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French Bread

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



  • 3 1/4 cup bread flour
  • 1 (0.25oz) package (7g) or 2 1/4 teaspoons Red Star Active Dry Yeast
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 1/4 cup water (warm, 120-130°F)
  • 3 tablespoons cornmeal (for dusting pan)


  • In stand mixer bowl, add 2 cups flour, yeast, sugar and salt; mix well. Add warm water to flour mixture. Using a paddle attachment, blend on low speed for 30 seconds; beat on medium speed for 3 minutes.
  • Switch to dough hook attachment. Gradually stir in enough remaining flour to make a firm dough. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 to 7 minutes.
    (NOTE: For hand mixing: following above steps, mix ingredients in large mixing bowl using a wooden spoon or dough whisk. Knead on floured surface until smooth and elastic.)
  • Place dough in lightly oiled bowl and turn to grease top. Cover; let rise until indentation remains after poking dough with finger down to second knuckle, about 1 hour.
  • Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface; punch down to remove air bubbles. Roll or pat into a 14×7-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.
  • Preheat oven to 425ºF.
  • With very sharp knife, make a few diagonal slashes across top of loaf. Brush with cold water. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until loaf is a deep golden brown. Spray or brush loaf with cold water several times during first 10 minutes of baking for a crisper crust. Remove from cookie sheet; cool on wire rack.


Photo by Food Wanderings.

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Review & Comments

April | Reply

5 stars
Thank you for acknowledging people who knead by hand, lol! This turned out amazing. Thank you.

Kathleen | Reply

Have not yet purchased a mixed so did this recipe by hand. It came out crispy outside and tender inside yummy.

Kris | Reply

Can I take this dough and make two smaller loaves? I’m new to this so I’m sure I’ll get a few chuckles.

Red Star Yeast | Reply

Yes you can, Kris! Welcome to the bread baking community! 🙂
Happy baking!

Kris | Reply

This was the first homemade bread I’ve made in years, but having just purchased a stand mixer I wanted to find an easy recipe and give it a try.

The results were better than I’d expected. Crispy crust, study and chewy inside.

Catherine Booth | Reply

Love this bread. Quick, easy and delicious. Oh, and fun to make.

Jennifer Malta | Reply

In step 4, how long do you let rise the 2nd time?

Red Star Yeast | Reply

Hi Jennifer – Rise times can vary based on many factors, for this recipe it should take about 45-60 minutes. However, it’s best to go by the ‘poke (ripe) test’ described in step 4. More information on rising can be found here:
I hope you will find this information helpful.
Happy baking!

Caryn Maus | Reply

5 stars
Super easy French Bread recipe. I made it last night with French Onion Soup. It was delish and everyone at the table asked for more. That’s definitely a 5-star review. I will be baking this bread over and over again. Thank you.


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William | Reply

can I use all-purpose flour ?

Tom | Reply

5 stars
Made it today with home made tomato soup, it was great!

Kristine | Reply

Can you double the recipe?

Red Star Yeast | Reply

Hi Kristine,
Yes, you can double this recipe.
Happy baking!

Caroline | Reply

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!

Caroline | Reply

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.

Red Star Yeast | Reply

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.

Beth | Reply

5 stars
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.

Beth Bilous | Reply

5 stars
How much seed mixture do you add to the dough please. Ill add the Trader Joes everything bagel seasoning mix.

Red Star Yeast | Reply

Hi Beth,
Sounds like a delicious addition to the recipe! The amount added really just depends on your taste preference.
Happy baking!

Padraic F | Reply

5 stars
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.

Linda | Reply

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

Anonymous | Reply

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!

kurt L | Reply

easy and a great loaf of bread

Mrs. Mayfield | Reply

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!

tim simpson | Reply

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

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