Foolproof Soft French Bread

Soft, fluffy and super easy French bread! 💛 This classic-turned-quick recipe makes two loaves of super soft, melt-in-your-mouth bread. All you need are basic ingredients, and you will get beautiful results every time. Bake a lovely French loaf, and serve it warm with salty butter. We are just a little addicted.

Foolproof Soft French Bread

By no means am I an expert baker. But, I have tried A LOT of bread baking. And I have definitely found the most easy-ever, fluffy homemade bread recipe for you.

Here’s a bit of reality for you: Every. time. I pull this bread hot out of the oven, it is devoured within the hour. Slathered with salted butter, this super soft French bread is irresistible. The warm aroma that fills the kitchen makes it truly smell like home!

If you’re looking for the perfect French bread recipe, you’ve found it. The easily workable dough comes together quickly with just six ingredients – flour, yeast, salt, water, sugar and olive oil. What results is total magic! Every bite is full of melt-in-your-mouth goodness.

The trick to getting it extra fluffy? Let it rise at least 1 hour, if you have the time. This encourages that bouncy texture and more air pockets, which equals extra fluff! We love serving this bread with my French Onion Soup and Creamy Clam Chowder. It also makes a wonderful garlic bread alongside pastas and salads. Talk about a tasty loaf for your favorite sandwiches and subs, too.

Looking for a crustier, bakery-style bread? Try my No Knead Artisan Crusty Bread recipe. Our readers LOVE this one!

How do I know my French bread is cooked?

When you knock on it, it should sound hollow. If it’s browning too fast, lightly cover with foil and turn down the temperature to 375°F.

How do I get a crispy crust on my French bread?

This bread naturally yields a soft crust. For a crispy bakery-style crust, whisk 1 egg white with 1 tsp. water. Brush onto loaves before baking.

How to store French bread?

Wrap in parchment paper or place cooled loaf in a brown paper bag. Loaves should be stored at room temperature and will stay fresh for up to 3 days.

How to freeze French bread?

Let cool completely and place in a large re-sealable bag. Remove all air from the bag. Freeze up to 3 months. Thaw overnight on your counter. Reheat in the oven at 300 degrees F for 5 minutes.

What do I serve with French Bread:

Easy French Onion Soup

Ultimate Turkey Bacon Club Sandwich

French Bread Pizzas

Cheesy Spinach Artichoke Bread

New England Creamy Clam Chowder

More easy homemade bread recipes:

Best Ever Banana Bread

No Knead Crusty Artisan Bread

Whole Wheat Honey Oatmeal Bread

Fluffy Garlic Butter Breadsticks

Homemade Naan {Soft Flatbread}


I hope you enjoy this easy Foolproof French Bread recipe. As a bread baking skeptic myself, I’m always AMAZED when my breads turn out well. This one has been completely impossible to mess up, even for a novice bread maker like me. Without fail, this recipe makes beautiful, fluffy bread loaves every time!

Please feel free to leave a comment and a star rating, if you give this a try. I hope you do, because I guarantee you will love your results. I would love to know how this French bread baking method turns out for you!

Foolproof Homemade French Bread

Foolproof Homemade French Bread

Yield: Makes 2 loaves (12 servings)
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1 Tablespoon active dry yeast (one 1/4-ounce package)
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 Tbsp. butter, melted

Instructions

    In a small bowl, combine water, yeast and sugar. Let sit for 5 minutes, or until slightly foamy.

    In a large mixing bowl, add 2 cups flour and 2-1/2 teaspoons salt. Stir in yeast mixture and 1 teaspoon olive oil. Knead using your stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, or by hand, for 3-4 minutes. Add remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until dough is a smooth cohesive ball (not sticky). Form into a round ball.

    Drizzle dough ball with remaining olive oil; turn to coat evenly. Cover bowl with a dry towel. Let rest for 30 minutes, or up to 1 hour.

    Place dough onto a floured surface and divide in half. Roll into a 15-inch rectangle. From the short end, roll dough into a cylinder using your hands.

    Turn both ends under the cylinder and press sides in to create a log shape. Place onto a large baking sheet. Repeat with the second dough ball.

    Using a sharp knife, slice three diagonal cuts across the top of each loaf. Cover loaves lightly with a towel. Let rise for 30-60 minutes (the longer, the better!).

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Bake for 20-23 minutes, or until tops are lightly golden.

    Remove from oven. Brush loaves with melted butter.

    Let rest for at least 20 minutes, before slicing.

    Enjoy!

Notes

How do I know it's cooked: When you knock on it, it should sound hollow. If it's browning too fast, lightly cover with foil and turn down the temperature to 375°F.

How do I get a crispy crust: This bread naturally yields a soft crust. For a crispy bakery-style crust, whisk 1 egg white with 1 tsp. water. Brush onto loaves before baking.

How to store it: Wrap in parchment paper or place cooled loaf in a brown paper bag. Loaves should be stored at room temperature and will stay fresh for up to 3 days.

How to freeze it:
Let cool completely and place in a large re-sealable bag. Remove all air from the bag. Freeze up to 3 months. Thaw overnight on your counter. Reheat in the oven at 300 degrees F for 5 minutes.

Adapted from I Heart Naptime

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  1. 5 stars
    I made your artisan bread. It was delicious. I learned you need to let the yeast and sugar sit in the warm water for at least ten minutes before adding it to the flour mixture. It was my first time making bread.

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