Homemade French Bread is a labor of love, resulting in a crusty and golden-brown loaf with a soft, airy interior. Crafted from simple ingredients such as flour, water, yeast, salt, and occasionally sugar, this classic bread embodies the essence of traditional French baking.
The dough is typically prepared through a process of kneading and rising, allowing the yeast to work its magic and create those coveted pockets of air within the bread. After proofing, the dough is shaped into a classic baguette or boule, then baked to perfection, yielding a crispy crust that crackles when touched and a tender crumb with a satisfying chew.
Homemade French Bread offers a wonderful aroma as it bakes, filling the kitchen with the irresistible scent of fresh-baked bread. Enjoyed on its own or as the perfect accompaniment to a variety of dishes, this bread captures the artistry and simplicity of traditional French baking, making each homemade loaf a source of pride for bakers and a delight for those fortunate enough to savor its taste.
This amazing homemade French bread recipe creates incredible, fresh loaves with a crisp, crunchy crust and slightly chewy center.
Homemade French Bread
- 1 tbsp cornmeal
- 6 cups all-purpose flour
- 0.25 oz active dry yeast
- 1-1/2 tsp salt
- 2 cups warm water 110 degrees F/45 degrees C
- 1 egg white
- 1 tbsp water
- Grease a large baking sheet and sprinkle with cornmeal. Set aside.
- Combine 2 cups flour, yeast, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Stir in 2 cups warm water; beat with the dough hook attachment until blended. Continue adding remaining flour, a little at a time, until incorporated.
- Knead dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, 8 to 10 minutes. Shape into a ball, place in a greased bowl, and turn once. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- Punch dough down and divide in half. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes.
- Roll each half into a large rectangle. Roll up, starting from a long side. Moisten edge with water and seal. Taper ends.
- Place loaves, seam-side down, on the prepared baking sheet. Lightly beat egg white with 1 tablespoon water and brush over loaves. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise until nearly doubled, 35 to 40 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
- Use a sharp knife to make 3 or 4 diagonal cuts, about 1/4-inch deep, across top of each loaf. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Brush loaves with egg white mixture. Continue baking until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center reads 190 degrees F (88 degrees C) or loaves sound hollow when tapped, 15 to 20 minutes more. If necessary, cover loosely with foil to prevent over-browning.
- Remove loaves from the baking sheet and cool on a wire rack.