead lightly (I barely knead at all). I then shape the loaves and continue as in the posted version of the recipe. When shaping the loaves, I will sometimes put a mixture of basil, oregano, garlic, butter/olive oil, and onion on it cinnamon roll style before rolling it for special, pretty garlic loaves.

Most Helpful Critical Review
Apr 28, 2010

I followed the instructions as carefully as I could. I lined a baking sheet with parchment paper and sprinkled cornmeal on the paper. I really didn't know how to seal the seam, and used the egg white to try and glue it. I found out later from reading Julia Child that is not exactley how you seal a seam. My bread turned out exactley like white bread, not really a french loaf. My crust was soft and the insides was soft like white bread. My cooking time was a lot less than 35 minutes. I baked it for 20 minutes and it was burning on the bottom. The top crust looked great though. I checked it with a thermometer and it came out to 198 F, so I took it out of the oven 15 minutes a head of time. During baking the cornmeal and parchment paper was starting to burn. The bottom of the loaf did burn as well and I had to cut off the burned bit, the rest was really good though. This was the first time I ever tried to bake bread. I will try it again. My family enjoyed the bread and it is getting all eaten. The bread cuts very nice and makes great sandwich type of bread. I believe I need to get rid of the bakeing sheets however and next time I'll bake it on stone or ceramic tiles instead of metal. According to Julia Child there should be a 9x12x2 pan with water on the bottom rack and insert into that pan a very hot rock or brick to make steam for the first 5 minutes of baking. She also suggest spritzing the loaf with a mist of water a few times in the beginning to make crust crunchier.

Sep 11, 2003

Delicious, great for bread & butter, or for dips! However, as I was reading the reviews, I noticed that Liz, who submitted the recipe, gave the proper direction as to how she prepares this recipe (about 9 reviews below this one). I'm confused Liz, as to why you would go through all of the trouble killing your arm, not to mention taking over an hour of stirring vigorously when you could simply knead it for the 8 minutes, let it rise for the hour & be done! I prepared this recipe as directed on the site & it came out beautiful! By the way, I added the 2 cups of water in step 1. Thanks Liz :), & thanks allrecipes for the modification!!

Feb 03, 2008

Superb - moist and chewy, just what french bread should be. I cut the recipe in 1/2 too and it turned out two small round loaves. One small loaf is perfect for one dinner. I used 3 cups bread flour, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon sugar and 2.5 tablespoon olive oil. I dusted one loaf with dried basil/oregano and parmesan and left the other one plain. The herb one went first! So easy and fail safe. Great for beginner bakers. TIP- Be sure you add the sugar to the water/yeast mixture to help it proof. Also, after the first rise, punch down the dough to rid of all the air bubbles inside. This will make dividing the dough much easier. No need for a Kitchenaid, this can easily be done by hand. TIP - don't let this rise too long, 1 hour is plenty. If it over-rises, the texture will turn into regular white bread, versus a chewy french bread.

Apr 11, 2003

These loaves baked up beautifully- nice and golden. I didn't have cornmeal, but I dusted the baking pans with a tiny bit of flour, and they turned out fine. The texture turned out perfect- crusty on the outside, fluffy and soft on the inside. This recipe was exactly what I was looking for; will definitely make again and again.

Aug 14, 2003

Good recipe. Makes crunchy crust. I used a mixer and dough hook for mine. Don't over mix.

Apr 11, 2003

Crunchy on the outside,soft on the inside. Flavor was a little bland first time around. Increased the salt with the second batch. Everyone enjoyed. Thanks.

Jan 16, 2004

After spending 2 weeks in France and coming back home, I was dying for some good French bread...this recipe is great! Thank you!


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  • Calories
  • 126 kcal
  • 6%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 20.9 g
  • 7%
  • Cholesterol
  • 0 mg
  • 0%
  • Fat
  • 2.9 g
  • 5%
  • Fiber
  • 0.8 g
  • 3%
  • Protein
  • 3.7 g
  • 7%
  • Sodium
  • 235 mg
  • 9%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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