Fabulous French Bread

  Just the thought of making French Bread at home intimidated me. I assumed it would take hours upon hours of dough making, kneading, rising, etc. etc. Blah! Who’s got time for dat? I don’t. Well, the truth is you can have delicious homemade French Bread in just one hour! Yep. One hour. This dough is super easy to make, especially if you do it in your stand-mixer. That fabulous dough hook will do the little kneading that’s required for you! This recipe makes 3 medium-sized loaves of French Bread. We made sandwiches with the first loaf (so good!) and french bread pizza with the second one (recipe coming tomorrow!) and with the third loaf we randomly sliced us off a piece and spread on some butter and jam. Talk about heaven! *Below the recipe I posted pictures to show the step-by-step of how you form the dough before baking. It’s super easy, but maybe a little hard to understand in writing. So check them out for help, if needed*

Oh, and don’t let the long instructions scare you, this bread is super easy to make!
Fabulous French Bread
Easy and amazing French Bread!
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Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
1 hr 5 min
Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
1 hr 5 min
  1. 1 cup boiling water
  2. 1/3 cup warm water
  3. 1 Tablespoon active dry yeast
  4. 2 Tablespoons sugar
  5. 1 Tablespoon salt
  6. 1 Tablespoon shortening ( I used butter-flavor Crisco)
  7. 1 cup cold water
  8. 5-6 cups all-purpose flour
  9. 1 egg
  1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees F. Fill a glass measuring cup with 1 cup of water. Place in microwave and heat for 3 minutes, or until water is boiling.
  2. In another glass measuring cup, fill it with 1/3 cup warm water. Sprinkle the 1 Tablespoon of yeast over the water. With a fork, stir yeast into the water until yeast is completely dissolved.
  3. Pour the sugar, salt and shortening into the bowl of your stand mixer. Using a fork, mash these ingredients together. Pour the 1 cup of boiling water over the shortening mixture in the stand mixer. Add the 1 cup of cold water into the mixer. Then pour in the yeast/water mixture.
  4. Add 3 cups of flour into the mixer, and using the dough hook, turn mixer on low speed. With the mixer still on, slowly add in the remaining 3 cups of flour, 1 cup at a time. Once all 6 cups are in, turn speed to medium and let the dough mix for 6-8 minutes. The dough should be nice and elastic. Be careful not to over-flour. I used all 6 cups, but would not use any more than that.
  5. Once the dough is mixed, let it rest in the bowl for 5 minutes.
  6. Spray a large cookie sheet with non-stick spray. After the dough has rested in the bowl, dump it onto the greased cookie sheet.
  7. Take a sharp knife, spray it with non-stick spray, and cut dough into 3 equal pieces. Then let it rest again for 5 minutes. (These resting periods for the dough is needed, so please do it and be patient! It’s worth the wait )
  8. To shape the dough before baking: Take one section of dough and spread it out into a rectangle. Just use your fingers, you don’t need a rolling pin. Fold one long end up over half of dough, then fold the other half over that one. Then fold each side up over each other, then turn the loaf over so it is seam side down.
  9. Use your fingers to tuck seams down underneath the loaf and shape it. Repeat with the other 2 pieces of dough. Once all 3 sections of dough are shaped cut 3 angled 1/2 inch slits onto the tops of dough.
  10. Crack the egg into a bowl and whisk with a fork until frothy. Spread the egg over the tops of each loaf, making sure to get inside the slits.
  11. Place the loaves into the oven and let them rise for about 15 minutes (while the oven is on 170 degrees F.) Then turn oven up to 400 degrees F (while the loaves are still inside) and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown and crisp. Turn the oven down to 350 degrees F. and bake for an additional 10 minutes.
  12. Remove the loaves from the baking sheet and allow them to cool a bit before slicing them.
  13. Enjoy! ♥
  1. Yields: 3 Loaves
Adapted from Jamie Cooks It Up
Adapted from Jamie Cooks It Up
Life In The Lofthouse http://life-in-the-lofthouse.com/
 Below are step-by-step pictures on how to shape the dough:

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  1. says

    Just finished making some! It really is fabulous. :) It did take me closer to 90 minutes from start to finish, but well worth it. I now must go spread a slice with some homemade strawberry jam to have with my coffee. Thanks for the recipe!

  2. Tina says

    Hi! Just made the bread. Never buying store bought again. Have you tried storing them for later use? If yes, what worked?

    • holly says

      Tina, so glad you loved the bread! These freeze really well. Once loaves have cooled down to room temperature, wrap them in plastic wrap and then place in a ziplock freezer bag. Store up to 3 months in the freezer. When you’re ready to use them, let them sit out to room temperature. :)

  3. Nicole says

    I used 4 cups of bread flour and 2 cups all purpose. I think I must have added too much flour, because after I folded the loaves they didn’t melt down into one big loaf…they stayed folded. They are in the oven now, so I guess we will see what happens!

    • holly says

      Nicole, I’ve only used all-purpose flour with this recipe so not sure how the bread flour would affect it… and I also used all 6 cups and it turns out awesome! Hope yours turns out, too! :)

  4. Jane says

    First, love your blog! My husband and I are loving trying out your recipes. Secondly, in my recent move I seem to have lost my dough hook for my mixer :( can I make this without it, by just folding in the flour old fashion style?

  5. dee williams says

    This bread is amazing. Unbelievably simple and so delicious. I got home from work at 3:30, had soup in the crockpot and at 4:00 decided to make this bread again. It’s rising in the oven now and will be ready for dinner in 30 minutes.

  6. says

    Made 3 batches of this today. We ate a whole loaf for lunch and I’m taking the other 8 loaves for a school luncheon tomorrow. My family is mad, lol. I may have to make up another batch tomorrow! Thanks for the recipe!

    • says

      Deb, Im so happy you love this bread as much as we do! I’m making more this week. I can’t get enough of this easy and delicious bread! :)

  7. Sherri says

    I just made this today and I think I’ve found my new go-to bread recipe! It is so good! I made meatballs today, too, and I think we’re going to use one of these loaves for open-face style subs. I love how soft the bread it, but with a nice chew to it. Thank you for the recipe!

  8. Annie M says

    All I have is a Cuisinart Hand mixer with dough hooks and a food processor… would either of those appliances work ok? This recipe looks so good and easy too! I get very intimidate by yeast bread.. I think it’s the kneading part of most recipes lol

  9. Amanda says

    I loved the flavor, but it was incredibly chewy even after I sliced it and baked it for about another 10 minutes to make garlic toast. Maybe I did something wrong, I don’t know, but for all the great reviews and beautiful loaves it was sort of ho-hum for me.

  10. Helen R says

    This recipe is absolutely awesome – made it today using 4 cups all purpose flour (all I had on hand) plus 2 cups bread flour and it turned out beautiful. Thanks you so much for this recipe – I’ll be making this really often!!

    • says

      Jen, I have never froze this dough, BUT I would imagine you could freeze it after you’ve shaped the loaves. I would wrap them in saran wrap and then in freezer bags. Let dough thaw and rise to room temp before baking :)

  11. Rocio RL says

    Holly Hi, i have a bunch in the oven!! They are turning so beautiful!!
    have u ever tried to put some tarragon or oregano or something else???

    Thanks so much!!


    Lima Peru

  12. Dena says

    I tried this bread recipe with the only change, substituting butter for shortening. My yeast was fresh but this bread didn’t rise and was very dense and tough. Since I followed the recipe as written, how did this happen?

    • says

      I think measuring the flour is key with any bread recipe. Maybe you over floured it? I’m not sure, so sorry. I’ve made this bread several times, just as written, and haven’t had that problem.

  13. sherry h. from brunswick, ohio says

    Hi I made this french loaf useing 4c all purpose flour and 2c bread flour I didnt have shortning so I used butter. I also added 1Tbl of italian season omg my kitchen smells so good. I am hopeing it turns out I don’t have much luck when it comes to making breads. Something always goes wrong.

  14. Dawn B. says

    This was quick and delicious! I love the trick with spraying the knife and then cutting the dough, super easy! Now I just need to work on my folding technique. Thanks again for the recipe!

  15. ona says

    going to try making this bread tomorrow morning but was wondering if you need to put a pan of water in the oven along with the bread to make the crust crispy ??

  16. Shawn says

    I just made this. I used six cups of AA flour, but the dough was sticky and didn’t hold its shape after forming it. Next time I will add a little more flour if needed. I used butter so maybe that is why. Great taste and texture. I can’t wait to try it again!

  17. Angie says

    This was my first time making bread, and it turned out amazing!! And it was so easy! Thanks so much for being so detailed in your recipe, made it easy for a beginner like me

  18. says

    Loved this bread! Used butter instead of shortening, worked perfect. The bread was a huge hit with my friends and family. And I LOVE the short rise times compared to my usual French bread. This will now be my go-to French bread. Thanks!

  19. says

    Holly I want to just say thank you very much for sharing this recipe!!! My family loved it,plus it complemented my Red Beans and Rice so well. Fun to make as well. People who might read this need to know this is a fool proof recipe. Again thank you!!!!

  20. rosie says

    Delicious! I just made this recipe and I am in love! It was easy to follow and tastes so good! I did make one change, I put flax seed in my last cup of flour (4 tablespoons), it gives a bit of a nutty flavor and makes it look a little more rustic. Thank you for sharing this recipe!

  21. says

    I just made this bread, (without a mixer). I hand kneaded the dough until it was elastic. It was a BIG hit with my kids… I ended up putting about 1tbsp of wheat gluten in the bread (for longevity). IT WAS GREAT! My kids ate it up.

  22. says

    Hello. I am intrigued to try this recipe and you have many great reviews. Kudos. Was curious if anyone had tried doing the dough in a bread machine. I have never had success with the pre-yeast in water recipes, but would like to see what I can do with what I do well with. Thanks for any suggestions.

  23. Sylvia P says

    I made this bread tonight for our dinner, and hubby and I were very, very happy with the results! I’ll definitely be making this bread again and again!!! Besides the great taste and texture, I am really loving the fact that I can have, not one, but THREE loaves of fresh bread all at the same time! A big plus for sure, especially when having a big family dinner get-together!!

  24. Ingrid Porth says

    Hi I made this today,wow it was the best.I do have a question can I use saf-instant yeast instead.

  25. Kristina says

    Hi…soI was dying to make this but I don’t have a stand mixer..I used my food processor to mix and kneed it looked ok..butttt it didn’t really rise and stayed folded..any idea why? In the processor you can only mix for 1 min before the dough is a ball..maybe not long enough on the kneeding?

  26. stylernan says

    Have always been intimidated by yeast breads but this recipe is wonderfully easy. Directions and pictures really helped.

  27. Diana S says

    I have made this twice and my family devoured it. My only problem is that it isn’t rising up but spreads out when cooking so I get a very wide loaf about an inch high. I thought maybe my yeast was old so I bought new–the second time it still went wide but made it about 2 inch high. I have measured the flour, set timer for rise times. Any other suggestions? I have used all 6 cups of flour but dough still seems sticky.. When I cut the lines in top it all just grows back together. Help!

  28. Mari says

    Does cutting the tops of the loaves serve any purpose or is is merely decorative? I’m going to make this today. Can’t wait to see how they turn out.

  29. Mari says

    Do the cuts made on the top serve a purpose or are the merely decorative? I’m making this today. Can’t wait to see how they turn out.

  30. Mari says

    All right, they just came out of the oven and they don’t exactly look like yours LOL. First of all, the dough was pretty sticky and a little difficult to work with, but I used all six cups of flour and followed your advice not to add more. They looked fine when they first went into the oven, but by the time they raised, the loaves sort of tilted over so the slits are on the sides rather than on top. They are also flatter than yours, but other than that, they look pretty good. I guess I need a little more practice – I’m used to making regular white bread in a bread pan.

  31. christiejeffries618 says

    I kneaded it for 6 min. it was stickier than the pics and after baking, too dense. What did I do wrong? Did it need to knead longer?


  1. […] It was a little difficult to take a good picture of this Stuffed French Bread, but I HAD to share the recipe. It was so delicious! A cheesy and flavorful ground beef mixture stuffed inside French Bread. Holy moly, so good! It’s even better if you use homemade French bread. […]

  2. […] You may recall my post from a few months ago on Homemade French Bread. Between that recipe and the one I am about to link you to, I prefer that one. However, I do love the shaping tutorial offered on this site and I love many other recipes offered on her blog – Life in the Lofthouse – so exploring it was hardly a waste. (Check out this bread recipe here.) […]

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