Homemade French Bread

    2 hours 5 minutes

    A homemade French loaf that is soft and moist on the inside with a golden brown crispy crust. Enjoy buttered or serve with soups and stews. Makes 2 loaves.

    20 people made this

    Serves: 30 

    • 15g dried active baking yeast
    • 1/2 cup warm water (45 C)
    • 2 cups (500ml) water
    • 6 cups (820g) bread flour
    • 1 tablespoon salt
    • 1 tablespoon caster sugar
    • 80ml vegetable oil
    • 2 tablespoons polenta
    • 1 egg white, beaten
    • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds

    Preparation:30min  ›  Cook:35min  ›  Extra time:1hour rising  ›  Ready in:2hours5min 

    1. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
    2. In a large bowl, combine the yeast mixture with 2 cups water, 1/3 of the flour, salt, sugar and vegetable oil; stir well to combine. Stir in the remaining flour, a little at a time, beating well after each addition. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes.
    3. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
    4. Divide dough in half. Roll each half into a 23x30cm rectangle and roll up Swiss roll style, starting at long edge. Seal edges and place seam side down on a large baking tray that has been sprinkled with the polenta.
    5. Use a sharp knife to slash each loaf diagonally 3 times. Brush with beaten egg white and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Cover and allow to rise 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 200 degrees C.
    6. Bake in preheated oven for 35 minutes or until golden brown.

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    Reviews in English (296)


    Something else. The editor changed the original recipe a bit. I do it this way: after mixing all ingredients together, let rest 10 minutes (leaving spoon in batter). Stir vigorously, let rest another 10 minutes. Do this a total on 5 times instead of the traditional rising. After the 5th rest, turn onto a floured board and knead lightly (I barely knead at all). I then shape the loaves and continue as in the posted version of the recipe. When shaping the loaves, I will sometimes put a mixture of basil, oregano, garlic, butter/olive oil and onion on it cinnamon roll style before rolling it for special, pretty garlic loaves.  -  29 Sep 2008


    Soooo good! Even family members who are not bread lovers loved this!!! I will definitely make it again!  -  29 Sep 2008


    wonderful, it's better then shop bought. I highly recommend it.  -  29 Sep 2008