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January 10, 2014

Easy, Golden, Fluffy French Bread

Quick & Easy French Bread

Alright, it’s time to get back in gear. The holidays truly have a way of wiping out all motivations to do anything productive, don’t they? Hence, the reason why I haven’t written any blog posts recently. I’m sorry. Really, I am. To make up for it, I’m going to show you a super easy French bread recipe that looks and tastes like it came straight from a bakery. Even if in the past, the thought of using live yeast to make homemade bread sent you into fight-or-flight mode, I’m telling you… This is pretty much fail-proof. It’s the perfect bread recipe to help you over your bread-making fears and into a glorious world filled with never-ending carb-feasting possibilities.

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In this recipe, we’ll use an egg wash to give the crust a golden shine, and I’ll tell you the easiest way to know when your bread is done. That nugget of knowledge alone will make your time spent reading this post worth it. Truly.

So here’s what you do. In an electric stand mixer, throw in 2 ½ cups hot water, 1 T. salt, 2 T. sugar, 3 T. oil, 2 T. yeast, and 6-7 cups bread flour, and mix for 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and stretchy.

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Grease a sheet pan and sprinkle some cornmeal on it.

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Divide the dough in half, and form two long-ish loaves with it. Yeah… I know you’re lusting after my gold-speckled 70’s countertops.

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Take a pair of kitchen scissors and cut a few slits in the top, just to make it perty.

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Let the loaves rise until almost doubled, maybe 40 minutes. As you can see, the loaf on the left got a little more love than the loaf on the right. And that’s okay.

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Now let’s give that bread a lovely, dark-golden sheen. We do that by brushing a beaten egg all over each loaf. Lather that baby up!

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Bake the bread at 400°F for 21-23 minutes. So how do you know if it’s done? Stick a thermometer into one of the bread loaves. When it reads 190°F, it’s perfect! Take it out! I learned that trick from a sweet old lady who lives by me, and my life has been changed forever. Thank you, little old lady.

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This bread is best the day of. If you won’t be using all of it, stick it in the freezer and pull it out the next time you’re craving some homemade French bread—which will probably be tomorrow if you’re like me. :)

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Easy, Golden, Fluffy French Bread
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
A quick and easy French bread recipe that looks and tastes like it's from the bakery.
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 ½ cups hot water
  • 1 T. salt
  • 2 T. sugar
  • 3 T. oil
  • 2 T yeast
  • 6-7 cups bread flour
  • 1 egg, beaten
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients except egg together in a stand mixer for 10 minutes, until dough is smooth.
  2. Grease a sheet pan and sprinkle with cornmeal.
  3. Divide dough in half and form two long loaves. Place on the sheet pan, with enough room around each loaf to accommodate for rising.
  4. Using kitchen scissors, cut 3-4 slits diagonally on the top of each loaf.
  5. Let loaves rise until almost doubled, maybe 40 minutes. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  6. Brush the risen dough with beaten egg and bake for 21-23 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 190°F.
 

Comments

  1. This looks like a nice easy recipe and looking forward to trying it. One question though, what type of yeast are you using? Regular or a rapid rise? Thanks!

    • Katelyn

      I just used regular active dry yeast. Nothing fancy! Good luck and let me know how it turns out!

  2. I made this today and it came out great! I halved the recipe though because I only wanted one loaf. It was so easy to make and very quick too!! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

    • Katelyn

      So glad it turned out well for you Cathy! :)

  3. Gabrielle

    Ok, so, somehow I ALWAYS mess up bread, so much so, that I’m terrified of making it. I followed this recipe exactly (except cut it in half) and everything was going well until I went to brush the egg on it. It fell flat as a pancake! I have no idea what went wrong, and I was pretty bummed, but figured, hey, just throw it in a bread pan and see what happens (since I had already brushed the egg…) it isn’t the prettiest, but boy was it delicious! I am elated right now! This is my first bread success, and I don’t even care how ugly it is, it tastes so good! Thank you so much. This recipe is perfect. I will try again tomorrow, I’m already regretting halving the recipe, and if I have the same problem, I’ll just throw it in the pan again. Either way, awesome, quick, perfect bread recipe!

    • Katelyn

      Hey Gabrielle! So glad you liked it! Okay, I have an idea that you can try. Instead of waiting until after the bread rises to brush on the egg, brush it on BEFORE it rises, and then be really careful not to bump or shake the bread once it’s risen, because that’s when it can fall flat! It’s a temperamental bugger… But, if your bread does happen to fall again, you can always just reshape it and let it rise again, and it will probably taste even better after it’s risen another time! Hope that works! Good luck girl!

      • Gabrielle

        Thank you for your reply! I am going to make it again tonight or tomorrow night, I will definitely try brushing it with egg before rising. I think I was just too rough with it the first time. I will treat it much more delicately this time around, they rose beautifully the first time. I’m in love with this recipe, I don’t think I can buy store bought ever again! And I definitely won’t halve the recipe again, I was longing for more! Thanks again!

  4. Sheila

    I used rapid rise yeast not active dry yeast ( you did not mention which you used since you mentioned nothing about proofing) and since you also did not note the temperature of the water I went with what I had used for all my other breads using rapid rise yeast (115). My bread turned out dense as always, not fluffy. Please help with what adjustments I need to make so that my bread will come out fluffy. I also live in Arizona at an elevation of roughly 2700 ft and dry, warm weather. I know that will make a difference to the amount of some ingredients.
    thanks for your input.
    Sheila

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