Crusty French Bread

Crusty French Bread
414
41 Reviews
French bread is a light, crusty yeast bread made with water rather than milk.
60 min
Prep Time
3:55
Total Time
15 servings

Ingredients

1 (1/4-ounce) package
active dry yeast
2 1/4 cups
warm water , 105°F to 115°F
1 tablespoon
sugar
5 to 5 1/2 cups
bread flour or all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon
salt
1
large Land O Lakes® Egg, slightly beaten
1 tablespoon
milk

Directions

  1. Dissolve yeast in warm water in bowl; stir in sugar. Let stand 45 minutes. Stir in 3 cups flour and salt; beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to make dough easy to handle.
  2. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Place into greased bowl; turn greased-side up. Cover; let rise in warm place 1 1/2 hours or until double in size. (Dough is ready if indentation remains when touched.)
  3. Punch down dough; divide into thirds. Shape each third into 15-inch loaf (baguette) or 5-inch round on greased baking sheets. Cover; let rise 30 minutes or until double in size.
  4. Heat oven to 400°F.
  5. Stir together egg and milk in bowl; brush over top and sides of loaves. Make 5 diagonal slashes across top of each loaf with serrated knife. Bake 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from baking sheets; cool on wire racks.
  6. VARIATION:
  7. Garlic Herb French Bread: Add 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves, 1 teaspoon dried basil leaves and 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh garlic with the 3 cups flour.

Recipe Tips

Nutrition Facts (1 serving)

Calories
175
Cholesterol
15mg
Carbohydrates
34g
Protein
6g
Fat
1g
Sodium
430mg
Dietary Fiber
1g

Recipe Comments and Reviews

Rating

Try a sharp cutter blade to make the stripes and barely scratch the surface.

Rating

Hi Marie, it could be that your slashes are a bit too deep. Next time try making lighter cuts on the top, and that may help. Happy baking!

Rating

Have made it several times and always a big hit. I also have trouble with the slashes, the loaves immediately deflate, any suggestions? I like the slashed look.

Test Kitchen Comment
From: Mallory
Hi Marie, it could be that your slashes are a bit too deep. Next time try making lighter cuts on the top, and that may help. Happy baking!
Posted May 09, 2016

Rating

Easy to make though I still prefer the French Bread made by Steve. Re: slashes - you can use very sharp scisors; it is much easier...

Rating

I made it this morning and its a big success! Thank you for sharing the recipe! You are amazing!!!

Rating

Edible! But mine came out very dense. I have heard that real bakers only calculate using weight, not cups...I put in 5 cups of flour and I think it was too much. Perhaps I should have added water at that point, but I'm a beginner. I also had a hard time keeping the dough from getting quite cold while I kneaded it. However, this is a workable recipe and I'm going to try again. Was not a waste!

Rating

Hi Ted, using a very sharp knife to score the top is important, and make very shallow cuts with a swift motion. Hope this helps!

Rating

Hi Amanda, we would suggest making two batches, as sometimes doubling ingredients can get tricky (especially with yeast breads). Happy baking!

Rating

I made this bread last week for the first time...I was in a hurry and without thinking added the egg and the drop of milk right into the mixture! Too late! I honestly thought it would be awful, but having gone through all the other instructions, made 3 'french' loaves. Finally baked them. Absolutely fantastic!!! The dough rose beautifully, stayed a good shape too..... I gave one to a neighbour who enjoyed it very much. I can't compare whether it turned out very different from your recipe, but my version, had a very crispy crust and soft and so tasty inside! I am going to bake more tomorrow, and will follow your recipe to see what the difference is. Thank you. Very easy to prepare, very quick to finish off!!

Rating

Made another batch today. I ate a whole loaf! I like to have the dough rise in a cold fridge overnight, this improves the flavor. Found a baguette pan that holds two loaves, those really turned out nice and rose higher than I expected. The third baked in a long clay pan, made in Bennington, Vermont. I can't do the slash thing at all for some reason. Tried a couple different blades and techniques. What's the secret?

Test Kitchen Comment
From: mallory
Hi Ted, using a very sharp knife to score the top is important, and make very shallow cuts with a swift motion. Hope this helps!
Posted January 20, 2016

Rating

can I simply just double this recipe by doubling the ingredients or should I just make two batches

Test Kitchen Comment
From: mallory
Hi Amanda, we would suggest making two batches, as sometimes doubling ingredients can get tricky (especially with yeast breads). Happy baking!
Posted January 20, 2016

Rating

This has become our family favorite French bread. I have brought it to a couple events and every one that has tasted it has loved it!

Rating

This is a really great and easy recipe. I found the bread slightly too salty for my taste, since I don't eat a lot of salt in my diet. Next time I am going to reduce the salt a bit, but I know it's important in the recipe, so reducing only slightly. Letting the yeast rise for so long was also weird to me, but had a go - and it worked out. Thanks for the recipe

Rating

Hi Aaron, if you'd like to make this in the evening and bake it in the morning, we'd suggest the following: prepare the bread as stated, and let it rise about halfway. Cover the pan with plastic food wrap that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray and place it in the refrigerator. The next morning, remove and let rise for about an hour. Continue baking as directed in the recipe. Hope this helps!

Rating

Would it hurt the outcome if I left it to rise overnight? I would like to make the dough in the evening, let it rise over night and bake fresh bread in the AM, but I'm curious if the yeast would ferment or otherwise ruin the outcome. Curious if anyone has tried?

Test Kitchen Comment
From: mallory
Hi Aaron, if you'd like to make this in the evening and bake it in the morning, we'd suggest the following: prepare the bread as stated, and let it rise about halfway. Cover the pan with plastic food wrap that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray and place it in the refrigerator. The next morning, remove and let rise for about an hour. Continue baking as directed in the recipe. Hope this helps!
Posted December 10, 2015

Rating

Mom used to make French bread that was really good, and have tried (unsuccessfully) in the past to get something at least close. She also had the problem others mention, everyone would inhale the loaves in minutes out of the oven. This is the best so far. She would approve, I think. I used 4.5 cups flour and they did turn out a little flat, without a pan, see from above maybe need a bit more flour.

Rating

I have never made bread before. This recipe had clear directions and my bread loaves looked like the ones from a bakery! They also tasted amazing. Thank you for sharing this recipe.

Rating

So far so good. The bread is literally on the second part of rising before going into the oven! I let the yeast sit for around 30min while I was c0oking breakfast rather than 45 min. The dough did rise a lot before I shaped them into round loafs! I cannot wait to try them after they are baked with my thanksgiving dinner.

Rating

I made this bread the first time, my family loves it so much. Thanks a lot!

Rating

Hi Nick - it is important to let the yeast mixture sit for 45 minutes so the bread can have an airy, light texture. Patience is key in this recipe - we are glad to hear you enjoy it! Happy baking!

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