Fabulous French Bread is delicious homemade bread that is soft and fluffy on the inside with a crispy golden crust on the outside! In just an hour and a half, you can have 3 fresh loaves of bread ready to be devoured!
To me, one of life’s greatest pleasures is being able to bake loaves of delicious bread from the comfort of your own home. There’s just something so incredible about the aroma of homemade bread wafting through your house, and it always reminds me of why I love baking.
This recipe requires under an hour of prep time and a 20 minute bake time. In just over an hour you can have 3 warm loaves of French bread freshly baked and cooling on your counter!
Once you try this Fabulous French bread recipe it’ll forever become your go-to. It is so easy to make and the only kneading required is what the mixer does for you.
You also don’t have to wait and let the dough rise for a long period of time. The only waiting necessary is two 5 minute rests after mixing the dough, then another 15 minutes once it’s placed into the oven. This bread seriously is the best, promise! 🙂
CAN FABULOUS FRENCH BREAD BE FROZEN?
Yes! They actually freeze very well. Once they’ve cooled down to room temperature, wrap them up in plastic wrap then place them into a ziplock freezer bag. Store for up to 2 months in the freezer. When you’re ready to use them, set them out at room temperature until they’ve thawed.
HOW LONG DOES IT LAST?
If left out at room temperature, it can last up to 3 to 4 days. Just be sure to keep it covered in plastic wrap, or in a ziplock bag if you leave it out.
HOW TO SERVE FABULOUS FRENCH BREAD
Here are a few ways I like to enjoy this Fabulous French Bread:
- Butter: there’s nothing better than slathering on some creamy butter on your bread slices. You don’t just have to do plain butter though, cinnamon butter, garlic herb butter, strawberry butter, or apple butter would all be delicious options.
- Honey or Jam: this is perfect for when you’re craving something a little sweet. Drizzle on some honey or slather on some jam or jelly (any flavors will do) and you’ll be in heaven!
- As a side: a tasty side dish for any soups! A few delicious options would be chicken gnocchi soup, broccoli cheese soup, or creamy chicken noodle soup! Another classic option would be to serve with your spaghetti dinners!
- For a sandwich: this bread is amazing for sandwiches! You could try making it into a chicken Caesar sandwich, club sandwich, or even use it for your beef brisket sandwiches!
- For pizza: yes, that’s right! You can use it for some tasty French bread pizza! This taco French bread pizza is a family favorite!
A few tips to help make your bread-making even easier!
- Make sure you don’t over knead your bread! How I have it in the recipe card is all the kneading you need, which is what the mixer does for you. Over kneading will result in tough and chewy bread.
- For an even crispier crust, place a pan of water into the oven with the bread when you bake it!
- For a softer crust, brush on some melted butter right when it comes out of the oven.
A couple different options:
- Yeast: you can use either instant or traditional yeast in this recipe, either one will work fine.
- Butter: if you don’t have shortening, you are more than welcome to use butter. It works just as well.
CAN YOU USE BREAD FLOUR?
I would recommend against it. Bread flour has too much protein meaning it will suck up all of the water and leave you with a dry bread that is pretty tough.
If you like this recipe you’re bound to love these similar ones:
- French Bread Rolls: soft and delicious rolls that are perfect for any occasion!
- Easy Artisan Bread: a must-make bread that is soft and delicious on the inside and golden and crusty on the outside!
- Stuffed French Bread: a cheesy and flavorful ground beef mixture stuffed between flaky and crispy French bread.
- Chicken Stuffed French Bread: a creamy shredded chicken mixture filled with ranch dressing, loads of cheese, and green onion placed in the middle of crispy French bread.
Fabulous French Bread
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1/3 cup warm water
- 1 Tablespoon active dry yeast
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
- 1 Tablespoon salt
- 1 Tablespoon vegetable shortening (I use butter-flavor Crisco)
- 1 cup cold water
- 5 to 6 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 large egg
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Once the dough is mixed, let it rest in the bowl for 5 minutes.
- Spray a large cookie sheet with non-stick spray. After the dough has rested in the bowl, dump it onto the greased cookie sheet.
- 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 )
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Remove the loaves from the baking sheet and allow them to cool a bit before slicing them.
- Enjoy! ♥
Below are step-by-step pictures on how to shape the dough: