Homemade French Bread vs Store bought
Fail Proof French Bread!
2 loaves per recipe, leftovers make the best French Toast!
Diane's No Fail French Bread
The easiest and best French bread you will ever make. Simple ingredients, mixed in a stand mixer or by hand. Makes two huge loaves!
- 2 tablespoons dry yeast I prefer SAF brand
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 2 cups hot water
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon (yes tablespoon!) sea or Kosher salt
- 5 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
- 6 cups All Purpose flour divided ( I often use 2 cups of bread flour)*
- 1 egg *optional beaten- for glazing bread
Dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup warm water.
In a separate large bowl combine hot water, sugar, salt, oil and 3 cups of the flour. Stir well.
Add the yeast mixture to the hot water-flour mixture. Mix together with large wooden spoon or paddle attachment.
Add the remaining 3 cups of flour a cup at a time, mixing well after each addition.
After all of the flour is added and mixed in, let sit in bowl for 10 minutes.
When the dough has risen, stir down with a large spoon. If making in a stand mixer, turn the machine on low for a few seconds until the dough is deflated, and push dough to bottom part of bowl with a spatula.
Repeat 5 times, every ten minutes, for a total of 60 minutes of rising and then punching (or pushing) down.
Divide the dough in half. Roll each half of dough in a 9x12 rectangle on a floured surface.
Roll the dough up like a jelly roll (long way). Place the dough on a greased baking pan (jelly roll pan), with the seam side down. Both loaves fit on one pan.
Score the bread across the top 3 or 4 times, and brush with beaten egg (if using).
Let rise for 20-30 minutes in warm place.
Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes in lower half of oven, until golden brown. Or you may bake at 350-375 convection for 18-20 minutes until golden.
- I often add 2 cups bread flour, in place of the all purpose flour. When doing this, I use 2 cups bread flour and 3 1/2 -4 cups All Purpose flour. Watch the amount of flour if you add bread flour. In some cases, you will need only 3 1/2 cups of additional All Purpose flour. Do not add too much flour, the dough will be too stiff and hard to handle.
- I make this in my KitchenAid stand mixer. Use the paddle attachment until you have mixed in the first 3 cups of flour. Then switch to the dough hook to mix in the final 3 cups of flour.
- I often forget the mixing down step (5 times every 10 minutes) and have never had a problem with the bread turning out perfect. Just make sure the bread raises in the bowl until it has almost doubled in size, or for about 45 minutes. Then proceed to the rolling out step.
- If you have a convection oven, use the convection setting. Bake at 350-375 convection for about 15-20 minutes. The convection setting turns out the prettiest loaves of bread!
- The egg wash or glaze is not necessary. Egg wash will produce a shiny instead of a matte finish on your loaves. You will need about 1/3 of the egg wash for this recipe. Lightly brush the loaf with the egg wash before it starts to rise after shaping.