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Easy, Crusty French Bread

Classic French Bread, with a soft interior and golden crust.
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Side Dish
Keyword: baking, bread, french bread, homemade bread, recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 packet active dry yeast
  • 2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 5 cups all purpose flour adjust this amount up or down to get a smooth (not crumbly or dry) texture
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, combine yeast, sugar, and water. Stir together and allow to proof for five minutes. Mixture will be foamy. Mix in salt
  • One cup at a time, add flour to the liquid. Make sure the flour is fully incorporated before adding more. When mixture is fully combined (not sticky or crumbly), turn out onto a lightly floured surface to knead. Knead the dough until it is smooth.
  • Add olive oil to a large bowl (a new, clean bowl), and roll your dough in the oil to coat. Cover the bowl with a damp towel and allow to rest in a warm place for one hour.
  • After one hour, the dough will be doubled in size. Turn out of the bowl and knead again, for three full minutes. Return the dough to the bowl and cover again for one more hour.
  • Knead dough again for another three minutes.
  • Shape your dough into two equally sized loaves, tucking the ends under for a smooth surface. Place your loaves on a parchment lined baking sheet. Cut three to four slits in the top of each loaf. Allow to rest for twenty minutes.
  • While dough is resting, preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, or until tops are golden brown.

Notes

For an extra crispy crust, brush tops of the bread with a mixture of 1 beaten egg white, 1 tsp water, and a pinch of kosher salt.
Brush with melted butter at the end of cooking for a softer crust.