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Crusty French Bread


  • 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
  • 1-1/2 cups warm water (110° to 115°), divided
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon shortening, melted
  • 4 to 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • Cornmeal


  • 1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup water. Add the sugar, salt, shortening, remaining water and 3-1/2 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Do not knead. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled.
  • 2. Turn onto a floured surface. Divide in half; let rest for 10 minutes. Roll each half into a 10x8-in. rectangle. Roll up from a long side; pinch to seal. Place seam side down on greased baking sheets sprinkled with cornmeal. Sprinkle the tops with cornmeal. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.
  • 3. With a very sharp knife, make 5 diagonal cuts across the top of each loaf. Bake at 400° for 20-30 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from pans to wire rack to cool.

Nutrition Facts

1 slice: 100 calories, 1g fat (0 saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 233mg sodium, 20g carbohydrate (0 sugars, 0 fiber), 3g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 1-1/2 starch.


Average Rating: 4.551724
  • danielleylee
    Jan 8, 2018

    I made this for guests with homemade chicken noodle soup! It had a beautiful presentation. Very simple

  • milltownt
    Jan 4, 2018

    This is my go to for Crusty Bread. It is so easy and taste great.

  • Potempa
    Nov 27, 2017

    Great, tasty and easy to make. We just loved it

  • alcercone
    Jun 19, 2017

    One of the easiest bread recipes I've tried and more flavor than I expected. Served one of the two loaves for dinner with family and they all raved about it. I substituted melted butter for the shortening and couldn't find my corn meal, but it still turned out great. I will enjoy the second loaf for breakfast toast and sandwiches for lunch.

  • BW52
    Apr 13, 2016

    This is my go to bread for church suppers. So simple to make and never any left overs.

  • Orbs
    Nov 25, 2015

    Delicious and moist. I served one loaf immediately; and froze the other loaf for later. Thank you, Christy, for sharing this recipe.

  • I_Fortuna
    Apr 29, 2015

    Good recipe but I let my bread proof for 8 to 14 hours in the warm room of the house. I put it in a big bowl and cover with plastic wrap. If you have a wooden bowl, I recommend it for an even temperature.

    This bread comes out sticky, so knead it slightly and let if rest for about 30 minutes. I use this for bread, focaccia, and it makes a great pizza crust. The flavor is delicious with a little sour dough flavor the longer you let it proof. : )

  • gpier57
    Mar 15, 2015

    When I'm making bread I put it in the oven with the oven light on. Works great. Haven't tried this one but sounds good.

  • paulsmick
    Feb 17, 2015

    @dundalk - Some times when I make bread I use a heating pad to help the bread rise

  • Equus5O
    Feb 12, 2015

    @ dundalk - try putting your bowl of dough in the oven to rise. You can pre-heat it to just barely warm, turn it off and put the bowl in and close the oven door.

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