A Bread Machine French Bread Recipe You Can Trust Every Time

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Sneak Preview: Mix and knead this easy Bread Machine French Bread recipe in a bread maker for superior texture. Bake the dough in your oven for the best crust. This is an excellent recipe for beginners.

sliced french bread made in a bread machinePin

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Have you ever given somebody a recipe, and you don’t recognize it when they turn around and make it for you?

That’s what happened with this easy French Bread recipe. First, I shared it with my young daughter-in-law, Amanda. Later, she baked this bread and brought it to a family party.

Here’s the crazy part.

I asked HER for the recipe, thinking it was better than mine. How did that happen? Now she is famous in our family for this Crusty French bread.

This recipe will build your confidence if you are a beginning bread baker.

  • No bread machine? No worries. The recipe notes provide alternate directions for using a stand mixer or making it by hand.
  • Do you have a mini bread maker that only makes a 1-lb loaf? Check the FAQs for a version developed for you.

Happy Bakers Speak Up

I’ve made this several times since I can’t find much bread in the grocery stores right now. It’s delicious. I’ve got one rising now so that I can make us some french bread pizzas tonight. I’ll be making this instead of buying bread even when the stores are stocked again. It’s so easy to make too. So happy I found this recipe.”–JEN

This has become my go-to french bread recipe. Comes out perfect every time and so simple!“–ANDREA

“I have made this a few times now and am IN LOVE! I’ve tried to make it whole wheat, and it’s possible, but not nearly as good! I think this is a recipe that simply needs to be left alone. It’s AWESOME exactly as it is.”STEPH

What You Can Expect from This Recipe

When first removed from the oven, this bread has a soft, compact crumb with a crispy crust. It is NOT a chewy kind of artisan bread with big holes.

Nope! Nothing too sophisticated. Just a fresher loaf of bread. Slice it for eating out of hand, smear it with garlic butter to go with pasta, or make sandwiches (see below).

two uncut loaves of French Bread on a cooling rackPin

Making Bread in a Bread Maker with the DOUGH Cycle

If you are new to this website, you may be surprised that this beautiful bread comes from a bread machine. I rarely use my bread machine for baking bread because I don’t like cardboard crusts, dense bread, or ugly bread.

Use the DOUGH cycle to mix and knead bread because it’s the best kneading machine in town with a timer. When the DOUGH cycle ends, and the dough has doubled in size, remove it and shape it by hand for a gorgeous texture and incredible crust.

After the second rise on your counter, bake the bread in a conventional oven for homemade bread you’ll be excited to eat and proud to share.

Follow this link for many more tips and secrets about using a bread machine in this unique way. If you don’t have much time, at least read this post about a secret you MUST know to use a bread machine successfully, no matter which recipe you use.


Ingredients and Substitutions

Crusty French Bread sliced on a crumb catcher box.Pin

How To Shape a Loaf of French Bread

Follow me. Start at the left top picture. If you aren’t happy with the shape on the first try, roll the dough in a ball and start over. Nobody will ever know. If you prefer, I have included a video showing this process.

Illustrated tutorial for rolling out French BreadPin

If you have trouble shaping the dough because it is too bouncy, treat it like a child having a tantrum. Walk away and wait for the gluten to relax. After 15-30 minutes, you can “talk” to the dough, and it should listen. (Don’t forget to cover the dough while it’s relaxing.)


FAQs

How can I make the crust even crustier?


1. Spray the inside of your oven with water (don’t spray the light) using a spray bottle when you first put your loaf into the oven.
2. Set a pan of boiling water on the bottom shelf of your oven while the bread is cooking.

How can I keep the bread from sticking to the tray when baking it?

1. Cover your baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking sheet.
2. Spray the sheet with a product like Baker’s Joy that combines flour and oil.
3. Sprinkle cornmeal or semolina flour on your baking sheet to make it non-stick.

Be careful when glazing the loaf not to let the glaze drip onto the baking sheet. It may glue your loaf to the baking sheet if you haven’t covered it as described above.

How do I know when my bread fully baked and ready to come out of the oven?

Insert a quick-read thermometer into the middle. The thermometer should read 195-200˚ F (91-93˚C). This is my favorite thermometer (paid link). Anybody who cooks a lot will find many uses for this valuable kitchen tool.

Can I use this recipe in a one-pound mini-bread machine?

Here is a 1-pound version of the recipe: 2/3 cup water, 1 teaspoon butter, 1 teaspoon sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, 2 cups bread flour, and 2/3 teaspoon of instant yeast. Follow the directions given in the recipe below.

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Our Favorite Sandwich Using This Bread

Amanda recently made this bread for my mom’s birthday party. We used it for beef au jus.

My other daughter-in-law, Susie, introduced me to McCormick’s Au Jus Gravy (paid link) mix. It’s a touch salty, but I forgive.

Beef Au Jus Sandwich on Crusty French breadPin

Place the browned beef roast in a slow cooker. Pour seasoning mixed with water (according to the package) over the meat. Cook it on high for 5 hours or low for 8-9 hours. The result will be perfectly seasoned broth and fork-tender shreds of beef. Serve with this recipe for Crusty Bread Machine French Bread.

More Bread-Maker Tips, Tricks, and Recipes


Parting Thoughts: If this is your first recipe to make on my website, I hope it turns out well for you. Breadmaking can be a satisfying experience when everything works. However, practice helps, especially with bread.

Remember, bread machines don’t have a brain! That’s why they need your help to make fabulous bread.–a Paula-ism

If you like this bread, jump over to my Cuban Bread recipe. They are similar.

This recipe was adapted from “One Hundred Years of Bread” (paid link) by Sidney Brockman Carlisle.


Recipe Help at Your Fingertips: For questions or suggestions, email Paula at saladinajar.com. If you need help, I’m happy to troubleshoot via email (faster than leaving a comment). Attach pictures and as many details as possible for the best advice.

Crusty French Bread sliced to see the internal texture.Pin
Yield: 12 servings

An Easy Bread Machine French Bread

This recipe is for a simple French bread you can mix up in your bread machine and bake in the oven for the freshest bread ever. Ingredients include flour, sugar, butter, and yeast.
5 from 244 votes
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Video

Prep time: 3 hours
Cook time: 35 minutes
Total time: 3 hours 35 minutes

Ingredients
 

  • 1 cup (227 g) water–cool
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons butter
  • 3 cups (360 g) unbleached bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon instant or bread machine yeast

Glaze:

  • 1 large (32 g) egg white
  • 1 teaspoon water

Instructions

Making the dough

  • Place all of the dough ingredients 1 cup (227 g) water–cool, 1-1/2 teaspoons sugar, 1-1/2 teaspoons salt,1-1/2 teaspoons butter , 3 cups (360 g) unbleached bread flour, 1 teaspoon instant or bread machine yeast into a bread machine pan in the order listed. Select the DOUGH cycle and press START.
  • Check the dough at least twice during the mixing and kneading phase by lifting the lid to take a peek. The first time, look immediately after the machine starts mixing to ensure the paddles are engaged correctly. 
    Look again 15 minutes into the DOUGH cycle to assess the consistency of the dough. For most recipes, the dough should stick to the side, then pull away cleanly.
    If your dough is too wet, add flour one tablespoon at a time.
    Conversely, if the dough is too dry, add one tablespoon of liquid at a time until the dough looks just right. Read more about this surprising secret to success with a bread machine here.
  • When the DOUGH cycle completes, if the dough has doubled in size, go to the next step. If the dough has not doubled in size, leave it in the machine until it doubles before proceeding.

Shaping the dough

  • Remove the dough from the pan onto a lightly-floured surface. Push the dough down with your palms to remove the bubbles. Shape into a loose ball. Cover and allow the dough to rest for 15 minutes.
  • Roll the dough into an oval shape slightly longer than you want your final loaf to be (about 9 x 12 inches is what I do.)
  • Starting from a long side, roll into a cylinder shape. Pinch seam together. Pinch ends together. Pull ends to reach seams and pinch together with the seam making a small rounded shape on each end. (This is difficult to describe. See the picture above or watch the video if you are confused.)
  • Flip the loaf over and carefully place it onto a greased baking sheet or one covered with a silicone baking sheet or parchment paper. Cover with a tea towel and allow to rise in a warm place until almost double.
  • Preheat oven to 425˚F (220˚C).
  • Whisk 1 large (32 g) egg white and 1 teaspoon water together for the glaze. Brush it over the loaf.
  • Using a sharp knife, (I use a serrated knife) or a single-edge razor blade, cut diagonal slashes about 2 inches apart and 1/2 inch deep across the top of the loaf.
  • Bake the loaf for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 °F (18˚C) and bake another 5-10 minutes until golden brown. Bread should reach 200 °F (93˚C) + in the middle when done.
  • Remove to a cooling rack or slice and eat immediately.

Notes

How to adapt this recipe to a one-pound bread maker: 
2/3 cup water (151 gr), 1 teaspoon butter, 1 teaspoon sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, 2 cups bread flour (240 gr), 2/3 teaspoon of instant yeast. Follow the directions given in the recipe.
Directions for making bread with a stand mixer or by hand:
  • To make this recipe in a heavy-duty stand mixer:  Add ingredients to the bowl in the same order. Turn on LOW to mix until all ingredients are moistened. Then, using a dough hook, turn the speed to 2 or 3. Continue beating/kneading until dough becomes smooth and elastic (about 5-10 minutes). Cover and allow to rise in a warm place. Deflate dough gently and shape as indicated in the recipe.
  • If making by hand: Combine all ingredients into a shaggy ball in a large bowl. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead with your hands until the dough becomes smooth and elastic. Kneading will likely take 10-20 minutes, depending on your experience. Place the dough ball into a greased bowl. Cover and allow to rise until double. Deflate the dough gently and shape as indicated in the recipe.
  • Please note: If you only have active dry yeast, use 1/4 teaspoon more than called for in the recipe. It no longer needs to be dissolved first, but you can if you prefer.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 120kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 104mg | Potassium: 45mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 6IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 5mg | Iron: 1mg

All images and text ©️ Paula Rhodes for Salad in a Jar.com

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4.69 from 244 votes (184 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating




319 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    we live 6 miles out in a forest, so running in to town is sometimes given a second thought. my husband said it was the best french great ever. he ate more slices of that than the main dinner entrée.

    1. Best French bread? You must have done a great job!

      Thank you for writing to share your experience.

  2. 5 stars
    This bread came out perfect! So delicious!

    1. Hi Courtney,

      I’m so glad to hear that your French Bread turned out perfectly. I hope this is just the beginning of many more successful loaves made with your bread machine’s DOUGH cycle.

      Thank you for taking the time to write.

  3. 5 stars
    This bread never fails. Never. It comes out perfectly every single time! By hand or with the bread machine, it’s perfect.

    1. Hi Brandi,

      So glad you are enjoying this recipe, and thank you for the 5-star rating. You’re the best!

  4. 5 stars
    This bread is delicious! I was wondering how you would store a fresh loaf. I had a loaf cooling on the counter and when I returned there was a piece missing! I was going to bring the loaf to my daughter the next morning. My husband loves this bread! I read online not to put it in a plastic bag then I read to wrap it first in parchment paper. If you have a part of a loaf left, how do you store it to be able to eat it the next day or so? I’ve always used a plastic bag for my rolls without any problems. Am I thinking about this too much? Thank you!!

    1. Hi Terry,

      Sorry for the delay in answering. My email is acting up and just now realized it. I think it’s OK to put in a plastic bag. The parchment paper is a good idea, too, although I haven’t tried it. Just don’t put homemade yeast bread in the fridge.

  5. HI Would love to try and make this this weekend. Very new to bread machine just got ours this past weekend. Our machine has two dough settings…RAW or LEVEN..

    Which would I use for this?

    Thank you
    Bev

    1. Hi Bev,

      The KBS is what I suspected, but I didn’t want to be presumptuous. Their manual is not very helpful. I figured out the “Raw Cycle” is for doughs that contain baking powder, soda, or both. The “Leaven” cycle is the closest thing to a DOUGH cycle on other standard bread machines. The authors clearly don’t understand that in English, “raw” refers to anything uncooked and “leaven” can refer to anything that makes baked goods rise–from B.P., soda, and air, to yeast or starter. Oh dear!!! I can see why you were confused.

  6. Sandra Stowell says:

    Has anyone tried making sub rolls with this recipe? If so, how long did you bake them

    1. Hi Sandra,

      Can I recommend using a quick-read digital thermometer? (See my Amazon store link in the sidebar or at the bottom of any page on my website.) That really is the only way to know exactly when your bread is perfectly done without guessing or going by looks (which can be deceiving.) Since everybody’s oven is different and the size of your rolls may vary from what somebody else makes, it’s the the only foolproof method.

  7. 5 stars
    Easy and consistently excellent results

    1. Thank you, Jeff. Glad this recipe works for you.

  8. 5 stars
    Made this today and it came out amazing! Will make more tomorrow for bruschetta.

    1. Love hearing this! Enjoy the bruschetta. Thank you for taking the time to write.

  9. 5 stars
    Delicious — no air holes. Nice crust. Mine was done in 25 minutes.
    Tastier than store bought and no chemical preservatives. We are a family of two so next time I will cut the dough and freeze half and bake one. I see s french toast breakfast soon.

    1. Oh yes! Good french toast!

  10. 5 stars
    This is a great recipe to have at the back of the brain for those, “Bugger, there’s no bread in the house!” moments.

    1. Couldn’t agree more. Thank you for writing.

  11. Sandra Davis says:

    5 stars
    I made this for Bruschetta tonight for dinner. After I got it out of the bread machine, I let it rise in my Smart Oven on Ferment (32 degrees) for 1 hour. I the rolled out, shaped and placed on a silicon mat to double in size back in the Smart Oven for an hour. I know I have a very hot oven, I live in Qatar and our gas stoves run hot, So I backed until golden for only 12 minutes, reduced to 350 for another 5 minutes. I took the temperature inside and it as exactly 202 degrees and perfectly done. I even too a pic for FaceBook I was so proud of it. Thanks for a great, easy recipe!!!

    1. Hi Sandy,

      First of all, thank you for sharing on Facebook. That’s the best kind of advertising.

      Your story proves how flexible bread bakers must be since we have different ovens and proofing setups. The great equalizer is the thermometer and checking the moisture as the dough mixes. Good job.

  12. 5 stars
    Today I’m making this French loaf to enjoy with our Sunday dinner. At least 3 times a week Paula’s recipes are served with our dinners. Every recipe, following her instructions comes out perfect. I haven’t purchased any bread products since discovering her sight. Thanks again Paula for giving us our daily bread.

  13. 1 star
    True French bread has only 4 ingredients, flour, salt, water & yeast. No fat

    1. Hi Hona,

      Yes, I know. Please leave it out if you’d like. However, it won’t stay fresh quite as long. But then, no homemade bread stays fresh very long anyway. Suit yourself.

  14. Do you have any cheese buns recipes

  15. I have made this recipe dozens of times and it always comes out great. My question is tho can I divide into 2 smaller and thinner baguettes? I would like to make a more longer “traditional” baguette with it if possible? Thank you!

    1. Hi Holly,

      Just this past week, I divided this dough in half and made two smaller baguettes. I wish I would have made them longer and skinnier. Next time. I bet they will turn out good for you.

  16. Well tried your french bread recipe today. The crust came out way to hard. My oven temp was spot on, I think 400 is way to hot for bread. It was done on the inside I even measured that temp after turn the temp down to 350 and the insternal was like 199, The dough doubled as you said don’t know why the crust was so hard except for the temp. Guess I’ll stick to baking it in the bread machine, I always us the light setting and my white bread comes out great. Thumbs down on this method for me.

    1. Hi Dan,

      I’m sorry your bread didn’t turn as hoped. Using the DOUGH cycle and then baking your bread in a conventional oven is definitely not for everybody.

      Just a note about bread baking and temperatures. This recipe is what we call “lean bread.” It doesn’t contain milk, eggs, a lot of fat or sugar. That means you should bake it fast and use a higher temperature, such as 425˚F, as the recipe directs. Otherwise, the crust will dry out before it bakes through, and the internal temperature measures 200-205˚F.

      Enriched breads need lower temperatures, like 350-375˚F, so that they won’t burn before the inside is baked through. The extra fat and sugar from milk products, eggs, and fat in many white loaves, dinner rolls, and sweet bread recipes keep the texture and crust moist and soft, even with the lower temperature.

  17. 5 stars
    Family loved this recipe! Liked it more than the square version that comes out of the bread machine if you cook it that way.

    1. Hey Joshua,
      I believe you. There really is no comparison! Thanks for taking the time to write.

  18. 5 stars
    Over the last year, I’ve made a few of your recipes using the dough cycle and they’re all winners. Your French bread recipe is fantastic! Yesterday, I baked the Cuisinart compact bread maker French bread recipe from start to finish in my Cuisinart bread maker – I should have known better. The crust came out disappointedly hard as a rock and the interior was dense and spongy. This morning, I made your French bread recipe using the dough cycle only in my bread maker and then shaping and baking it in the oven. My goodness, the difference! My family loves it. The crust is wonderful and the inside is a beautiful soft crumb. I will be using no other French bread recipe from now on. Thank you so much for sharing!

    1. Thanks for filling in for me today to preach about the virtues of a bread machine for the DOUGH cycle only. Isn’t it fabulous? I appreciate you for taking the time to leave this valuable comment.

  19. 5 stars
    This is my go to for Sunday Dinner Bread.
    Its so easy and it comes out great every time.

    This goes great with Stew, Chili, Soup or by itself.
    Thanks for sharing.

    1. Hello,

      I like your idea of making this every Sunday. What a great tradition. Thanks for writing.

  20. 5 stars
    OMG!! This is the BEST!! Thank you for your detailed instructions. Also, on how to make a 1 lb loaf. The favor is wonderful. It is light, an fluffy. This is now my go-to recipe for fresh French Bread.

  21. 5 stars
    This French bread recipe is perfect. Thanks for the video demonstrating how to shape the loaf. That was very helpful. The bread is so perfectly crunchy on the outside and light and fluffy on the inside.

    1. Hi Kelli,

      Thank you so much for taking the time to write about your experience with this recipe. I’m happy it turned out great for you. I also appreciate the 5-star review.

    2. Hi Kelli,

      Thank you for writing. So glad you were able to watch the video.

  22. 5 stars
    Wow! This bread is so delicious! It was easy to make and so yummy. I made homemade garlic bread with it and everyone raved about it. I used to buy garlic bread from a little local store for $8 a loaf, but now I can make my own that tastes even better! Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe!

    1. What a delicious way to save money. Thank you for the 5-star review.

  23. Hello Paula

    I have made this recipe several times and love it. I would like to freeze the dough after removing it from the bread machine ( before the shaping and second rise). Any advice re removing from freezer and rising and shaping? Should I place I greased bowl to rise? Not sure how to proceed with this idea? Thanks so much.

    1. Hi Nancy, I haven’t tried this but it should work. When removing from the freezer, I would put into the refrigerator to thaw. Give it plenty of time. When thawed, place the dough in a bowl (greased or ungreased–doesn’t much matter) and let it sit in a warm place until it’s pliable. Then shape, let it get light and puffy, then bake.

  24. 5 stars
    I made no changes to this recipe. it is perfect. The dough is so silky soft. The bread is delicious, and my son asks me to make a loaf every day. Being able to use the bread machine for mixing and kneading is fantastic, and I love being able to work the dough into the loaf

    1. Hi Mary,
      So glad you enjoyed this recipe! Sounds like you’ve joined the “DOUGH” cycle club.

  25. Why can’t I cook this in my bread machine? Is it only for the shape?

    1. Good Evening,

      I’m glad you took the time to write.

      You can do whatever you like, of course. However, this recipe was developed to be mixed on the DOUGH cycle, shaped by hand, and then baked in a conventional oven. Doing it this way makes a superior crust (not thick, cardboardy, or with holes in the bottom), a traditional shape (a boule, not a loaf), and an organized texture that is beautiful and flavorful (not crumbly). You can read more about my favorite way to use a bread machine here: Bread Maker vs. Oven: How to Get the Best Crust, Making Bread Machine Dough and Baking It in the Oven: A Tutorial
      This method is not for everybody. But if you are picky about your bread and want to make dependably fabulous bread, this is one way to do it. If you choose to bake this recipe in your machine, just know that it will not turn out like the pictures. If you’re OK with that, give it a try and let me know what you think.

  26. Hi Paula, I made this crusty french bread to take to my neighbors yesterday for Christmas. It turned out wonderful and was gone before dinner was over. It did, however, have to stay in my machine awhile longer as it hadn’t risen enough. I also covered the machine with a blanket. (yup, even in Fl. you can have temp. problems)It took about 20 more minutes to double in size. It was done in 20 min. at the 400 temp. I have one of those oven thermometers that is by Thermoworks. So glad I have it as it really helps and I don’t over cook the bread. Maybe you could tell me how I could get a crunchier crust on the bread. It was good but not very crunchy. Thanks a bunch.

    1. Hi Lynda,

      For crustier French bread, try putting a pan of boiling water into the oven when you put the bread in there.

      I couldn’t agree more about the Thermoworks thermometers. No more undercooking or overcooking the bread. They are wonderful.

  27. 5 stars
    My husband was so impressed with the quality of the bread, that he thought I bought it. 😆

    1. Now that’s what I like to hear!!!

  28. 5 stars
    Have you ever doubled this recipe to make 2 loaves at once? Thank you for the recipe – we made it this week and it was easy to follow and our bread came out like the bread from our favorite bakery.

    1. Hi Kate,
      I do not double any recipe in my bread machine. I have more than one machine, so I make two batches at once. But if you have a two-pound bread machine, you could probably get away with it. See this post for more details.

  29. 5 stars
    Okay, Paula
    I gotta stay away from your website. Every recipe that I have tried of yours, I can’t just make it 1 time because it doesn’t even last 2-4 hours and it’s just me and my husband and I’m not even sharing with other family members. Great recipe!!

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Samantha,
      You made me smile. I can relate. The smell of homemade bread is so seductive and the taste irresistible. So happy you enjoy the recipe. Thanks for taking the time to write.

  30. 5 stars
    Wonderful….. great instructions. Really appreciated the video.

  31. 5 stars
    No need to buy fresh bread to enjoy. I have a vegan recipe I make as my everyday sandwich bread. You can roll it and place in a long bread pan or you can simply bake it on white bread setting in your bread machine.
    Place in order – 1 and 2/3 cups water, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, 2 and 1/2 teaspoons (1 package) yeast, 4 cups all purpose flour (or bread flour), 1 tablespoon olive oil and 2 and 1/2 teaspoons salt. If baking in the oven preheat to 375F . Bake for 25/30 minutes turn half way through. I use a meat slicer to have perfect sandwich size.

  32. 5 stars
    Delicious and perfect! Thank you for the recipe!

    1. Thanks, Lee. You are welcome!

  33. How would you adjust the bake temp and time if I baked this in a loaf pan? I want square slices for French toast 🙂

    1. I would still bake at the same temperature and probably the same amount of time. Check the middle with a quick-read thermometer for internal doneness. That’s how I check every loaf I bake.

      1. 5 stars
        I made this last night for dinner. I added some Everything Bagel seasoning on top, yummy!
        Loved the flavor and texture so much I’m trying it in my pullman loaf pan today… fingers crossed. Def my favorite French bread recipe by far!!

        1. Hi Debi,

          I haven’t tried the Everything Bagel seasoning on top. What a delicious idea!!!

  34. 5 stars
    Oh my, oh my, oh my, this is THE BEST French bread I’ve had in a long time!!! I’ll never have to go to the store for it ever again, it’s crusty on the outside soft inside and makes the most AMAZING French toast evah, I can’t stop making this bread, I’ve already made 3 loaves since I found it Tuesday 😂😂; thank you so very much for sharing this recipe 😍🥰😋

    1. Hi Janelle,
      Isn’t it fun to make fabulous bread? Thank you for taking the time to write a review. May you enjoy this recipe for many years to come.

  35. Gail reed says:

    5 stars
    This is the first loaf of bread I’ve ever been proud of!
    Thank u for this recipe

    1. Hi Gail,
      I LOVE hearing this. Baking is so much more fun when you can’t wait to eat it and share with others.

  36. 5 stars
    I made a loaf the first time and it was good. I decided to use the same recipe and make them into 6 buns/rolls. Perfect density to make sandwiches. Topped half of them with everything seasoning. I also adjusted to 350 for about 20 minutes so the topping didn’t burn.

    1. Hi Victoria,
      You sound like my kind of bread maker. Experiment, improvise, and have fun. The buns sound particularly interesting.

  37. Katharine says:

    5 stars
    Easy recipe and amazing results! I used to mix dry ingredients in a separate bowl and then put it all in, so I love that your recipe allows for putting everything directly in the bread machine. Thank you so much for doing all the research and hard work and sharing your knowledge with the rest of us. I have made this twice and both times it has come out bakery perfect. Light but crispy on the outside. The only tip I might add is adding a pan of water in the oven to help it crisp.

    1. Hi Katharine,
      Thank you for taking the time to write. I’m thrilled that you love the results. Also, thanks for sharing your tip about the pan of water at the end.

  38. I have tried a lot of bread recipes and they’re always a time-consuming event & a big disappointment…not this one!! This bread was absolutely perfect. It is light & the crust is beautiful with the egg wash. I followed the recipe as-is & I wouldn’t change a thing. I will definitely be adding this to my recipe book — thank you!

    1. Hi Emi,
      I am so happy you took the time to write. I hope this recipe will give you the confidence to try some of my other recipes. Can’t wait to hear more about your bread-baking adventures.

  39. Ced Morgan says:

    5 stars
    Made this loaf yesterday it turned out really well. Made some homemade garlic butter and had the loaf with the butter and homemade spaghetti bolognaise. Whole thing was yummy!

    1. Sounds like a wonderful meal, Ced. That bread was just the “icing on the cake.”

  40. Mary Lou Broderick says:

    The French bread recipe is wonderful. I will make this over and over. So far I have made the sandwich bread, the white bread with sweetened condensed milk and the French bread. All 3 were excellent.
    Next in my list is the steak house bread!
    The recipes are extremely well written making them easy to follow.

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Mary Lou. What a day-brightener.

  41. 5 stars
    surprised by the results. wonderful.

  42. My go to French bread recipe! Thanks!

    1. Love hearing this, Dee.

  43. Please don’t call this a French bread. The textures inside and outside are very different from an actual baguette.

    1. Hi Sylvie,
      Your point is well taken. However, the small amount of oil helps to keep the bread from going stale so fast–an important characteristic to most home bread bakers.

  44. Made this bread according to the directions. Turned out perfect!

    1. Hi Roberta,
      Always happy to hear when the bread turns out perfect!

  45. 4 stars
    I love the metric weights of the ingredients. It’s much more accurate that way, but 1 cup of water isn’t 227gr, it’s 227ml (milliliters). It’s actually a scant cup, because a cup is 227ml to 250ml 1 teaspoon of water is 5ml. Grams can be abbreviated gr or g. Thanks for your good work.

    1. Hi Carl,
      Glad you are finding the weights helpful. I follow the lead of King Arthur Flour, a company and website that most of my readers are familiar with. They use grams for liquid and specify 227 grams for 1 cup of water. I doubt if most of my American readers have anything to measure milliliters with. Most of them don’t even weigh, so we’re taking baby steps. On the flip side of this issue, I have a bread machine secret that covers small measuring errors, humidity variations, and inaccurate recipes among other things.

  46. OMG, I followed your directions exactly using my Zojurshi bread machine, and I couldn’t have asked for a better loaf of bread. Taste, texture, sponge of it, everything was absolutely perfect. Thank you for sharing. This one is going in my permanent file.

    1. So happy you loved it!!

  47. Patricia Mapley says:

    5 stars
    I made this yesterday for my husband of 52 years. He is a US Navy Veteran. His favorite meal is spaghetti with sausage and meatballs. This bread was a perfect addition to the meal. It is a delightful loaf. I took a picture of the bread and received many compliments on Facebook. Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe.

    1. Thanks, Patricia, for sharing on Facebook and taking the time to come back and comment. And thanks, also, to your husband for his service. I’m sure he enjoyed his favorite meal.

  48. Connie Donnelly says:

    I never post a comment, but I’ve made this bread almost once a week now for about a month. First time I made it a friend asked me which bakery I got it from! Never fails to come out, my go to recipe, thank you!

    1. Connie, I love this story. So happy you found success with this recipe. And thanks for taking the time to come back and report in.

  49. 5 stars
    Great recipe. I have 2 loafs in the freezer and will have 2 more before baking Saturday. We are having a crowd coming Sunday for my Shrimp Etouffee. I rolled them up and froze them before they could rise. I do it all the time with the Tangzhond rolls. I keep a ziploc bag in the freezer full of rolls I can take out the night before I intend to bake them and they rise up perfectly.

    1. Hi Don,

      I can imagine this bread was a hit with your Etouffee. Thanks for leaving your hit about baking frozen rolls. That is sure to help other readers.

  50. Could I make the dough and freeze and then thaw, rise and bake in the oven when I’m ready to eat?

    1. Hi Emilie,
      Yes, you can. However, I think it is not quite as good that way. Don’t try to store it for more than a few weeks. Unlike the frozen dough in the grocery store, this bread has no special additives or conditioners. If you try it, I would love to know how it worked for you.

  51. Excellent! Found the BEST French bread recipe. So incredibly easy and delicious. Thank you!

    1. Looks like you have joined the large fan club this recipe already has. Thrilled that you liked the bread.

  52. Do you have a low carb recipe and gluten free recipe.

    1. Hi Teri,
      I’m sorry. I don’t have any low-carb or gluten-free recipes for yeast bread. I do have some gluten-free biscuits and some gluten-free cream soups, but that’s about it.

  53. Christy Lesh says:

    I make this all of the time, but If I need to make the dough ahead, how / when can I refrigerate

    1. Hi Christy,

      Try this: Run the DOUGH cycle the night before. Refrigerate the dough overnight. The next day, push down the dough, then shape it into a loaf. Let the dough rise as you normally would, then bake. The second rise will take longer since the dough is cold, so allow extra time. I’m thrilled that you love this recipe. Enjoy!

  54. Angela Anderson says:

    5 stars
    Best bread recipe ever! Loved it. Very easy and definitely delicious!

    1. Thanks for writing, Angela. Glad you enjoyed it.

  55. Paula can you make Hot Cross buns in the bread maker! Like Blue Jean Chef?Hers not in bread maker???

    1. Hi Pat,
      Yes, you can. I have a recipe for Hot Cross Buns made in a bread machine. I checked and the Blue Jean Chef mixes hers with a stand mixer which makes it a little more involved but probably just as delicious.

  56. 5 stars
    Made this today and it is fantastic! Really great, fluffy, french bread. My husband is a curmudgeon and he loved this. I am so excited that I can make a great loaf of french bread at home. No more store-bought, overcooked, tasteless bread that makes me think I am going to dislocate my jaw. You will LOVE this recipe.

    1. Thank you, Cindy. Great testimony. Sounds like you have earned some brownie points with the husband. Good job!!

  57. 5 stars
    Made this for the first time today. Followed recipe exactly using my breadmaker for the dough. Simply marvelous! I took a recommendation from one of the reviews and placed a pan of hot water while baking. Crust was perfect. Will definitely make again. Thank you for the recipe!

    1. Hi Melissa,

      I’m glad you found it “marvelous!” Good idea about the water to make the crust a little crispier. My readers have lots of good ideas.

  58. 5 stars
    Turned out absolutely perfect! This will be my go to dinner bread from now on. Thank you for the recipe!

    1. Way to go my friend! High-Five!

  59. Laura Donahue says:

    5 stars
    This bread was AMAZING. When I covered to rise, I placed in oven (not hot) with the light on and it more than doubled very quickly! Only thing, I don’t think I rolled dough up tight enough as it sort of unrolled a little upon baking. Still was amazingly delicious! Can’t wait to try other bread recipes from this site.

    1. Great to hear from you, Laura. Glad your bread was tasty. Did you pinch the seam when you rolled the dough? Then, be sure the seam is on the bottom when you put it on a cookie sheet. Write back if that doesn’t help.

  60. 5 stars
    First one I tried and the one I keep going back to! Thank you for helping making bread so easy!

    1. My pleasure, Ana. Thank you for your kind words. Glad you love it!

  61. 5 stars
    Stumbled across your 58+ bread machine recipes post yesterday whilst looking for new ideas for my bread machine. The French bread seems to be very popular so gave that a go and it was lovely! I used it for toast for today’s breakfast and toasted sandwiches for lunch (think you would call it a grilled cheese).

    I also appreciated the different measurements you include for the ingredients as I’m in the UK I usually measure all dry items in grams on digital scales and all wet ingredients in millilitres in a jug. I do have some “cups” which have millilitres on them so I wasn’t sure on the amount of water so I stuck to 1 cup and it turned out perfectly 😊

    It’s very cold in the UK at the moment despite having the heating on so I don’t think I let the dough rise enough but it rose very quickly in the oven, I baked it in a loaf tin rather than a baguette/baton as I don’t have a tray quite big enough. Thanks again for all the lovely recipes, I’ll be checking out your other (non bread) recipes too!

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Helen. I’m glad your French bread turned out well enough for you to enjoy. When we have cold days here, I always throw a blanket over the bread machine to help it hold the warmth the machine generates. You can always remove the dough from the bread machine pan after it has been kneaded, place it in a bowl, cover it, and move it to a warmer place. Hope that helps.

    2. @Paula, Another way to help your dough to rise in a warm place is to place your covered bowl on a kitchen towel on top of an every day electric heating pad-lowest setting- This has worked perfectly for me, especially when the winter weather has chilled the kitchen air.

  62. 5 stars
    Have made this a few times and it comes out perfectly! I love the bake in the oven approach, it just makes so much sense!

    1. Hi Tia,
      Sounds like you’ve come over to my side when it comes to the “bake in the oven” approach. It really does open up a whole new world when using a bread machine. Go glad you enjoy the French Bread recipe. Thanks for writing!

  63. Hello Paula, first you thought me to the perfect yogurt recipe and now this WONDERFUL bread recipe for a machine bread. I did make a newbie mistake on my first try, I let it rise in a parchment coated bread pan. What a disaster, I just could not separate the dough from the paper but I could tell that the dough itself was looking good so I baked what I could salvage and the resulting flatbread was actually nice.
    My next try, I realized I had forgotten the butter in my first attempt…Oh well.
    So, no parchment paper on the second try in a 4.5″ X 8.5″ bread pan.
    It turned out fantastic in my toaster oven with only one hour proofing after shaping.
    Thank you so much.
    Now, I will go through your 58 recipes to see if I can find this French bread but in a 1.5lb 9″ X 5″ version and try not to gain weight in the process.
    Happy Holidays

    1. This is a great story. I found that I never need parchment paper with baked yeast loaves as long as I use excellent quality pans. USA pans are the best (and they don’t pay me to say that, unfortunately).

      Good lunch with the last part of your last sentence. That’s why I eat a LOT of salad in a jar.

  64. I made this today for the 1st time and IT. WAS. EPIC. Perfect flavor, SUPER easy (took me like 10 mins of actual hands on time, MAX!) And it was BEAUTIFUL. I would be so proud to serve this to someone. It was also delicious—tasted JUST like fresh bakery bread and now may home smells amazing! I made an extra loaf and I’m going to try to freeze it. If it turns out as good as this loaf, this will be something I will stockpile to always keep available. Thanks so much for this recipe!

    1. You’re welcome, Nichole. So happy you came back to say how much you liked the bread. It will freeze, just don’t try to keep it too long.

  65. Turned out great! I sprinkled the Everything spice from Trader Joe’s on it before baking and it was wonderful!

    1. Marje,

      Great idea. The Everything spice is so easy and really elevates the bread. This is one of the best things about making your own bread. Keep the inspiration coming.

  66. 4 stars
    Thank you Paula for sharing your recipe! I made this to have with tonight’s dinner and we loved it! We do large gatherings regularly in the summertime and I usually buy French bread. I think those days are over! I only wonder if it’s safe to double the recipe and if my bread machine would turn out two delicious loaves.

  67. Hi Paula, can I get clarification on the amount of butter? It calls for 1 1/2 teaspoons of butter. Thanks!

    1. That is correct. One teaspoon + 1/2 teaspoon of softened butter. Does that help?

  68. I am making this again tonight. Thanks for a wonderful, healthy recipe!! I will never buy this bread from a store again.

    1. Thanks for coming back to say so, Kristina.

  69. YES YES YES! Another hit in my house. Thank you.

    1. Yay!!!! Thanks for the testimonial.

  70. Greetings from Vancouver BC,

    Do you think it is possible for me to shape this into a batard and bake it in a Dutch oven? I want to achieve the most crusty crust and I think this may be the method, but I don’t know if the high heat of the Dutch oven might make turn this type of loaf too hard.

    Linda

    1. Hi Linda,

      I haven’t tried it. The sugar and butter do soften the crust over time, but that’s what makes the crumb so moist and tender. I plan to try it myself and I’ll report back. If you try it before I do, let me know.

  71. Kathy Wilson says:

    3 stars
    I made this bread twice now and it came out great. This is an awesome recipe. Thank you

  72. “Dog-Gone Good Bread”! Those are the words of my husband after I Finally made this bread yesterday. Don’t know what took me so long.
    Thanks so much, Paula for this recipe and all the other things you do and post! Hope you had a Marvelous Mother’s Day!!

    1. Hi Cherie,

      This is great news! Glad it turned out good for you. I did indeed have a wonderful Mother’s Day. Hope you did, too

  73. 5 stars
    So good and so easy. This bread is my kids’ new favorite. I will definitely make this again. Thank you for sharing!

  74. Phaedra Wolfe says:

    5 stars
    This is my go-to dinner bread. It is a super recipe! Thank you for sharing😊

  75. elizabeth nunley says:

    3 stars
    I just made this French Bread and it turned out perfect!! I will definitely be making this recipe many times over. Thanks so much for sharing, Elizabeth

  76. Aliyyah Ebrahim says:

    thank you very very much for sharing your crusty-french bread recipe
    it came out great
    truly
    Aliyyah Ebrahim Toronto

  77. Sophia Andrews says:

    Hi how long does it take to cook if I divide the dough into two baguettes. And what temperature thanks!

    1. Hi Sophia,

      I would use the same temperature as for a larger loaf. Start checking to see if your loaves are done and if they have reached 190˚F about 10 minutes early. Ovens vary, so keep an eye on them the first time.

  78. 5 stars
    I made this crusty french bread and now I’m singing praises about it to my friends! Thanks, Paula! Love it!

  79. Can I put this in a 8 1/4X 4 1/4 loaf pan and if so do I change the time.

    1. Hi Teresa,

      I haven’t tried it, but you probably can. One piece of advice. The general rule for pans: the dough should only fill the pan half-way. If you have too much dough for that size pan, use a bigger pan or take out some of the dough and make rolls or a very small loaf.

      The time required to bake that loaf will depend on if all the dough fits in that pan. I suspect your pan may not be quite big enough. I hope you have a quick-read thermometer as it takes all the guess-work out of knowing when your bread is done. I couldn’t live without mine.

  80. Debbie Chandler says:

    5 stars
    I’ve made this crusty bread 3 times now. Simple, easy and delicious.

  81. 5 stars
    I’ve made this a dozen times now and the bread is amazing. I do usually need to add a little bit more water. Thanks so much for the recipe!

  82. Wendy Walker says:

    I’ve made this several times. It’s so simple, and utterly delicious! I just christened my brand new, sparkly convection oven by baking a loaf of this topped with Everything seasoning. OMG… it’s even better! Thanks so much!

    1. “Everything” seasoning is a brilliant idea. Thanks for sharing with all of us. Congratulations on your sparkly new oven.

  83. Ronnie Greco says:

    Hey Paula I made this crusty bread a few months ago. Came out perfect. Just made it again as recipe says. Followed exactly. After the kneading in bread machine, it goes into rise mode. Knew something was going on, hardly rose. Took it out rolled it out, shaped and covered. Checked on it after an hour. Same size,did not rise at all. Used a leftover yeast from last bread making. Expiration date next year. Any suggestions 🤔
    Thanks
    Ronnie

    1. Ronnie Greco says:

      @Ronnie Greco,
      Updating my post. After about 40 mins longer the bread finally rose. Just took longer this time. Bread came out perfect, nice and crusty.

      1. Hi Ronnie,

        I’m wondering if it was a little drafty where your bread machine is located. The other possibility is that not all the ingredients were room temperature when you started making the bread. This will definitely delay the rising. Once everything gets warmed up a bit, the yeasty bodies will feel more like having a party.

      2. Ronnie Greco says:

        @Paula,
        Thanks Paula, I will remember that for future bread making.

  84. Hi again Ms. Paula!
    I love your recipes, and this one is no different. I have a recurring question however that I keep meaning to ask!
    Is there another substitute for the egg wash that might help brown the tops of my loaves and rolls? I know it’s foolish, but I just hate wasting an egg!
    Also, I wonder if I could purchase a small carton of egg whites and add the water rather than using a fresh egg? I make one of your recipes at least a few times a month, so I’d appreciate any insight! Thanks again, and love your blog!!!

    1. Hi Tia,

      So glad you’re enjoying my recipes.

      I know how you feel about wasting an egg. I freeze egg whites all the time but leftover egg yolks are another matter. If I have a frozen egg white I just get it out and use it for a glaze. You can try no glaze. Put an old pan filled with about 2 cups of boiling water in the bottom of your preheated oven. Then spritz the bread 2-3 times with water during the first 5 minutes of baking. This will make a crispy crust–for a little while. It will soften during the next few hours. You could also try a cornstarch wash like I use on my Crusty Rolls. Those are my best ideas for now. Have you priced a carton of egg whites? It’s way cheaper to buy a dozen eggs. 🤔

  85. 5 stars
    I have had my bread machines for 3 months and recently discovered your website, love it, since I too like the machine to do the heavy lifting, but I like to shape and cook bread in my oven. First try on the French bread and it was perfect! My husband came back for seconds at dinner. If I could give it 10 stars, I would!

  86. Terri Riddle says:

    I just made my first ever loaf of bread. I had a hard time getting mine to pinch together. Too much flour on my surface maybe. Since it’s my first loaf of any kind… I was unsure how long it takes to rise. I am still waiting, so we will see. Using my bread maker to combine the ingredients into was great. I am excited to learn more about this, not sure this loaf will be my best work. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Hi Terri,
      How did your bread turn out? You’re probably right about the flour. If that happens again, just touch the edges with the tiniest bit of water. You will know your bread is ready to bake when you push your index finger against the side and it leaves a small dent that doesn’t spring back immediately. I hope your bread turned out good enough to inspire you to keep trying. Baking a beautiful and delicious loaf is so satisfying.

  87. This is my go-to french bread recipe! So easy to make and tastes so good! I’ve even given a few loaves away as gifts and they always love it! When I want to make a special treat, I add butter, cinnamon, and sugar to the rolled out dough before rolling it up into a loaf. Little bit more tricky to seal up the loaf, but oh so good in the end. Makes the best french toast with the cinnamon and sugar inside!! (I just learned the hard way not to get your butter too close to the edge, otherwise, when it rises it comes apart! Still tastes amazing, just not as pretty!) Thank you Paula for this AMAZING recipe!!

    1. Hi Sarah,

      Why have I never thought of adding cinnamon and sugar to this bread? What a great idea! I can imagine that french toast or even bread pudding would be awesome with your version of this recipe since the bread is more sturdy and wouldn’t get soggy as quickly as sandwich bread. Can’t wait to try this myself. Thanks so much for taking the time to write and share.

  88. 5 stars
    I made this and my husband dubbed it the best so far using the bread machine. It was perfect for us !

  89. 5 stars
    Makes great sandwhich bread dividec into two loaves.

  90. Does this make one or two loves?

    1. Hi Michelle, This recipe will make 1 (approximately 1.5 lb) large loaf or two smaller ones.

  91. what shelf in the oven is best for baking the french bread and if you use convection baking mode do you change the temp? thanks…

    1. Hi Renee,

      Nice to hear from you. I bake my bread in the lower/middle part of the oven. Ovens vary so you might experiment. When using convection, which I do all the time, I decrease the temperature by 25˚F. Can’t wait to hear how your bread turns out.

    2. thanks…i’ve made this twice and both times i’ve messed it up a bit…i think three times will be the charm…it was still edible:-) it’s cheap, easy and good!!! i am thinking this will be my “go to” bread…thank you!

      1. Oh yes! This is a good “go-to” recipe. I’m also hoping the third time will be a charm. If it isn’t, don’t hesitate to write back and I’ll help you troubleshoot.

  92. 5 stars
    I have made this twice already and this is my favorite French bread by far and really simple to bake.

  93. Charles Kaiser says:

    Hello Paula: Wrote to you previously regarding potato bread. Baked it and it was wonderful, nice and soft and excellent flavor.
    My next question: do you have a recipe for onion cheese bread that you would share? I found a recipe but it has 4 cups of flour and I want to prepare in the bread machine and bake in the oven. I have a 10 inch bread pan but I believe it is to small for 4 cup recipe.
    Thanks for upur help
    Charles Kaiser

    1. Hi Charles,

      I am actually working on an onion bread (or rolls) right now. Maybe I’ll try adding cheese. What kind of cheese were you thinking?

      Unless your 10-inch bread pan is really narrow, I would think it would work for a 4-cup-of-flour recipe. Of course, some recipes rise a lot higher than others, so you just have to experiment.

  94. Best French bread recipe I have used. I have made French bread several times with other recipes off the internet. Paula’s recipe is hands down the best. The detailed information on how to shape the loaf was helpful.

    1. Thanks for coming back to say so, Chelsea.

  95. This was the first loaf I made from your site and it was a winner! I’m curious as to how flour weights are determined from cups. Your measure is 360g for 3 cups and it works perfectly. I’ve seen recipes in other places that vary from 350g to 375g for the same 3 cups…maybe they’re not measuring right or their scales are off? Also, some recipes say bread and a.p. flour are interchangeable but my understanding is that bread flour is slightly heavier. Can you clarify, please?

    1. Hi Vivian,

      So glad to hear your bread turned out great.

      You are right that flour weights seem to be all over the place. I originally went with the weight King Arthur Flour charts specify. It worked so I stick with it. Different types and brands of flour can weigh different amounts. Most Americans don’t even weigh flour so that leads to all kinds of variations. However, when you see a recipe with a different weight than you are used to, it’s always best to follow the recipe as that is the way it was probably tested.

      As far as bread flour and A.P. flour being interchangeable, the answer is not as simple as it might first appear. I like to use Trader Joe’s AP flour. It contains MORE protein than King Arthur’s bread flour. Actual weight per cup is the same for TJ’s flour and KA’s AP and bread flour. Canada’s A.P. flour has more protein and comes closer to bread flour than Gold Medal or Pillsbury AP flour. Even more important is what kind of product you want to end up with. Bread flour generally produces a chewier product that often rises higher. It’s nice for artisan breads. Recipes for pizza dough are generally good with either kind of flour. I’ve been experimenting with rye bread. When I use AP flour, the end result is more dense than bread flour. But that’s how a lot of people want their rye bread. To answer to your question, it all depends on what kind of bread you are making and the end result you’re going for.

      Happy Bread-Baking!

  96. I love this recipe, but I have question. The bread rises beautifully until I make the slashes. Then it collapses completely, no matter how lightly I try to do it. Any suggestions?

    1. Hi Kim,

      Two thoughts: What are you using to make the slashes? A razor sharp edge works best. Be careful not to tear it with a dull knife.

      Secondly, perhaps the bread has risen too long when you slash it. It may fall a little, but it should bounce right back when you put the bread in the oven and it starts to bake. Next time, you might try letting it rise a little less on the second proof. I don’t know if it’s really warm where you live but that would definitely make your bread rise faster than normal.

    2. @Paula,

      Thanks for the suggestions.

  97. I have been looking for a good French bread recipe. This is the best. Only thing I did…put down a little cornmeal before placing on baking pan. Thanks for including the 190 degree temp. Was perfect.

    1. Joann,

      I’m so glad you wrote. I usually sprinkle a little semolina which has the same effect as cornmeal. Been meaning to add that to the recipe which I will do right now. Happy Bread-Eating!

  98. Oh, and a little typo to point out (wish I could private message you). Under FAQ’s: 1. “. . . when you first but your loaf in the oven . . . “

    should be “put your loaf” 🙂

  99. What an informative site you have put together! Thank you. One question. At the end of step 4 we are to let the shaped loaf rise until doubled in size. I’m a novice bread baker. Approximately how much time should I allocate for the loaf to double?

    1. Hi Amy,

      Thanks for the typo correction. I ALWAYS appreciate those.

      I generally allow about 45 minutes. It could be longer or shorter depending on the ambient temperature where the bread is rising. In the end, you have to judge by looking at the bread to know for sure that it’s ready to bake.

      My email is paula at saladinajar.com if you ever want to write me directly. I don’t mind at all.

  100. I made this for the first time a few days ago and followed the recipe exactly, but the French Bread came out rock hard and burnt on top. Thankfully I’d already tried a number of recipes on this website, and found them all excellent, so I doubted this recipe could be so bad that it could really produce a loaf that came out like that. 425 degrees is Gas Mark 7 and in my oven at least seemed pretty hot for cooking bread, so I made it again today and reduced the temperature to Gas Mark 6 for the first 20 minutes and also followed the tip about placing a tray of boiling water on the bottom shelf of the oven. The difference was dramatic and as if I’d followed a completely different recipe, even though I’d basically only changed the above small things. The loaf came out crusty on top and chewy throughout, and had a really great texture even to look at. I just thought I would post this in case anyone else has tried this recipe and had a similar result, which could obviouly be offputting if you haven’t tried other recipes on this site, and might lead to you giving up on this recipe when it does actually produce a great loaf.

    1. Hi Karen,
      Thanks so much for sharing this information. So glad you tried again. Maybe it will help someone else with the same kind of oven.

  101. 5 stars
    I tried many bread recipes in my “new to me” bread machine. Came across this one and this is now my go to recipe. Made it first time using regular flour. The next time and every time since I have used Bobs Red Mill Artisan bread flour. The reviews from my people who are fortunate enough to indulge in the bread are stars all around. I cut the dough in half and then roll out into two loaves and cook for the same amount of time as called for in the recipe and it turns out absolutely delicious every time. Bread rising now as I type. YUM

  102. Tia P Turner says:

    I made the French loaf just now, and substituted 1 cup of bread flour with spelt flour, it came out perfectly! I absolutely love your website, notes and recipes!

    1. Hi Tia,

      It is so good to know the spelt flour worked in this recipe. Thank you for letting us know.

      p.s. I made the correction and deleted your second comment. 🙂

  103. I’m looking forward to trying this recipe. A question about the “dough cycle” and when to pull it out to shape. On my breadmaker, it stirs and kneads for 20 minutes, lets it rise for 20, then punches down, and then lets it rise for 50 more minutes. Should I take it out after that first 20 minute rise, or after the second 50 minute rise?

    Thanks so much. I read through the comments, this recipe has a rich history!

    1. That’s a good question, Gabriel. My intuition says you should let the dough cycle complete. 20 minutes is not near long enough for the first rise, so maybe the two together will be perfect. That is what I would try first. Happy Bread-Eating!

  104. I found this recipe when I was looking for ways to use the whey from straining my yogurt. It turned out amazing! I used a stand mixer to mix the dough since my bread maker kicked the bucket a while back. There are no bread machines to be bought right now! I used whey in place of water, and since I didn’t have bread flour I added 4 tsp of vital wheat gluten. Thanks for the visual shaping directions; they were very helpful! This is probably the prettiest loaf of bread I’ve ever made and the flavor is so good! I used the leftover for avocado toast this morning.

    Pictures are on my Instagram. Really,it’s so pretty!
    https://www.instagram.com/p/B_lnQiZlUNr/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

    1. Melody,
      Thanks so much for sharing your success. Avocado toast sounds really good right now. Would you believe I made the same recipe yesterday and used yogurt whey for the water? I didn’t add any wheat gluten and it still rose up perfectly. Happy bread-eating.

    2. @Melody, just checked your Instagram shot. Gorgeous loaf! Thanks to Paula for the recipe. I am going to make it now!

  105. I made this tonight. First thing I made in my new breadmaker. I was so nervous. It came out great! ? Thank you so much for recipe. Are you on Instagram? I wanted to tag you & give credit. @julesbloggin

    1. Thank you for leaving a comment Julie. I’m so happy it turned out good for you. I have an Instagram account, but don’t really use it. Sure appreciate the thought.

  106. Loved your recipe. Thankyou!
    Tried it today, and it came out perfect. I didn’t have bread flour, so, I added gluten to AP flour. That did the trick!
    Also, the Pinterest image on how to shape the loaf helped. This is the first time Ive3been able to bake a goodlooking loaf?

    1. @Dee B,

      How much vital wheat gluten do you add per cup of a. p. flour?

  107. I’ve made this several times since I can’t find much bread in the grocery stores right now. It’s delicious. I’ve got one rising now so that I can make us some french bread pizzas tonight. I’ll be making this instead of buying bread even when the stores are stocked again. It’s so easy to make too. So happy I found this recipe.

  108. About how big do you roll out your rectangle of dough?

    1. Hi Wendi,

      I usually roll mine about 9 x 12 inches. Thanks for asking.

  109. Cynthia Scott says:

    This is such an easy and delicious recipe.I placed a pie tin of boiling water on the rack beneath the baking sheet for a chewy crust. I’d made stew and this was perfect to soak up the broth.

    1. I’m sure the boiling water helped the crust. Good tip! Thanks for writing.

  110. Amberly Schimelfenig says:

    Best bread I’ve ever made! Make it every weekend!

  111. Scott Hartsough says:

    Made this tonight, and it may have been the best loaf of bread I ever made, and so easy. I opted for the Kitchen-aid over the bread machine, and I added about a teaspoon each of basil and oregano for an herb style. I did notice that it took quite a bit more water – maybe an extra 1/4 cup. But this recipe is definitely a keeper.

    1. Adding herbs is a good idea!!

  112. This has become my go-to french bread recipe. Comes out perfect every time and so simple!

  113. This is the best bread that we’ve made! We make it every week!

  114. 5 stars
    I eat French bread daily, and have tried several recipes with varied results. This recipes calls for sugar where many do not. Definitely add the sugar! What gives real French bread that chewy crunchy texture is STEAM. When I preheat the oven, I add a pyrex tray with about one inch of water, and leave it for the entire baking process. I also sprinkle kosher salt over the egg wash. I do a second egg wash at 20 minutes when I reduce the oven temperature. Fantastic results! I love this bread!

  115. I’ve also made these the same day (Monday) I made the crusty rolls!!! Best french bread ever. Family so excited to see 2 loaves of them again this morning for their breakfast ???

  116. Im confused .. Where are the instructions for the glaze??

    1. Hi Carey,
      The glaze instructions apparently got dropped in a recent upgrade. I have fixed the recipe. The glaze is 1 egg white whisked together with 1 teaspoon of water. Hope the bread turns out great for you.

  117. You talking about glaze but you don’t give the recipe I do not know what this glacé

    1. Glykeria, So sorry. It appears the glaze recipe dropped off when I changed recipe cards. I fixed it now. Glaze = 1 egg white and 1 teaspoon water whisked together. Brush lightly on loaf before putting it in the oven. Thanks so much for letting me know.

  118. Phaedra Wolfe says:

    5 stars
    This is my go-to recipe for everyday french bread. Easy, fast, foolproof, it comes out right every time.

  119. 4 stars
    Made this for the first time today. Turned out great, except the crust wasn’t…well, “crusty”! I grew up with French bread having a VERY crisp crust (NZ), and cannot find that were I now live (WV). However, this recipe did yield some very scrummy bread, on which I am going to put my home-made chicken liver pate!

  120. Phaedra Wolfe says:

    5 stars
    This is my go-to recipe for everyday french bread. Easy, fast, foolproof, it comes out right every time.

    1. Easy, fast and foolproof. I couldn’t agree more!

  121. 4 stars
    Made this for the first time today. Turned out great, except the crust wasn’t…well, “crusty”! I grew up with French bread having a VERY crisp crust (NZ), and cannot find that were I now live (WV). However, this recipe did yield some very scrummy bread, on which I am going to put my home-made chicken liver pate!

    1. Hi Fiona,
      So glad you wrote. I’m glad you liked the bread but sorry you were disappointed with the crust. Wanted to let you know you did nothing wrong. That bread is most crusty when you first bake it. If you want a very crisp crust on your bread, you will have better luck to use a recipe with a “sponge” involved. A sponge is a water/flour/yeast mixture that percolates for several hours before you actually mix up the bread. They will take a bit longer to make. I have some on my blog here, here, and this one for crusty rolls which only requires a special glaze.

  122. Just wondering, Can I double this recipe, in my bread machine, 2 make 2 loafs?
    I’ve made 1 loaf of this bread, so far, and it is very good. I just would like to make
    2 loaf at one time. I guess, if I can’t, they will have to be. I’ve tried some of your other recipes, and they all have been keepers. Thanks, Liz

    1. Hi Liz,
      No, I would not recommend making a double batch in your machine. The dough will not be kneaded properly nor will there be enough room for the dough to rise until double. I bought a used bread machine in addition to my favorite machine so I could make two batches at the same time. OR, Make one batch. As soon as the dough finishes mixing and kneading, remove the dough to another bowl to finish proofing and start another batch in your machine.

  123. Hi I made this bread today it came out great everyone loved it. I just bought a new bread machine first thing I tried was this bread in it (Hamilton Beach) on sale $49 for the price it was a great machine I had a Sunbeam but it rocked so much bounced off the counter twice so needed a new one.Thanks for a great recipe

    1. Glad to hear this bread turned out good for you. paula

  124. I have made this a few times now and am IN LOVE!
    I’ve tried to make it whole wheat, and it’s possible, but not nearly as good!
    I think this is a recipe that simply needs to be left alone. It’s AWESOME exactly as it is.
    This will be a repeat in my house for sure. Awesome for cold Canadian evenings and a hot bowl of soup.
    Can’t wait to try more recipes from your blog!
    -Steph

  125. This bread is awesome! I made it a few days ago, and I’m making it again today. My wife and daughters love it!
    Thank you for sharing this great recipe. I’m sure it will be a family favourite of ours too.

  126. Oh this is wonderful! My bagget wasn’t pretty but soo good! Thank you. Will definitely be saving and doing this again!

  127. I am so making this bread today. I have had a very nice bread machine for 3 years and it sat on the pantry floor. I, like a lot of you, have never really liked the bread out of the oven. My daughter gave me the link to your site and I made the Favorite Dinner Rolls. I have now made that recipe about 4 times in the last month. My daughter insisted that I mail her a batch of them for her Christmas dinner. They were a hit.

    My bread machine now sits on my counter like a proud peacock. I have stocked my pantry with all the ingredients to make any bread product that I wish. I have decided that I am not going to be buying store bought bread for everyday use at all this year. There is no work to making bread this way, and if I hit a day when I really don’t have the time to bake the dough off in my oven, I can always choose to just let the machine take care of it.

    I love this website/blog, love these recipes and am now a convert to bread making.

    1. Welcome to the club, Ann. Happy Bread-eating. Thanks for your kinds words. paula

  128. The post by “Best Bread Machine” (dated OCT 4 2011) has a blog link that goes to a Chinese spammer. You should remove it from your site, please.

  129. Hi, I was wondering if I can not only mix this in my bread machine but also bake it I. The machine? Obviously i know it won’t be a long thin loaf. I’m military and have two small children…don’t have the luxury of the extra few minutes to roll out and roll up the dough. Thank you

    1. Hi Lindsay,
      Of course you can bake this in a bread machine but it will be different and not look much like French Bread. As long as you don’t have the wrong expectations, it should work out ok. Honestly, the first couple times may take longer but you will get really fast with a little experience, and I think you will find it totally worth it.

  130. I made this and it is ssoo good!

    1. Cathy,
      So glad to hear it turned out good for you. paula

  131. Dale Brackett says:

    Thank you so much for creating this website. I had already prepared my French bread dough in my bread machine, and I wanted to bake it in the oven, thanks for the great tips on how to make it look much more presentable than it would’ve been if I baked it in the machine, It turned out beautiful, Thanks so much from SLC, Utah, Dale Brackett.

  132. Hi! Just wanted to drop by and say that as a novice bread maker, I have yet to fail at one of your recipes! Thank you so much!

    1. Thanks for writing April. You made my day! Happy bread-making.

  133. This bread is absolutely wonderful! I made it to go with Sweet Potato and Carrot soup. We had some left over and made french toast with in the morning, soooo good! Family is coming down and my mom had me make two more loaves so she could have french toast in the morning with our family.

    Just one question, what do I need to do to keep the bread from glueing itself to the pan? My first loaf took a lot of convincing to get it off the pan. The glaze utterly glued it to the pan. The second time I tried to oil the pan, hoping that would keep it from sticking, but it still stuck, but not nearly as bad. The oil also smoked and there went the fire alarm! Should I try parchment paper, silpat, or something else?

    Thanks, this bread is awesome!

  134. Thanks to you and this recipe, I haven’t bought bread in two years. This french bread is our everyday bread and it is so good! I have had great results with adding a 1/4 cup or so of wheat bran or a few tablespoons of flaxmeal to up the fiber.
    I had such trouble making really good homemade bread, it was always tough and dry, but thanks to your wonderful tutorials, I am now a champion bread baker! I have tried many of your recipes and they have all been a success.
    Thank you so much, Paula!

    1. Erin,
      What a day-brightener! You’re most welcome. I have never added anything the the french bread but why not? Can’t wait to try it. paula

  135. Rich Rice says:

    Wonderful recipe- delicious bread. Thanks for posting. This was my first foray into French bread, and it worked beautifully. I actually managed to make it while carving a neck for a bass guitar. 😉 Simple and attractive, not to mention delicious!

  136. This is the first recipe I tried using this method & it turned out fantastic! It was delicious with grilled steaks & roasted vegetables. The leftovers made excellent toast this morning. I can’t wait to try more of Paula’s recipes. I am a new fan of Salad In A Jar! 🙂

  137. Hi Paula,

    Thank you so much for this recipe. Your bread brought to smile to my face 🙂

  138. How long do you let it rise after rolling it out (step 2 instructions) What did yu use for glaze?

    1. Hi Leslie,
      Let it rise until double. How long it takes depends on the temperature in the room or place you are letting it rise. Normally takes around 30-45 minutes. The glaze is water and egg whites. Amounts and directions are listed in the recipe.

  139. came out PERFECT the first time! Great directions! My whole family ate th entire loaf while it was still warm.

  140. Hi there,
    Bread looks fantastic. One question, is it necessary to use bread floue or could it all be unbleached flour.
    Thanks

    1. Hi Judith,
      I have not tried it yet but using 100% unbleached flour would probably work. I would expect the texture of the bread to be slightly softer and not quite as chewy because there is less gluten in the unbleached flour. Worth a try. 🙂

  141. Gonna make this morning …can’t wait for waking family’s reaction…thanks sooo much for sharing!

  142. Wonderful recipe and instructions. I would never have shaped it properly had you not included those instructions. Thanks so much!

  143. By the way, my (ahem, your) French Bread was a HUGE hit with my family the other night (at my in-laws no less, so score!!, lol). It came out beautifully and was so yummy!!

    My only question is that it did taste slightly of yeast (kinda like a yeast roll after taste, which was not bad by any means), but just wondering if that is normal?

  144. Hi there Paula…

    I am also a really BIG fan of yours! I found your blog a few months ago while I was searching salad-in-a-jar… long story short, I have since bought a used bread machine about a month ago (to see if I really liked it before spending the big bucks, lol… which I do! But still haven’t had to upgrade just yet).

    I have been coming back here pretty regularly to try new things. I have tried your pizza dough, and it is now a Family FAVORITE! That was the first recipe I tried by using the bread machine only for the dough cycle (scary for me as a newbie)… I have had terrible experiences in the past with trying to make my own breads by hand (before the bread machine) and waiting for it to rise, etc. So, it always makes me a little nervous to do a recipe which requires it to cook outside the machine.

    However, recipes like French Bread, and pizza cannot be made in there, so I come look up your recipes, and get inspired every time I do! Thanks a bunch! Love your videos too!!

    This time, I like another commenter had a problem envisioning what you were describing when talking about how to form the dough, so I did a quick search and this is a link that shows pictures of exactly what you were describing… I didn’t even read the text, lol…just needed the pics (visual learner thing, I guess):

    http://www.steamykitchen.com/75-baking-the-perfect-loaf-of-french-bread.html

    Anyway, Thanks again soooo much for your tasty recipes and fun anecdotes!!

    1. I was coming here to get the recipe for French Bread to make for my family today (Thanksgiving), 🙂 and I saw your updated pics… and I thought, “Awesomeness!!!” Thanks for updating the post and adding the pics, they really do help!

  145. Hi there! I am fairly new to Bread making using a Bread machine. I like the concept of using the machine for the dough, and then baking the bread in the oven. I use your pizza dough recipe as well as the focaccia! Yum. Question: When the dough is finished mixing in the bread machine….do you take it out immediately, or do you let it rise in the machine….and then proceed with your instructions? (for example for the French bread)

    1. Hi Lenora,
      I leave the dough in the bread machine to rise the first time. The first rise is part of the “Dough” cycle. That being said, if I’m cooking for a crowd, I will remove the dough at the end of mixing and start all over with a second batch. Then first batch of dough goes into a bowl to rise in a warm place before it’s ready to form. Hope I haven’t confused you. Write back if you still have a question.

  146. Thank you for sharing this recipe. Since we are employed in KSA French bread isn’t easy to come by.
    Ever since my husband got me the Bread Maker I have been trying your recipe. They are great.

  147. Monique T says:

    Just made this and it looks wonderful . . . . too bad my expensive kitchen aid mixer is collecting dust since I got my bread machine,

    1. Monique,
      Your comment made my day!!

  148. Shirley G says:

    I made this tonight, first time I have EVER attempted bread and it was fantastic. So easy and so good. Thank you!

  149. I realize this posting was from 2 years ago, but I wanted to stop by and tell you I just found it. I made this bread today and it was wonderful! It looked amazing. It smelled amazing. And it tasted even better. I wont be buying french bread at the store ever again!

  150. I just made this and it was GREAT! Love your white bread, too. You are my go to blog for my bread needs! Thank you so much for doing all of your posts. I would have given up on bread making with out you!

    1. Gina,
      Your comment is so encouraging. I love bread and love making it. The French bread is so easy, why not?

  151. Stephanie says:

    Horrible idea to look at recipes at 1am when you want to go to bed of course I’m hungry now. I want to try to make this 1 day,once I perfect the art of making Campbell’s soup I will get on this. I have enough trouble with pancakes,bacon&eggs but I swear I’m going to try to learn how to cook I mean I’ll be 30 soon enough I should know how to cook something.

    1. Hi Stephanie,
      Start cooking and keep trying new things and you’ll be a super good cook in no time.

  152. Paula, I’ve been making your honey whole wheat bread since January and I finally thought to try this French bread recipe. I LOVE IT! Thank you again for enriching our family with such yummy bread! 🙂

    1. Hi Katie,
      So glad to hear you are enjoying the bread.

  153. ZojiBread says:

    Excellent recipe! I mixed the dough in my bread maker & it easily made two loaves. It’s delicious & we’re having it with spinach artichoke dip right now!! Yummy!

  154. bread maker reviews says:

    I’ve made this breads 3 times already within the past 30 days and that i can’t get enough! Many thanks so much for sharing your formula,best bread maker!

  155. Pat's Bread Maker Reviews says:

    Looks like a great recipe…I’m always looking for ways to get the crust right!
    Thanks for sharing

  156. Wow very nice, I tried it, I dont think the yeast likes me too much, but it could be that I made it into two loaves instead of one. It tasted great thou!!

  157. Breadmaker Dan says:

    Looks absolutely fantastic.

    I make a lot of bread at home and it never ever ends up looking like that. I’ll give the recipe a shot and pray for the best.

  158. I’ll dig out the bread machine for this! It looks so good in that sandwich- yum!

  159. ok, so here’s the verdict….quick dough cycle seemed to work ok, although probably the basic dough would have allowed for more rise time. but this is a denser, crustier bread so it may not have mattered anyway. my loaves (or should i say loaf) weren’t as pretty as yours, but guess this will just come with experience as i make it more. you may want to mention that this recipe makes only 1 loaf (or at least that’s how mine turned out) of about 8 thinner slices. i used bread flour & bread machine yeast. hope this helps someone else out who may be making the recipe for the 1st time

  160. oh and i’m also trying out the “quick dough” cycle on my bread machine…not enough time for me to allow for the basic dough cycle. i’ll let you know if it turns out…

  161. i’m just now about to make this recipe for the 1st time (with beef au jus for dinner, of course!)…..is there any way to add a pic or two of the second step? it’s hard for me to follow words & i’m not sure exactly what you are talking about. does the recipe really only call for 1.5 tsp of shortening? that really surprised me. is that correct? guess i’m about to find out.

  162. The bread looks fantastic!

  163. I’ve made this bread three times already within the past month and I can’t get enough of it! Thanks so much for sharing your recipe!

  164. Natural Weight Loss Suppliments says:

    I also love bread. btw this really looks perfect!

  165. wow..thats awesome..it looks delicious..my mouth goes watery

  166. Betty @ scrambled hen fruit says:

    I’ll dig out the bread machine for this! It looks so good in that sandwich- yum!

  167. I love bread, Paula and this looks perfect! Aren’t bread machines so convenient. Looking forward to trying this recipe.

    I want to make your Greek Yogurt too. I have to pick up a strainer though. Years ago I made regular yogurt frequently for my children just using a yogurt maker. This sounds infinitely better!

  168. Jeannette says:

    I think I am finally embracing bread making. I made two loaves of the same bread in two days. Yeast still doesn’t really like me too much but i won’t complain because it was deeelish. I’m thinking of trying this!

  169. That bread looks terrific. I wish I made bread more often — there’s nothing better than when it’s homemade!

  170. Yum i love good crusty bread! The texture looks delicious!

  171. Wow, your pictures look way better than my bread ever looks! Thanks for the recipe we now pass around!:)

  172. Kathy the Bread Machine User says:

    Wow!! Looks great! All the ingredients are really easy to produce. I really love bred making.!

  173. i agree, the au jus is definitely not for those on a low sodium diet. but is it tasty!

  174. Blond Duck says:

    Popped in from Pam’s to say hi! Oh, my husband loves beef au jus and crusty bread. He’ll be so pleased!

  175. Ooh, what wonderful loaves! The sandwich is making my mouth water. This looks like a perfect bread for french dip sandwiches.

  176. thanks for nice recepts :)))

  177. This sounds like a great recipe. We love fresh French bread. I may try it this weekend.

  178. It looks PERFECT! There is nothing better than fresh baked bread.

  179. I wonder if I will ever find this bread on our front porch 😉

  180. I really like this kind of bread! I`m going to try this 🙂

    have a nice time!
    Paula

  181. TheKitchenWitch says:

    I fear the yeast, but it looks like your loaves turned out beautifully! Perfect for that delicious-looking sandwich!

  182. Looks good! I’ll have to try this. I haven’t been happy with any French bread from my bread machine. Great pictures too, as always!