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French Bread Recipe – Easy to Make with Just 5 Ingredients

It doesn't have to be difficult to bake bread at home, and this French bread recipe is one of my “must have” recipes. I use it for making bread bowls for soup, such as Wisconsin Cheese Soup, French bread pizza, garlic bread, or accompanying soup, salad, or stew. French bread, not surprisingly, is great for French toast. Because it has a sturdier crust, it holds up well even when soaked with egg batter – so you don't end up with your bread falling apart before you get it to the pan.

French bread recipe

If you prefer a crusty French bread recipe, make sure to use the salt water glaze. This gives the bread a chewy, crispy crust. If you would like a softer crust, you may skip the glaze. (I highly recommend using it.) It's great to sink your teeth into a slice of fresh bread, dripping with butter or olive oil, with just the right resistance on the crust. No mushy, “stick to the roof of your mouth” bread with this recipe.

Homemade French Bread Recipe – Tools and Ingredients

For grinding your own fresh flour, I recommend the Nutrimill Classic Grain Mill. It's reasonably compact, easy to use, and doesn't heat up the flour like some other mills. To make the French bread dough, you can either use the dough cycle on your bread machine, mix in a heavy stand mixer with dough hook or Bosch Kitchen Machine, or mix by hand. I use a stainless steel chopper/scraper for cutting and shaping dough.

This bread is typically baked on a half sheet pan, which you either grease or line with reusable parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. A large grid cooling rack is good for bread and for keeping smaller items like cookies from falling through the rack.

My preferred French bread ingredients:

A single recipe makes one loaf (this is a double batch of the French bread recipe in the photos, thus two loaves). The full printable recipe is below the photos, along with a video demo of the bread from start to finish.

How to make French bread

Roll out the French bread dough jelly roll style.

French bread loaves, unbaked

Place the French bread dough loaves on prepared pans and allow to rise until roughly double in size.

brushing on the salt water glaze for crusty French bread

For a crusty French bread, brush the bread with a saltwater glaze just before baking.

two loaves of homemade French bread

Remove the French bread loaves from the oven and cool on a wire rack before serving.

Print Friendly French Bread Recipe


Easy Homemade French Bread

Homemade crusty French bread recipe – This recipe is perfect for bread bowls, French bread pizza, garlic bread or accompanying soup or stew. Makes great French toast!

  • Author: Laurie Neverman
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 1 loaf 1x
  • Category: Bread
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: French




  • 1 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon bread machine yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 1/2 cups bread flour


  • 2 tablespoon water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. Dissolve sugar, yeast and salt in warm water in a large bowl or mixer of choice. Add flour cup by cup, mixing after each addition, until a firm dough is formed (or let the dough cycle do its thing).
  2. Let dough rise about 20 minutes, punch down. Cover and let rise in a warm location until doubled in size.
  3. Dump dough onto lightly floured surface. Roll out the dough in a rectangle, just slightly shorter than the length of your baking sheet and about half as wide. Roll up jelly roll style. Place on lightly greased pan (or cover pan with reusable parchment paper), seam side down. Allow to rise until double in size.
  4. Preheat oven to 400°F. Score the top of each loaf with a sharp knife three times, about 1/3 of the way through the dough. Brush with glaze and bake until golden brown, about 20-25 minutes. Cool on wire rack.

Keywords: bread, French Bread

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French Bread Recipe

More Homemade Bread Recipes

Enjoy fresh bread? Bread baking doesn't have to be complicated. My sons have been making bread since they were around 10 years old. If they can do it, you can do it!

My bread book features troubleshooting tips for the most common bread baking questions. There's also tips for high altitude adjustments, freezing and storing bread (including par baked rolls). There are also recipes for leftover bread, and foods that go great with bread, like flavored butters.

Click here to learn more or get my book “Never Buy Bread Again” – NOW AVAILABLE in spiral bound print and ebook formats.

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Originally posted in 2015, last updated in 2018.

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  1. Just tried this recipe. I had my bread machine make the dough. I had never used bread flour before, only all purpose. This was AMAZING! The family polished off the loaf, still warm with butter. This recipe has gone into My Favorites!!

  2. I made this last night & It was a complete hit!!! First time making bread & it came out beautiful & delicious!!! Thank you for the recipe & easy to follow instructions!

  3. Well. I’ve been baking french bread for many years – first using the bread machine to make the dough, until it died; then, I started trying different recipes here and there from Martha Stewart to Bon Apetit to a few off the internet – ALL to no success. (They were not rising, made flat loaves, greasy loaves, had no structure and I KNEW it was not my yeast! I also knew it was not my all purpose flour – I had been using AP with the bread machine and that specific recipe that came with it and it always worked fine.) Today, hallelujah, I found your recipe for French Bread. It rose up perfectly beautiful and is baking right now – the house smells DIVINE. AND I used AP flour. Thank you for a PERFECT RECIPE, FINALLY!!! 😀

  4. Will King Arthur white whole wheat flour work for this recipe? In prev question I wanted to ask about whole wheat flour that you could recommend for this recipe? thank you

  5. Hi

    First time i tried my bread was just amazing. However, i tried twice since then and dont know why my bread are coming out hard. my daughter even said she can kill someone with that stone. I dont what i am doing wrong. any help?? Thanks

    1. All purpose flour is normally wheat flour, unless you have gluten free all purpose flour. If it’s AP wheat flour, that will work. If the other wheat flour is bread flour, that may work a little better.

  6. This recipe worked very well for me, and using your mix of glaze , well, just will take your taste buds to a higher level. Thank you for always sharing your great, easy recipes with us out here in the digital world.

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