Could you just live off of bread? I sure could. You know that statement “Man cannot live by bread alone”? Yeah well I beg to differ.
Dinner rolls, croissants, french bread, sourdough bread, sweet breads, biscuits, garlic bread, cheese bread, baguettes….don’t stop me….just call me buttah cause I’m on a roll!
So one of my favorite things to make when my kids come over for Sunday dinner is bread. And one of my favorite bread recipes is for this Easy Soft French Bread. Awhile back someone gave me a loaf of this bread and it was made by a twelve year old girl!! I thought that if she could make it, then so could I. And so can you! Wouldn’t you just love for this to be adorning your dinner table?
Whenever I make these, I do use my KitchenAid stand mixer so I can’t guarantee results if you need to use a hand mixer but here is the recipe:
Easy, Soft French Bread
- 2 1/2 cups distinctively warm warm warmer than lukewarm
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 Tablespoon dry yeast
- 6 cups flour
- 1/4 cup oil
- 1 Tablespoon salt
- Mix together the water, sugar, yeast and 3 cups of the flour. Then pour the remaining 3 cups of flour over this dough. Pour the 1/4 cup oil over the flour and add the salt. Then mix again until all flour is mixed in.
- Cover with a clean towel and allow to rest for 10 minutes, the mix back down.
- Repeat this process until it has been mixed back down five times.
- Turn dough onto counter that has been lightly coated with shortening. Divide into two parts.
- Roll each part of the dough into a rectangle about 9x12 inches and roll up like a jelly, rolling from the long side. Pinch edge of loaf to seal the seam. Arrange side by side on a large greased cookie sheet.
- Mix one whole egg or one egg white with a fork and add 1 TBL water. Smear on entire surface. Sprinkle with sesame seeds if desired. Cut 3 gashes in top of loaves with a sharp knife.
- Let rise at room temperature until double in size.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
- Remove from baking sheets immediately and cool on racks.
These do take a little time but is so worth it when your guests mistake you for Martha Stewart.
Ummmm, no question about it, I COULD live by bread alone. It’s my biggest weakness next to chocolate and cheese 🙂 This looks awesome Debbie! I’ll have to make this.
Chocolate, cheese and bread. That would be my heaven!!
mary boucher says
hi debbie i am going to try your bread recipie but is it warmer than normal water because you do not say and i am not good on the computer so to hard hope you and yor sisters are well i would not be here if it wernt for my sisters saved my behind all the time i have just been told i have meniers disease its an incurable pain in the but so i am no longer able to walk or go outside or much else so i need to know excatly i am guesssing water cause next line says it ty for listening sorry for the book thank you mary
Hi Mary! What would we do without our sisters? I am a breast cancer survivor and have had a double mastectomy. Sometimes when I am down the only thing that raises my spirits is to chat with my sisters. I have two family members with Meniers disease and understand your challenges. My heart goes out to you.
When I make this bread I use 2 1/2 cups of water as hot as it comes out of my faucet. I love this bread because it is soft and not crusty. I sure hope you like it too! Deb
Since you make this with your KitchenAid mixer, do you use the dough hook? And when you are letting it rest, do you just leave it in the bowl and when the 10 mins are up, do you just turn on your mixer to mix it down and repeat, or do you mix it down with your hands?
Oh Jean, I am so excited that you are going to try this bread. It is nothing less than amazing. I do use my dough hook and I just cover the bowl while it is still hooked up to my KitchenAid mixer. I then just remove my towel, turn the mixer on to mix it down, then cover it again for the next ten minutes. Super easy! Let me know how you like it! Deb – The Oldest Sister
Looks fabulous! Do you use AP or Bread flour?
Hi Nicole! I have always used All Purpose flour with great results. Hope you do too! Deb – The Oldest Sister
Hi Debbie, do you use active dry or instant yeast? I used instant and it just wants to rise like crazy! Also do you pound out all the air bubbles before you roll out and roll it up? Is it supposed to feel sturdy or soft and floppy?
Hi Vivian! I used RedStar active dry yeast and I do get the air bubbles out. Also the dough should be soft and floppy. Sure hope this helps! This really is GREAT bread! Deb – The Oldest Sister
It is awesome! I like soft bread and I made another 2 loaves today just to be sure it wasn’t a fluke. Husband ate two loaves in less than 48 hours. Came out even bigger :). I have a big bag of SAF instant yeast and used 120 degree water and it wasn’t a problem. Thanks so much for the post. Only French bread recipe I’ll use.
Vivian—You just made my day! They do make big loaves but when they’re done cooking, aren’t they impressive? I’m with you….it’s the only french bread recipe that I use! Deb
Trying this today! My first attempt at making bread:) Could you make a few loaves and freeze a few? or even freeze just the dough before baking it? Thanks!
I LOVE this bread! It seriously is my go-to bread. You can definitely freeze some loaves too. Let me know how this turns out for you! Deb
nm, i greased with olive oil and got a wonderful slightly crunchy texture on the bottom, and i didn’t cover them while they rised. they turned out AMAZING, this recipe is a keeper! but i was wondering how to store them so they don’t dry out??
Jess so sorry for the delay in my response but you did everything right! I love the soft inside texture of this bread. It really is one of my all time favorite recipes. I usually cut them in half and put them in a large ziploc bag. So glad you liked it!
is its ok if i do not put any egg on the enitre surface will the bred be ok ?
For the #4 Can i use oil instead of shortening ?
Can i use KitchenAid mixer bol to make the dough ?
Hi Annie, Yes you can omit the egg and the bread should be fine. I’m not too sure about substituting the oil though. Mixing the dough with a mixer might be a little challenging, you might want to knead by hand.
Hello. I made this bread today but I must have did something wrong. It turned out very flat. And before baking the texture was very sticky. I couldn’t even use my rolling pin cause it stuck to it. I followed the directions to a T. Should i have used more flour?? And when rising I had to put the bread on two cookie sheets cause it wouldn’t hold its texture. Please help. It still tastes great book t is very flat.
Hi Kristina! Hmmm…not quite sure what happened. I have given this recipe to so many people without a problem. Even people who have never made bread before. So it’s hard to tell what went wrong but if the dough was that sticky, I would have added some more flour. But if it was also flat, maybe your yeast was old and not active anymore? Gosh, I hope you try this again because it is soooo good. And I wish I was in your kitchen to help!
I don’t make much bread … ok …. no bread …. but just got a Kitchenaid stand mixer and want to try. Do you put the yeast, water, flour, and sugar all in at once? Or do you have to put the yeast, sugar and water in a bowl first and let it bubble or whatever it’s suppose to do first, and then add the flour?
Hi Fran! For this recipe you do not have to let the yeast rise first before adding flour. I first got this recipe from a 12 year old that made it for me and I figured that if she could do it then so could I! (I’m not a good bread maker!) Now it’s my favorite “go to” bread recipe and it’s never not worked for me. Crossing my fingers that this will turn you into a bread maker too! Deb
I have to say, I use this recipe for almost everything now. I leave it as is for Italian bread. My favorite, so far are breadsticks. I follow all directions, but just before I bake, I form it into sticks, bake until golden, then cover with melted butter, sea salt, Parmesan cheese, and garlic powder. Seriously to die for! Almost as good as Olive Garden, I swear! Right now, I’m making a couple loaves, but I was 1 cup short of AP flour, so I just use whole wheat instead (five cups AP, 1 cup WW) and added Italian herbs and garlic powder. It looks good and smells divine, so we’ll see how it all turns out. I also plan on making it as is and using the dough to make some Indian Fry Bread for tacos.
Oh my gosh! I had never thought of making breadsticks. What a great idea! How long do you bake for breadsticks? Seriously isn’t this the BEST recipe?
I want to half the recipe so I can make only 1 loaf of bread… What would my baking time be?
CC, I have never baked one loaf at a time, but my best guess is that I would keep the baking time the same.