This French bread recipe yields hot, fresh loaves with a crisp, crunchy crust and slightly chewy center. This bread is as traditional as the bread served in France.
This French bread recipe yields hot, fresh loaves with a crisp, crunchy crust and slightly chewy center. This bread is as traditional as the bread served in France.
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.Read More
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.
Very easy to make and who doesn't like hot fresh bread right out of the oven! I took the time and read most of the reviews, and based on their suggestions the bread came out perfect! So that you don't have to read them all yourself, I've combined them here: 5 cups flour instead of 6, 2(.25 oz) pkgs active dry yeast, 1 Tablespoon salt, and made the cuts in step 4 after the 3rd sentence. If you use Pure Spring Water(not to be confused with distilled water) and Fine Sea Salt(make sure it's Fine sea salt and not Coarse, and it will dissolve perfectly in your dough), it will make it even better! Kneading bread is great therapy...it's a great place to take out your frustations! Don't skimp on kneading time. Set a timer if it helps. If the dough is under-kneaded, the gluten will not be developed enough to allow the dough to rise during fermentation. Yeast: 1st check the expiration date; old yeast could be dead or too lethargic. Proofing always helps. To Proof yeast: In a medium bowl combine 1/2 cup warm water (100-110 F), 2 teaspoons sugar, and the 2 pkgs of yeast this recipe calls for, let stand 10 minutes. If mixture doubles in volume, the yeast is active. This leaves you with only 1-1/2 cups water to be added to the flour. Great recipe Jenn! Thank you!!!
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.
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!
I have always been so intimidated by bread making! Well, the first batch was a total disaster! So, knowing there must be some tricks to French bread making, I researched online. Trick no.1: I found out that by adding natural dough enhancers (1/2 tsp soy lecithin added to the liquid ingred., a pinch of citric acid and a dash of ground ginger added to the dry ingred.) you get a fluffier bread that will stay fresh and soft longer. Trick no.2: kneading and flour qty. I used 5 cups flour. The kneading for 10 minutes is a must if you want fluff in your bread. Trick no.3: let it raise! The dough needs to double (this could mean 15-20 min up to one hour) and you test for doneness by sticking a finger in the middle of the raised dough, making sure the indentation stays and it does not spring back. If it springs back and it is not double in volume, it needs to stay longer. Trick no.4: Roll it thin in the rectangle shape and then roll it up tight forming a thin "baguette". After trying many different ways, I decided my breads looked best when I made my diagonal cuts at this step, then I let it raise again for about 10 minutes. One remark: French bread requires a water wash and baking with steam to come out crunchy, eggs are a no-no on this type of bread. To get the steam, simply put an oven safe container on the bottom shelf of the oven and use a water spray pump to mist water over the loaves twice while it's baking, instead of the egg wash the recipe mentions.
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!
I give Jenn 5 stars for the simple recipe. I just wanted to find the simple french bread recipe. It wasn't easy to find but thanks to her I have it now. no topping no added "stuff". Just plain French Bread. Comes out nice just like it's suppose to. Thanks.
Terrific! I made two loaves and they came out exactly as Jenn stated: crisp, crunchy crust and slightly chewy center. Everyone loved them and I'll be making this again. Very easy and quick. (I kneaded the dough in my mixer with a dough hook for ease.)
Easy & Wonderful!
THE best french bread recipe, and I've tried many! This is the only french bread recipe I use anymore...always comes out great. Some tips...sometimes I use my large crock pot to help the dough rise, especially in the winter. I'll turn it on for a minute, then unplug it (just to get it everso slightly warm), then I'll oil the inside and put the dough in with the top on. This makes it rise a little on the fast side, but it does a good job, especially in a coldish kitchen. Sometimes when I make this recipe, I brush the top with olive oil instead of egg white. Othertime I've tried water. The egg white makes it the shinest of the three. Also, I tend to brush whatever I use on it right before baking instead of after shaping the loaves (per recipe)...I do this because whatever I cover the loaves with sticks to the egg white and pulls the top of the dough off sometimes. A really great recipe...so easy! Oh, also, I love to eat this bread with honey butter (just equal parts blended in a mixer) so yummy!
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.
Great french bread recipe, used 2 tsp salt instead of 1.5 tsp and 5.5 c. bread flour - also made bread using the following tips from those in the know: Once dough comes together, knead with dough hook 2-3 min, rest 7 min, knead again 2-3 min, rest 7 min, knead again 2-3 min for better dough texture, also once you put the bread in the hot oven, throw 1/2 to 3/4 cup water on the bottom of the oven, this will create a great crispy crunchy crust. I cut dough into 8 pieces and shaped into smaller sub sandwich size rolls, baked at 375 for 10 min, brushed with egg white/water mixture and then baked another 8 minutes for perfect bread. This is now my favorite bread recipe.
The first time I made this bread it turned out wonderful. I have made it two times since, and it has been a disaster. I don't know what I am now doing wrong. When I go to cover the bread with a damp cloth to let it rise again, the cloth sticks to the dough and as I pull the cloth off, the dough flattens. I have followed the recipe precisely both times so I am not sure why the cloth is sticking to the dough. Can anyone help?
I brought this recipe with us to an island over spring break, because we planned on eating in every night and groceries were very expensive. I made it exactly as written, except that I added a Tbsp of butter, as suggested by another reviewer, and I didn't have a bread machine (nor a stand mixer) so I proofed the yeast in the water for ten minutes first, adding about a tsp of sugar to feed it. Then I mixed in the rest of the ingredients (by hand...I have developed very strong arm muscles over the course of the last week!) and picked up the recipe from there. Out of the eleven of us that were staying together, it was a huge hit with all of them. So much so that I ended up making it four times! Who would have known that delicious fresh baked French bread could be so easy! Thanks for such a great recipe! UPDATE: This morning I was looking through a bread cookbook that a friend of mine had let me borrow, and guess what I found! This exact recipe! In case anyone was wondering, it's on page 11 of the 1979 Better Homes & Gardens All-Time Favorite Bread Recipes.
Can I still make this bread if I do not have a specialty bread mixer? Can I just use a regular hand-held mixer?
This is an easy french bread recipe, just right for personalizing. I use this as my standard Italian "soft" dinner bread. I do add approx 1 T of softened butter while it is in the KA. Its so predictabe that I walk away from it while the KA is doing its job. I have spread diced green chili and chedder on it before rolling (to go with chili), as well as smashed roasted garlic and asiago, as well as having added garlic powder, Italian herbs, EVOO to the dough. I have yet to have this fail- regardless of what I do to it! I also makes the best pizza dough, rolling it out after the first rise and baking on a stone. Thanks for sharing a great and versitle recipe. I use this so much I don't even have to look it up anymore.
This is such an easy recipe! Turns out beautiful every time! Thanks!
Great recipe! Easy and simple. However, the test version I made was kinda blah. I compared this recipe with others, and it seems to be WAY undersalted. Today, I made it again with 1 tablespoon (not a teaspoon) of salt, and it was perfect. Gotta rate it a 4 for blandness.
It's not quite french bread. I gave this a 4* not because it makes bad bread. In fact, the bread tastes quite good. It's just not "french bread". True french bread has only 4 ingredients. Flour, Water, Yeast, and Salt. Add anything else and call it "French Bread" gets you the guillotine. Or at least makes the spirit of Julia Child cry. And you shouldn't do that. But since it's incredibly hard to replicate the crust without using eggwhite and since the dough is sticky the cornmeal comes in handy...and since most of us don't live in france, it's pretty darn good french bread =)
I make this bread on a regular basis and everyone loves it. I use 5 teaspoons yeast and only slightly less than 5 cups of flour. People who say it's too dense are probably using too much flour. Put in the 2 cups to start, then mix in 2 more cups with a spoon. Mound up 1 more cup on your work surface, turn the dough out on top of it and knead the last cup in until it's a stiff, elastic consistency. I've used both all-purpose and bread flour and it comes out much better with bread flour. I also increased the salt to 2 teaspoons after making it a couple of times -- just a preference. You don't have to proof the yeast, I think people who recommend this do it out of habit, which is fine but not necessary for the recipe. I'll be bringing it to Christmas dinner this week. Contrary to other reviews, I don't find it "bland" at all (even before I increased the salt). It's very yeasty and reminds me of the fresh loaves we used to get at the panaderia in Spain.
Bread is a finicky thing and everyone has different ideas about what is "just right", but this is an excellent base recipe. I've used it about a dozen times, experimenting with slight variations to get it just the way I like it. Today I used bread flour (Robin Hood "Best for Bread") instead of all-purpose for the first time and what a difference! The crust is lightly crispy (not chewy) and the inside is a lot fluffier. I also used 2 tsp of salt, only 5 C of flour, and a pure egg white wash (no water). Making the cuts before the last rise is also a good idea (as another reviewer suggested). Thanks the the original poster and also the reviewers for such great tips!
I've made this bread about fifty times, the first time as is and the second time following several reviews. It's the latter which always hits the mark, every time. Basically, first I proof my yeast --using the two cups of warm water, 5 tsps of yeast, and then throwing in about 2-3 tsps of sugar. Then I add the flour, salt plus an extra teaspoon, a tablespoon of melted butter, and I follow the rest of the directions exactly. Turns out great every time!
I would recomend this recipe to anyone interested in baking bread! Fantastic texture and simple to make. I have recently began cooking/baking as a hobby. This recipe is not only simple, but it makes for a perfect side to evening dinner. I made a different recipe last weekend for my wife and she had to help because I am still rather clumsy in the kitchen. She was not impressed to say the least. I made this for my wife and the little ones and they now think I am the god of bread making. My wife liked it so much that she was jealous and tried to out-do my accomplishment today by making her own recipe. I only altered the recipe by sprinkling a few granules of kosher salt on the top as I painted it with egg whites the second time (everyone loved this final touch). I am making it this weekend to have with baby back ribs. I can't say enough about how grateful I am that you have shared this recipe. It has not only increased my confidence in the kitchen, but it also allowed my wife to have confidence in me while I am making dinner for the family! Thank you again!
Thanks, Jenn for sharing such a WONDERFUL recipe. My husband and I have not had french bread this good since we lived there! I also processed the dough using the "dough only" setting on my bread machine, and removed it just before the final rising cycle, then shaped and completed the final rise conventionally. I placed the loaves in a perforated french loaf pan, and brushed with water just prior to baking, and VOILA, C'est Magnifique! Bet you can't eat just one...
I gave this a 4 because I had to make several changes to make it flavorful. 1.) We are not big salt fans, but it did need extra salt. 2.) It needed a dab of sugar. 3.) It needed either butter or EVOO. I used butter. Here is what I plan to do next time: a.) 2tsps salt instead of 1.5. b.) Add 1tsp sugar - use it to proof the yeast c.) Add 1.5 tsps EVOO d.) Score the bread before the second rise instead of after. e.) Skip the egg wash. Instead, preheat oven to 500, add the bread, add 1cup water to small pan to create steam. Lower the temp to 450 and bake for 12 mins at 450 then rotate the pans and bake for another 15 to 25 mins until the bread reaches an internal temp of 200degrees. This should yield the crispy crust that we prefer at our house, without the egg wash. Note: Based on other recommendations, I also tried the accelerated version, where the bread is left to rise 10 mins, then shaped, scored, and immediately washed with a whole-egg wash, then left to its final rise. This method worked pretty well, but it resulted in too fine of a crumb, whereas I prefer more holes and a looser crumb for Frend Bread. It really needs the full first rise and the full second (shaped) rise to make that happen. The full two rises also add flavor due to the fermentation time.
There is nothing 'traditionally French' about this bread. Traditional French bread has a very crisp outside with a very airy, light inside- there's barily anything to it. While this bread browned beautifully and LOOKED like a French loaf, the inside was way too dense for any good bread, tasted a little too much of yeast and leaves a very unpleasant aftertaste in your mouth. It was more like a low-quality bagel in loaf form. Less than 15 hours after it was made, it was practically inedible. The dense center was barily chewy when it came out of the oven and was even less chewy now. The only reason I give it 2 stars instead of 1 is that slices of it toasted and with cream cheese, like a bagel, are pretty good. Overall, though, it was not good at all.
Yum! This was a delicious and easy yeast bread. I added a little honey. I will definitely make this one again. After the first rising, I froze half the dough. When I wanted to use it, I put it in the fridge to thaw for a few hours (overnight it fine - I did it in 5 hours) then pulled it out shaped it, and let it rise for a couple of hours (until doubled) then baked as directed. It turned great!
Excellent! I used my bread machine for the beginning of the recipe (makes a lot less work) and it worked out just fine. I did not need the entire amount of flour. I suggest decreasing it by 1/2 cup. Also, I steamed the bread for the first 15 minutes of baking by putting ice cubes on a cookie sheet on a lower rack. My husband is a bread guru and just kept saying "delicious." He ate 1/2 of a loaf by himself. Chewy, cruchy, beautiful...YUM!
This is a terrific recipe...excellent flavor and texture. Tastes just like loaves bought at high-end bakeries. Reminded me of the breads we bought in France.
Wonderful! Took the freshly baked loaves to a family holiday meal, and people were disappointed that I had only made two loaves. Both were gone in record time!
This is the easiest french bread I have ever made, and it turned out perfect. I ate half of the first loaf as soon as I took it out of the oven! Even my hubby loved it and hes not much of a bread eater. It went great with my spaghetti dinner! Thanks for sharing:)
FANTASTIC bread, and such an easy recipe. The only change I made was to add 2 tablespoons of melted butter to the warm water, then mixed the yeast in with that and let it proof for about five minutes before mixing it with the flour. Also, some people have said they didn't put the whole 6 cups of flour in the dough, so I used only 5 cups. But in working the dough and kneading it, I kept adding flour to take out the stickiness, so I probably used at least 5 1/2 cups, if not the entire 6 cups. Next time I think I'll leave off the egg white and instead spray it with a fine mist of water two or three times while it's cooking to make the crust crunchier. The recipe on here for Italian bread gives that as part of the instructions, and the crust was fantastic.
Great recipe. It was the first time I made a yeast bread and it was easy! We had friends over for dinner and they could not believe I made it myself. Today, it does not taste like day old bread.
I needed six cups of croutons for another recipe, so I decided to make baguettes. This recipe made four, and they baked up beautifully. I read the reviewers' suggestions and decided to follow some of them. I used 5 tsp of active dry yeast, 2 tsp of salt, and cut the flour back to a total of 5 cups; the dough was very easy to work with. This french bread is as good as any I've ever had, with perfect texture and fantastic taste. Definitely going into my Favorites folder.
Bravo! My husband made this bread for a Christmas Eve party. It was absolutely wonderful, and I highly recommend it. We added some olive oil, and when brushing on the last of the egg, some sesame seeds. Also, six cups of flour may seem like a lot since stirring it in soon becomes too difficult. We determined that at the end the flour needs to be kneaded into the dough. Although this may be obvious to advanced cooks, the recipe directions don't make this clear. Thanks for the great submission!
Wonderful! - Coming from a French husband... -Added 1 package of yeast to the 2 cups of warm water with a teaspoon of sugar. -Let rise 1st time: 20min., 2nd time: 20 mins., 3rd time: 40 mins. I could mess just about any recipe up, but this one I can't seem to flop!! :)
One of the better tasting French breads. Easy to make with excellent flavor. Half milk/water can be used for softer texture.
I'm curious if I've done this wrong. I felt that I'd followed it exactly, but my bread turned out flat. I mean flat!!!! It rose very nicely until I formed the loaves and then it was terrible. I'm sad to be leaving this note as I had high hopes, but I'll be trying it again and I'll come back with another note if it's better this time around.
I can not say enough about this bread. If you need something in a pinch, this is perfect. I got so many compliments on making it and taking it to small group! 5 STARS :) *****
this was the best bread i have ever made i did do something a little diffrent, when i was done rolling out the dough into rectangles i roasted some garlic in olive oil and kosher salt and mashed it into some melted butter and then i brushed it over the whole rectangle then rolled it and followed the rest of the instuctions and it turned out delicious!!
This was exactly what I wanted. Amazing recipe. I added more salt (2 1/2 t) and a tablespoon of sugar for the yeast. Rose beautifully I could tell when I was shaping it how nice it was going to turn out b/c the dough was great to work with. Crispy, crunchy on the outside, soft and slightly chewy on the inside. Thanks!
What a great recipe! Restored my husband's faith in my bread baking. I have been making it two times a week for the last couple months. I make the dough in my bread machine and bake it in a French Bread Pan (Chicago Metallic from amazon.com). I use 2 c water, 2 1/2 tsp salt, 5 c bread flour, 2 Tbsp active dry yeast (super cheap 2 lb bag from Costco). When the machine is done kneading, I let it rise in a big greased bowl, otherwise it would overflow. I let it rise for close to an hour. Step 3 just like in the original recipe, but I often skip the 10 minutes rest. I grease the pan, don't use cornmeal. I found that it is best to make the cuts BEFORE the second rise, otherwise it will deflate the loaf. I cover it with a DRY cloth and let rise for a whole hour. The egg wash I do AFTER the rise, and my cloth stays clean for the next use. For the eggwash I use a big 2" PAINTBRUSH that I got from the hardware store especially for baking this kind of bread. The bristles are natural, and I chose black color, in case a hair falls out, I will see it. Happened only one time. I bake it as in the original recipe: brush it again after 20 minutes, the second part of baking I found to be 25 minutes. Also spray some water into the oven at the half of each baking sections (at around 10 and 30 minutes). I let it cool right in the perforated pan. Jenn, thanks SO MUCH for submitting this! Half of all the bread we eat these days comes from your recipe!
Great recipe - I added some pepperoni and shredded mozzarella cheese before rolling it up and it was a HUGE hit!
This bread was wonderful!! The crust was crisp and crunchy as Jenn stated. The texture of the bread was chewy but oh so Good! I will use this recipe again and pass it along to friends Thanks Jenn!!!!!!
The "rolling" up, after first rise, was a new trick I didn't know.The texture was great!
This is my standard Italian/French bread. I make it whenever I require either, just shaping the loaves a bit differently in either case. This does need a bit of sugar added to it. I add about 1 1/2 t. to the warm water before adding the yeast, then I allow the yeast to proof for a few minutes before adding the rest of the ingredients. I have a French bread pan from Williams Sonoma also, so between this recipe and my pan, I ALWAYS get perfect bread from this! The last time I made this, I added about 2 t. Italian seasoning, a little black pepper, and about 2 t. rosemary (like Jo's Rosemary Bread from this site, which I love but it tends to get soggy after resting), and it handled the herbs very well and was delicious!!!
Perfect! I've tried a lot of french bread recipes. I've had ones with soft crusts, dense middles, greasy loaves, and even an unfortunate 'soda cracker' bread. This is -finally- what I've been searching for. The crust is thick, the center is chewy but soft and has intermittent pockets, and it tastes great. I only had to use 4 ½ cups of flour, the first rise was only 15 minutes, the second rise was around 20 minutes - but these are factors related to the humidity and temperature. 2 ½ packs of yeast is equal to 6 ¼ tsp, if anyone else uses jarred yeast. I opted out of using an egg wash, and put ice cubes on a pan on the bottom rack to create steam and develop the crust. Do follow the steps to roll up, as it makes a pretty loaf and creates holes. Good luck, everyone! This one is awesome!
I agree with other commenter.. I used only 5 cups flour and 2 packages of yeast.. also added 2 tablespoons of butter. Bread turned out fantastic!!
This was my first time making a homemade bread with yeast and I was shocked at how well it turned out. My fiance and I finished off an entire loaf during dinner because it was so good. I followed the recipe exactly. It doesn't need any changes. This will definitely go in my recipe book for life.
This was good. I did add 1 T. honey to water to proof yeast.
Great easy recipe. Not too dense or yeasty. I think the "too yeasty" comments are because of mis-measured ingredients. The recipe calls for 2 1/2 OUNCES not 2 1/2 packages! Try it, you'll love it.
This was great plus it was so easy!! I only needed five cups of flour and I put a damp towel on the bread right after taking it out of the oven as another reviewer suggested. I crushed garlic into olive oil and we dipped our bread in that! Oh my was it good! When my husband came home and saw it on the counter, he thought the bread came from a bakery! Thanks for a great recipe!
Very tasty and very easy to make! I made the whole thing in my KitchenAid mixer - no kneeding involved! The dough was so smooth and just plain perfect. The loaves baked up beautifully and with a wonderful flavour. They were so nice and crispy on the outside, and the inside perfectly moist and doughy, just the way I like it. I don't make bread very often, but I'll be making this one again!
This is a good French bread recipe. Nice crunchy crust. I used a mixer with bread hook to make.
This recipe was so simple and it still turned out so perfect. It was picture perfect and tasted wonderful. My family and I had a whole loaf gone before dinner. Thanks for the great recipe. : )
This came out exactly like the description. Now I know why the words "fluffy" and "delicious" are no where to be found on this recipe. You can get better french bread at the grocery store for less than the cost of one .25oz package of yeast.
Finally!!! A delicious, artisan-style basic bread recipe that you do not need a bread-maker for, nor do you need more than 2 1/2-- 3 hours or so from start to finish. Excellent! I followed the recipe exactly until it was time for the brushing on of egg whites before/during cooking. I hate egg whites--I can detect them even after they have cooked on top of something. So, I brushed on melted butter before cooking and then mixed up a nice melted butter, olive oil, sea salt, rosemary, thyme, and asiago cheese conconction to brush on when there were just about 20 minutes left to cook. Excellent, excellent, excellent!
This was so good! I wanted to make garlic bread but couldn't get to the store, so I made this recipe. I cut the recipe in half (now wished I had made the whole recipe!) to make one loaf. I used one cup of whole wheat flour and about 1.5 cups of white (didn't need the last 1/2 cup). I didn't taste it plain but it made great garlic bread! Will make again next time I need French bread!
This is a barely passable bread recipe. I made it twice. The first time it was very yeasty, quite dense, and had no flavor. The second time I included recommendations from the other reviews. I doubled the salt (2nd half after mixing first two cups of flour) and proofed the yeast in the water with 4 teaspoons of sugar. With these changes, the bread was less dense and less yeasty, but still far from true french bread. Also don't egg wash before cooking. I applied the 1st after 5 minutes of baking and gott the nice chewy shiny coat that is typical of real french bread. If you don't proof the yeast rasie the water temperature to 120-130F.
While this is a solid french bread recipe, I prefer my french loaf with a little more air pockets. This is a dense loaf, even with many of the modifications recommended by others. I think the problem is likely the rise time. Mine only took 30 minutes to double. I think this loaf would have been much, much better had it been allowed to rise 3 hours, or even in the refrigerator overnight. However, if a dense loaf is your thing, this is your recipe. It gives nice carmelization on the crust, which I can only imagine would improve with a longer rise time. I'll make this recipe again, but I will certainly allow it to rise for a much longer time.
I thought that this bread was great! I followed Linda McLean's recommendation and profed the yeast first. This was only my second try at making a yeast bread. But with the help of The Quality Cook and my friends there this turned out wonderful! I couldn't wait for dinner to taste it and had it with honey butter right out of the oven. And it was just as good with Garlic butter alongside Beef Stew for dinner. Thanks for the great recipe!
We are hooked on this bread! It handles so easily, makes a perfect crust, and fills the house with wonderful aroma! I use 5 tsp yeast and 2 tsp sugar to proof in the water. Then I add 2 tbsp vital gluten and 2 tsp salt to 3 cups of the flour. When all that gets mixed together really well in my trusty old Sunbeam with dough hooks, I add the next two cups of flour and then turn out to knead. I end up using only about 1/4 c more flour. I grease the inside of plastic wrap to cover it with (with both rises). I highly recommend using a lightly floured rolling pin to roll it out--about a 15" by 11" rectangle suits us just fine. Then all the rest is the same. Oh, man!! Thanks, Jenn Hall! Update: I forego the egg wash now. Instead, I use a spray bottle with water and spray the inside of the oven and the bread itself about 5-6 times during the baking. It makes a wonderfully crunchy crust!
I did not care for this recipe. I wish I had thought about it before I made it: The only thing in the bread is flour and water. It tastes like exactly that. Eat a spoon of flour and if you like it, then you'll like this recipe. Otherwise, it is not worth the effort.
Awesome Recipe!!!! Perfect blend of crusty outside and chewy inside. The only change I made was to add 1 tbsp of sugar to the water and yeast to proof first, and I added 1 tbsp of butter into the flour and crumbled it first...then added wet to dry. My family loves when I make bread and usually the first loaf is gone as soon as if comes out of the oven....this one was no exception! Thank you!
I halved this recipe for two people. I used 3 cups of AP flour. I dissolved 1 pkg of yeast into 1 cup of warm water plus I added 1T honey. I let it foam up for 5 minutes. To the flour I added 3/4 tsp salt and mixed it into the flour. I slowly added the flour into the yeast mixture. I kneaded the dough following steps 2, 3, and 4. It took exactly 45 minutes for the dough to double in size just as the submitter stated. I placed a 9X13 casserole dish filled with water on the lowest oven rack. I greased a baking sheet covered with aluminum foil with a little olive oil and sprinkled some yellow corn meal. Next I placed the loaf seam side down. I scored the top of the bread 4 x's diagonally across the bread with a sharp kitchen knife and placed the bread into the preheated oven. After the first 4 minutes I spritzed the top of the bread with water using a spray bottle, then every 3 mins after that a couple of times to achieve that golden brown crust. During the baking I noticed the top of the bread turning a nice brown color. The wonderful smell of fresh bread baking while amazing did make my mouth water thinking of eating the bread right out from the oven instead of serving it with dinner. =D This indeed produced a nice golden brown topping-very eye appealing. It's like bread you would buy from a bakery only BETTER! The bread has a nice crispy, crusty outside while the inside is soft and chewy. It is not heavily dense, just perfect!
My local bakery wasnt keeping the same consistency with their French Bread. So I decided to look up a recipe and found this 1 and stopped here!!! It comes out wonderfully everytime!!! In a way I am a little sorry 'cause my husband and kids dont want any other bread and so I'm baking sometimes 3 times a week. I would increase the recipe for more loaves and less baking, but it is SOOO much better fresh with sliced cheese and ham. I tell you, if there wasnt anything else in the house but French Bread, the family wouldnt starve or complain!!! yeah, it's that GOOODDD!
CAUTION! HIGHLY ADDICTIVE! This is my first try with this recipe and it came out perfect. I did proof the yeast before adding the first two cups of flour. I preheated the oven to 500 F and splashed a 1/4 cup hot water onto oven floor when I put the loaves in. I immediatly lowered the temp to 375 F and baked as per the recipe. Those were the only changes I made, and I couldn't be more pleased with the results. (Crusty outside and soft inside) I love the rolling tehnique. It makes beautiful loaves. I'll try that with other recipes.
tasted good.. but was a little too hard
This is the 2nd french bread loaf I've tried from AR and we really enjoyed it as well! I did think it was fairly bland and might add a touch more salt next time, but the texture and everything else was great!
Very good recipe, this was my first ever time baking bread and it came out just right! My family ate it fast. Others have mentioned it's density, but if you've had French bread before you know it's meant to be chewy on the inside. Made this exactly to recipe, except when I rolled it into a rectangle I brushed on fresh minced garlic, butter, oregano, and basil, and it was amazing! It tastes just awesome buttered on the side of pasta.
This is the BEST bread! I used 5 cups of all purpose flour, 5 teaspoons of rapid rise yeast, a teaspoon of sugar to kick start the yeast. I also added a tablespoon of butter to the batter. When the bread was done, I poured a tablespoon each of melted butter and honey on top of them, covered with foil and a damp towel for 15 minutes. It made the bread soft and delectible. Thank you all who put their tips online, this recipe is going to be one that will be made often in my house!
This is a wonderful recipe. It tastes delicious and is so easy to make. My family loved it. It goes great with gumbo.
Excellent! My husband thought it was even better than the store! After 20 minutes of baking I did have to flip the loaf to even out the cooking a little as I was using a convention oven.
I couldn't find my usual french bread recipie so I tried this one and it was fabulous I would definitly reccomend it! Turned out perfectly and was delicious! Thanks for the yummy recipie!! Also to make regular bread I added an egg, 1/4 cup butter, and did one cup water one cup milk. Turned out great.
I thought this was an excellent recipe, it has been years since I made bread without my machine and it turned out really well!! Because I wasn't too sure about the amount of yeast ( the recipe says 2.5 pkgs?) I went with 4.5 teaspoons which is the equivalent of 2 pkgs and the bread rose well without tasting too yeasty. This was a winner in my house, most of the first loaf was gone before supper!
Second time making this, I split it down into 4 smaller loaves, each about 18 inches long and 1.5 inches in diameter. Scored them too horizontally the first time and it was dense so this time I scored them more vertically and they actually spread out better that way and it makes the crumb inside fluffier. baked it with a hotel pan full of hot water on the bottom of the oven. actually proofed it in the fridge overnight to develop some more flavors but my fridge was a little too cold so it stopped rising. once i took it out of the fridge it took 4 hours to start proofing again and another hour until they were ready to shape.
Sooo yummy! I mixed a bunch of garlic powder in with the dough, and then when I rolled it out, grated cheese onto the dough before I rolled it into a loaf, so when I took it out of the oven, there was a cheesy swirl in the middle. Was DELICIOUS with goulash!
Very, very good and very easy. Followed the recipe exactly. Thank you!!
Great recipe! Like many others, I reduced the flour to 5 cups and then added about another 1/4 cup during kneading to get it to the perfect consistency. I only used 2 packets of yeast (couldn't justify using half of one) and it worked great! I also doubled the salt and mixed in a few tablespoons of melted butter prior to kneading. I also brushed butter on the tops before baking and sprinkled lightly with kosher salt. Baked with a pan of water on the bottom rack of the oven to help form the crunchy crust. The results were PERFECT!
Although there were several conflicting reviews on this bread Jenn, I must say that I'm very happy I decided to make your recipe. I'm certainly no expert on French bread, but I found it to be nice and crusty on the outside and lightly chewy on the inside. I made this for my daughter Tyler's upcoming birthday party for a crostini appetizer. As I said, I'm no French bread savy, however, I do make a lot of homemade bread without a bread machine. (More comforting to me) No matter what a recipe suggests, I ALWAYS proof my yeast. I place the yeast and water into my mixer and then add sugar or honey. I then let it proof for about ten minutes. That's just the way I think it should be done; but it's just my way. Thanks for a wonderful recipe!
Perfect. I do proof my yeast beforehand (warm water, dissolved yeast, and a couple spoons of sugar, let set, if it foams the yeast is good). I learned my lesson the hard way to always check the yeast. Also don't let it over rise, it will fall and get flat and dense. This turns out great even though it uses all purpose flour. I make my three slashes before the second rise.
This French Bread recipe is a great recipe, but there are two things I do differently. I make the cuts in the bread after forming the bread into loafs and I put the egg wash on the last 5 minutes of baking. The reason is, if you make the cuts and add the egg wash after it has risen the bread sinks.
This was great. I baked it with 5 1/2 cups of flower and a touch more salt. After we baked it I cut it length wise and we spread butter, garlic and salt on it and then melted it under the broiler. It was awesome. This whole process from start to finish took about 4 hours though.
Perfect!!! Even on my first try, the bread came out perfectly. My family went crazy over it, and it was gone before it was totally cool! I've stocked up on supplies so I can make it all the time and keep it on hand. It's so good -- pretty, too!
Didn't rise and the dough was really sticky.
Making my own french bread was easier than I thought! It turned out beautifully and tasted great with a smear of butter or nutella. The texture was very dense, though, and because the dough has no oil, it went stale very quickly.
Great Bread! After reading several of the reviews, I decided to follow the shaping directions exactly by rolling it out for the first loaf and with the other loaf, I just shaped it. I couldn't tell a difference. Both loaves tasted wonderful and looked about the same.
Great recipe! As per review recommendations I proofed the yeast in the warm water first, with 2 teaspoons of sugar. I used 5 teaspoons total of highly active yeast, to cut down on rising time. I also sifted together 3 cups of whole wheat flour and 3 cups of unbleached white flour to add whole grains. The highly active yeast (also called "bread machine yeast") changed the rising times by about half (45 minutes for the first rise and 25 minutes for the second rise).
I have been baking bread for over thirty years, and this is the worst recipe I've ever made. It had no taste; and even though it raised beautifully, it came out of the oven more resembling a baseball bat. Indeed, it could have been used as one.
I didn't care for this recipe. The crust very very, very tough, but it was not over cooked or burnt. Just tough. And the flavor was very bland, even after I added herbs, and garlic. I will not make this recipe again. Sorry.
WOW I THOUGHT THAT OTHER BREAD WAS GOOD! THIS IS GREAT!
Wow! This was a wonderful bread. Great with French onion soup - fun & easy to make, too!
Absolutely wonderful bread! So easy and turns out a great product. I slathered the top with melted garlic butter when it came out of the oven and it was a hit!
I tried this recipe twice, thinking maybe I had done something wrong the first time. The dough never pulled together properly, the bread was entirely too dense, and it had very little taste, if any. I have made many other breads with no problem, but for some reason, I couldn't get this one to work.
Made these for french dips last night and this was exactly what I was looking for. Perfect for dipping. The crust was nice and hard and the insides soft and moist. This'll give the baker a run for his money. The recipe is a bit bland even after adding sugar and butter, but a good starting point. **Update** 25.1.2011 Used 1 1/2Tbsp sugar to proof the yeast, 4.5C flour and added more while kneading(so maybe 5cups?), 2tsp sea salt, 1/3C unsalted melted butter mixed in while mixing the flour. After risings, baked at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. After 15 minutes, basted with olive oil. PERFECT! We like our breads on the soft side with a soft crust. So good! Now I know what everyone was talking about how they couldn't stop eating the bread. I don't have a mixer, so I did all of this by hand!
I loved this recipe. I used rapid rise yeast so it didn't take as long. I made french bread pizza with it. My husband asked me to make another loaf just for him to eat.
Geez! I have made the hat trick of breads tonight- this is the third recipe I have made, and they are all so wonderful! This I followed exactly except I did halve the recipe, and I also added one tablespoon of olive oil (as was suggested to me on The Buzz). When I got to the part where it directs you to divide the dough in half, I did that, forgetting I had halved the recipe. No matter, I ended up with two small loaves, which is actually pretty perfect for my needs. The cornmeal imparts a nice, crunchy outside, and the inside is moist and delicious. I am very happy with this bread! Thanks Jenn :)
This recipie is fantastic. I scaled it down by two thirds and it still worked perfectly. This recipie gives you what you're looking for in good french bread. It gave me the best homemade loaf of bread I've tried to date.