5.0 from 2 reviews
French Bread
An American version of the classic French bread. Spray or brush with cold water during baking for a crispy crust. The bread is best eaten the day it is made.
Yield: 1 loaf
  • 1¼ cup water
  • 3¼ cup bread flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2¼ tsp RED STAR Active Dry Yeast
  • 3 Tbsp cornmeal (for dusting)
  1. In large mixing bowl, combine 2 cups flour and other dry ingredients. Heat water to 120º to 130ºF. Combine dry mixture and water on low speed; beat 2 to 3 minutes on medium speed. By hand, stir in enough remaining flour to make a firm dough. Knead on floured surface until smooth and elastic, 5 to 7 minutes. Place dough in lightly oiled bowl and turn to grease top. Cover; let rise until dough tests ripe.

  2. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface; punch down to remove air bubbles. Roll or pat into a 14 x 7-inch rectangle. Starting with shorter side, roll up tightly, pressing dough into roll. Pinch edges and taper ends to seal. Place on lightly greased cookie sheet sprinkled with cornmeal. Cover; let rise until indentation remains after touching. With very sharp knife, make 2 or 3 diagonal slashes across top of loaf. Brush with cold water. Bake in preheated 425ºF over 30 to 40 minutes. Spray or brush loaf with cold water several times during first 10 minutes of baking for a crisper crust. Remove from cookie sheet; cool.

  3. *You can substitute Instant (fast-rising) yeast in place of Active Dry Yeast. When using Instant Yeast, expect your dough to rise faster. Always let your dough rise until ripe. Traditional methods: use equal amounts; Bread Machine: use ½ tsp Instant Yeast OR ¾ tsp Active Dry Yeast per cup of flour in your recipe. Visit our Lessons in Yeast & Baking for more information on baking.

  4. Recipe featured at Food Wanderings.

  1. Can you double the recipe?

  2. Oh yummy Parmesan. I’ll have to try that additive. I wonder which yeast people prefer. I’ve used both. I’m a novious baker! The instant yeast or the active dry yeast. Please help! Thanks!

    • Hi Caroline – Regarding which yeast people prefer – I’ve have used both the instant yeast and the active yeast. I tend to think on the taste. I have used Platinum yeast and I do like SAF Instant yeast. I purchase mine from King Arthur Flour website. I store mine in the fridge in an air tight container. One of the reasons I love the SAF instant yeast is that it’s very reliable. The yeast lasts along time as well. I do know that King Arthur Flour sells Red Star yeast as well. I’ve even chatted with the bakers at King Arthur Flour via email or online chat.

      • A note: Red Star and SAF brands are part of the same company – owned by Lesaffre Corporation, a global supplier of yeast, fermentation and other ingredients. The SAF Instant is marketed for the retail/food service industry, but is available for consumer/home bakers through some retail outlets, including King Arthur Flour. The SAF instant yeast is marketed to the home baker under the Red Star Quick Rise brand.

  3. This is such a simple wonderful Bread. Anyone can make it. I add a seed mixture to the dough as well as egg wash and seeds to the top. My whole family thinks its tops. Try this one folks.

  4. I am new to cooking and baking, so I like easy recipes! This is a snap and the bread is so good you’ll crave it! I served it to my sister and she raved about it.

  5. This is a great recipe. I will use it again.

  6. Try instead of balling it up, rolling it out and brushing it with garlic then put one row of any kind of cheese you like. Adding basil to the flour in the beginning of the recipe is nice too!

  7. easy and a great loaf of bread

  8. So delicious. So easy. I make a loaf once a week for our son. He makes sandwiches for his school lunch with this yummy bread!

  9. easy fast great , I add parmesan to mine….the best !

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