French bread goes well with so many different types of food! It can accompany a meal so well while also being the key player in others. This easy French bread recipe is so simple to make and the dough can be used for so many other things!
We love bread, if you haven't been able to tell. Between sandwich bread, cornbread, and banana bread, we've made it all! While those are all delicious, sometimes you just want a nice, crispy bread. Enter the best, easiest French bread recipe that you could ever ask for!
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There is nothing fancy or unusual about this French bread recipe except for the fact that it is so. darn. versatile! You can pretty much use this recipe for any of your bread baking dreams. Aside from making loaves of bread, you can also use it as a dough for so many other recipes. It's so cheap and easy, you've got to give it a try! You won't ever want to buy a loaf from the store again.
TIPS TO MAKE THE PERFECT FRENCH BREAD
You really can't go wrong with this French bread recipe! However, there are a few common problems that you may encounter that we wanted to touch on.
- Achieve the Perfect Slash – In order to slash your bread without deflating it, the best thing you can possibly do is use a bakers lame. They're pretty cheap and you'll end up with perfect slashes every time. If you don't have one, then make sure the knife you're using is crazy sharp!
- Use a Baking Tray – Have a problem with your loaves flattening and not holding their shape? Not after you start using a French bread baking tray! You'll end up with the perfect French bread every time.
See? It's as simple as that!
USE THE DOUGH FOR OTHER RECIPES
Not only does the dough make the best bread, but it also makes a great dough for these other recipes that you definitely should try out ASAP!
- Sandwich Ring – Make a fun sandwich ring for your next weekend lunch or family get together!
- Cinnamon Rolls – Roll out this dough, then add in your cinnamon roll ingredients!
- Pizza Rolls – Take the dough and act like you're making cinnamon rolls, but use pizza ingredients instead! Your family will go bonkers over them.
- Overnight Pizza Dough – Homemade pizza has never been easier!
- Calzones – Ben Wyatt would be proud of you for making this yourself! (Parks and Rec, anyone?!)
Don't those all just make your mouth water? Now you're ready to tackle our easy French bread recipe!
HOW TO STORE FRENCH BREAD
The bread usually only lasts for 2-3 days at room temperature, although ours hardly ever lasts long enough to be put away! If you're not going to eat it right away, allow the bread to cool completely, then wrap it in aluminum foil and keep it on the counter. Don't stick it in the fridge!
If you won't be able to eat it that quickly, no worries! Label the foil with the date and throw it in the freezer. Pull it out and allow it to thaw on the counter when you're ready to eat it. If it's stale, run a little water over the bottom of the bread and put directly into a 400°F oven for 10 minutes. This will add moisture to the bread and will create steam in the oven, which will make it nice and crispy again. Plus, who can resist warm bread out of the oven?!
THE BEST, EASY FRENCH BREAD RECIPE
You are going to love this bread! It's so simple and goes great with so many other recipes… Loaded potato soup, lasagna roll ups, you can even use it for baked Italian sandwiches. Plus, you should have all of these ingredients already, which is a shelf cooking win in our book!
Easy French Bread Recipe
- 2 ½ cups warm water
- 2 Tbsp yeast (active dry or instant)
- 3 Tbsp sugar
- 2 Tbsp white vinegar
- 1 Tbsp salt
- ⅓ cup cooking oil
- 6-7 cups flour (or more if it's too soft)
- 1 Tbsp cornmeal
- 1 beaten egg
- If using active dry yeast, add warm water, yeast, sugar and vinegar together to the bowl of a stand mixer, mix, and let sit until bubbly (about 3-5 minutes). (If using instant yeast, there's no need to let it sit.)
- Add the salt and oil to the mixer. Mix, then slowly add the flour in.
- If the dough is too soft or sticky, add more flour in, a ½ cup at a time, until the dough is soft but firm enough to mold into dough loaves.
- Knead the dough for 2-5 minutes in the stand mixer. Put the bowl in the oven with a small pot of boiling water (to keep the dough moist). Watch the dough and punch it down when it gets to the top of the mixing bowl. Do this every time it gets to the top of the bowl, as long as you have time to babysit it (2-5 times).
- Put the dough on a greased countertop and divide into 2 or 3 sections (makes 2 large loaves or 3 small). Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray and sprinkle a thin layer of cornmeal on the bottom of the sheet. Roll the dough balls into rectangle/long French bread shapes. Slash tops of bread diagonally 3-5 times and cover with a beaten egg.
- Let rise 30 minutes (or until doubled) on the counter and bake at 375°F for 30 minutes. If they are having problems rising, you can put them in your oven at 170°F and wait until they are the size you want to cook them at. Once they are at the right size, turn the temperature to 375°F (without opening the door!) and let them bake until done.
You ready to get in the kitchen already?!
Alright, well there you have it! The perfect, easy French bread recipe that you'll want to make again and again (and again and again…). Try it out and let us know how you like it in the comments!
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