Easy French Bread Recipe

Easy French Bread Recipe

This is the same french bread recipe I learned way back in my college cooking class, and it has never failed us. It is perfectly soft on the inside and slightly crunchy on the outside just like french bread should be!

The best part is you not only get two loaves so you can freeze one for later, but it makes the best garlic bread too!

Yes, Cade and I took a cooking class together in college. Back then we thought it would just be a fun and easy class to take together, and it was super it was a great way to start off our marriage. We had no idea then that one day we would be cooking together as a family and sharing our lives and recipes with all of you.

In a way, it all goes back to this homemade french bread!

a photo of a loaf of french bread cut into five slices with a full loaf sitting next to the slices.

Ingredients for Homemade French Bread

You only need 6 ingredients for the perfect french bread, and if you don’t count water as an ingredient, then you only need 5! Here is your shopping list:

  • Warm Water
  • Instant Yeast
  • Sugar
  • Canola (or Vegetable) Oil
  • Fine Sea Salt
  • Flour

It’s quite possible that you have all the ingredients on hand already, so you’re in business! Let’s make some homemade french bread!

What Flour for French Bread?

Before we get to the instructions, let me talk flour. There are lots of recipes out there with all sorts of different combinations of flours, but we have had the best results with just good ol’ all purpose flour.
a photo of a slice of french bread leaning up against more slices of french bread with a full loaf in the background

How to Make a French Bread Recipe

Making french bread at home may sound a little intimidating, but there is no need to fear! We are going to walk you through it step by step!

Step 1: Activate the Yeast

Combine the warm water, yeast and sugar in a glass measuring cup and set it aside to let the yeast activate.

Step 2: Combine Remaining Ingredients

In a stand mixer, add half the flour and the oil and salt and stir to combine.

Step 3: Combine All Ingredients

Add in the yeast mixture and mix on low. Add the rest of the flour 1/2 cup at a time until the dough is only slightly sticky. Then let it mix for a few minutes.

Step 4: First and Second Rest

Cover the bowl and let it sit for 10 minutes. Then put it back on the stand mixer and mix for a minute. Then let it rest for another 10 minutes.

Step 5: Resting and Kneading

Do this same process for 4 more cycles. Add some oil to a clean bowl and place the dough in it and turn the dough to cover it in oil.

Step 6: Another Rest

Cover the bowl and allow to rest for 1 hour.

Step 7: Form Loaves

Drizzle a little oil on the counter and spread it around. Place the dough on the oiled counter and divide it in half. Press each half of dough into a rectangle then roll them up starting on the long edge. Press gently to seal out any air bubbles.

Step 8: Final Rise

Set the loaves seam side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Cover with a towel and let it rise for 1 hour.

Step 9: Score

Preheat the oven. Score the top of the dough with a sharp blade.

Step 10: Bake

Place the baking sheet into the oven and toss 4 ice cubes onto the tray and shut the oven door.
PRO TIP: The ice cubes create steam which makes the inside of the bread be nice and soft with a slightly crustier outside.
Bake and cover with foil if needed.

Step 11: Butter

Remove the bread from the oven and lather both loaves with butter. Slice and serve!

a photo of three slices of french bread stacked on top of each other with the buttery golden top facing the camera..

What Kind of Yeast Should I Use?

We have a whole post on yeast, but I almost exclusively use instant yeast. It never let’s me down and always does the job perfectly. I keep a big bag of yeast in the freezer. It lasts for forever and keeping it in the freezer helps it stay fresh.

Can I Make French Bread Without a Stand Mixer?

Absolutely! It builds muscles and character! Mix everything with a spatula at directed in the instructions and then do all the kneading by hand.

Why Score French Bread?

Scoring the dough after the final rise creates weak spots in the dough to allow for expansion as the bread rises while baking. This keep the bread from cracking in places in you don’t want it to.

How Can I Get My Bread More Golden?

You can brush the top of your loaves with an egg wash if you want. Moving the oven rack a little closer to the top also does the trick for me. You’ll have to test how your oven bakes to find the sweet spot.

Ways to Enjoy French Bread

This might seem like a silly thing to write about because you don’t need anything to enjoy french bread. It’s heavenly goodness on its own, but here are a few ways we like it:

Oh man, now I’m literally drooling! Carbs and I have a solid, long-lasting relationship of bliss!

How to Freeze French Bread

Like I said, this recipe makes two loaves, so we always freeze one of them for later. It freezes very well! Wrap loaf or loaves (after they have completely cooled) in saran wrap or tinfoil, place in a ziploc bag and place in the freezer. They will keep for up to 3 months. when you’re ready to eat it, set it out on the counter to bring it to room temperature and slice and eat it. You could also warm it up in the oven if you want it warm and delicious!

 

I had a friend who would get a loaf of french bread every year for Christmas. Like his parents would legit wrap a loaf of french bread because he loved it that much and french bread is that good. It makes me laugh so much and also makes me so happy!

This french bread recipe is the best of the best! You’ll love how simple it is and how many ways if can be used for joy!

More EASY BREAD RECIPES You’ll Love:

 

Raised in the Kitchen - Carrian Cheney

Launched!

Our new book is now available!

From food prep to clean-up, this unique cookbook guides the way through every step, including meal lists and easy-to-follow recipes, and features dollops of heartwarming family stories, insights, and kid-friendly food activities to keep young chefs focused on fun in the kitchen.

Buy now

a photo of a slice of french bread leaning up against more slices of french bread with a full loaf in the background

Print

Easy French Bread Recipe

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Course Yeast Bread Recipes and Quick Bread Recipes
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Resting Time 2 hours
Total Time 3 hours 5 minutes
Servings 10 servings
Calories 546kcal
Author Sweet Basil

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 Cups Warm Water
  • 1 Tablespoon Instant Yeast
  • 2 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Canola Oil or Vegetable Oil
  • 2 1/2 Teaspoons Fine Sea Salt
  • 5-5 1/2 Cups Flour

Instructions

  • In a glass measuring cup, add the warm water, yeast and sugar. Stir to combine and set aside to foam.
  • In a standing mixer, add 3 of the 6 cups of flour, oil and the salt, mix to combine.
  • Add the yeast and water mixture and mix on low using a dough hook. Gradually add in more flour by 1/2 cup until the dough is slightly sticky but has pulled away from the sides of the bowl. You should use 5 1/2-6 cups total flour in this recipe. Continue to mix for 2-3 minutes.
  • Cover the bowl with plastic or a towel and set aside for 10 minutes. Place the bowl back in the mixer and mix again for another minute and then allow to rest for 10 minutes.
  • Continue for 4 more cycles of allowing the dough to rest and then kneading it just as you do with many artisan breads. If you do not have time, (our professor had told us she usually skips the kneading and resting part but I never do) you can add a drizzle of oil to a clean bowl and then place the dough in, immediately turning it over so that the oil coats all the dough. Cover and allow to rest for 1 hour.
  • Place a little oil directly on your counter and spread it out. Now place the dough on the oiled counter and divide the dough in half.
  • Press each section into a thick rectangle the size of a 9×13″ pan (our professor always set one next to the dough). Roll the dough up starting from the long edge and pressing gently to seal out any air bubbles.
  • Finally, pinch the edge to seal. Arrange seam side down on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper and cover with a towel to rise for an hour.
  • Place the oven rack in the center and heat to 400. Using a sharp blade, slash through the dough to create a marked topping.
  • Place the bread in the oven and throw 4 ice cubes into the bottom of the pan to create steam and shut the oven door.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes, covering with foil if needed. Remove from the oven and open a stick of butter then rub all over the top. Enjoy!

Nutrition

Serving: 2slices | Calories: 546kcal | Carbohydrates: 112g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 587mg | Potassium: 158mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 24mg | Iron: 7mg

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a photo of three slices of french bread stacked on top of each other.

READ: Easy French Bread Recipe

Originally posted at Oh Sweet Basil

Pea Bruschetta

Pea Bruschetta: An easy, quick appetizer perfect for summer entertaining.

Pea Bruschetta: An easy, quick appetizer perfect for summer entertaining.

I love bruschetta! I love how simple, fresh and delicious it is. Especially this easy Pea Bruschetta.

Delicious green peas, tossed with garlic, Parmesan cheese, lemon juice and olive oil then served on freshly toasted bread for an easy and flavorful appetizer. Serve it for a casual dinner or a big celebration!

Pea Bruschetta: An easy, quick appetizer perfect for summer entertaining.

What bread is best for Bruschetta?

You want to use a good rustic style loaf for this. A rustic Italian or French loaf will provide a crisp surface with a soft interior after toasting. If you like a thicker crust, sourdough is fabulous as they are much more dense make great crispy sturdy toasts.

If you need a gluten free version, like myself, there are great options in the freezer section of your local grocery store.

Pea Bruschetta: An easy, quick appetizer perfect for summer entertaining.

How to make the mashed pea spread:

To create the delicious topping for your toast, simply mash 1 cup of cooked peas in a bowl. Add a drizzle of olive oil, a squeeze of lemon juice and 1/3 cup of freshly grated parmesan cheese. Mix well, then spread it on your toasted bread.

**Detailed directions are listed in the printable recipe card below**

Pea Bruschetta: An easy, quick appetizer perfect for summer entertaining.

Why does my bread get soggy?

There’s two ways to keep your bruschetta from getting soggy: 

  1. Be sure to grill or broil the bread BEFORE you add the toppings (especially, if you are making a traditional tomato bruschetta).
  2. Top your bread right before you’re going to serve.
Pea Bruschetta: An easy, quick appetizer perfect for summer entertaining.

This bruschetta mixture is my new go-to. It’s perfectly simple and delicious. No frills here!

If you’re looking for another great alternative to the traditional bruschetta, try my Cool Cucumber Bruschetta, as well.

Looking for the perfect recipe to end summer with?  This Cool Cucumber Bruschetta is just what you need for your upcoming Labor Day Celebration.
Pea Bruschetta

Pea Bruschetta

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of cooked peas + additional for garnish
  • Preferred rustic bread
  • 2-3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese + additional for garnish
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • Juice of 1 lemon

Instructions

  1. Slice bread. Drizzle with 1-2 Tbsp of olive oil. Top with garlic powder.
  2. Cook under a broiler until slightly brown. Watch carefully, every broiler cooks a little differently. This should only take a couple minutes.
  3. In a bowl, mash 1 cup of peas with 1 Tbsp olive oil, 1/3 cup of shredded Parmesan cheese, and the juice of 1 lemon. Mix well.
  4. Once your bread is finished toasting, remove and top with pea spread.
  5. Top each with additional peas and shredded parmesan if desired.

Originally posted at The Healthy Homecook

Caprese Orzo Pasta

Caprese Orzo Pasta

Caprese orzo pasta is loaded with juicy tomatoes, creamy mozzarella and chopped fresh basil. It is light, fresh and perfect for spring!

Adding orzo pasta to the classic caprese ingredients makes this a great side dish or a delectable light lunch. I’m always looking to liven things up when it comes to lunch time! Plus, we are all about caprese flavors — see our caprese sandwich or our balsamic caprese chicken.

A serving bowl of orzo caprese salad. It is loaded with tomatoes, fresh basil and mozzarella cheese. Parmesan cheese, salt, and tomatoes are next to the bowl of orzo.

Our kids love helping us in the kitchen and this is a great recipe to get the whole family involved. Even our 5-year-old can cook up a batch of orzo. We put our oldest on the basil and our second on the tomatoes and mozzarella and this caprese salad is done in no time! It is simple, healthy and the flavors are flawless!

What Ingredients Go in Caprese Orzo Pasta?

When you hear caprese, you know your usual suspects, but there are couple of other ingredients that go into this pasta dish. Here is your shopping list:

  • Orzo
  • Olive Oil
  • Garlic
  • Chicken Broth
  • Thyme (fresh)
  • Basil (fresh)
  • Mozzarella (buffalo or pearls)
  • Tomatoes
  • Parmesan
  • Pepper
  • Salt

A bowl of caprese orzo salad. There are tomatoes and mozzarella chunks and fresh green basil in the salad.

How to Make Caprese Orzo Pasta

We have gone through the basic steps, but here is the whole process in a little more detail. For the complete recipe, see the recipe card below.

  1. Orzo – This recipe starts by toasting the dry orzo. We’ve found this really takes the flavor over the top. Then add the garlic and thyme. The orzo is cooked in chicken broth for even more flavor.
    • PRO TIP: Thyme isn’t a typical caprese flavor, but it adds a flavor that we love in this pasta salad!
  2. Caprese – Once the orzo has absorbed most of the water and it is tender, its time to add all the caprese stars – cheese, tomatoes and basil. Then salt and pepper to taste and dig in!

Caprese orzo salad packed with tomatoes, mozzarella chunks and fresh basil.

What is Caprese?

Caprese is an Italian dish made from fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, and sweet basil, seasoned with salt and olive oil, occasionally paired with arugula. It can be eaten as a salad or on a sandwich.

A serving bowl of caprese orzo salad. The salad contains tomatoes, mozzarella chuncks and fresh basil. A few basil leaves, tomatoes and a small container of oil are sitting by the salad.

Is Orzo Pasta Or Rice?

I feel like orzo isn’t as well know as it should be. Orzo is a rice-shaped pasta. So it is a pasta that eats like rice but takes substantially less time to cook. It’s a winner that should be used more in my humble opinion!

Caprese orzo salad in a larch serving bowl. There are bright red tomatoes, fresh green basil and chunks of mozzarella cheese. A few tomatoes, a brick of parmesan cheese, and a container of salt are on the table by the salad.

How to Cook Orzo Pasta?

We like to toast the dry orzo first to really heighten the flavor of the cooked pasta. After toasting it for a minute or so in olive oil, add your liquid (water works great, but use a broth for even more flavor). Let it come to a boil and then turn the heat down and let it simmer for 8-10 minutes.
 

A bowl of caprese orzo salad. The salad has tomatoes, mozzarella chunks and fresh basil leave in it. A container of fresh ground pepper and a few parsley leaves are next to the salad.

How Do You Know When Orzo Is Done?

Orzo takes about 10 minutes to cook.

It is done when it has a firm, chewy texture.

How Long Will Orzo Keep?

Cooked orzo will keep for 3-4 days in the refrigerator.

A close-up of caprese orzo salad. It has red tomatoes, fresh green basil, and chunks of mozzarella cheese.

Are Tomatoes Good For You?

I am obsessed with tomatoes, especially tomatoes fresh from the garden. We don’t have a spot in our backyard for a garden which makes me the saddest, but my parents have a huge garden. When we go to visit in the summer, we always return with tons of fresh produce including all kinds of tomatoes.

Tomatoes are a great source of vitamin C, potassium, folate, and vitamin K. They are also high in antioxidants.

A bowl of caprese orzo salad with fresh tomatoes, mozzarella chunks and fresh basil. A few basil leaves are on the table next to the pasta.

Caprese orzo pasta is going to be your new favorite dish this spring! I’m having it for lunch this week. My kids are whipping it up. We will have it for dinner, and then I’ll be eating the leftovers for lunch. It keeps great in the refrigerator too, so I can eat it several days in a row! Three cheers for CAPRESE!

A serving bowl of caprese orzo salad. There are tomatoes, mozzarella chunks and fresh basil leaves in the salad. Another bowl of salad, a container of ground pepper, and a few parsley leaves are on the table next to the bowl.

Looking for more delicious ORZO RECIPES?

Raised in the Kitchen - Carrian Cheney

Launched!

Our new book is now available!

From food prep to clean-up, this unique cookbook guides the way through every step, including meal lists and easy-to-follow recipes, and features dollops of heartwarming family stories, insights, and kid-friendly food activities to keep young chefs focused on fun in the kitchen.

Buy now

A bowl of caprese orzo salad. The salad has tomatoes, mozzarella chunks and fresh basil leave in it. A container of fresh ground pepper and a few parsley leaves are next to the salad.

Print

Caprese Orzo Pasta

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This easy caprese orzo pasta recipe is light, fresh and perfect for spring.
Course 100 Family Favorite Easy Healthy Recipes
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 14 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 408kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 Cups Orzo Pasta
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive oil
  • 2 Cloves Garlic minced
  • 3 Cups Chicken Broth
  • 1 teaspoon Thyme leaves fresh
  • 1/4 Cup Basil Fresh, chopped
  • 1 Cup Mozzarella buffalo, or mozzarella pearls
  • 1 Cup Tomatoes
  • 2/3 Cup Parmesan Cheese grated, plus more for garnish
  • Cracked Pepper fresh, to taste
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

  • In a skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil and pasta.
  • Cook, stirring occasionally until toasted, about 30-60 seconds.
  • Add garlic and stir it in followed by thyme.
  • Add the broth, a small amount at a time.
  • Bring to a boil, cover the skillet with a lid and turn down to a simmer for 8-10 minutes or until the pasta has absorbed most of the water and is tender.
  • Add the cheeses, tomatoes, basil and salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.

Notes

Left overs can be stored in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 408kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 33mg | Sodium: 1093mg | Potassium: 391mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 733IU | Vitamin C: 19mg | Calcium: 370mg | Iron: 2mg

REMEMBER TO SUBSCRIBE TO our FREE Oh Sweet Basil NEWSLETTER AND RECEIVE EASY RECIPES DELIVERED INTO YOUR INBOX EVERY DAY!

When you try a recipe, please use the hashtag #ohsweetbasil on INSTAGRAM for a chance to be featured in our stories!  FOLLOW OH, SWEET BASIL ON FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | PINTEREST | TWITTER FOR ALL OF OUR LATEST CONTENT, RECIPES AND STORIES.

A serving bowl of orzo caprese salad. It is loaded with tomatoes, fresh basil and mozzarella cheese. Parmesan cheese, salt, and tomatoes are next to the bowl of orzo.

READ: Caprese Orzo Pasta

Originally posted at Oh Sweet Basil

Creamy Garlic Parmesan Orzo

Creamy Garlic Parmesan Orzo

This Creamy Garlic Parmesan Orzo can be enjoyed as a main dish or a side dish. It is comforting and creamy, with the perfect amount of garlic and parmesan! 

A serving bowl of creamy orzo. There is a wooden spoon in the pasta and the pasta is mixed in a creamy white sauce with fresh thyme leaves. There are fresh thyme leaves and a couple of forks laying next to the bowl.

Super Easy Orzo Recipe

This one pot recipe can be on your table in less than 15 minutes, which is exactly the type of recipe I need for those busy school nights.

You all know how I feel about carbs (YES PLEASE!). Normally I’m touting different bread recipes, like our herbed focaccia bread because…hello, bread is straight from heaven! But pasta recipes are a close second when it comes to the glorious-ness of carbs.

This creamy orzo recipe is simply sublime! (more…)

READ: Creamy Garlic Parmesan Orzo

Originally posted at Oh Sweet Basil