This easy homemade French bread recipe makes the BEST homemade French bread you will ever eat! It doesn’t take too long to make and your family will LOVE it! Once you eat homemade French bread, you will never go back to store bought! You can find this recipe in volume 1 of our Dining On A Dime Cookbook.
French bread is a delicious addition to many kinds of meals, but did you know it is easy to make homemade French bread with our tasty and easy French bread recipe! Our family loves the amazing smell of fresh baking French bread and everyone looks forward to the delicious taste of warm fresh French bread as they smell it baking!
This easy French bread recipe makes French bread that is much more fluffy and delicious than the French bread in your local grocery store. Once you have tried it, you won’t want to go back to the pre-packaged kind!
French bread is perfect eaten plain or with butter or jam, but you can also make other delicious foods using French bread as a base. It’s perfect for sub sandwiches, French bread pizza, French Toast and more!
Here are some easy recipes great for using homemade French toast!
Easy French Toast Recipe – French toast is a delicious breakfast item, but it’s especially good when you make it with thick cut French bread!
Homemade Pizza Recipe – Easy Homemade Pizza Dough, Sauce And More
Overnight French Toast From 10 Easy Make Ahead Breakfast Recipes – This is one of our kids’ favorite breakfast recipes for special occasions!
Homemade Croutons Recipe – Don’t waste leftover French bread! This cruotons recipe is an easy way to use it all, even if it’s beyond using in other ways!
It’s also easy to make homemade garlic bread with this homemade French bread and we include instructions to make garlic bread from this homemade French bread or your favorite store bought French bread. Just add some butter and garlic, wrap in foil and heat in the oven. Garlic bread is a perfect addition to Italian dishes, steaks and lots more!
If you are single or if you have a small family, this homemade French bread can easily be sliced and frozen so you can bake an entire loaf and enjoy it a little at a time as the mood strikes!Print
Easy Homemade French Bread Recipe
- Yield: 2 loaves
1 pkg. or 1 Tbsp. yeast
1 Tbsp. sugar or honey
1 cup warm water (110-115°)
2 Tbsp. olive or vegetable oil
1 tsp. salt
3 – 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 egg, beaten
2 Tbsp. milk
- In a bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water.
- Add oil and salt and enough flour to make a stiff dough.
- Knead 10 minutes on a floured board.
- Place in a greased bowl, turning once.
- Let rise until doubled, about 1 1/2 – 2 hours.
- Punch down and let rest for 15 minutes.
- Divide the dough in half. Roll each half on a floured surface into a 15-inch long log.
- Grease 2 cookie sheets and sprinkle with cornmeal.
- Place the dough on the greased cookie sheets
- Make 5 slashes diagonally across the tops.
- Mix egg and milk and brush on top.
- Let rise until double, about 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 375°.
- Bake for 25 minutes or until loaves are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped.
Easy Garlic Bread
- Spread garlic butter onto bread or French bread and then broil until golden brown.
- If using a French bread loaf, cut the loaf of bread in half lengthwise. Spread garlic butter onto both halves and wrap in aluminum foil. Preheat oven to 375° and bake 15 minutes or until heated through. Slice before serving.
This easy homemade French bread recipe is from Volume 1 of our cookbook:
Click here to get our Dining On A Dime Cookbooks 25% Off NOW! They’re filled with tasty recipes and tips to make your life easier!
Do you think if I swapped out the regular flour for gluten free flour it would still taste okay?
No it really doesn’t work to just substitute. We do have a gluten free French bread recipe in our Gluten Free Dining On A Dime Cookbook. If you want to check that out, you can visit the shop by clicking the “Shop” link at the top of this page.
Can you put the dough in the refrigerator over night?
I have never done it myself but I am pretty sure you can just like other bread doughs. The only thing is you need to let it rise longer the next day than what is called for in the recipe.
Can you just double the recipe 1:1?
You can double the recipe although if it is the first time making it or you are a new cook you might want to try a single batch first.
My daughter is gluten-free and egg free. Does your cookbook cover?
It is gluten and dairy free only
What kind of milk?
Just finished baking this bread delicious. Will make it on a pizza stone next time. Easy recipe to follow.
Thanks for letting us know that it worked for you Yolanda.
We ship the books media mail because it saves a huge amount of postage for you and that usually takes about a week although depending on where you live there is a chance it could take 2 wks so let us know if you have not received it after 2 wks
I would like to make this for our Christmsa party.
I love french bread and most of the time I made it in the morning breakfast. It’s yummy and delicious taste. Thanks for sharing this recipe with us and I have that cookbook, this is a very helpful book for any kind of recipe.
Thank you Luisa
Made this in my Bread Machine on the dough cycle, then shaped into 2 logs, and it turned out AMAZING.
Mary Lou Broderick
Thank you! This is the answer to my exact question
Did you put it in the bread machine wet ingr3dients first and then yeast on top?
Kim I don’t use a bread machine so you may have to read the instructions on what order you are to put things in in there.
Do you use all purpose or bread flour?
All purpose. All our recipes use all purpose unless otherwise stated
I was digging in the deep chest freezer the other night looking for some frozen apples that I was sure were in there so I could get them used because we’re almost to apple season again and came across a small bag of cracked wheat flour that I purchased at a gas & steam engine show. They were demonstrating how to mill wheat to make flour. I may have to try out my “forgotten flour” in this bread recipe. Do you think my safest bet would be to substitute 1/2 of the AP flour with the cracked wheat? I don’t think I better use all cracked wheat flour. What is your thoughts? Thanks!
Yes Brenda it is usually better to use half and half.
Hi can I use instant yeast instead?
Yes you can
Hi Jill, may I use fresh yeast instead of instant one? Does it work?
Ozlem I don’t know why it wouldn’t. I would at least try it and see.
Do you not let the yeast sit to activate before adding it to the mixture?
No you don’t Marlena. In many older recipes you need to dissolve yeast but now they make yeast in such a way you don’t even need to dissolve it. There is a difference too between dissolving and proofing. Proofing is done only if you aren’t sure how fresh your yeast is and may have expired. Dissolving is just dissolving the yeast granules in water and you really don’t need to do that now.
Can you halve the recipe? I have a very small oven and wouldn’t be able to do two loaves at once!
Yes you can. To halve the egg just put it in a bowl, beat it slightly with a fork then measure about 2 Tbsp. Save the rest of the egg to add to scrambled eggs, fried egg sandwich or to use to bake something else.
Amazing recipe! I made half the recipe using King Arthur bread flour. Resulted in two perfect sized loaves for a family of 3. Will be making this regularly. Thanks for sharing this.
So glad you enjoyed it Robin. Thanks for letting us know.
If you halve the recipe do you still use the same amount of yeast or do you halve that as well?
Yes Jess I would. Sometimes if I have a recipe for 1 loaf of bread and am going to double the recipe I will not double the yeast but halving this one I would half it.
This recipe was so easy to follow & the bread came out amazing!!! I will never buy French bread again! Thank you so much!
Do you have to sprinkle pan with cornmeal?
I followed your recipe but my bread came out pretty dense, not porous like your picture. What did I do wrong? Any suggestions?
First make sure your yeast is still good. To do that sprinkle it in a 1/4 cup of “hot to touch” water or temperature of 105-110 degrees. If it foams and puffs up it is good to use. If the water is too hot you can kill the yeast and your bread won’t rise or be fluffy. Another thing that he needs to be sure to do is to knead it well. The more it is kneaded the fluffier it will be. Be sure to let it rise to double in size too. Making bread is like many things you need to make it a few times and practice until you get it right. It takes several tries and not giving up to learn any new skill.
Can we bake it even without the egg wash just to have that crusty layer?
Yes you can Shey. I usually don’t use any of the washes that recipes call for and these things.
There are only 2 of us. Can I freeze the other half of the dough to bake at another time?
I have never frozen it Norell but you maybe could. What I would do is bake it all and freeze the already baked loaf.
Hi. What kind of yeast do I use?? And what’s the difference between using sugar vs honey?
You can use any kind of yeast. For this recipe there is no difference in using sugar or honey really it is just that some people prefer to us honey for sweetener and like the taste of honey more.
Do I need to cover it while it rises? I see in many other recipes you cover with a warm towel.
Amazing and easy! I love this recipe 💕 I’ll save it forever
Wow, it’s the best recipe
I tried to post a photo ,thanks for sharing
The inside of my bread looked nothing like the picture. Mine looked and tasted more like sandwich bread than french bread. Bummer!!
You might try it a couple more times Kaitlin. Don’t get discouraged. Even seasoned cooks don’t have their breads turn out picture perfect most of the time. Very rarely do the things turn out exactly like the picture in any cookbook especially on the first even second try.
I made this and my whole family loved it, it turned out perfect and was SO easy – and I live at high altitude so half expected it might not work out. Great recipe!
So glad it turned out for you. That does make a difference in high altitude so thanks for letting everyone know it worked there and they don’t need to do anything different.
Do you use bread flour or all purpose? This will be my first time making bread. Thanks
All purpose flour is used. Unless we state other wise the recipe usually calls for all purpose. Actually most recipes you can use all purpose.
Absolutely delicious!! My first time making homemade bread and it’s a definite keeper!
A packet of yeast has only 2.25 t. of yeast. Is that preferred, or is 1 T. of yeast better?
You can do either Kay. It won’t make any difference for something like this. I have a dinner roll recipe that calls for 1 packet of yeast and if I double it I only use just the one packet and not two and it does fine. I have a bread recipe that calls for 2 packets and another recipe with the same amount of same ingredients that calls for 1 pkg. and the same as the one with 2 pkg. so .75 t. really won’t make a difference.
Do you sprinkle corn meal on the greased baking sheet (not the bread)? I just started making this for the 1st time and wanted to clarify…
Yes Karen just grease the cookie sheets then sprinkle the cookie sheet with a little corn meal and then place the loaves on top.
Can the dough be frozen prior to baking?
It can be but there are a couple of different ways to freeze it (one is before first rising and the other after the first rising). You might google it and find the different tips on these 2 methods.
I’m not sure if I did it wrong, because when I mixed it up there seemed to be to much flour and it didn’t seem to make what a typical dough would look like. Didn’t seem to have enough water… what do I do if that is the case?
I know what you are talking about Maria. I had that problem too when I started making bread. If you will notice many bread recipes have 3-3 1/2 or 4 – 4 1/2 cups of flour. That is because of where you live the humidity and a bunch of other things you will affect the flour. What I do is just add the first 2 cups then add about 1/2 cups at a time after that until it is ever so slightly sticky still. Then I take and sprinkle a bit more on it to use while kneading – adding tiny bit more at a time until it makes a smooth dough. It doesn’t matter how much flour the recipe calls for just keep adding enough until you have a smooth, stretchy dough and that is enough.
One big mistake many people make is adding the full amount the recipe calls for and then even more on top of that when they knead it. Hope this helps holler if you have more questions.
I’m looking forward to making this and I’d like to ask if this may be made using a mixer to knead the dough or does it have to be done by hand? Thanks!
Yes you can use a mixer with a dough hook
So this is funny … I was in a bit of a hurry and put ALL the ingredients in my bread machine ! Not realizing the egg and mile were just for brushing on top ! Oops . The loaves actually turned out amazing !! Is this a bit weird ?
Lol Janette that is strange although if you added the extra 1/2 cup (3- 3 1/2) cups of flour that probably helped a bit because the 1 egg and little bit of milk wasn’t a huge amount of liquid. Plus there are many bread recipes that call for an egg and milk so won’t hurt in that way. But you are right you lucked out on that one. :)
Why does my french bread not rise higher like yours does? I have made the dough STIFF. It holds it shape until I let it rise after shaping. Then is spreads wide and not high?
It is a little hard to explain exactly what you need to do to fix it and would be better if you could see what to do so here is a video where he shows exactly how to fix that problem. what to do when your French bread spreads
Thank you for linking to that video! I watched that and another one (which was specific to shaping french baguettes) and it was really helpful! I also have the problem Charlene mentioned above. I’m going to try this recipe and techniques today. Thanks again!
Do you think I could use wheat flour for this recipe?
Thank you, Sarah
Sarah you could maybe use 1/2 and 1/2 but you have to be carefully exchanging wheat for white in some recipes because wheat is a much heavier texture etc. and so sometimes the other ingredients need to be adjusted. You could try it though.
This bread looks delicious! Could I use butter instead of olive or vegetable oil? Thank you, Jess
You can try it Jess but usually with a recipe like this you need to use the “liquid” oil like olive or veggie oil. It can affect the texture and other things in it. But try it and see what happens if you want.
Mine didn’t rise and I used 1 packet of yeast. Was this not enough?
It was plenty of yeast. I have used 1 packet of yeast to make 4 loaves of bread before. It was maybe that the water was to hot or cold or your yeast was dead. When you make bread sprinkle the yeast in 1/4 cup of the liquid called for in the recipe and let it set for 2-3 mins. if it puffs up then you know the temperature is right and the yeast is good. This is called proofing the yeast.
Would you recommend all-purpose flour or bread flour?
I am experimenting with both but want to get these just right for the holidays.
I really have never used bread flour in any of my breads so both will work fine I am sure
Can I omit sprinkling corn meal on it? Will it affect it much? I don’t have any, and we just had a blizzard so I can’t get out.
Yes you can omit the corn meal
So I made this wonderful bread today for tomorrow’s Christmas dinner and it turned out fabulous as far as I can tell so far! I added about a tsp. of garlic powder and thyme and instead of just plain olive oil I used pesto parmesan infused olive oil. My house smells amazing! The bread looks and sounds perfect.
Came out perfect, was going to take a picture but family devoured it.
LOL Tina families tend to do that don’t they.
Do you use active dry or instant yeast for this bread?
You can use either Bel
I’m so sorry to ask such a dumb question, but do I need to cover the dough as it rises both times?
Not a dumb question at all but yes I cover the dough each time. You need warmth to help the dough to rise and covering it helps keep it “warm” while it is rising
Can i freeze a loaf unbaked and thaw it out rise and bake in the future?
Yes you can freeze after it has been shaped and had it’s first rising.
What if I dont have cornmeal for the greased pan?
You don’t need the cornmeal if you don’t have it
I am not sure if this has been asked already or not, but can you use a stand mixer with the dough hook instead of kneading by hand.? Thank you!
Yes Sara you can
Made it and it’s scrumptious!! It’s just delicious!!!
Can you use instant yeast? If so, do I need to do anything differently?
You can use it. The main difference between active yeast and instant yeast is that instant you can add it directly to the flour and sugar – the active you need to add it to 1/4 cup of the liquid (water) in the recipe with a little sugar to let it bloom before adding. I use them both interchangeably but do like the active best just because by allowing it to “bloom” then I know it is still good.
My bread came out kind of dense, is that because I added that extra 1/2 cup of flour? Other then that taste is good!
Probably Victoria. Too much flour can make bread dense, heavy and dry. That is why many bread recipes say 3-3/12 cups flour because what is best to do is to add only 3 cups then flour your board and only add a couple of Tbsp. at a time, kneading it in until most of the stickiness is gone then add no more. Most people add the 3 1/2 cups then use another 1/4-1/2 cup to knead with so their bread becomes very dense and dry.
Hi! Can I do add ins for this? Parmesan cheese, herbs etc? If so do I change the amounts of any ingredients?
Yes you can add things like that to it and not have to change the ingredients – those sound really good
I know your recipe calls for hand kneading. Could I do it in my mixer, if so could you tell me how since I’m just learning how to make homemade bread?
You can do it in a mixer but I never have so am not sure. You can try maybe kneading it between 5-10 mins and I think that should be plenty.
What does it mean by “turn the dough once?” Do I flip it while it’s rising? What happens of I dont flip it?
What this means is you lay it in the greased bowl and flip it over. That way all sides of the dough gets a little of the grease on it. If you don’t do this the dough could dry out and get slightly crusty which you don’t want at this stage. No don’t flip it while it is rising. When dough is rising you don’t want to hardly move it at all because it will deflate. With some breads if the kids are jumping and bouncing on the floor hard enough it can deflate the bread. Here is more info on basic homemade bread making if you would like to learn more.
Can you add seasoning to the dough? Will it bake the same?
Yes Nikki you can add what ever herbs or seasoning you would like.
Dorothy Emily Wolfgang
Can you use half& half instead of milk?
Yes you can.
Hi! Can I make the dough in the night, let it double outside and then refrigerate it so I can bake it the next morning?
I have never done it but I don’t know why it wouldn’t work that way.
This is such a tasty recipe! I made it for the first time today and learned some things along the way; this was my first time making bread of any kind. I didn’t test the instant yeast prior to starting, so when there was no rise an hour later, I did some googling. I believe the water I used was too hot and killed the yeast. I found a solution.
In a small bowl I did a teaspoon of instant yeast, a cup of ‘warm to touch’ water and a tablespoon of sugar. I mixed it and then put it in the microwave (where the AC doesn’t affect the temperature) and let it sit for 10 minutes. That did the trick! I mixed that with the dough that didn’t rise and gradually added flour until it got to the correct consistency. I then put it in the oven to rise where it was, again, safe from the cold air of my AC.
It was well worth the extra effort to google so I didn’t have to start from scratch! I am so happy with the taste and texture of the final product!!!
Thanks Sarah. If any of you need the info Sarah mentioned here is just one of our posts with all the things she mentioned and much more on How to Make Homemade Bread.
Came out well! Mixed in my bread machine and stopped after mixing, about 25 minutes then put in an oiled covered container in the refrigerator over night. I always weigh my flour and used only a bit over 3 cups was just right, and I only use King Arthur, very consistent results every time. Very bubbly, a bit sour dough smell, maybe 16 hours later. Needs to warm up before shaping, it fought me a bit cold so I waited, maybe an hour or more. Rose nicely, made three loaves for the two of us. No egg wash, pan in oven when heating then water for steam for a crisp exterior.
Thanks for the recipe!
Making this bread for the first time. Can you use bread flour instead of all purpose flour?
Yes you can Glendali
I’m going to try this recipe. I need to find a good French bread recipe. Thank you so much! Patti
I used instant yeast. Read on google to just put it with dry ingredients. My bread was very dense. Should I have mixed the yeast in water first like ur recipe said? I did everything else but that
Now this recipe for French bread will be a little denser than regular white bread but there are several different factors that can cause the bread to be dense. First you can add it to dry ingredients but you need to make sure when you add it that te liquids are the right temp to activate it. I usually like to add my yeast to a little liquid and sugar just to make sure it is still “alive” though. Another thing is you can add too much flour. If the recipe say calls for 3 cups of flour I only add about 2 1/2 cups and then use the other 1/2 cup to knead the dough. People can get a little heavy handed when using the flour in kneading the bread. Also kneading is more important than most people realize so if it says knead 10 mins you need (no pun intended LOL) to knead it at least that much. You might try a couple of these things. If the bread comes out dense don’t throw it away. It is really good used as toast, for French toast, stuffing or buttered and sprinkled with garlic powder then broiled.