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Slices of French bread on a cutting board.

Easy Homemade French Bread

  • Author: Cookies & Cups
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Rise Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: 2 loaves 1x
  • Category: Bread
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Learn how to make bakery-style French Bread from the comfort of your home! This soft homemade bread is SO easy and can be used in so many meals, appetizers, and snacks!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 1/2 cups warm water (110°F – 120°F)
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons active dry yeast
  • 6 cups bread flour
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil

Instructions

  1. Add the water, sugar, and yeast to the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Allow the yeast to dissolve and become foamy, approximately 5 minutes.
  2. Add in the flour, salt, and oil. Turn the mixer to low to mix for 30 seconds to combine the ingredients. Turn the mixer up to medium speed and mix for 8 – 10 minutes total, until the dough becomes smooth and elastic.
  3. Place the dough into a lightly greased bowl and cover with a towel. Place the bowl in a warm, draft-free place to rise for 1 – 2 hours, or doubled in size.
  4. Once the dough has risen, place it onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough in half and roll into a 12- inch long log. Place the dough into a greased or parchment lined baking sheet (or a french bread pan). Cover with a towel and allow to rise in a warm, draft-free place for an additional 30 minutes, or until doubled in size.
  5. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  6. When the dough has risen use a sharp knife to cut slits into the top of the dough.
  7. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes until golden brown and when the crust is tapped it sounds hollow.

Notes

  • Can I Make This Bread Ahead? Yes! In fact, I like to make this bread ahead and reheat it right before serving. To do this, preheat the oven to 375° and bake for 5-7 minutes to lightly toast the outside. This gives the bread a crusty exterior with a soft, warm center.
  • How to Know When the Bread is Done: The exterior should be a golden-brown as mentioned above, but also, when the crust is tapped it should sound hollow.
  • Do I Need a Stand Mixer? No, you can mix the dough together by hand. It’ll take a while longer, but you’ll get a good workout in!
  • Where Should I Let the Dough Rise? In front of a window is a good place, as is near the preheating stove.
  • Can I Mix in Some Whole Wheat Flour? Sure. I don’t recommend completely substituting the bread flour with whole wheat flour, but an even mix of the two should turn out well.
  • Storage: I usually store this French bread in a tightly-sealed Ziploc bag for a couple of days at room temperature. 

Keywords: french baguette, how to make french bread, homemade baguette

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