Thursday, January 13, 2011

Easy French Bread ?: I like to take it easy!!!

 Actually, I can't call this one traditional French bread because it's not ^^. But what you will do if you want to have a rustic bread, just bake it by yourself!!! This bread is very easy to make and when I need French bread, I bake this one instead. It doesn't require a lot of preparation, no need for sponge, or anything else, just an instant yeast that's all. 

 I use this recipe for almost 8 years by now ^^, and still love it, well, and this time it's a request from someone who told me that her husband doesn't like a bread with butter (most of my bread recipes are soft bread with a lot of butter). She try to make French bread but the result was disappointed. I told her that I have a recipe that can use instead of French bread and I will show her.
Anyway, I'm late, I told her that I will post this recipe for her last week but due to so many things in life, I just can't find enough time to make this bread. So, sorry for being late ^^, I try my best to keep my promise.
For this bread, I just have to tell you that it's easy easy an d easy, haha. I got this recipe from the book ...................... this book is very old (about 10 years by now).
The difference of this bread and the traditional one is this one contains oil. And this small amount is enough to make our life easier ^^, the bread is not rock hard but soft and chewy, and turn into a crunchy one after toasting. I use it when I want to make a garlic bread. It's easy to make too, just mix garlic, salt and butter together and spread over the sliced breads, and bake in a preheated 180°C oven for 15-20 minutes, and you get a delicious side dish ^^.
You can shape it into desired shape, and it's fun to do it. For the baking instruction, I suggest you to pour the boiling water into the pan to make stream, but if you don't want to do it, just bake the bread as usual, but the crust will be a bit thicker.
I think that you will love this recipe too, and hope that you will keep it for a long time like me.

Easy French Bread
Make 2 (33 cm long breads)

300g ............................... Bread flour
1tsp ................................. Honey
1½tsp ............................. Instant yeast
1tbsp ............................... Olive oil
200ml ............................. Water
1½tsp ............................. Coarse sea salt
.......................................... Yellow cornmeal for sprinkle over the pan
2cup ................................ Boiling water for baking

 Mix olive oil, honey and water together, put flour, instant yeast and salt in the bowl, whisk to combine. Use large spoon (or pastry scraper) to mix everything together, and knead briefly to bring all the ingredients together.Take the dough out of the bowl and knead if the dough is a bit dry sprinkle with 1-2 tbsp water, you will see the dough will be elastic. (See how to knead here).
 Put the dough into a light oiled bowl. Let the dough rise in a warm place until double in size (can be 1 hour or 1 hour and a half check often depend on the temperature).
Place a baking paper or silicone baking mat over a sheet pan, or use a French bread pan (I use this one), sprinkle with the yellow cornmeal. 
 Divide  the dough into 2 pieces.
Roll into balls and let the dough rest for 10 minutes.
Press the ball lightly and shape into a long oval, do the same with another ball.
 Use the side of your hand press the center of the dough, and roll again (do it 2-3 times until you get a desired length )
Place the shaped dough over a prepared pan.
Let the dough rise until almost double in size, about 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven  220°C and place a roasting pan in the lowest shelf of the oven.
With a very sharp knife, make 3 or 4 diagonal cuts about 1/4 inch deep across top of each loaf. Put the bread into the oven and pour the boiling water into the roasting pan, bake for 10 minutes. 
Reduce the heat to 200°C bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until bread golden.
 Remove from baking sheet, and cool on a wire rack.
Easy French Bread?: I like to take it easy!!!


  1. this is a really good recipe! the bread looks delicious! thanks for sharing pook!

  2. hi pook, not too sure about the boiling water. are you saying that the boiling water on another pan on the lowest rack and bake the bread in the upper rack? is that for thinner crust?

  3. Hi, Jess
    Thank you for visiting ^^, I hope you will love this.

    Hi, lena
    Oh, I pour the boiling water into the roasting pan on the lowest rack, and bake the bread in the middle rack. It will produce stream suddenly and the bread will have a thinner crust.

  4. Hi Pook, couls I ask you for coffee buns recipe? i love it so much but have not found a tested recipe so far... thanks in advance

  5. french bread for garlic bread,bruscheta,hummmm yum yummm

  6. I tried this out last night and it's really nice! The bread was tasty and chewy! Didn't know french loaf can be so easy to make. Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe!

  7. Hi, very nice french bread.
    May i know the usage of yellow cornmeal?

  8. Hi, Me cao
    I think I have that recipe too ^^, but you may have to wait for a while.

    Hi, Meinekueche
    Yes, it's delicious in any forms :)

    Hi, Wen
    Oh! You're very quick, and I'm so happy that you like it.

    Hi, Choilee
    The yellow cornmeal is for preventing the bread to stick to the pan.

    Hi, Priya
    Thank you

  9. I love French loaf and this looks perfect! Although I'm sure sure if I will attempt this recipe as my bread machine died on me a few months back. You'll read about it when I update my blog, I tried one of your bread recipe here ;-)

    Hope to try this one day.

  10. What a beautiful looking loaf of bread. It looks like it came from a bakery. I bet it tasted wonderful.

  11. hi pook, i have problems with my hand (i think i'm developing carpal tunnel syndrom)so, i can no longer knead my own bread... :-(

    i was wondering if i could use my mixer to do the kneading and how long do you think i should knead it for?

    thanks pook! :-)

  12. Hi, Blessed homemaker
    Oh,I'm so sorry for you. I hope you will get a new one soon :)

    Hi, Lisa
    Thank you, I hope you will try this, it's really good ^^.

    Hi, dottology

    Oh, I'm so sorry to hear that.
    Well, if you use the mixer (I think you mean stand mixer, right?)it will take about 5 minutes,and check the dough from time to time because the machine will knead a lot faster than our hand.

  13. thanks pook, i just finished kneading the dough. now it's resting. i hope it will be as beautiful as yours!

  14. Hi pook! I'm looking for a French bread recipe for my next weekend. Compare to the "French Bread by Julia Child", which recipe do you think has a better result? I attempt to make a bread with dense pattern

  15. Hi, Hijikata
    I love this recipe more than that, because I love my bread to be a bit soft ^^. So if you love soft French bread (that will be crisper after baking it again), I think you will like it.

  16. Hi, can I omit the cornmeal? Any substitution? I have hard time looking for it.

  17. Yes, just use silicone baking paper (or silpat) to prevent the bread to stick to the baking sheet.

  18. Hi Pook,
    I tried this recipe and it came out amazing. Thank you
    What is the difference between this recipe and the traditional French one? (I haven't tried your Julia Child's recipe. It is so long that it is very daunting)
    Can you post recipe for Sourdough. It is often dubbed as the King of All Breads. There's another flavour dimension that only come from maturing the yeast in the mother sponge. It is time consuming but I'm eager to try it. Please?

  19. Hello,

    Where did u buy your roasting (Baguette) pan? I cant get it from here.


  20. Can I use all purpose flour for this? I don't have bread flour on hand. :(

  21. Yes, but you may need less water than mine.

  22. Hi your blog is really nice and u can make so much nice stuff!! but just to ask.. don't you need to mix the yeast with water and let it rise before you combine it with the flour?

  23. No, if you using instant yeast you can mix it into the flour.

  24. Hi, I tried your recipe... My dough turn out to be very wet.. Can I add more flour? If added more flour do I need to add more honey, salt and yeast? Please advice.

  25. You can add more flour (as the flour is different in protein percentage and dryness), but you don't need to increase the amount of the other ingredients.

  26. Hi Pook, thanks for your advice. May i know will it be better to reduce water or add flour? Also can I actually prepare the dough at night and place in the fridge than next morning bake?

  27. Add just enough flour to make you able to knead the dough is better (you won't need much), an if you want to refrigerate the dough you need to reduce the yeast, use only 3/4tsp is enough.

  28. Hi can I use canola oil and sugar instead of olive oil and honey? Thanks :)

  29. Yes, you can use different kind of oil and use sugar instead of honey ^^

  30. Hi,
    I always love your bread recipes and the few that I tried always yield tasty bread. But that was when u had to knead by hand. Recently I got a bread machine and I was using the kneading function for the recipes. And it doesnt work anymore. I tried this french loaf recipe yesterday, and the dough was very soft and sticky and impossible to shape into a loaf. May I ask why is this so? The bread machine is preset to knrad for half an hr. Is that too long? Do I have to adjust the amount of flour?
    Thanks a lot in advance! :)

  31. Mostly when switching from hand kneading to machine you might have to adjust the amount of the water. In your case you can reduce the water for 10-20 ml (depend on how sticky it is).

  32. Hi Pook, baked this easy french bread yesterday, and just loved it. Thank you for sharing.
    Have you tried making this with wholemeal flour?

  33. I never made it with wholemeal flour before, ^^.

  34. Hi Pook, can I use milk in this recipe? ( to replace the water) tq ^___^

  35. Yes, you can use milk, but you may need to add 1-2tbsp more than water and the texture of the bread will be a bit different^^.

  36. Hello! i tried to bake this baguette and followed the measurements exactly, however the dough turned out very wet and sticky and it was impossible to form a ball of dough at all. May i know why this would be so? thanks for your advice!
    Regards, Sandra

  37. The problem could come from the protein percentage and dryness of the flour ^^. Different brands of flour behave differently too, next time try add the water 3/4 of the given recipe then add more until you get manageable dough.

  38. The bread looks perfect. I'm not sure my oven fits perfectly for homemade french bread.

  39. Hi Pook, if I make this into smaller buns (around 9 round buns) ..what is this ideal baking temperature & time? Thank q 😉

  40. You will need 13-15 minutes for small loaf (200C is OK)



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