French Bread Recipe - Allrecipes.com
French Bread Recipe
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French Bread
The crust is crunchy and the center is moist. What’s not to love? See more
  • READY IN ABOUT hrs

French Bread

Recipe by  

"A crisp, crunchy crust and slightly chewy center make this bread as traditional as the breads served in France."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 2 large loaves Change Servings
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  • PREP

    25 mins
  • COOK

    40 mins
  • READY IN

    2 hrs 40 mins

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, combine 2 cups flour, yeast and salt. Stir in 2 cups warm water, and beat until well blended using a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment. Using a wooden spoon, stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, knead in enough flour to make a stiff dough that is smooth and elastic. Knead for about 8 to 10 minutes total. Shape into a ball. Place dough in a greased bowl, and turn once. Cover, and let rise in a warm place until doubled.
  3. Punch dough down, and divide in half. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Cover, and let rest for 10 minutes. Roll each half into large rectangle. Roll up, starting from a long side. Moisten edge with water and seal. Taper ends.
  4. Grease a large baking sheet. Sprinkle with cornmeal. Place loaves, seam side down, on the prepared baking sheet. Lightly beat the egg white with 1 tablespoon of water, and brush on. Cover with a damp cloth. Let rise until nearly doubled, 35 to 40 minutes.
  5. With a very sharp knife, make 3 or 4 diagonal cuts about 1/4 inch deep across top of each loaf. Bake in a preheated 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) oven for 20 minutes. Brush again with egg white mixture. Bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, or until bread tests done. If necessary, cover loosely with foil to prevent over browning. Remove from baking sheet, and cool on a wire rack.
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Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Sep 08, 2005

Quick disclaimer...I loved this recipe; great crust with a soft, yet, chewy center. With that said, I'll poke some holes in the instructions. First, the recipe does say 2 and 1/2 half packages of yeast--there was some confusion among previous reviewers. So...1 pg. of active dry yeast = .25 ounces or 2 and 1/2 teaspoons per packet. I used 5 teaspoons of yeast in my trial batch and it went well. Secondly, most people (like me) may want to add more salt and some butter. The trial batch came out a bit bland. I'm going to add another 1/2 teaspoon of salt and a tablespoon of butter. Since butter is only 15% water, one tablespoon shouldn't affect your total liquids that much. One last note, the first rise in my trial batch doubled in 30 minutes. Luckily the bench proof added another 40 minutes to the rise. With those adjustments made, this recipe is definitely a keeper.

 
Most Helpful Critical Review
Jan 28, 2011

This was fun to make, but the end product was dense and the flavor wasn't that great. I'll keep hunting. I think a little sugar would have helped.

 
Dec 03, 2003

All I can say is "Wow". I tried this recipe twice. The first time I made this, I found the bread to be a bit too dense, but the second time, I added a pinch more yeast and only used 5 cups of flour. I made a nice long baguette and brushed the loaves with just a beaten egg white (left out the water) and I got a nice crust and a lighter loaf. Has come out perfect every time.

 
Feb 04, 2007

This is a very good & easy french bread recipe. I first made the bread exactly as described and ended up with dough that was a bit too dense. The bread was good but a bit thick and a little on the bland side. Being an experimenter and something of a perfectionist, I decided to give it another try and proofed the yeast in the warm water with a little bit of sugar before making the dough. I also decreased the flour (noting that the 6c in the ingredient list was more of a guideline and that the real goal was nice, elastic dough) to ~5 1/4 c. I also increased the salt amount to 1.5tsp as other reviewers had mentioned. This batch was considerably lighter and more tasty than the original recipe. While bread making is up to taste, I'll be doing it the second way from now on! Great recipe and thanks very much for sharing it!

 
Dec 03, 2003

I'll put it to you this way, this recipe made 2 loaves, I planned on serving it with dinner. When I took it out of the oven I "decided" that I had to be the guinea pig, or pig if you will, because I ate half of 1 loaf. Then the kids came home from school & they polished off the first loaf, and the second was a quarter gone. Hubby came home from work & snagged a chunk (suprising because he's not the biggest bread fan), & before I knew it, the four of us (baby had regular bread..egg alergy) were sharing 1/4 of the second loaf with dinner; all staring at it, nobody wanting to "grab" because deep down we all knew that we had eaten our share. This was AWESOME, I sprinkled sesame seeds on the top after adding the egg white. LOVE IT, THANKS MUCH Jenn!!!

 
Feb 02, 2008

This came out just as I intended, crust was nice and golden, crispy, crunchy and crusty on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside. Exactly what I wanted. Thanks. I did add an extra pinch of salt, and a table spoon of suger in hte first step. If you want less dense bread let is rise longer. Also, if you cut the lines in the top of the bread BEFORE you let it rise the second time, that prevents it from falling in (and becomming more dense) when you bake it. What I think might be really great is to coat the bread with garlic butter, before rolling it up. I think it would make wonderful garlic bread.

 
May 10, 2006

Oh my! This bread is wonderful. I bake bread almost every week, and decided to try something different. I did change a couple of things to suit my family's taste. I proofed my yeast with about a tablespoon of honey in the water. Also to gain a soft and chewy crust, about 5 minutes before the bread was done I melted about 2 tablespoons of butter and stirred in a tablespoon of honey. As soon as the bread came out of the oven, I poured this over the top, placed a piece of foil over it, and placed a damp towel over the whole thing. Let this sit for about 15 minutes and the result will be an amazing bread. I just hope I don't eat it all before my family gets home for dinner!

 
Dec 09, 2003

Perfection! Beautifully fine texture and creamy taste. I have sensitive teeth however so the hard crust was a little too hard for me. For a softer, yet still deep golden crust use this as an egg wash. Mix together 1 egg yolk and 1 tbsp milk, brush over entire loaf before baking. It's only slightly softer and actually comes out more golden and glossy. I loved the rolling trick too!

 

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Nutrition

  • Calories
  • 94 kcal
  • 5%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 19.5 g
  • 6%
  • Cholesterol
  • 0 mg
  • 0%
  • Fat
  • 0.3 g
  • < 1%
  • Fiber
  • 0.8 g
  • 3%
  • Protein
  • 2.9 g
  • 6%
  • Sodium
  • 119 mg
  • 5%

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

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