Easy Homemade French Bread Recipe

This recipe is actually the first recipe I ever made all by myself.

I was an 8th grader and at my junior high school, we had a Home Economics class.

We learned to sew, cook, and other basic running-a-home jobs . . . I LOVED it. I felt as though I had found my calling in life. 🙂

One of my assignments was to make this bread and bring a piece of it to the teacher. I came home and worked so hard . . . it looked a little lumpy, but it tasted just the way it needed to. I have since made this many times and it’s still one of my favorites- mostly because it’s so simple.

I was at my mom’s house a couple weeks ago and found this recipe tucked away in her “recipe drawer”. It still had the homework due date on it (December 10, 1998) and is getting hard to read because it’s been used so many times. If you have never attempted to make bread before, this is a great place to start!

Serves: 14

Easy Homemade French Bread Recipe

This is the first made-from-scratch bread I ever learned - and it's still one of my favorites!

25 minPrep Time

30 minCook Time

55 minTotal Time

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  • 2 1/2 cups very warm water (I just use the hot water from my kitchen sink)
  • 2 tablespoons dry active yeast
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon oil (vegetable oil or olive oil work great)
  • 6 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon butter


  1. In a large bowl, mix together water, yeast, and sugar until the yeast is completely dissolved. Add in salt, oil, and flour. Stir with a large wooden spoon or mixer until it becomes too difficult, then knead for two minutes on a floured surface.
  2. Spray a large bowl with non-stick cooking spray and place dough in the bowl. Cover with a dish towel and let it raise until it doubles in size (I usually place the bread in my kitchen window sill where there is sunlight and it's a little warmer. I have found that on cooler days - like in the winter time - it sometimes take a little longer to double in size).
  3. Dump dough out onto a floured surface. Cut in half and shape into a smooth, worm-like shape (or a bread loaf shape . . . ha ha!). If you want to get fancy and make your bread look the way that it does in the picture, use a sharp knife and slice about 1/3 of the way down into the bread, opening up little cracks about 2" apart. The cracks will separate more as they rise and bake.
  4. Place dough loaves on a greased cookie sheet and let rise again until doubled (about 25-30 minutes). Bake at 375 degrees for 20-30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the bread sounds hollow when tapped.
  5. Remove bread from oven and rub butter on top.
  6. Makes two loaves of french bread.
Recipe Type: Bread

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36 Responses to “Easy Homemade French Bread Recipe”

  1. Erin Foreman
    Hi, I have never made any type of homemade bread or anything similar. Therefor I've never had to buy dry active yeast. I was going to get some one time, but could not find it anywhere in the grocery store. I don't know if I was overlooking it or what. I have no idea what I'm looking for though lol. Can someone tell me where it would be??
  2. This bread is DANGEROUS to my waistline. It was very easy to make. I actually used Rapid Rise/Bread machine yeast so after I mixed and kneaded it, I shaped the dough, put it on a greased pan, let it rise once and baked it. I put a cast iron pan in the bottom of the oven while it was preheating, and once I put the pan of bread on the rack I put a cup of hot water in the cast iron skillet and shut the door. The steam kept the dough soft while it rose in those first few minutes and once it evaporated off, the bread had a nice thin crust and was just a little crisp. (Not like authentic french baguettes, but still tasty)
    • Camille (Six Sisters Stuff)
      Hi! So, this recipe is meant to be hard on the outside and soft on the inside, so that probably won't help very much. :) I have never tried wheat flour in this recipe, but I think that it would work . . . it might be a little flatter/heavier (as wheat flour typically is), but I think that it would be okay! Let us know if you try it!
  3. Pat Sens
    This is the first French bread I have ever made and it was great! And so easy! To make the flavored French bread, do you just sprinkle the herbs, sesame seeds or what ever on top before baking? Thank you for the recipe. My 18 month old grandson thought it was great. He loves bread. I have been making breads since the sixties but had just never tried French bread. Now I am being brave and trying all kinds. Thanks again, Pat
    • Gretchen L Tyree
      I know you posted your ? a long time ago, but I can still help. I add my herbs when I am kneading or letting the machine knead. You can add fresh or dried herbs. Then, after it has baked, use melted butter or an egg white wash on top of the baked bread and sprinkle sesame seeds or poppy seeds, etc and have a pretty decoration. Just don't be afraid to experiment.
  4. Cate Roldan
    I made this bread yesterday. Omg it is so easy of a recipe to follow. The recipe makes 2 loaves of French bread that rises quickly and it really a no fuss recipe. The bread was delicious. To make the crust crunchier when it was done I removed it from the cookie sheet I baked them on and placed them on the oven rack for a few minutes. Best recipe I have ever tried for French bread and highly recommend this recipe! Thanks for sharing it!
    • Hi Kat! I am so sorry that it was so sticky! I know that there are days (depending on the weather and humidity) where this dough will be stickier than usual (I live in Utah, so it's pretty dry here most of them time), but I would have thought that after adding extra flour that it would be okay. Sometimes I will spray my hands with non-stick cooking spray and the dough just slides right off my hands, making it easier to shape into loaves. I hope that it still worked for you! Have a good day!
  5. I just found this recipe and it looks easy and tasty. I need to make 20-30 loaves of bread for a fundraiser at our church, which won't be for 6 more weeks. I was thinking I could make a few loaves of bread a week. Does this bread freeze well? What would be the best way to freeze and defrost the bread.
    • The bread should freeze fine if you have it wrapped well in freezer-grade plastic bags, wraps, freezer paper or heavy-duty aluminum foil for packaging bread. French or Italian loaves should be wrapped loosely in freezer material to allow air to circulate around them. Thaw at room temperature while still in wrapper. After thawing if the outside crust isn't crisp, place in the oven at 400ºF for 4 to 5 minutes to bring back crispness.

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