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Recipe: How To Make Delicious French Bread At Home

Updated on January 11, 2013

The idea of baking french bread used to scare me, that is until I came across this great recipe and invested in my Cuisinart Food Processor. Now, I find that baking delicious french bread at home is an absolute breeze. I especially like this recipe because it produces two really soft loaves of bread which stay fresh for a couple of days. The aromas produced by baking this bread remind me of being in a typical little french bakery. It's so much fun to make!

Ingredients

For The Yeast Mixture

1 Package of Active Dry Yeast

1/4 Cup Warm Water (100 Deg F)

1 Tsp Sugar

For The Rest Of The Dough

2 Egg Whites (plus a little for brushing)

1/2 Cup Warm Water (100 Deg F)

1 Tbsp Sugar

1 Tsp Salt

2 Tbsp Oil or Melted Shortening

1-3/4 Cups Flour

Method

  • Prepare the package of yeast by stirring it into 1/4 cup of warm water (100 degrees F) and adding 1 teaspoon of sugar. Let stand for 10 minutes.
  • Next prepare the 2 egg whites until stiffly beaten. Set aside.
  • In a food processor, combine the warm water, sugar, salt and oil by pulsing 2 or 3 times.
  • Add 1 cup of the flour to the food processor and pulse until starting to combine.
  • Add the yeast mixture and remaining flour and pulse a few times.
  • Next, add the egg whites and run the food processor for 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides and, if necessary, add more flour. Run the food processor again until you achieve a sticky but well combined and kneaded dough (30-60 seconds).
  • Put the dough in a large bowl and cover with a tea towel. Leave to double in size for at least 2 hours at room temperature.
  • Punch down the dough and then shape into 2 long loaves and place them on a cookie sheet (no special bread pans required!) At this stage, the dough will have shrunk and the loaves will probably look rather small and skinny.
  • Brush the loaves with egg white and slash them diagonally with a sharp knife.
  • Cover and let rise again for approximately 1 hour.
  • Bake at 450 for 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to 400 and continue to bake for a further 8-10 minutes.

When done, the bread will sound hollow when tapped underneath.

Enjoy by eating one while fresh!

Comments

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    • Movie Master profile image

      Movie Master 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      Sounds easy enough for me to try! great photos, looks delicious, I can almost smell the wonderful aroma of freshly baked bread....

    • Cloverleaf profile image
      Author

      Cloverleaf 6 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

      Thanks, Movie Master! Just imagine how yummy it is with a piece of mature cheddar and some homemade chutney.

    • profile image

      Woody142 6 years ago

      Thanks gunna makes some now :D

    • scarytaff profile image

      Derek James 6 years ago from South Wales

      Great recipe, cloverleaf. Thanks for this hub. I will definitely try it.

    • Cloverleaf profile image
      Author

      Cloverleaf 6 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

      Thank you, scarytaff. I hope you enjoy it!

    • Hyphenbird profile image

      Brenda Barnes 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

      I make homemade bread almost weekly. Thanks for this recipe.

    • ubanichijioke profile image

      Alexander Thandi Ubani 5 years ago from Lagos

      Looking ever forward to try it out. Great tips. Awesome

    • Cloverleaf profile image
      Author

      Cloverleaf 5 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

      Ubanichijioke, great, I hope you enjoy this bread as much as I do!

      Cloverleaf.

    • tarrka1089 profile image

      tarrka1089 5 years ago from Ohio

      Ok, I would definitely splurge on the carbs for homemade bread.....I loved making bread and kneading it by hand. But I'm more than willing to let the food processor do the work for this recipe! [voted up and awesome]

    • Cloverleaf profile image
      Author

      Cloverleaf 5 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

      tarrka1089, yes the carbs are definitely my "weekend weakness" but oh so good....I love making this bread on Saturdays when I have time.

      Thanks for the vote up, you have made my day.

      Cloverleaf.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 5 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      This looks soooooooooooo good! I will be purchasing a food processor and the above ingredients and start baking my own bread. I can just smell the delicious aroma now - filling the entire house. So much for watching my carbs :)

      You're a jewel to share this french bread recipe. I have a silly question - Do I need special bread pans and if so can I find them in a long size? (the bread in your photo) which is a terrific photo by the way.

      You're a peach!

    • Cloverleaf profile image
      Author

      Cloverleaf 5 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

      Hi Audrey,

      This is my special "weekend treat" when I don't worry so much about my carbs. We have to treat ourselves sometimes, right? And you're right, the aroma is WONDERFUL!!!

      Thank you for your excellent question, too. I neglected to mention in my hub that I simply place these 2 loaves on a cookie sheet to bake. I will edit immediately to include this important fact!! No special bread pans required. :-)

      Let me know how you get on!

      Cloverleaf.

    • tonymead60 profile image

      Tony Mead 5 years ago from Yorkshire

      Hi

      This is an intersting recipe, using egg whites in the dough mix. I make lots of French style bread, but never added the yoke, sounds great. Just to make you envious a friend of mine recently took their car over to France and brought me 25kg of genuine French bread flour. It does have a different texture and is slightly yellow rather than white like English bread flour. When made into dough it is amazing to work with, you can stretch it right round the room.:)

      Tony PS thanks for your nice comments on my site.

    • Cloverleaf profile image
      Author

      Cloverleaf 5 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

      Hi Tony,

      Great to see you again :-)

      This recipe was actually handed down to me by my mother in law, who had it passed down from the owner of a french bakery many years ago, so I knew it was going to be good even the first time I tried it out. The egg whites just seem to give it a nice "lift", very light, but yes I would never add the egg yolk!

      You did make me very envious with the genuine french bread flour - lucky you!!!

      Have a great day,

      Cloverleaf.

    • homesteadbound profile image

      Cindy Murdoch 5 years ago from Texas

      This sounds like a great recipe. I think I will try it out this week. Especially if the food processor does all the work. You can't beat that! Thanks for sharing your special recipe. Bookmarking now. Voting up!

    • tsmog profile image

      Tim Mitchell 5 years ago from Escondido, CA

      These recipes and the scrumptious photos of the results you share always cause hunger, M'm! M'm! Good! Remember that commercial slogan. I am thinking about some soup with that bread right now!

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 5 years ago from The Beautiful South

      I can't rest when homemade bread is in the house, and there cannot be a better smell than yeast! I even put that in a poem, lol. Thanks!

    • Cloverleaf profile image
      Author

      Cloverleaf 5 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

      Hi homesteadbound,

      Using the food processor literally makes this recipe a breeze. The hardest part is waiting for the dough to rise :-) let me know how it turns out for you,

      Cloverleaf.

    • Cloverleaf profile image
      Author

      Cloverleaf 5 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

      Hi tsmog,

      Sorry for making you hungry again, I think you should make some bread and grab some of that soup right now :-) M'm M'm good!

      Cloverleaf.

    • Cloverleaf profile image
      Author

      Cloverleaf 5 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

      Hi Jackie,

      Who can resist that smell :-) I'm going to bake some especially for you.

      Cloverleaf.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 5 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Thank you, I will have that with a big pot of soup, please, lol.

    • Escape2Paradise profile image

      Escape2Paradise 5 years ago from Bangkok Thailand

      yummm

    • Cloverleaf profile image
      Author

      Cloverleaf 5 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

      Hi Jackie,

      Pot of soup and homemade french bread coming right up - enjoy!

      Cloverleaf.

    • Cloverleaf profile image
      Author

      Cloverleaf 5 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

      Are you drooling, Ploy? :-)

    • Escape2Paradise profile image

      Escape2Paradise 5 years ago from Bangkok Thailand

      Yeah even worse lol

    • homesteadbound profile image

      Cindy Murdoch 5 years ago from Texas

      I have a surprise for you . . .

    • homesteadbound profile image

      Cindy Murdoch 5 years ago from Texas

      You didn't take the bait.

      I tried your bread and wrote a hub about the experience.

      http://homesteadbound.hubpages.com/hub/Making-Fren...

    • homesteadbound profile image

      Cindy Murdoch 5 years ago from Texas

      I have one suggestion to make to help someone that has never made bread. That is to grease or spray (w/PAM) the bowl that you put the bread in to rise. I have always done that. I think it helps it to release better.

    • Cloverleaf profile image
      Author

      Cloverleaf 5 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

      Homesteadbound, I just read your hub!!!! OMG I am blown away. I have added your link, just FABULOUS!!!!

      I always just used a non-stick cookie sheet and that worked out ok. But if using a bowl then I really like your idea to grease it to stop it from sticking.

      What a smile you have put on my face this "Happy Friday".

      Take care and have a great weekend :-)

      Your friend, Cloverleaf X

    • homesteadbound profile image

      Cindy Murdoch 5 years ago from Texas

      I see that you did add the link already. I hope you noticed the link to your profile and recipe in mine. When I need a smile, I will be able to go to either one of these hubs and read your response. I love it! Have a great weekeend indeed!

    • sidds123450 profile image

      sidds123450 5 years ago

      This looks really yummy, thanks!!!

    • Dyhannah profile image

      Dyhannah 5 years ago from Texas

      I have never made homemade bread. Looks great. I will have to try. Great hub!

    • truthfornow profile image

      truthfornow 5 years ago from New Orleans, LA

      You make it seem so easy to make homemade bread.

    • SanneL profile image

      SanneL 5 years ago from Sweden

      Mmmm. . . sounds delicious! I can almost smell it baking.

    • Cloverleaf profile image
      Author

      Cloverleaf 5 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

      Hi SanneL, follow the link to Homesteadbound's "Clover Loaf" hub and see the recipe in action - she did a great job!

    • homesteadbound profile image

      Cindy Murdoch 5 years ago from Texas

      Cloverleaf - you have to come and see what SanneL wrote on my hub! Hilarious!

    • Cloverleaf profile image
      Author

      Cloverleaf 5 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

      Homesteadbound & SanneL - this is great! I'm so happy you are both using my recipe and enjoying the bread :-)

    • homesteadbound profile image

      Cindy Murdoch 5 years ago from Texas

      Lions, and Tigers, and YEAST MONSTERS! Oh, my! Are we having fun yet?!?

    • homesteadbound profile image

      Cindy Murdoch 5 years ago from Texas

      I captured a picture of the yeast monster and added it to my hub! What a beast!

    • Cloverleaf profile image
      Author

      Cloverleaf 5 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

      That's quite the picture, homesteadbound! I think your water is maybe a little too warm...

    • homesteadbound profile image

      Cindy Murdoch 5 years ago from Texas

      I used my finger as a thermometer. I was sure it said ABOUT 100 degrees. Maybe I need to get my finger adjusted!

    • J.S.Matthew profile image

      JS Matthew 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Hey Cloverleaf! I am following in homesteadbound's footsteps and I am linking this to 2 of my Hubs, The Marinated Pork Sandwich and Pork Terrine Sandwich Hubs (will be published within 24 hours). You will be linked in the first section in the word "French Bread"! Awesome as always.

      JSMatthew~

    • Cathleena Beams profile image

      Cathleena Beams 5 years ago from Lascassas, Tennessee

      It really does look wonderful! I love bread and the suggestion for adding mature cheddar cheese makes it all the more tempting! :o)

    • Cloverleaf profile image
      Author

      Cloverleaf 5 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

      That's great, JS Matthew! I will return the favour and add links to your two hubs from here! They all go hand in hand :-)

    • J.S.Matthew profile image

      JS Matthew 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Karma is great when we set it in motion!

      JSMatthew~

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 5 years ago from Georgia

      Mmm...I could almost smell that warm yeasty bread! Voted up!

    • Cloverleaf profile image
      Author

      Cloverleaf 5 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

      habee, yup it sure does smell good. I always enjoy a piece fresh out of the oven with some butter (naughty I know). Have a great day,

      Cloverleaf.

    • DeborahNeyens profile image

      Deborah Neyens 5 years ago from Iowa

      Mmmm. When I was a kid back in 4H I made a variation of French Bread that won a blue ribbon at the state fair. I haven't made it since, even though my husband has asked repeatedly for me to make my state fair bread. I've gotten lazy, since he is such a great baker in our house. I may have to try this to surprise him!

    • Cloverleaf profile image
      Author

      Cloverleaf 5 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

      Sounds like a great idea, Deborah! I'm sure your husband would be delighted!

    • Ardie profile image

      Sondra 5 years ago from Neverland

      This looks fantastic and even a non-baker like myself could easily follow your directions :) The loaves look better than the ones you can buy at Subway or the grocery store.

    • Cloverleaf profile image
      Author

      Cloverleaf 5 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

      Oh Ardie, what a wonderful compliment :) You would have no trouble making these loaves, especially if you have a food processor because it makes the recipe an absolute breeze to follow. Hope you get to try them out!

      Cloverleaf.

    • bangingbeauty profile image

      bangingbeauty 5 years ago

      This looks really great. I make it an effort to eat healthy every now and then and I believe homemade food is always the best. Cheers, BB

    • Cloverleaf profile image
      Author

      Cloverleaf 5 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

      Hi again bangingbeauty! For me, the best thing about homemade food is knowing there are no preservatives or artificial colors etc. I can also control the salt & fat content which makes it much healthier than a lot of store-bought foods. Thanks so much for commenting, I really appreciate your thoughts.

      Cloverleaf.

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 5 years ago from Germany

      Thank you for this recipe. I have to try this one. It seems easy to make. Bookmark for later use. Voted up and useful! Thanks for SHARING.

    • Cloverleaf profile image
      Author

      Cloverleaf 5 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

      Hi Thelma! I hope you give this a try. I made some just yesterday and it was delicious. Thanks!

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