French bread is easy to make using a bread machine. Mix up this simple bread recipe in a bread maker then bake in the oven for a crispy crust.
Homemade French Bread that can be done in one afternoon using a bread machine. A crusty crust on the outside and light airy bread on the inside. This is the perfect bread to serve with our classic spaghetti with meat sauce or our healthy Tuscan chicken pasta that's made in the Instant Pot.
Crusty French Bread Recipe
A couple of years ago I bought a bread machine for the first time. My food processor is a Cuisinart so I thought I would go with a bread machine from them as well and I absolutely love it.
The bread maker came with a recipe book. The French bread is the first bread I learned how to make in the bread maker using the recipe that was in that cookbook. However, like most of the recipes, I come across there were some changes that I wanted to make. The changes were simple but effective in creating a delicious French loaf.
Into the bread machine loaf pan, add the following in order. Water, salt, sugar, bread flour, and yeast. This recipe will make a 2-pound loaf, you can split the finished dough into smaller loaves if you like. For this recipe, I chose to use it all as one loaf, of course, you could make two loaves if you like.
Once you have all the ingredients in the loaf pan then you will need to set your bread machine for the dough setting. For my bread maker, it's number 10~ dough/pizza dough setting. I also made sure that my dough size was set for the 2-pound size. I didn't worry about setting for the darkness of the bread since I would be baking it in the oven.
This is what it looks like once it has been mixed and risen in the bread maker. I have found when removing the dough from the bread maker's pan the paddle will stick to the dough. If you plan on baking in the bread maker I do recommend removing the dough to get the paddle out or else you will have a hole at the bottom of your bread.
How To Form A French Loaf
Once the bread maker has done all the work of mixing and the first rising. Place the dough on a floured surface and punch the dough down. Cover with a towel and let rest for 10 minutes.
Now that the dough has rested for 10 minutes it's time to shape the dough. I chose to make it all into one loaf, you can make multiple baguettes if you like. The bake time may be different than the time I used for this size loaf. Further down in this article I'll share with you a trick on how to tell if the baguettes are done.
After I shaped the dough I placed it on a cookie sheet that had been dusted with cornmeal. My cookie sheet also had a silicone liner but the cornmeal will help to prevent the dough from sticking to the cookie sheet.
Dusting the top of the dough loaf with flour, I placed plastic wrap loosely over the dough and let it rest for 30-40 minutes.
Getting That Crispy Crust In The Oven
To get a crispy crust to French bread while baking in the oven. I like to place a baking dish with water in the oven. As the oven preheats so will the baking dish full of water, helping to create steam. The steam will give the crust crispiness.
As the dough is resting for the final time, I placed a baking dish with water in the oven. Preheated my oven to 425℉.
Once the dough has rested for that 30-40 minutes I took a bread knife and cut diagonal slashes in the loaf about ¼ of an inch deep.
Placing the loaf into that preheated 425℉ oven I baked it for 25-30 minutes. The bread will be a beautiful brown color to it. A good way to see if the bread is also done in the inside it tap on it and if it sounds hollow then it is done.
Then we dip our bread machine French bread into the olive oil and seasoning mixture. Or spread our recipe for Herb butter with garlic on the slices. Yum!!
My Creative Manner is answering the question "what's there to eat" with simple recipe creations~ Jen
More easy recipes you may enjoy:
- Spinach Artichoke Garlic Bread
- French Garlic Cheese Toast
- Sub Sandwich
- Chocolate Banana Bread
- The Ultimate Banana Bread
- French Toast WIth Cinnamon
Bread Machine French Bread
Homemade French bread that can be done in one afternoon using a bread machine. A crusty crust on the outside and light airy bread on the inside.
- 1 ½ Cups Water 80-90℉
- 2 Teaspoons Salt
- 1 Teaspoon Sugar
- 4 Cups Bread Flour
- 2 ¼ Teaspoon Yeast
Add all the ingredients in the order that they are listed into the bread machine loaf pan. Making sure that your kneading paddle is in place.
Set menu to dough/pizza cycle. Choose loaf size for a 2-pound loaf. And press start. For kneading and raising in the bread machine it should take about 1 hour and 35 minutes.
Place dough onto a floured surface and punch it down to deflate and let rest for 10 minutes.
Shape dough into baguette form (I made one large loaf but you can cut your dough in half and make two smaller baguettes) and place on a baking sheet that had been dusted with cornmeal.
Cover the loaf loosely with plastic wrap and let rest for 30-40 minutes.
Preheat oven to 425℉ on a lower oven rack place a baking dish that has water in it. This will help give the bread a nice crusty crust.
Dust the top of the dough with flour and make diagonal slashes in dough about ¼ of an inch deep.
Place in the 425℉ for 25-30 minutes or until browned and hollow sounding when tapped on.
Cool completely and cut with a bread knife.
The nutritional value may vary depending on the ingredients used.
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