How 2 Make Soft Chewy French Bread Recipe

Don't stress-out if you don't have bread on hand. Making french bread is very easy. See the ingredients below?

1 1/2 Tbl. instant yeast
1/2 c. warm water
1 1/2 Tbl. sugar
2 c. water
1 1/2 Tbl. oil
2 1/4 tsp. salt
6 c. all-purpose flour

Although I am not much of a baker, I do not mind making French Bread since my kids love it so much. The other reason is that it is hard to keep French bread soft, so check out the 10 Tips How to Keep French Bread Soft.  Always fresh and always on hand with homemade and no more throwing away hard bread.


Combine the yeast, 1/2 cup warm water and sugar. Let it proof for ten minutes.  Add 2 cups water, oil, salt and 3 cups of flour.  Mix until flour is incorporated, then gradually add remaining 3 cups of flour.  
This process is similar to making Pretzels, see the photos of the flour mixing in my post for making Soft Pretzel Recipe.

Using the dough hook on a stand mixer, knead about five minutes, then turn out onto generously floured surface.  Every ten minutes, for the next hour, knead two or three times.  This is what gives the crust that french bread chewiness.  It is not crucial that kneading takes place at exact 10 minute intervals, just make sure to come back at least four times in the next hour to knead the dough a few times, then form back into a ball (keep dough covered with a piece of saran wrap between kneads, so it doesn't dry out)


Divide dough into 2 portions for regular-sized loaves or 4 portions for small loaves.  Spread each portion out into a rough rectangle and roll up, jelly-roll style.  Take the two ends of each loaf and tuck under slightly.  Place on a lightly greased cookie sheet.  Spray a sharp knife with cooking spray and cut 3 diagonal lines into the tops of each loaf, about 1-inch deep.  Brush loaves with a beaten egg, making sure to get every single spot.  Whatever doesn't get covered with egg wash won't brown.  Raise until doubled or 30 minutes.  Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes, then at 375 degrees for 18-20 minutes, rotating pan halfway through.  
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