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.
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 bread and 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. This homemade 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 SO good, 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!
How To Make Homemade French Bread
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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! :)
- 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.
Favorite Ways To Enjoy
- Top with butter, garlic herb butter, honey, cinnamon butter, jam or apple 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.
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.
More Homemade Bread Recipes To Try:
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Homemade French Bread Recipe
- 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
- 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.
Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.
Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!
This bread turned out beautifully! I used my bread machine to knead and warm for first 45, then I re-kneaded by hand and shaped, let rise for another 30-40 minutes, and baked! Made two large loafs.
That sounds perfect! I love that you used your bread machine to make it go quicker.
Hello! I am excited to try this recipe – if I want to use instant yeast instead of active yeast, should I do anything differently?
I would just follow the instructions on the packet (you can typically add it in with the dry ingredients and don’t need to proof).
Was about to give it a 3/5 * because it was salty. Then checked the recipe and realized I used 2.5 tbsp VS 2.5 tsp. Wow I feel ridiculous. This recipe was easy and even with my error was good. I’ll remake with proper measurements and know it will be perfect!!