Easy French Bread

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This is a delicious and frugal alternative to store bought French bread! You can even make it with whole wheat! We brought it to a friend’s house for dinner last night and it received unending rave reviews!

Original recipe from More with Less, but I made it more healthy.

Makes 2 loaves

Dissolve and let active for 5-10 min:

5 tsp. (or 2 packages) active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 tsp. honey

Combine together with:

2 Tbls. honey
2 Tbls. olive oil/coconut oil
2 tsp. salt
2 cup hot water

Stir in:

7 1/2- 8 cups flour (I used 3/4 part of whole wheat and 1/4 part white flour) – less is more on quantity!

Knead dough for 10 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Place in greased bowl, turning once. Let rise until doubled (I like to put mine, covered with a towel inside a slightly warm oven, works wonders!). Punch down and let rest 15 min (Opps..I skipped the resting!). Divide dough in half. On floured surface, roll each halfinto a 12×15” rectangle. Roll up, starting from the 15” edge. Place loaves on a greased cookie sheet and make 4-5 slashes diagonally across tops. Let rise until double.

Mix and brush on:

1 egg, beaten or melted butter

Sprinkle on, if desired:

poppy or sesame seeds

Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

Scrumptious!

About Lindsay

Lindsay Edmonds is first a lover of Jesus, wife, mother of three, homemaker, and writer. She is the editor of Passionate Homemaking since its beginning five years ago. She loves inspiring women around the world toward simple, natural, and intentional living for the glory of God.

38 Responses to Easy French Bread

  1. Ellie W March 28, 2013 at 2:24 pm #

    I make sour dough bread & lots of fruit breads,& have made french bread before, but this is by far the best french bread I have ever made or eaten. I was amazed how quick & easy it was to make. I was even more amazed & pleased how good the finished product is. Thank you so much for the recipe.

  2. Angela December 19, 2012 at 12:27 pm #

    Hi, I have now made this recipe twice with horrible results. My yeast proofs perfectly so I know thats not the problem. My other water is at 110 degrees so Im not killing the yeast. The first time my dough was extra sticky, so not too much flour and the 2nd time my dough was on the drier side using the lessor amount of recommended flour. My dough never turns stretchy after I knead it in my Bosch for 10 minutes, or 20 minutes or 30 minutes or even 40 minutes. Im not sure what I am doing wrong, any suggestions would be helpful. Thanks.

  3. Ana July 16, 2012 at 3:03 pm #

    I just made this recipe! Thanks for sharing it!!
    WOW!!! DELICIOUS!!!!!!!! I ended up with 2 huuuge loaves!
    How do you freeze it? Plastic wrap? Ziploc bag?

    • Lindsay July 18, 2012 at 6:17 am #

      I either wrap it up in plastic wrap or slice it and place in a ziploc bag.

      • Ana July 18, 2012 at 7:17 am #

        Thanks! : )

  4. Amy (Super Healthy Kids) February 20, 2012 at 6:35 pm #

    Thanks for this recipe! I’m so excited to try it.

  5. amanda February 8, 2012 at 8:18 am #

    Can you do this with all fresh-ground flour? I do not have any store bought white flour. What do you think would happen if I tried it this way? Thanks!

    • Lisa February 9, 2012 at 5:35 am #

      I always use white whole wheat flour freshly-ground and it turns out perfectly.

  6. Angelita May 20, 2011 at 8:23 pm #

    My bread did not rise at all. It was so dense and yucky. Any ideas why? Could it be that I heated the yeast water too much and it killed the yeast?

    • Amanda July 12, 2011 at 9:51 am #

      Is there a chance that your yeast has expired? That will cause your dough not to rise.

  7. Christine November 24, 2010 at 8:28 am #

    I love this recipe, I’ve used it for making “sandwich loaves” for our family and it’s been great, I’m wondering whether it can be turned into dinner rolls as well, has anyone tried that? I’ve been asked to bring dinner rolls to tomorrow night’s Thanksgiving Dinner and wanted to bring a healthier alternative. Any suggestions? I’m hoping to soak something tonight.
    Blessings for a wonderful family-filled Thanksgiving,
    Christine :^)

  8. Lyns September 21, 2010 at 1:00 pm #

    I’m making this for the second time! The first time it came out superb and tasted wonderful!!!! We really enjoyed it.

    I didn’t sprinkle the herbs on top because we had french toast with the other loaf for breakfast the next morning with maple syrup.

    Thanks for this amazing recipe!

  9. Sarah April 25, 2010 at 5:57 pm #

    Just curious, is the resulting dough quite stiff and difficult to kneed? I was going to do it by hand but there was no way so I just let the kitchen aid do it but it is much more dense than other dough I've worked with. Is this right? I made one batch and thought I must have left out a cup of water or something (as I'm prone to do when trying to cook with little ones around) so I finished it, set it aside then, did another batch. Same results so now I have TWO recipes raising in the over. I hope it turns out! We will have bread coming out our ears :)

  10. Lynne March 12, 2010 at 2:33 pm #

    Just checking – why isn’t this bread soaked, or is there a way to do it with soaked flour? I’m new to the soaking, but I noticed this one didn’t have that. Thanks!

    • Lindsay March 13, 2010 at 11:04 am #

      The temperature requirements make this recipe very difficult to soak and get the right final results. I would recommend using sprouted flour.

  11. alyssa February 16, 2010 at 5:29 pm #

    This is so good! I could eat the whole loaf! I made a 1/2 recipe for just one loaf, but will definitely make more next time!
    I’d never attempted french bread before because I thought it was more difficult to get it right and I also figured it wouldn’t taste good with whole wheat flour. Not the case-this was so easy and yummy!
    I’m so glad I tried this recipe-thank you!

  12. Jes August 25, 2009 at 6:41 pm #

    Thanks Lindsey for a good French bread recipe! We ended up using 4 cups whole wheat flour and 3 1/2 cups unbleached white and it tasted so good fresh out of the oven!!!

  13. Tiffany August 25, 2009 at 9:31 am #

    about how long does it take to let it rise ( double in size) the first time in a warm oven?

    • Lindsay August 25, 2009 at 12:51 pm #

      I usually let it rise for about 1 hour or so.

  14. JOdy July 1, 2009 at 1:02 pm #

    Is there a step where I could freeze the dough?

    • Lindsay July 3, 2009 at 6:05 am #

      I have not tried freezing the actual dough for this recipe. I have only frozen the finished product. You can give it a try if you like!

  15. Heidi May 14, 2009 at 8:21 pm #

    I love making bread! I already had a favorite recipe for French baguettes, but thought I’d try this one. I’m so glad I did! It turned out PERFECT! It’s just my husband and I at the moment (we’re expecting our first baby boy in August), so I made four smaller loaves. My husband commented about how perfect and fluffy the bread was! He liked it better than the other baguettes I normally make! I actually used honey infused with lavender which gave it a slightly sweeter flavor. Thanks for the great recipe – I love your website!

  16. Alison March 14, 2009 at 1:43 pm #

    Apparently I’m a disaster at making bread! I have tried various recipes that involve yeast (pizza dough, regular bread, this bread…), and I can’t seem to get it to work!! I have tried all of the suggestions: placing it in a warm oven, putting a towel over it, putting a tray of water beneath it, leaving it for an hour or two…nothing seems to work for me. My dough doesn’t rise, and I end up with really heavy bread. Is there anything else I can do?! Or am I destined to be a disaster with dough??

    • Lindsay March 16, 2009 at 1:21 pm #

      What kind of yeast do you use? It appears like your yeast may be old and not active. Do you allow it to activate by mixing with a little water and honey/sugar before mixing with the other ingredients? This will allow you to test it to make sure it is still active. If it bubbles up then it is good. If not, then you need some new yeast. That is the only thing that comes to my mind right now. Try it and let me know.

      • Tera October 1, 2009 at 7:42 pm #

        The first two times I made this bread, it didn’t rise at all- hubby said you could have thrown it through a window! I had activated the yeast and knew it was good, so I researched other things that could have gone wrong and determined that it was the temperature of the water I was using. In an attempt to get hot water like the recipe called for, I had been heating it on the stove. Well I read that hot water can basically kill the yeast, so today I just tried it with warm tap water (mine doesn’t get very hot), and the bread finally worked! It was delicious! I don’t know if this could be your problem or not, but I thought I’d share my findings!

  17. Lisa January 22, 2009 at 5:54 pm #

    I just made this bread tonight and it was fantastic- very frugal as well! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  18. Alyssa December 30, 2008 at 9:13 am #

    I have a general question about your bread recipies. Do you freeze your dough? For example, if I wanted to make this recipe, I want to bake one loaf and freeze the other. How would I do that? For example, do I freeze it after the first rise, then when ready to bake the frozen loaf, do I let it thaw which will give it a second rise and then bake as directions state?

    Thanks.

    • Lindsay December 30, 2008 at 12:41 pm #

      Alyssa, I freeze this bread all the time, as we usually only eat one loaf at a time. I will make two loaves and freeze one. You will simply want to put it in the freezer after it has completely risen and baked. Thaw and reheat when you are ready to use it.

  19. Faith August 29, 2008 at 10:42 am #

    I just tried to make this today and what a disaster. First I had printed off the recipe that called for 5TB yeast so that’s what I used. It got dumped. Then I tried again with the 5tsp of yeast. Great, worked. But, when I added in the 7 1/2 cups of whole wheat/white flour, it was so thick and dry, I could not even get it to mix together, let alone kneed it. What did I do wrong? I’m sure of the measurements. I paid close attention. I’m about to throw in the towel on cooking from scratch. I now see why I bought tube rolls and such. *sigh*

    • Faith August 29, 2008 at 12:43 pm #

      Update: You don’t have to post this comment Lindsay, or the other one above. :o ) My dh started kneading the dough and it turned out beautifully! I just wasn’t being very patient. lol

      Thank you for the recipe.

  20. Sunny August 25, 2008 at 3:56 pm #

    Hi Lindsay,

    I’ve a question for you concerning the yeast amount in this recipe. I tried it as stated and let’s just say it did NOT turn out! I’m thinking it might be a misprint and should say 5 TEASPOONS, not tablespoons. Can you clarify this for me?

    Blessings,
    Sunny

    • Lindsay August 27, 2008 at 5:39 pm #

      AHH! Big blunder. I am so sorry Sunny. Thanks for pointing that out. I have made the corrections above.

  21. laura August 18, 2008 at 6:08 pm #

    i just ran across your blog- it is lovely! i tried the french bread today- and something bad happened! i let it rise for the second time and it rose, and then flopped! has this ever happened to you? the day turned quite rainy unexpectedly, was that the cause? if it hasn’t happened to you- perhaps i went wrong in the recipe- i don’t recommend baking it after the flopping, it is way too dense! any suggestions?

    • Lindsay August 18, 2008 at 9:52 pm #

      Yes, I have had that experience resulting from over-rising the bread (keeping a close eye on it is important -30 minutes is a good timer). Another cause could be the sudden temperature change. I always heat my oven to the lowest possible setting and then put my bread in and turn the oven off. This provides a warm environment for the bread to rise that will not change suddenly (unless you open the oven frequently). I use that technique for all my bread making with great success.

  22. Lisa Sloan April 8, 2008 at 10:08 am #

    I just discovered your blog the other day and looked around. I found the Easy French Bread recipe and decided to give it a try. I used 1/2 wheat & 1/2 white flour and seaseme seeds instead of poppy seeds. My sister and husband declared it the best french bread they had ever tasted. Thanks so much for the recipe and all you post on this blog. You’ve been a real blessing to me.

    In Him,

    Lisa S.

  23. Mrs. U March 28, 2008 at 8:26 am #

    Your bread looks SO delicious!!! I will definitely have to try this soon!

    His,
    Mrs. U

  24. Toni March 23, 2008 at 5:28 pm #

    Thanks for sharing this recipe!I started reading your blog about two weeks ago.I really enjoy it.Hope your having a blessed Easter.

  25. Nicole March 22, 2008 at 1:30 pm #

    sounds lovely but our french bread is plane white flour and a very crusty outside.
    In fact it is very good, but not at all healthy and it dries out very quickly so the next day people get rid of it!!!!it is so expensive!!!! These are the reasons I always make my bread!!
    I think yours seems much better!