Quick French Bread Recipe
Fresh, crusty French bread is so wonderful and when you make this Quick French bread Recipe you’ll see just how easy it is to enjoy this treat more often! ( PS – If I don’t spend half a day or refrigerate the dough to rise overnight, then I consider it to be a quick recipe 🙂 )
In this latest batch (as shown here) I did a one hour rise before shaping the baguettes, then another half hour rise before baking. The flavor was very good, as always…and a very close second in flavor to my regular french bread!
When it comes to bread making, I almost always use the stand mixer but mixing by hand in a large bowl works equally well. So, for this recipe you will need water, active dry yeast, sugar, salt, olive oil and bread flour. In your stand mixer bowl, add yeast and sugar to warm water (110 degrees F/43 degrees C) and allow the yeast to activate for 10 minutes. When you come back to the yeast, it should be frothy. If it is not, the yeast is no longer good and/or your water temperature was either too low or too high.
Add salt, olive oil, and the remaining three cups of bread flour and mix to combine, stirring by hand or mixing at medium speed for about 2 minutes. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead for 3 minutes, allow the dough to rest for about 5 minutes, then continue to knead an additional 4-5 minutes. The dough should slap against the sides of the mixing bowl when using a stand mixer, and be smooth and elastic when done.
Coat a large bowl with olive oil and leave a small pool of the oil at the bottom of the bowl to coat the dough with. Roll the dough ball through the oil when placing it into the bowl and then cover it with oiled plastic or a damp towel. Allow the dough to rise for about an hour, or until it has doubled in size.
Punch down the dough less than halfway, and divide into equal portions for either two loaves or the four baguettes shown here. Shape dough into long slender loaves or baguettes and place onto a greased and cornmeal coated baking sheet. You can use scissors to cut or a knife to slice diagonally to score the tops of the loaves, then cover with a damp towel and allow to rise again (this is where I cut the second rise in half, even though I would usually allow for the full hour) for an hour, or until doubled in size.
Bake your french bread loaves or baguettes at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for about 30 minutes or until the tops are golden brown and the internal temperature is 205 degrees F (96 degrees C). Transfer to a wire rack to cool before serving. Cool completely before storing. Enjoy!
*For an extra crunchy crust, use a spray bottle to spritz the loaves intermittently during the baking time.
Last Updated: April 8th, 2018
Quick French Bread Recipe
- 2 cups water (warm water - 110 degrees F/43 degrees C)
- 1 Tbsp active dry yeast
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 5 cups bread flour (plus 1/2 cup for working surface)
- In a large mixing bowl or your stand mixer bowl, add the yeast and sugar to warm water (110 degrees F/43 degrees C) and allow the yeast to activate for 10 minutes until it is foamy or frothy. Add salt, oil and 3 cups of the flour and stir for 2 minutes or until all of the flour is moistened.
- Mix in the remaining 2 cups of flour until a stiff dough ball is formed, then knead by hand for 10 minutes. In the stand mixer, knead with the dough hook at medium speed for 3 minutes, allow the dough to rest for 5 minutes, then knead for an additional 4-5 minutes. The dough should be smooth and elastic when done kneading.
- Transfer the dough to a well oiled large bowl, turning to coat all sides of the dough with the oil. Cover with oiled plastic wrap (cling film) or a damp towel and allow to rise for about an hour, or until doubled in size.
- Punch the dough down and divide into equal portions for either two loaves or four baguettes. Shape the dough into slender loaves or baguettes and place onto a greased and cornmeal coated baking sheet. Slice across the tops diagonally to score them, cover and let rise an additional hour or until doubled in size.
- Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 30 minutes or until the tops are golden brown and the internal temperature is 205 degrees F (96 degrees C). Cool on a wire rack.