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
- 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).
- Add water and mix on medium speed for 2-3 minutes.
- Sprinkle in enough flour to form a soft dough.
- 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.
- 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.
- Punch down the dough and divide it into two equal halves.
- Roll out each dough ball into a long oval and roll it long ways like you were making cinnamon rolls.
- Grease a baking pan and place the rolled bread dough on it.
- Cover with a damp towel until doubled in size (30 minutes or so, depending on your area). Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F
- Make diagonal cuts about 1/4” deep across the surface of each loaf.
- To give the loaf the crunchy crust, whisk 1 egg white with 1 Tablespoon of milk until frothy and brush it over the loaf.
- 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.