How to Make Easy and Delicious French Bread at Home

French Bread

Baking homemade bread is perfect at any time of the year, but during cold weather it is even better. I especially love to serve this recipe for my French bread with a big bowl of soup that I make from scratch for satisfying warm lunches. Unlike some French bread with a very tough crust, my recipe produces a chewy, but softer over a crunchier hard one.

What is wonderful about this French bread recipe is that only a few ingredients go into it. At the same time, you just assemble and incorporate the ingredients for this nice, pliable dough.

I paint the top of the breads with milk with my silicone brush. This just helps color the crust. I also think it contributes to a more tender outer crust, but with that chewy quality to it. If you like a shine to your bread, then brush it with egg white.

If you prefer a harder crust, you have two options. You can paint the top with water instead of the milk before placing it in your hot oven or mix it with egg white. Another thing that you can do is to put a pan of water in the bottom of your oven before you put your French bread in the oven to bake. The steam will rise and help the crust harden as well.

This French bread recipe will make one long baguette or two regular bread loaves.

For those that still never attempted to bake homemade bread, this is an easy and utterly delicious recipe that can help build your confidence. I hope that you give it a try along with my sauerkraut soup or lentil soup recipes. You can also find more terrific soups using my search box.

French Bread

1 package of dry yeast
1/4 cups of very warm water (but not hot) + 1 teaspoon of sugar
1 cup of boiling water
1 tablespoon of margarine or canola oil
2 teaspoons of salt
1 tablespoon of sugar
5 ½ cups – 6 cups of sifted all-purpose flour
3/4 cup of cold water
milk just to brush (a few tablespoons)
cornmeal to sprinkle on the baking pans or sheet (if desired)

Sprinkle yeast in the warm water along with the one teaspoon of sugar in a large measuring cup. Stir until dissolved. Give this yeast water a few minutes to feed on the sugar. You will know it is proofed and ready to use when you start seeing bubbles foam in the water.

In a large mixing bowl, pour the boiling water over the margarine or canola oil, a tablespoon of sugar and salt.

Next, add 3/4 cup of cold water to cool those ingredients off somewhat to a lukewarm stage.

Now add the yeast to the mixing bowl that you have cooled somewhat and gradually start incorporating the sifted flour. Don’t try to rush adding all the flour at once. Due to the weather, there are some days you need more flour and others that you could use less due to the humidity in the air. You only want to enough flour to be able to knead it on your floured surface for soft, pliable dough.

After you finish kneading, transfer to a greased bowl. If you’re using oil instead of the margarine, you can turn your measuring cup over and grease the bowl.

Let the dough rise until doubled. This is about one hour and a half.

Next, shape the bread into two regular bread pans or on a tray or your French bread pan that you have sprinkled lightly with cornmeal.

Let the shaped bread rise again until doubled.

To help the shaped bread bake more evenly, slash the top a few times with a sharp knife.

Brush with the milk or egg white or egg white and about a tablespoon of water for the type of crust you love the most.

Bake in a 350-degree oven for 35 minutes.

ENJOY!

French Bread
Unlike some French breads with a very tough crust, my recipe produces a chewy, but softer over a crunchier hard one.
Course: Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch, snacks
Cuisine: French
Keyword: chewy crust, easy bread baking, french bread recipe, homemade bread, soup and bread
Author: Mary Balandiat
Ingredients
  • 1 package of dry yeast
  • 1/4 cups of very warm water but not hot + 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 1 cup of boiling water
  • 1 tablespoon of margarine or canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 5 ½ cups – 6 cups of sifted all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup of cold water
  • milk just to brush a few tablespoons
  • cornmeal to sprinkle on the baking pans or sheet if desired
Instructions
  1. prinkle yeast in the warm water along with the one teaspoon of sugar in a large measuring cup. Stir until dissolved. Give this yeast water a few minutes to feed on the sugar. You will know it is proofed and ready to use when you start seeing bubbles foam in the water.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, pour the boiling water over the margarine or canola oil, a tablespoon of sugar and salt.
  3. Next, add 3/4 cup of cold water to cool those ingredients off somewhat to a lukewarm stage.
  4. Now add the yeast to the mixing bowl that you have cooled somewhat and gradually start incorporating the sifted flour. Don’t try to rush adding all the flour at once. Due to the weather, there are some days you need more flour and others that you could use less due to the humidity in the air. You only want to enough flour to be able to knead it on your floured surface for soft, pliable dough.
  5. After you finish kneading, transfer to a greased bowl. If you’re using oil instead of the margarine, you can turn your measuring cup over and grease the bowl.
  6. Let the dough rise until doubled. This is about one hour and a half.

  7. Next, shape the bread into two regular bread pans or on a tray or your French bread pan that you have sprinkled lightly with cornmeal.
  8. Let the shaped bread rise again until doubled.
  9. To help the shaped bread bake more evenly, slash the top a few times with a sharp knife.
  10. Brush with the milk or egg white or egg white and about a tablespoon of water for the type of crust you love the most.
  11. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 35 minutes.
  12. ENJOY!
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