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Crusty French Loaf

A delicate texture makes this French bread absolutely wonderful. I sometimes use this French bread recipe to make breadsticks, which I brush with melted butter and sprinkle with garlic powder. —Deanna Naivar, Temple, Texas
  • Total Time
    Prep: 20 min. + rising Bake: 25 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    1 loaf (16 slices)

Ingredients

  • 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 to 3-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • Cornmeal
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 teaspoon cold water

Directions

  • In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add sugar, oil, salt and 2 cups flour. Beat until blended. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a stiff dough.
  • Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. Punch dough down; return to bowl. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 375°. Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface. Shape into a 16x2-1/2-in. loaf with tapered ends. Sprinkle cornmeal over a greased baking sheet; place loaf on baking sheet. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 25 minutes.
  • Beat egg white and cold water; brush over dough. With a sharp knife, make diagonal slashes 2 in. apart across top of loaf. Bake until golden brown, 25-30 minutes. Remove from pan to a wire rack to cool.
Nutrition Facts
1 slice: 109 calories, 2g fat (0 saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 225mg sodium, 20g carbohydrate (2g sugars, 1g fiber), 3g protein.
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Reviews

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Average Rating:
  • Gayl
    Jun 19, 2020

    Incredible recipe! However, mine turns out more like Italian bread than French. I have made it several times (and everyone loves it), but I allow for a longer time rising during each session. If you have a lot of humidity in your house, that might make a difference and might cause the final loaf being flattened. I do use olive oil instead of canola. I also use 2 1/2 cups of flour and gradually go up to the 3 cups in the recipe depending how it is reacting during the kneading process.

  • A
    Jun 6, 2020

    I wish this bread turned out better than it did. It sure smelled good baking. However... it was nothing like the French bread I know and love. Would have been better getting it from the grocery store bakery. This bread was bake exactly according to recipe. It was very heavy, dense, and tasted terrible.

  • Amalia
    May 14, 2020

    Full of flavor!! I was skeptical about the amount of sugar involved thinking would be sweet, not at all, the salt amount balances it very well. Yes, It's a dens bread, chewy I would say. I have made many breads this one by far is one of my favorites because it feels very homemade style. Im guessing some might hove found it too dense if they left the dough too dry to touch. I suggest you use 2.5 cups of flour then add little by little after until you get the desired texture. Yummy yummy bread.

  • DONNA
    May 12, 2020

    Sorry, this was not a great bread. I do a lot of baking and followed this recipe exactly. The bread was heavy, dense and flatter than expected. Not what I expected. Find another recipe!

  • JB
    May 8, 2020

    This is glorious and turned out just like the bread I used to make, I do like a much longer rise time, since I have the time now. Making more loaves today! SO is super happy and a happy SO is a happy household. Thank you <3

  • Ann
    May 4, 2020

    I’m going to try this today, but just a warning to danielleylee. If you omit sugar completely, your bread won’t rise. Yeast needs sugar!

  • Bonnie
    Apr 5, 2020

    If you'd like a crustier french bread put a shallow pan with boiling water on the floor of the oven before baking.

  • danielleylee
    Jan 27, 2020

    We had a brunch yesterday and we made a toast spread (avocado toast, mushroom and gruyere cheese, ricotta and honey with pears. I doubled this recipe and the bread came out better than pictured. Last weekend I made this French bread recipe: https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/french-loaves/. This one compared to the other one was more dense. I may try and omit the sugar. I find the sweetness unnecessary. Very easy recipe and everyone loved the bread at the brunch, especially toasted.

  • Lori
    Jan 21, 2020

    Made this for a girls night dinner and made garlic butter. I served it with lasagna and Caesar salad. Everyone loved it. There wasn't a crumb left. I made another loaf tonight. Definitely a keeper. Thanks for sharing.

  • SAB855
    Oct 20, 2019

    Easy recipe, bread turned out wonderful! It looks great and tastes great! Family loved it, definitely a keeper. It's not hard-crunchy crust like artisain French bread, it's more like store bought French bread. Delicious!