The BEST Homemade French Bread Recipe - I Heart Naptime (2024)

The BEST Homemade French Bread Recipe - I Heart Naptime (1)

Jamielyn Nye
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The BEST homemade french bread recipe made in just 90 minutes! So easy to make and comes out golden and crispy on the outside, while remaining soft and chewy on the inside.

The BEST Homemade French Bread Recipe - I Heart Naptime (2)

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Homemade bread is one of my favorite things to make. It can seem a bit intimidating at first, but this easy french bread recipe is a great place to start. It has a quick rising time and takes only 90 minutes from start to finish. If you’re a beginner to bread baking, make sure to check out my 3 ingredient artisan breadand my 45-minute breadsticks. Both are so simple along with my favorite dinner rolls and french bread rolls!

Easiest French Bread Recipe

If you’re looking for an easy french bread recipe, this is it! You’ll have 2 beautiful loaves in 90 minutes. The actual time you’ll be working will only be about 15 minutes, the rest of the time will be patiently waiting for the dough to rest/rise. Thishomemade french bread is golden and crispy on the outside, while remaining soft and slightly chewy on the inside. We love to serve it with a bowl of warm soup and the first time I made it, my husband said “this bread is SOgood, where did you get it?” He thought I picked it up from our local bakery. It is just that good and really so easy to make. You’ll never want to buy store bought french bread again.

I absolutely love making bread and rolls of all kinds. There’s something so satisfying about making them in your own kitchen. The smell is unbelievable. We love to serve this homemade french bread with softened butter, honey and/or jam. So so good. Trust me when I say, this is the best french bread recipe!

The BEST Homemade French Bread Recipe - I Heart Naptime (3)

How To Make Homemade French Bread

  1. Proof the yeast. In a small bowl, combine the warm water, yeast and sugar. Let sit for 5 minutes, or until it has begin to foam.
  2. Mix and let rest. Place 2 cups of flour into a large mixing bowl with the salt. Stir in the yeast mixture and begin to knead by hand or using a dough hook and stand mixer. Add 1/2 cup of the remaining flour at a time until the dough is smooth but not sticky. Rub the olive oil around the dough ball and let rest for 15 minutes.
  3. Shape and let rise again. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and divide it in half. Roll one half into a rectangle. Starting from the long side, roll the dough into a cylinder. Turn both ends in and pinch the seams closed. Round the edges and place onto a baking sheet. Repeat with the second dough ball. Let rise for 30-45 minutes. Make three diagonal cuts across the top of each loaf.
  4. Bake in oven. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Bake for 17-20 minutes or until the tops are golden brown. Brush the top of the homemade french bread with melted butter if desired. Slice and enjoy! :)

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Baking Tips

  • The key to the perfect consistency is to knead in flour a little at a time, until the dough becomes soft and not sticky.
  • If using a bread dough hook to knead the dough, knead the last couple of minutes by hand.
  • Let the dough rest a minute during the mixing process (this allows the gluten to relax).
  • Let the dough rise in a warm spot by the window or on top of the stove.
  • Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and then press down with your finger tips to remove any air pockets.
  • Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough and any extra bubbles.
  • Roll the dough into a loaf and then make sure to tuck the ends under and pinch all the seams together tightly to create a nice seal.
  • For a crispier/shinier crust, brush on egg wash (1 egg white (whisked) with a teaspoon of water) before baking.
  • For a softer and more flavorful crust, brush with melted butter right when it comes out of the oven.

The BEST Homemade French Bread Recipe - I Heart Naptime (5)

Favorite Ways To Enjoy

  • Top with butter, garlic herb butter, honey, cinnamon butter, jam orapple butter
  • Use it to make classic bruschetta or bruschetta caprese
  • Serve with all types of soup, like lasagna soup, corn chowder and hearty vegetable soup
  • My family loves to make french bread pizza, stuffed french bread or garlic bread
  • We also like to make spaghetti boats using leftovers of my easy spaghetti recipe.
  • Make a french dip sandwich
  • Once it’s a few days old, make french bread french toast,bread pudding or croutons
  • Cut into cubes and serve with this cold Knorr spinach dip.

Freezer Instructions

Since this recipe makes two loaves, sometimes we freeze one of them for later. To freeze, wrap the bread tightly in foil or saran wrap (make sure it has cooled completely). Then place in a zip top bag and store in the freezer for up to 2 months.

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More Homemade Bread Recipes To Try:

  • Homemade white bread
  • Easy bread bowls
  • Dutch oven bread
  • Easy pizza dough
  • French baguette

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The BEST Homemade French Bread Recipe - I Heart Naptime (7)

Homemade French Bread Recipe

4.97 from 914 votes

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Author: Jamielyn Nye

The BEST homemade french bread recipe made in just 90 minutes! So easy to make and comes out golden and crispy on the outside, while remaining soft and chewy on the inside.

Prep Time: 1 hour hr 10 minutes mins

Cook Time: 20 minutes mins

Total Time: 1 hour hr 30 minutes mins

Video

Ingredients

  • 2 cups warm water , about 105°F
  • 1 Tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 2 ½ teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 5 cups (650 g) all-purpose flour , more as needed
  • 2 ½ teaspoons table salt or fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Melted salted butter , optional

Instructions

  • In a small bowl, combine the warm water, yeast, and sugar. Let sit 5 minutes, or until it begins to foam.

  • In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or in a large mixing bowl, stir together 2 cups flour and salt. Stir in the yeast mixture on medium-low speed or by hand. Knead in 1/2 cup of the remaining flour in increments until the dough is smooth but not sticky (depending on climate you could use more or less than 5 cups). Add more flour as needed.

  • Rub the olive oil around the dough ball, cover the bowl with a towel and let rest 15 to 30 minutes. If you have more time, let rise up to 1 hour.

  • Turn the dough onto a well-floured surface and divide it in half. Set one half aside. Roll the other half into a rectangle (about 15 inches). Starting from the long side, roll the dough into a cylinder.

  • Turn both ends in and pinch the seams closed. Round the edges and place onto a baking sheet. Repeat with the second dough ball.Make three diagonal cuts across the top of each loaf. Cover loaves lightly with a towel. Let rise 30 to 60 minutes (the longer the better, if you have the time).

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper. Bake 17 to 23 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown. When you knock on it, it should sound hollow. If it's browning too fast, lightly cover with foil and lower the temperature to 375°F.

  • Brush the top with melted butter, if desired. Slice and serve while warm.

Notes

Crispy crust: I prefer a soft crust, but for a crispier/shinier crust, brush 1 egg white (whisked) with a teaspoon of water before baking french bread loaf. You can also add a few ice cubes into the oven to help trap the steam and add a few minutes onto the cooking time.

Storing: This bread stores best in a brown paper bag on the counter.

Freezer instructions: Allow to cool and then place in a large zip top bag to freeze (preferably before slicing). Remove all the air from the bag and then freeze up to 3 months. Thaw overnight on the counter. Reheat in the oven at 300°F for 5 minutes.

Nutrition

Calories: 73kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 2g | Sodium: 146mg | Potassium: 22mg | Calcium: 3mg | Iron: 0.9mg

Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.

Course: Appetizer

Cuisine: French

Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!

The BEST Homemade French Bread Recipe - I Heart Naptime (8)

Categorized as: Bread, Dairy-Free, Reader Favorites, Vegetarian, Yeast Bread

The BEST Homemade French Bread Recipe - I Heart Naptime (9)

Jamielyn Nye is the founder and recipe creator at I Heart Naptime. She is also the author of the I Heart Naptime Cookbook. Here you will find easy family-friendly recipes for every occasion.

More about Jamielyn Nye

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1,316 comments

    • Nick Valent
    • The BEST Homemade French Bread Recipe - I Heart Naptime (14)

    Wow. Amazing. I added rising time but it is incredible.

    • Reply
    • Jordan S.
    • The BEST Homemade French Bread Recipe - I Heart Naptime (15)

    This recipe is not only easy to follow but quite possibly the best bread I’ve ever made or had. Fluffy, crispy crust, and so full of flavor. My new go to bread recipe for sure.

    • Reply
    • Madonna L Baucum
    • The BEST Homemade French Bread Recipe - I Heart Naptime (16)

    So easy with the Kitchenaid. I made sure to give myself the time for the maximum rising time and it turned out exactly like store made. My son loved it with our steak dinner.

    • Reply
    • Judith Zele

    Great recipe it is so easy and delicious!❤️

    • Reply
    • Katie
    • The BEST Homemade French Bread Recipe - I Heart Naptime (17)

    My go-to bread recipe
    Thank you!

    • Reply
    • Lon
    • The BEST Homemade French Bread Recipe - I Heart Naptime (18)

    Turned out great !!! I am still learning about kneading but it still turned great. Thank You very much for the fine recipe!!!

    • Reply
    • Misty
    • The BEST Homemade French Bread Recipe - I Heart Naptime (19)

    Turned out perfect! Recipe was well written and instructions were easy to understand. Grateful to have found it.

    • Reply
      • I Heart Naptime Community

      Thank you so much Misty! I’m glad you loved the bread! :)

      • Reply
    • Chris
    • The BEST Homemade French Bread Recipe - I Heart Naptime (20)

    Recipe is wonderful.
    We love the taste of this french bread.
    Would I be able to bake this in a loaf pan?
    I have tried several bread recipes, none of them taste as good as this recipe.

    • Reply
    • Jemima Thompson
    • The BEST Homemade French Bread Recipe - I Heart Naptime (21)

    This Recipe is so delicious, very soft inside so crispy outside. Me and my husband loves it. We almost finished the two loaves after I baked it. So happy to share this recipe to my friends!!

    • Reply
    • Emily
    • The BEST Homemade French Bread Recipe - I Heart Naptime (22)

    Tasted just like the store, but better. I did an egg white wash on before baking and then butter after. I also subbed half sugar, half honey. Yummy 😋

    I’d love to see if you can figure out a yummy Subway/ Port of Subs hoagie recipie for us bread makers. 🍞

    • Reply
      • Michelle
      • The BEST Homemade French Bread Recipe - I Heart Naptime (23)

      Emily you could always cut the size down and make four small loaves

      • Reply
    • Denise
    • The BEST Homemade French Bread Recipe - I Heart Naptime (24)

    Easy. I did let mine rise 1 hour both times. Made it 5 times came out perfect and I am only slightly experienced in bread making

    • Reply
    • Christy
    • The BEST Homemade French Bread Recipe - I Heart Naptime (25)

    I made this tonight, instructions were easy to follow and the bread came out perfect. This was my first attempt at making any kind of bread and it was yummy. Thanks!

    • Reply
    • NCZOOLAND
    • The BEST Homemade French Bread Recipe - I Heart Naptime (26)

    Hello Jamielyn,
    I made this bread yesterday. In looking back over the post today, I noticed #3 in the “How To Make French Bread” section and #5 in the recipe seem to call for slashing the bread at different times (I may be reading it wrong).
    I followed the recipe and slashed before the second rise. The bread rose fine for both rises. I had the time to let each stage rise for the longer time and the taste is wonderful.
    After the second rise, the cuts on the top of the bread looked “healed” so I wondered if the cuts would allow for the intended purpose. I am not sure since it was my first time making this.
    Regardless, there is no such thing as “failed” homemade bread. We’ve already eaten half of one loaf and our son begged for other 😁.
    I will be making this again and I plan to slash the bread right before it goes in the oven to bake. I look forward to seeing and tasting how the bread turns out with this change.
    Thank you for posting this recipe.

    • Reply
      • Jamielyn Nye

      Hi, I typically slit about 30 minutes before baking (right after I’ve rolled them) :)

      • Reply

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