DIY Food Recipes

Super Easy DIY French Bread

Seriously folks, you are going to LOVE this super easy DIY french bread recipe. It’s my go-to when taking something to the neighbors.

Two loaves of homemade french bread on a cooling rack.

I originally learned of this recipe from my mother-in-law. She wowed me with this scrumptious french bread the first time I had dinner at their home.

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Then she graciously passed the recipe on to me. I passed it on to the neighborhood when I added it to our group cookbook. Finally, I am passing it on to you.

This bread recipe has also been a money maker at our house. 2 of my 3 boys have baked and sold this bread by the loaf.

So without further ado…my super easy DIY French bread recipe.

French Bread Recipe

Step #1

I have made this super easy french bread hundreds of times and have always used a bowl and a wooden or plastic mixing spoon.

In your bowl you are going to combine…

3 cups warm water

2 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons oil (I use canola)

1 tablespoon salt

Mix these first 4 ingredients together.

Step #2

Next you are going to sprinkle on 2 tablespoons of yeast (I like Saf Instant yeast). Let it sit for a minute while the yeast does its thing and starts to get frothy. Then go ahead and stir it all together.

Bowl with ingredients for french bread and the yeast getting frothy.

Step #3

Our next super easy step is to start adding the flour a cup at a time. The recipe calls for 7-8 cups of flour. I have found my sweet spot to be around 7 cups of flour (give or take a half cup).

How do you know when you’ve found the right amount of flour? First, it’ll get harder to stir. This is when I set the spoon aside and start mixing with my hands.

Second, it will still be a little sticky but will still form a ball. Once you get to this point you’ll cover the bowl with a towel to let the dough rise for 1 hour. Every 10min. stir/punch down your dough.

French bread dough in a bowl ready to start rising.

Step #4

Once your french bread dough has been rising (and stirred down) for an hour it’s time to form your loaves. Start by dividing your dough into two equal parts (one for each loaf).

Then, roll each half out onto a floured surface until its about 1/2in. thick. Next, roll it up like your making cinnamon rolls. Be sure to pinch the seam closed and tuck the ends in.

French bread dough rolled up with the seams pinched and end tucked.

Step #5

Put your loaves of bread onto a greased cookie sheet with the seam side down. Take a knife and cut slits across the top of your bread diagonally a few times.

Brush the top of your dough with egg whites. Then leave it to rise for another 20-30min. Finally, pop it into a 400 degree oven for 20-25min.

Two loaves of french bread ready for the oven.

It won’t be long before you will smell something wonderful coming from your oven. After you have removed the bread from the oven transfer the loaves to a cooling rack.

Two loaves of french bread cooling on a rack.

The best thing about this super easy DIY french bread recipe is that it is VERY forgiving. It will still taste delicious with a little too much or too little flour.

If you don’t have a full hour to let your dough rise you can skip a stirring down (45-50 min instead of 60). If you are REALLY short on time you can even skip the last rise before you put the loaves in the oven.

So WOW your family, friends and neighbors with your baking skills and try making your own loaf of french bread today!

Super Easy DIY French Bread

3 C. warm water

3 tsp. salt

2 Tbsp. sugar

2 Tbsp. yeast

2 Tbsp. oil

7-8C. flour

Combine first 4 ingredients.  Sprinkle on the yeast and stir in the flour (it will be sticky).  Cover and let rise, stirring down every 10 minutes for 1 hour.  Roll out on floured board ½ in. thick.  Roll up like a cinnamon roll.  Slice the top diagonally a few times with a sharp knife.  Put dough on a greased cookie sheet.  Brush the top with egg whites.  Let rise 30 min.  Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes.  Makes 2 loaves.

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About the author

Kristin Norby