Homemade French Bread
Simple, quick, and easy homemade French bread recipe.
Kids can even make this bread. For real. It's that easy. Making any bread from scratch can be a daunting task and it's easy to be intimidated by the whole process. I am going to break it down and hopefully ease any worries. You may even become a master bread maker!
This Homemade Bakery French Bread can be done in a little more than one hour which means you can have hot, fresh bread straight out of the oven when the kids get home from school even if you don't start baking until afternoon. You won't need to run to the bakery for your french bread anymore when you can make better bread at home....in no time flat.
I taught a culinary class for kids in both Texas and Arizona and I've watched 7-year-olds tackle this homemade French bread recipe. I loved seeing the pictures those kids sent me showing the french bread masterpieces they made for their families.
As a child, I remember riding my bike home from school and opening the back door to the smells of homemade bread baking in the oven. My Mom always said that she could live on bread alone so bread was always essential in our home. There's nothing more comforting than a hot piece of bread straight from the oven covered in churned butter and homemade strawberry jam.
Let's get down to the basics so you can start baking.
How to make quick and easy homemade bakery french bread:
- Making sure the yeast proofs is essential. Using fresh yeast is important and mixing with warm water (not too hot, not too cold) will ensure success. Yeast loves sugar so add a pinch of sugar to the mixture. Let it work for about 10 minutes.
- Adding flour one cup at a time is important so you can see when the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. That's when you know it's ready. Put flour down on the counter so the dough doesn't stick. That isn't fun. I love my Bosch mixer and can find a great deal on one below.
- Using rolling pin, roll out into a 9 x 12 rectangle. Roll up lengthwise and mold into french loaf. I love this marble rolling pin.
- The loaves don't have to look perfect. I rolled these babies in 7 ½ minutes flat before I sprinted to my little girl's performance. Don't forget to make 3-4 diagonal cuts with a sharp knife before placing on silpat or greased cookie sheet. These silicone baking sheets make it so easy to remove the bread from the baking sheet. Let rise for 30-40 minutes.
- Bake at 375 degrees for 18-22 minutes until lightly golden brown. Watch it carefully to turn a light golden brown color.
Happy Baking, my friends! I can't wait to hear what you think about this quick and easy homemade french bread.
Over the years I have never strayed from this recipe. It is simply the best. Thank you.
Just tried this and it was so easy and turned out just perfect!!! Thank you
I have a question: how was it possible that the bread rose so quickly for the first rise? Usually the first rise takes 2 to 3 hours for other bread recipes, what made this one rise so quickly within 10 minutes?
I am a culinary arts teacher and am wondering if I can let this rise overnight in the fridge for the next day? I only have 1 block classes.
Hi there! So I haven’t recipe tested it yet, but you may be able to cover the bowl and refrigerate it overnight. I would suggest letting it rise at room temperature for at least 30 mins to an hour before placing it in the refrigerator. Hope that helps! Let me know how it goes.
This bread turns out perfect every single time. And it is so easy and looks so impressive. I love this recipe. Even my kids can make it.
I’m confused?? You divide into 3 pieces and roll out each into 9x12. What do you do with each piece? Make 3 loaves, braid, or layer?
This recipe makes 3 (12”)loaves.
Perfecto recipe. I use quick rise yeast.
I used bread flour as I was not sure which kind to use. This bread is very tasty and was the first bread I have ever made on my own. There is a hint of sweetness. The texture reminds me of a really good bagel. A first timer can do this recipe. It’s worth it!
All purpose flour has a great texture for this bread. Bread flour will give it that chewier texture. I'm sure both ways are tasty!
Thank you so much for your comment Olivia! Yes, this recipe works with both bread flour and all purpose flour. I’m so glad that it worked out and that you loved it!
What kind of yeast?
I use the active dry yeast packets instead of yeast in a jar. Jarred yeast only stays active/alive after a jar has been opened for 2-3 days in the fridge. After that it has to be thrown out. You'll know its active and working if there are little bubbles in your yeast after it proofs for 10 minutes. It might even look a little thicker. approximately 2 small 1/4 ounce packets to equal 2 tbsps.
I'm using an expired jar out of the fridge but keep it tight. I've made pretzels, molasses bead, Amish white bread and today for this recipe. Everything turned out great and dough doubles in an hour. If 2-3 days your fridge is not right.
That is not factual information Jen. Yeast in a jar certainly remains fresh through its expiration date once opened and stored in the refrigerator.
Hi Brenda! I would recommend the yeast from the jar, but if you don’t have that you could use dry instant yeast. Hope this helps! And thank you SO MUCH for trying my recipe!
LOVE LOVE LOVE this recipe! It was delicious, and I even used one of the loaves to make homemade garlic bread, so much better than buying a loaf from the store and adding the garlic butter. This bread did not last long in my house, even with there being three rolls and three of us!
Haha Courtney I love your comment because the same thing happens at my house! This bread doesn’t last long over here. I am so glad that you guys loved it, thank you so much for using my recipe!
This bread was amazing and came out perfectly! I followed the directions as is. Will definitely be making again!! Thank you for sharing!!
I am giving this recipe five stars because my bread turned out wonderfully! Thank you for posting this.
However, I’m wishing/hoping/encouraging you to respond to the several questions that have been asked about this recipe - some of these answers would be helpful to me - and it just seems courteous to respond.
Thanks again for a recipe I will be holding on to and using often. 🙂
Just made this today for the first time! It was perfection! I was leery because I used a wooden spoon to mix until I couldn't see any dry flour and it was a little sticky and gooey but I rolled it around a well floured surface before rolling it and it was perfect! I wish I could upload pics!
This is such a simple and delicious bread!
Can you freeze this bread once you bake it?
Yep. Have been doing this for a few years. I actually slice mine up (I use it for garlic bread and this makes it to where I can just grab however many slices I want).
Hi Kathy! Yes, I love this recipe because the bread freezes so well. Make sure that the bread cools to room temperature, then place it in a freezer safe ziplock bag. I hope that this helps, good luck! And thank you for using my recipe.
Can you make this with 100% whole wheat flour or white wheat flour?
I don’t see why you couldn’t make this bread with those flours. I just would use a gluten free flour with the recipe.
Rosalyn, my daughter in law is gluten intolerant & last weekend she was lamenting how much she misses bread! I would love to make this for her, but I've read it can be problematic to just sub gluten free flour in a recipe. Are you saying that is all I need to do differently in this recipe? If so, any recommendation on which flour would work best?
I'm just getting into bread making & would appreciate your advice!
If I was you, I would do some research on gluten free flour for the bread recipe. Different gluten-free and alternative flours provide different functions. You often have to use more than 1 gluten-free flour in a recipe to achieve a similar result to using regular flour.
Do you think I could add raisins and cinnamon to this recipe without issue?
Not the type of bread that I would add cinnamon and raisins to it. All depends on your own preference of the type of bread you like as this one is white French bread.
Yes, you can use either flour! White flour is going to be a lot fluffier, wheat flour tends to be pretty dense and sort of heavy. I would recommend doing a mix (about 50/50) of each flour to get the same fluffiness of the white flour while adding some of the nutrients of the wheat. Hope that helps!
Bread was AMAZING. I substituted half the oil for butter too. Overall no complaints and will make again.
It's in the oven rightnow! It's a frozen tundra kind of day in WNY so I thought some bread baking was just what it needed!
Great recipe - thanks for posting! Super quick and easy. My family loved it!
Just made this recipe and it was so good! It totally exceeded my expectations. I will definitely be making this again. It was super easy and I love that you can multiply the recipe from the website. Thanks, Melissa.