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Basic French Bread

After several requests I am sharing my easy recipe for this basic French bread.


This is one of the simplest breads to make with the fewest ingredients, making it a great way to get started with baking bread at home. For starters, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups flour (+ extra)
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (1 package)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 cup warm water


  1. Add the dry ingredients to the bowl of a stand mixer if you have one. If not, any large bowl will work. Stir well (or mix on low setting a few seconds to get everything mixed up).
  2. Add water and mix on medium speed for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Sprinkle in enough flour to form a soft dough.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead with floured hands until the dough becomes smooth and feels somewhat elastic to the touch, about 5 minutes.
  5. Light coat the inside of a bowl with oil and transfer the dough to the bowl. Cover with a towel and set aside  to rise until it has doubled in size. This may take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour depending on the temperature.
  6. Punch down the dough and divide it into two equal halves.
  7. Roll out each dough ball into a long oval and roll it long ways like you were making cinnamon rolls.
  8. Grease a baking pan and place the rolled bread dough on it.
  9. Cover with a damp towel until doubled in size (30 minutes or so, depending on your area). Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F
  10. Make diagonal cuts about 1/4” deep across the surface of each loaf.
  11. To give the loaf the crunchy crust, whisk 1 egg white with 1 Tablespoon of milk until frothy and brush it over the loaf.
  12. Bake at 400 degrees F for 25 minutes or until perfectly golden brown in color.

Want to print this recipe? Just click here for a printer-friendly PDF version without photos.

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