This is the same french bread recipe I learned way back in my college cooking class, and it has never failed us. It is perfectly soft on the inside and slightly crunchy on the outside just like french bread should be!
The best part is you not only get two loaves so you can freeze one for later, but it makes the best garlic bread too!
Yes, Cade and I took a cooking class together in college. Back then we thought it would just be a fun and easy class to take together, and it was super it was a great way to start off our marriage. We had no idea then that one day we would be cooking together as a family and sharing our lives and recipes with all of you.
In a way, it all goes back to this homemade french bread!
Ingredients for Homemade French Bread
You only need 6 ingredients for the perfect french bread, and if you don’t count water as an ingredient, then you only need 5! Here is your shopping list:
- Warm Water
- Instant Yeast
- Canola (or Vegetable) Oil
- Fine Sea Salt
It’s quite possible that you have all the ingredients on hand already, so you’re in business! Let’s make some homemade french bread!
What Flour for French Bread?
How to Make a French Bread Recipe
Making french bread at home may sound a little intimidating, but there is no need to fear! We are going to walk you through it step by step!
Step 1: Activate the Yeast
Step 2: Combine Remaining Ingredients
Step 3: Combine All Ingredients
Step 4: First and Second Rest
Step 5: Resting and Kneading
Step 6: Another Rest
Step 7: Form Loaves
Step 8: Final Rise
Step 9: Score
Step 10: Bake
Step 11: Butter
Remove the bread from the oven and lather both loaves with butter. Slice and serve!
What Kind of Yeast Should I Use?
We have a whole post on yeast, but I almost exclusively use instant yeast. It never let’s me down and always does the job perfectly. I keep a big bag of yeast in the freezer. It lasts for forever and keeping it in the freezer helps it stay fresh.
Can I Make French Bread Without a Stand Mixer?
Absolutely! It builds muscles and character! Mix everything with a spatula at directed in the instructions and then do all the kneading by hand.
Why Score French Bread?
Scoring the dough after the final rise creates weak spots in the dough to allow for expansion as the bread rises while baking. This keep the bread from cracking in places in you don’t want it to.
How Can I Get My Bread More Golden?
You can brush the top of your loaves with an egg wash if you want. Moving the oven rack a little closer to the top also does the trick for me. You’ll have to test how your oven bakes to find the sweet spot.
Ways to Enjoy French Bread
This might seem like a silly thing to write about because you don’t need anything to enjoy french bread. It’s heavenly goodness on its own, but here are a few ways we like it:
- I refuse to eat soup until there is some delicious bread to sop it up with! Lasagna soup, chicken noodle soup, THE soup, or any soup for that matter!
- It always goes perfectly with pasta…bolognese, spaghetti, or fettuccine alfredo.
- It’s the perfect vessel for french bread pizza or philly cheesesteak bread!
- Use it for the bread on delicious sandwiches like our french dip or our caprese panini.
- Use it to make french toast…french bread to make french toast, makes sense!
- Bread pudding or a french toast bake!
- Then of course, on its own with butter or honey butter or as the best garlic bread on the globe!
Oh man, now I’m literally drooling! Carbs and I have a solid, long-lasting relationship of bliss!
How to Freeze French Bread
Like I said, this recipe makes two loaves, so we always freeze one of them for later. It freezes very well! Wrap loaf or loaves (after they have completely cooled) in saran wrap or tinfoil, place in a ziploc bag and place in the freezer. They will keep for up to 3 months. when you’re ready to eat it, set it out on the counter to bring it to room temperature and slice and eat it. You could also warm it up in the oven if you want it warm and delicious!
I had a friend who would get a loaf of french bread every year for Christmas. Like his parents would legit wrap a loaf of french bread because he loved it that much and french bread is that good. It makes me laugh so much and also makes me so happy!
This french bread recipe is the best of the best! You’ll love how simple it is and how many ways if can be used for joy!
More EASY BREAD RECIPES You’ll Love:
- Homemade Baguette
- Buttermilk Biscuits
- Skillet Cornbread
- Easy Hoagie Rolls
- Feta Muffins
- Awesome Cheesy Herb Rolls
- Homemade Naan
- Best Potato Rolls
- Easy No-Knead Artisan Bread
- One Hour Rolls
- 7-Up Biscuits
- Whole Wheat Potato Rolls
- All our BREAD RECIPES here!
Easy French Bread Recipe
- 2 1/4 Cups Warm Water
- 1 Tablespoon Instant Yeast
- 2 Tablespoons Sugar
- 1 Tablespoon Canola Oil or Vegetable Oil
- 2 1/2 Teaspoons Fine Sea Salt
- 5-5 1/2 Cups Flour
- In a glass measuring cup, add the warm water, yeast and sugar. Stir to combine and set aside to foam.
- In a standing mixer, add 3 of the 6 cups of flour, oil and the salt, mix to combine.
- Add the yeast and water mixture and mix on low using a dough hook. Gradually add in more flour by 1/2 cup until the dough is slightly sticky but has pulled away from the sides of the bowl. You should use 5 1/2-6 cups total flour in this recipe. Continue to mix for 2-3 minutes.
- Cover the bowl with plastic or a towel and set aside for 10 minutes. Place the bowl back in the mixer and mix again for another minute and then allow to rest for 10 minutes.
- Continue for 4 more cycles of allowing the dough to rest and then kneading it just as you do with many artisan breads. If you do not have time, (our professor had told us she usually skips the kneading and resting part but I never do) you can add a drizzle of oil to a clean bowl and then place the dough in, immediately turning it over so that the oil coats all the dough. Cover and allow to rest for 1 hour.
- Place a little oil directly on your counter and spread it out. Now place the dough on the oiled counter and divide the dough in half.
- Press each section into a thick rectangle the size of a 9x13" pan (our professor always set one next to the dough). Roll the dough up starting from the long edge and pressing gently to seal out any air bubbles.
- Finally, pinch the edge to seal. Arrange seam side down on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper and cover with a towel to rise for an hour.
- Place the oven rack in the center and heat to 400. Using a sharp blade, slash through the dough to create a marked topping.
- Place the bread in the oven and throw 4 ice cubes into the bottom of the pan to create steam and shut the oven door.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, covering with foil if needed. Remove from the oven and open a stick of butter then rub all over the top. Enjoy!
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