Cookbook:Easy French Bread

Easy French Bread
Category Bread recipes
Servings 2 loaves
Time 3-4 hours

French cuisine | Vegetarian cuisine | Bread

Easy French BreadEdit


[note 1]
Baker's %
2 packages active dry yeast [note 2] 14.4 1.49%
¼ cup warm water (about 110°F) 59.25 6.12%
2 tablespoons butter or margarine 28.4 2.93%
2 cups warm milk [note 3] 488 50.37%
1 teaspoon salt 6 0.62%
7½ to 8 cups flour 968.75 100%
Formula 1564.8 161.53%


  1. Scald milk and butter by bringing it to at least 180 °F (82 °C) and let it cool to at least 105 °F (41 °C).
  2. In a large bowl, sprinkle yeast over warm water and let stand for 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in cooled butter and milk, and salt.
  4. Start adding flour and mix until dough is thick and pulls off spoon like gum.
  5. Knead until dough is springy and smooth (about 10 minutes-you may want to do this with dough hooks).
  6. Form into a ball and put in greased bowl, turning to grease top, then cover with a cloth.
  7. Rise until doubled (until a finger impression stays), about an hour, depending on temperature.
  8. Punch down dough, turn out, and divide in half.
  9. Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C).
  10. Shape each half of dough into a square.
  11. Roll dough into two 10 by 15-inch (25 x 35 cm) oblongs; roll up each, starting on the long side.
  12. Place each oblong on a greased baking sheet sprinkled with corn meal.
  13. Slash loaf tops ¼ inch (almost 1cm) diagonally with floured sharp knife or razor blade.
  14. Brush loaves with water.
  15. Bake 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 375°F (190°C).
  16. Brush loaves with water again.
  17. Bake another 10 minutes.
  18. Brush loaves with water again.
  19. Bake another 10 to 15 minutes, until golden brown.
  20. Cool on wire racks.

Tips, Notes, and VariationsEdit

  • To get a rapid initial rise, use water about 130-135°F (55-60°C), and pour into bowl with yeast mixed with initial flour and salt and start mixing.
  • All rising should be in a warm place, like near the refrigerator.
  • A baking stone, ceramic brick, or even an iron skillet or griddle preheated in the oven (to place the baking sheet on) will give a good "spring" or quick rise when the loaves are first placed in the oven.

Conversion NotesEdit

  1. Weight conversions from USDA National Nutrient Database. Original recipe text and ingredient order preserved. Whole milk of 3.25% milkfat, and all purpose flour presumed, flour defined as 7 3/4 cups. Hydration will increase slightly with lowfat milk.
  2. This amount of yeast will result in a perceptible yeast flavor. To reduce this flavor, it is recommended to use no more than 0.775% instant dry yeast expressed as a baker's %, alternatively, 2.5% cake yeast (compressed) or 1.05% active dry yeast, although in all cases you can expect fermentation time to increase somewhat. Further reductions will result in less yeast flavor and longer bulk fermentation times.
  3. This percentage results in a low hydration (water content of milk + water). Suggest adding at least 7% water (as baker's percent).