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texture of French Bread

French Bread

  • Author: Deborah Harroun
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Rising Time: 4 hours 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: 2 loaves, 30 servings 1x
  • Category: Bread
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: French


You can’t beat a classic, and this French Bread recipe is so easy that you won’t want to pick it up from the supermarket anymore. It only takes 4 ingredients – and one of those is water!



  • 2 cups (16 oz) lukewarm water
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons (0.25 oz) dry active yeast – 1 package
  • 1 tablespoon (16g) kosher salt
  • 5 cups (600g) bread flour


  1. Combine the yeast and the water in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and let it sit for 15 minutes, until the yeast starts to foam. Stir in the salt.
  2. Start adding the flour, 1 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition. Continue adding flour until you have a smooth dough. Switch to the dough hook once the dough starts to come together. (*You may need more or less than 5 cups of flour. The dough will start to pull away from the sides of the bowl, but should still be slightly tacky.)
  3. Lightly flour a work surface. Pour the dough onto the floured surface, and knead for a few minutes, until the dough is in a smooth ball.
  4. Lightly grease a large bowl and add the dough to the bowl. Turn the dough over to coat the dough in the oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Place the bowl in a warm place and let the dough rise until it has doubled in size, 2-4 hours.
  5. Lightly flour a work surface, and pour the dough out. Divide the dough into 2 separate pieces. Shape each piece into a long loaf, and transfer the loaves to a silpat or parchment lined baking sheet. Allow the loaves to rise for 5 minutes.
  6. Use a sharp knife to score the tops of the loaves. Brush the loaves with water, then place the baking sheet into a cold oven.
  7. Fill an oven safe pan with water and bring to a boil. Place the pan on the bottom shelf of the oven, under the baking sheet with the loaves. Turn the oven on to 400ºF.
  8. Bake until the bread is golden brown, about 40 minutes. Cool the loaves completely on a rack.
  9. OPTIONAL: For a softer crust, brush the tops of the loaves with melted butter when they come out of the oven.

Recipe Notes:

Adapted from The Great Baking Book

Nutrition information provided as an estimate only. Various brands and products can change the counts. Any nutritional information should be used as a general guide.


  • Serving Size: 1 slice
  • Calories: 80
  • Sugar: 1 g
  • Sodium: 19 mg
  • Fat: 1 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0 g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 0 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 15 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Protein: 2 g
  • Cholesterol: 2 mg

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