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French Bread Recipe

Nothing beats a loaf of crusty, chewy French bread at the dinner table. This recipe creates a beautifully browned and crisp crust, with a soft and chewy center that will leave you coming back for slice after slice.

A loaf of sliced French bread on a marble table
This bread is irresistible, with a golden brown crust and soft chewy interior.

Video: Watch Me Make This

Easy French Bread Recipe

Why This Recipe Stands Out

  • Easy Rise: If your house is at least moderate room temperature, you won’t need to fret about this loaf of goodness rising to the max. This recipe skips all of the heavy flour add-ins, so it rises super easily.
  • Golden Texture: This loaf has a delicious golden texture to the crust.
  • Easy Recipe: Anyone can make this recipe in their home kitchen, so there’s no need for a fancy bread maker or elaborate attachments.
  • The Smells: Baked fresh, this recipe will fill your home with the warm, aromatic smell of perfectly baked homemade bread.
  • Pantry Staples: Make this delicious loaf with staple pantry ingredients you probably already have.
  • If you’re into experimenting with bread recipes, try making these amazing Homemade Bagels or mall-like Soft Pretzels as well.
Two loaves of crispy french bread on a sheet pan
You’ll be rewarded with two loaves of warm, delicious French Bread. Enjoy one loaf now and freeze another for later.

Key Ingredients

Making the French Bread dough
This bread recipe requires only a short list of ready available pantry ingredients.

This recipe comes together with just a short list of readily available ingredients. You might be surprised because of how flavorful it is, but the dough only has four ingredients plus water.

  • All-purpose flour – Use your favorite all-purpose flour, no need for any bread flour in this recipe.
  • Active dry yeast – A must for this dough to rise beautifully and double in size.
  • Salt – A classic flavor enhancer that balances out the flavor profile.
  • Sugar – Give this recipe a sweet element with granulated sugar.
  • Water – Any tap water will do, but it needs to be 110°F to help the yeast rise properly.
  • CornmealCornmeal prevents the bread from sticking to the pan by acting as a barrier layer.
  • Egg white – A simple egg wash gives your French Bread the slightly shiny, beautifully golden exterior everyone will be hungry for.

Step-By-Step Instructions

  1. Combine. In a large bowl, combine the flour, yeast, sugar, and salt and hand-whisk until combined. Stir in the warm water and stir until a dough forms roughly the consistency of play-dough.
  2. Knead. On a lightly floured surface, knead dough 10 minutes.
  1. Rise. Shape into a ball and place into a well-oiled bowl. Cover tightly with cling wrap and place in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in volume.
  2. Shape. Gently punch dough down and divide in half. Place on a floured surface, cover, and let sit 10 minutes. Roll each half into a rectangle. Roll rectangle up lengthwise, moisten edges with water, and pinch tightly to seal.
  1. Slit & Brush. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and sprinkle with cornmeal before placing loaves seam side down. Cut diagonal slits on top, about 1/4 inch deep and brush top with egg/water mixture.
  2. Let rest. Lay cling wrap over loaves and place in a draft-free warm place until nearly doubled in size, about 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375F and place a large pan of water on lowest rack.
  3. Bake: Bake 15 minutes. Brush again with egg/water mixture. Bake another 10 minutes or until bread looks done. Let loaves rest at room temp before enjoying.
Two crusty French bread loaves side by side
Homemade French bread is delicious with soups, stews, and salads of any kind.

Pro Tips

Here are a few tips to help your bread turn out perfectly:

  • Be sure to stir the main ingredients together well. If stirred properly, the dough should be similar to play dough consistency with just enough elastic but only slight tackiness.
  • Once the dough is ready to rise, either place it in the warmest part of your house, or place your oven on warm mode, turn it off, and place the covered dough inside. The oven will allow your dough to rise rapidly, but consistently. Don’t forget to turn the oven off though, or you’ll accidentally cook the bread too soon.
  • Use a bread lame or a razor-edged knife to create the classic slits on the top of your bread. A dull knife will deflate your bread.

What to Serve With French Bread

Soups and Stews


  • Creamy Bruschetta Pasta – this one is super easy and boasts all the flavors you love in a good family pasta meal.
  • 30-Minute Spaghetti Carbonara – this quick, simple pasta dish tastes like it came from a restaurant. All it needs is some fresh-out-of-the-oven bread.
  • Perfect Pasta Primavera – this pasta dish loads up on healthy vegetables. Serve your fresh bread with butter on the side.


Commonly Asked Questions

How is French bread different from regular bread?

French Bread has longer and thinner shape than regular bread. It’s characterized by a golden brown crust with the perfect crust. French Bread is generally heartier, yet softer in texture on the inside; French bread is often served alongside soups and salads.

How do you get a golden brown crust?

If your crust isn’t turning out as golden as hoped for, you can try first to adjust the placement of your oven rack. Move it up or down to adjust the distance to the heating element. If that doesn’t work, you can also try turning up the oven by 25 degrees, although you’ll have to watch to ensure it’s not over-baked. Be sure not to skip the egg wash, as it’s essential for a perfectly golden top.

Can I use instant yeast instead?

Yes, you can use instant yeast for bread. This recipe calls for active dry yeast, but if you only have instant yeast on hand, that will work too. Use the same amount of instant yeast as you would active dry yeast. If using instant yeast, note that the dough may double in size a lot sooner, so you may need to adjust the rise time.

Can I halve the recipe for just 1 loaf of bread?

You can definitely half this recipe if you only need one delicious loaf of French Bread instead of two. Split the recipe evenly in half and follow the same directions before enjoying the scrumptious result.

Can I freeze baked French bread?

Baked French bread is easily frozen, with these directions: Let baked bread loaves cool completely at room temperature. Wrap each loaf airtight with tin foil. Place in freezer for up to 2-3 weeks. When ready to serve, place foil-wrapped frozen loaves in oven at 250F just until they’re warmed through, about 30 minutes or so.

Did you make this?

Please give us a rating and comment below. We love hearing from you!

Crunchy baked French Bread loaf

French Bread

4.97 from 147 ratings
Nothing beats a loaf of crusty, chewy French bread at the dinner table. This recipe creates a beautifully browned and crisp crust, with a soft and chewy center that will leave you coming back for slice after slice.
Prep Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 18
Author: Amy Dong



  • In a large bowl, combine the flour, yeast, sugar, and salt. Hand-whisk until well combined. Gradually stir in the warm water (test the temperature with thermometer to ensure it's right around 110F) and stir until a dough forms. The consistency should be roughly like play-dough, not too sticky but easily forms into a smooth/elastic dough ball. Add 1 TB water at a time as needed to gain that consistency.
  • On a lightly floured surface, knead dough 10 minutes.
  • Shape into a ball, place into a well-oiled bowl, and turn dough to lightly coat in oil. Cover bowl tightly with cling wrap and place bowl in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in volume, 30-60 minutes, or place in a pre-warmed oven for more rapid rising.
  • Gently punch dough down and divide in half. Place on lightly floured surface, cover, and let sit 10 minutes. Roll each half into approx. 14×9 inch rectangle. Roll rectangle up lengthwise, moisten edges with water, and pinch tightly to seal. Taper and seal ends.
  • Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Sprinkle evenly with cornmeal. Place loaves seam side down on sheet. Cut diagonal slits into loves on top, about 1/4 inch deep. Brush loaves with egg/water mixture.
  • Gently lay cling wrap over loaves and place in a draft-free warm place until nearly doubled in size, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375F with rack on lower middle position. Place a large pan of water on lowest rack.
  • Bake 15 minutes. Brush again with egg/water mixture. Bake another 10 minutes or until bread looks done. Let loaves rest at room temp at least 15 minutes before slicing.


  • Top this warm, delicious French Bread with butter or your favorite jam and pair it with a heavenly soup like this Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup.
  • If you prefer smaller French Bread loaves, you can split and shape this recipe into four smaller loaves instead of two, but you’ll need to watch them while they bake as baking time may vary depending on loaf size.
  • If you enjoyed this recipe, please come back and give it a rating ❤️

Nutrition (per serving)

Serving: 1g | Calories: 95kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.01g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Sodium: 132mg | Potassium: 6mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin C: 0.001mg | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Appetizer, Bread, Dinner
Cuisine: French American
Diet: Vegetarian
Method: baking, Mixing

More to Bake and Eat

  • Better than Olive Garden Breadsticks – An Olive Garden classic, but wait until you try these easy homemade ones.  They will knock your socks off, as they’re much better when homemade.
  • Rustic Rosemary Garlic Bread – This bread is simply wonderful.  It’s so chewy and soft in the center, with a flavorful exterior crust. This is one of those loafs you want to devour the minute it emerges from the oven.
  • Easy Cheesy Garlic Bread – So, you’re low on time and still want delicious bread straight out of the oven? This one takes almost no time at all and yields mouthwatering bread.

Add a comment

Recipe Rating


    • Sam
    • 4 stars

    My second rise did not happen. The first rise was great. I still baked it and it was really yummy. I will try again!
    I halved the recipe but made no other changes.
    My dough was very sticky, I had to add another 2 or 3 tablespoons of flour to make it anything resembling playdoh. It still stuck to everything, my hands, silicone mats, and the parchment paper, all well floured. I stopped adding because I was afraid of adding too much. I’m wondering if my flour measurement was off somehow. I always sift and spoon my flour to measure because I don’t have a scale. I bake often but I’m an amateur in the bread world.
    When you say ‘playdoh’ do you mean something like tortillas/ naan or more like unchilled cookie dough? It’s humid in my home, more so than usual. I know that plays a role but I’ve never had to add so much flour to compensate.
    The bread came out flat but the flavor was great. Crispy goodness! Any help or tips you might have would be appreciated.

      • chewoutloud

      Hi, Sam! Yes, the dough would have the similar stickiness as store-bought cookie dough or just a tad stickier. Humidity would definitely affect the flour to liquid ratio. The second rise may just have needed a bit more time, as long as it was covered and placed in a warm, draft-free location. Another possibility is that the first rise may have risen too long, if room was warm/humid…once the dough doubles in size during 1st rise, it’s ready. Hope that helps 🙂

    • Carla Peninger
    • 5 stars

    I can’t believe it took me 6 years to try this recipe! I am so glad to report my two loaves I made tonight were fantastic! I had to take pictures to prove to myself that I actually did it! This bread won’t last long in our house. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe.

    P.S. I was wondering if there was any rules for using whole wheat flour? Amounts?

      • chewoutloud

      Awesome, Carla!! For whole wheat, I would start with replacing half whole and half regular (same overall amount of flour.) If that works well for you, you can up the wheat replacement, still keeping to same amt overall. So happy you liked this bread!

    • Donna J Rudolph

    This is my first time making bread by hand. When you say roll out th e dough in a rectangle , do you mean with a rolling pin? I did that and now I don’t see my last rise, rising.

      • chewoutloud

      Yes, roll the dough with rolling pin into rectangle and then form a loaf shape by hand. If your first rise worked out well, your dough sounds healthy enough to rise again after shaping into loaves. Be sure that the shaped loaves are covered from any draft and have a warm place to rise. Hope that helps!

    • Heather M. Whipple

    Also can i use my Kitchen aid stand mixer with the dough hook attachment for this recipe?
    please let me know soon by emailing me at

      • chewoutloud

      Yes, you can use the stand mixer, as long as you scrape down the sides throughout and be sure dough reaches correct texture/consistency. Happy baking! 🙂

    • Heather M. Whipple

    Can I use bread flour instead of all purpose flour for this Bread recipe? I think it would be good to use bread flour also when making bread. Please let me know by e-mailing me at

      • chewoutloud

      Heather, you may use bread flour instead. Just be sure the dough is the right texture; slightly sticky, but not so much that you can’t easily roll into a ball. Enjoy your bread!! 🙂

    • Heather M. Whipple

    Hello, these two loaves of bread look delicious. However, could I use my stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment to make this bread?
    At least to mix and knead it. Please let me know by e-mailing me at

    • Jenni LeBaron
    • 5 stars

    I’ve never made my own French bread, but now is certainly the time to learn! This is going to be such a treat for garlic bread with a spaghetti dinner, made into sandwiches, or sliced and dipped into soup!

      • chewoutloud

      Sounds amazing, Jenni! 🙂

    • Mama Maggie’s Kitchen
    • 5 stars

    Hmm yum! I would love to have a full bite of this French Bread! Looks really delicious in every bite. My husband will surely love to have this.

      • chewoutloud

      Thank you, Maggie 🙂

    • Jacqui DeBono
    • 5 stars

    I make my own bread most of the time, and so I am always looking to try different recipes. Looking forward to trying this – crusty bread is the best!

      • chewoutloud

      Agreed! Thanks, Jacqui! 🙂

    • Pam Greer
    • 5 stars

    This is the only bread recipe that we make!! The baguettes come out perfect every time!

      • chewoutloud

      So happy you love it, Pam 🙂 🙂

    • GUNJAN C Dudani
    • 5 stars

    These are sooo good and aromatic with garlic butter. Your images always make me drool and super hungry.

    • Veena Azmanov
    • 5 stars

    Homemade is the best. This bread look easy to make too. I love to enjoy it with my Amul Butter for sure.

    • 5 stars

    OMG this bread looks like perfection. Going to make this bread this week! Can’t wait 🙂

      • chewoutloud

      Yay!! Can’t wait for you to try it 🙂

    • Bernice Hill
    • 5 stars

    There’s nothing like the smell of fresh bread baking! Your breads look light with a great texture, I need a slice with butter now!

      • chewoutloud

      Thank you, Bernice!

    • Chef Dennis
    • 5 stars

    I will definitely enjoy this Crusty French Bread Recipe over dinner! This looks really delicious and satisfying. My wife will love this too.

    • Heather M. Whipple

    this looks delicious. Can I use my dough hook attachment on my kitchen aid stand mixer to knead the dough? Please let me know by e-mailing me at
    But really , I am not going to put a pan or bowl of water in my oven just to bake bread. That is when it turns into a complicated hassle, And
    I am not going to brush the loaves of bread a second time with egg wash, I do not want an overly crispy crust at all.

      • chewoutloud

      Hi, Heather. You can definitely use your dough hook attachment. Hope you love this warm loaf of bread 🙂

    • Katrina

    I just checked the allrecipes version that this links to, and that recipe calls for 6.5 cups of flour which makes much more sense for the amout of yeast used. The ratio of two packets to 4 cups is too high.

    • Angbeen Mirza

    Hi! I used bread flour for this recipe and I think the inside is a bit dense and under baked. I’ve put it back in for 20 more minutes at 350, which I know is basically a disaster! I don’t know what went wrong :((((( Is it okay that it looks dense and a bit underdone?

      • chewoutloud

      Hi, Angbeen! It typically looks golden and crusty on the outside and is chewy soft inside. I’m guessing it’s the bread flour that’s the culprit. Try the recipe with the original all purpose flour; I think you’ll love it! 🙂

        • Izzi

        My issue is similar but not exactly. It’s not browning at all. It seems to be baking but it’s still extremely pale after the full 25 minutes in the oven. Any advice?

          • chewoutloud

          Izzi, you can brush top of bread with lightly-beaten egg whites prior to baking, which should enhance browning exterior. Thanks for coming over! 🙂

    • Heather M. Whipple

    Obviously it looks like you do not own a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment .
    i do own a kitchen aid artisan stand mixer with a dough hook attachment. in your recipe instructions
    you do not say to use a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment. i do not know why this is.
    since i have one i am going to use it to make bread. but if you do not have it in your instructions
    i am going to delete this recipe of yours off of my pinterest cooking board at this time. at least i found another french bread recipe that says to use my stand mixer with the dough hook attachment.
    have a nice day anyway.

    • Heather

    Why can’ I use my kitchen Aid artisan stand mixer fitted with a dough hook for this recipe!!!.
    So this make two bread recipes I cannot use it for,
    Yours and the simple French bread on Modern Honey’s website. That is Not fair at all!!!!!!!.
    I was looking forward to making bread in my kitchen Aid artisan 5 quart stand mixer fitted with the dough hook it comes with and now you will not let me . Yes I am just a little upset at this. I want to use my kitchen Aid artisan stand mixer with the dough hook for this recipe, please. Please let me know by e-mailing me soon at

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